Three Day Weekend

Friday is upon us, and thankfully I have zero appointments for the day. (I really need a day of “nothing” when it comes to obligations beyond my control.) I’ll probably somehow jinx myself, and something will end up popping up… but as of right now, around 2am, I’ve got nothing to do tomorrow (Friday) except getting my shit in order. The original plan was to get all my medical stuff sorted earlier this past evening, but after my PCP doctor appointment – when I got home I just completely disconnected from everything and everyone. Not for any bad reason… just being happy that the week is nearly over.

I’m pretty tired now though, so I’m gonna keep this one short and probably jump back in on Friday afternoon/evening so I can report on the day’s activities, both “business” and “leisure.”

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Better Than Yesterday

Today hasn’t been too bad. I’ve been taking it especially easy with my movements, to make sure that my neck doesn’t start leaking again, but I’ve still been able to straighten up the clutter in the living room that’s been bothering me. I just had bills laid out here, hospital papers laid out there, and then I had all my gauze, band-aids, alcohol wipes, bacitracin, and meds kinda scattered around wherever I used them last. I also got my financial assistance forms completed.

And thankfully the weather has cooled so the AC doesn’t have to be worried about anytime soon. I mean, I’m still gonna get it repaired in the next week or two, before it gets cold enough that I have to start thinking about using the furnace, but at least this way I didn’t have to bother Rick to come over here after already working on other projects over his weekend. It’s nice to have all the doors open all night… hopefully no boogers come to get me and the cat.

My energy levels weren’t nearly as screwed today as they were yesterday, but it’s too soon to say if it’s my body getting used to things or if it’s just gonna be like this with the ups and downs for a while. The itching is enough to drive me nuts throughout the day though. The area above the incision has some nerve issues going on, because when I touch the area it has that “asleep” feeling to it, but between the incision healing and my beard growing in (probably) I’d sure love to just dig into it and scratch.

Getting This One Out Of The Way

The surgery went well and I’m back at home recovering. And while that’s good news, simply making it through the surgery – and the surgery itself being successful in what it was aiming to accomplish, there’s still more waiting to be done as the labs now do their thing. 😟 I had a drain in for a little over 24 hours after the procedure, but it was removed today (oush) at a quick follow-up with the doctor. I’m glad to have it out, because I was perpetually worried that I was going to accidentally snag it and rip it out of my throat… 😣 and sleeping vertically doesn’t work very well.

The incision is about twice the size of the one from when I had my C5-C7 fusion done, which was a little surprising. πŸ˜• They needed as much access as possible to search for and remove all the bad bits though, so I guess I can’t complain. Swallowing was excruciating for the first 24 hours… so I spent most of my mental energy trying not to. 😠 Try it… see how that works for you. (spoiler: it doesn’t)Β I can finally eat soft food now though, so it’s been a Spaghettios and apple sauce type of day.

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When I got home yesterday I felt like I had been hit by a bus. Everything working against me… the new surgery trauma, the agitation to my older injury and nerve damage, moving my neck around in ways that it doesn’t like to be moved, and then some issues with them not getting my normal medication to me in a timely manner – which of course triggered uncontrollable shaking in my shoulder… it was a perfect horrible storm. πŸ˜₯ Cassi stayed with me way later than she was supposed to (she had to get up pre-dawn for her work) but I’m glad that she did because I couldn’t lift my arms, couldn’t use the muscles in my neck to lean myself forward to get out of the recliner… easily the most pain I’ve ever experienced.

I’m not going to get into any of the details, but I’ve already contacted the hospital to let them know that they need to provide me with someone to talk to about my “customer experience.” πŸ˜’ Maybe I’ll share all that after it’s done… but for the weekend that will be going on my mental back-burner as I start un-pausing my life and trying to do a few things. First of which will be filling out all of the forms for the various financial assistance things that I can take advantage of. I’ve got Medicare, but that sure doesn’t cover it all… but luckily the hospital, a non-profit, has lots of programs to help make up the difference so I don’t have to go broke while I try to keep my engine running.

