Weekend Ramble

Went over to Bri’s for a while the other day. Got to see all the work she has done on the apartment since moving in several months ago. She’s really got the place looking good, with the boys’ room having an Avengers theme – plus she’s getting ready to put up a bunch of glow in the dark stars to go with the blacklight. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ I definitely see her mom’s decorating style in what she’s done… most people’s first apartments don’t start off as nice as she’s got hers so far. It’s nice to see her happy and proud of what she’s been able to accomplish.

Brantley was with his grandma, but he did make a FaceTime call to Bri while I was there. Now, when he was a newborn, baby, then toddler I was around him a lot. But when he went to live with his dad… I’m not sure how long it has been, but he’s in kindergarten now – and last time I had seen him, other than his birthday a few months ago, he still wasn’t even talking yet. But her phone was almost dead at that point, so I went to grab the charger so she didn’t have to get up, and Brantley caught what couldn’t have been more than a second or two of me in the background of the image, but he smiled and said “Hey, what’s Bobby doing there?” 😊

So that was pretty neat, especially since I’m not even used to him carrying on conversations quite yet – and since it’s been so long since I’ve been around him. So whether he remembered me mostly from the birthday party, or from his younger years of being around the house, it’s nice to know that I’ve got a somewhat-permanent spot in his little brain somehow. πŸ™‚ It’ll be nice once they get their custody stuff ironed out a little better, where we can all actually do stuff more regularly again, hopefully.

Like I’ve mentioned plenty of times, my energy is coming back – but I’ve still got a surplus of twitchy when it comes to my social energy. πŸ˜’ That’s not related to my thyroid, but more just how I’ve always been… or at least how I’ve become over the past several years. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So even if she gets him a lot more often, and even though I love spending time with them, it still uses up my batteries a heck of a lot faster than if I was just at home by myself. 😏 Hey, what can I say, I’m just an old fart that’s getting more set in his ways… it happens.

So this weekend I’m gonna take it easy for the most part. I’ve got plenty of NASCAR stuff to watch, gonna do a little of this and that like usual, and then Monday I think Cassi and her new possible-boyfriend are gonna come down for a bit. He’s already gotta be in town for something, so I figured between the two of them they can get the heavy-ass old mirror out of my bathroom closet and up to her place to hang in the hallway. It’s the one that was in my living room forever, but I took it down months ago when I thought I was getting close to being ready to have the place painted. Heh… that didn’t happen, but that’s okay – it doesn’t bother me, really, and I’ll get to it at some point – and meanwhile that mirror can live on and be appreciated and actually used.

I like when I can gift something (that has meaning / history) to someone that actually knows the history, understands the relative importance, etc… whether it’s Bri’s bed, which was actually Grandpa’s bed… or like with Genesee, her and Sarah have a nicely decorated home, including a nice curio cabinet where they stick “special” or particularly “pretty” stuff. So about a month ago, before my scan, I actually sent her “The Candy Dish” to be