Meh… I suppose that’s enough for now. I do have a little bit of non-crappy stuff that I could probably report on, so maybe if I can’t sleep tonight I’ll end up making a second entry. But right now I’m exhausted and everything hurts so it’s hard for non-crappy words to come out of my fingers right now.

Please Stay On The Line

In an attempt to melt my brain, I guess, I spent most of the day yesterday on the phone and sending e-mails. 😳 Since it’s likely that I’m gonna be getting into a lot more medical stuff in the near future (hopefully) I had to get all my ducks in a row.

First it was making sure my info was current with BWC, and requesting an updated ID card with current information. Then it was checking with my BWC prescription provider and getting an updated card from them. After that it was contacting my Medicare Part D provider and giving and getting the same information with them. πŸ˜“ I also had to get and update information regarding the company and my contact that’s handling my WC claim.

Basically, lots and lots of automated phone systems, auto-reply emails, and eventual communication with actual humans who either handled what I needed or ensured me that the information or cards or whatever that I needed would be sent to me asap. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Yeah, we’ll see how that goes… but of every item on my list that I needed to do, I put a check mark next to all of them as either “completed” or “should be completed” pending the USPS bringing stuff to me.

I did all of this while my hands have been driving me insane. 😣 The more that I think about it, the less I think it was just poison ivy. I’m almost certain that it was some other flower or weed with little teeny nettles on it that ended up really fucking up my skin. 😠 If I do manage to make it in to see a doctor at the walk-in clinic tomorrow, I’ll probably ask him or her about it after I get the stuff regarding my thyroid and testing taken care of. πŸ˜” Hell, having such a severe reaction could actually prove helpful to everything in a diagnostic way.

Better Than A Telemarketer

Heh… should have seen that one coming… the moment I wake up, my phone rings. 😱 Almost like my subconscious knew that a call was coming. πŸ§™πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ It was the fella that will be doing the litigation for my court case here soon, responding to the e-mail that I sent him late last night. It was a great conversation though, and he filled me in on all of the stuff that’s been going on lately, along with what his plans are for the upcoming appearance. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ« I can tell he’s a smart guy, and he didn’t dumb things down for me, which I appreciated. (It’s nice to have a conversation about something of importance with someone who absolutely knows what the hell they’re talking about. πŸ˜…)

He also blessed me with the knowledge that I don’t actually have to attend. Almost like I assumed, if I were to go I would end up just having to sit there and listen, which I don’t totally object to – but I’d rather let them do their thing and not put myself through the stress and probable pain of driving up to Columbus in shit traffic and snow, possibly still feeling side effects from the steroid injection two days prior, and then sitting there on my hands for 15 minutes while they bust through their arguments. πŸ˜’ Even just writing about this stokes my stress, which then stokes my pain.

Oh, I think that was the only surprising thing that he told me… the very limited amount of time that each side has to present their argument. 😯 The magistrate will already have all of the paperwork that he really needs regarding my claim though, so oral arguments basically just act as salt and pepper on the main dish. But man, sometimes just the right amount of salt can make bland mashed potatoes taste awesome. 🀀 So, as usual, I’m cautiously optimistic. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ He explained in detail the angle that he’ll be going with, and it does sound pretty solid.

Like I was thinking though, the ruling on this case will most likely set a precedent that many, many more cases will eventually rely upon in the future. 😬 I know that it honestly has nothing to do with me personally, but I’m still sitting here hoping that my case doesn’t end up being the one that causes problems for other injured people like me who will come along in the future. πŸ˜” Oh and get this, if the magistrate finds in my favorΒ – my former employer can still elevate this one more time, this time to the Supreme Court of Ohio. πŸ˜§πŸ‘©πŸ»β€βš–οΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš–οΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš–οΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš–οΈπŸ‘©πŸ»β€βš–οΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš–οΈπŸ‘©πŸ»β€βš–οΈ Just typing that sentence seems nuts. That court does have the option of telling them to just piss off though, so I guess there’s that. 😏

This was probably the easiest that I’ve transitioned into “handling unexpected phone call when you can’t even do phone calls” though. πŸ˜₯ Smart attorney who is also personable and is able to relate legal information to shlubs like me… that definitely helped. But between getting my brain topped up again and knowing that I don’t have to physically be in the courthouse for the process this time… that’s a call that I’m glad to have answered.

You’re Not Supposed To Do That

I needed something like this to occupy my brain, to get my mind off of many of the things that have been weighing heavy on me lately – where I could just let my nerd flag fly and dig in to this project to see what I could figure out. πŸ€“ It all started when I was preparing to update the OS in my car, which got me to thinking…

I moved the entire contents of my car’s “brain” over to my laptop, originally because I just wanted to locate any default images or videos that the system uses – in case I ever decide that I want to replace those images or videos with ones of my own. But as I went through the various directories I began to see that many of the files were saved in ASCII format, no encryption, no hex code… and easily viewable with Notepad. 😧

I found things regarding navigation, flash files that make up components of the UI, buttloads of icons for the nav system (which my car doesn’t even have (yet?)), a library of text-to-speech phrases… I mean, you can see in the screenshots above. All sorts of files like that, and in multiple languages as well.

But not only does changing the default images and videos interest me, but now that I’ve found the default phrases that the system uses for various things… it’s got me wondering if it’s as simple as changing those phrases in the text file to get her to say whatever I want. πŸ˜„ Of course I haven’t changed any of it yet, and honestly I’m not likely to… not unless I talk to someone who’s discovered the same things as me, and has done it successfully.

There are a few really short animations that are displayed when opening the doors, starting the ignition, and then turning the car off. They’re just regular logo videos with a little bit of movement, but I’ve already started mucking around with ideas for replacement videos that I could use to create new, brief personalized animations for me. πŸ˜€ I used some free service, so I’d have to crop out their watermark, but the resolution on the car’s videos are so low that it shouldn’t be a problem to crop yet retain enough detail in the video. So… still debating what to do next… 😏

Catching Up (More Later?)

Okay, I’ll put some effort into this entry. Things have been rough lately. Cassi and her family moved to a new apartment, and I was asked to help out where I could – and that’s all I could do, help out where I could. But basically what you had was a rag tag crew of broken people, trying to move an entire apartment’s worth of stuff as quickly as possible. 😬 I didn’t do much more than move boxes from the basement, up the stairs, and into the kitchen (what feels like 100 times) and then I did help Cassi with the actual packing of her room and taking those boxes downstairs too. πŸ˜₯ So even though what I was doing was mostly lifting dead weight, which doesn’t kill my neck and shoulder when done in moderation – of course I’m still dying today just due to the scale of what we were trying to do. (I wasn’t there for unloading day, handled by Cassi, Athena, and Athena’s new d00d.)

But anyway, I’ve done enough bitching on Twitter. We did have some other help for the bigger items, so everything that needed to get done got done. Of course we all wish we didn’t have to kill ourselves like we did, but it had to be done. One good thing though is that I’m pretty sure I’m still going to feel horrible by the time I get my MRI done tomorrow. Yes, thankfully it seems the scan has been approved – although now I’m remembering that I have a voice mail on my phone from the risk management company associated with my claim, so I can’t guarantee anything until I check that later. 😠 But the extra pain that I’ve been having, the random seizing that my neck is doing, the “different” noises it makes – I’m just really concerned that something is going bad in there. And I’m torn, because I want them to tell me that yes, it’s worse, and that it’s not just a coincidence… but of course I don’t want it to be something so bad that they start talking about another surgery. 😳

Oh, and in order to not stress Z out while they were getting ready to move, I decided to be cat-sitter again. 😺 I had her for several days, which was long enough this time for her to really start taking to me. No more hiding when I’d go down to the basement to see her – which was probably due in part to the liberal sharing of catnip and the regular “paper wad flipping” sessions. 😊 It’s nice to see that she hasn’t lost her excitement for that game.

So with all of that out of the way, after I get done with my MRI on Wednesday and hopefully get over to Aunt Sharon’s sometime today to help with her computer – then my life can maybe start going back to its normal boring-ness for a few days, and I can put my new vacuum together to see how she works… and do my laundry… and dishes… and bills… and continue packing away “get rid of” stuff… etc… 😏 I’m sure I’ll still pop up to Cassi’s a couple times in the near future to help her unpack things here and there, but thank God all of the ass-busting work has been done.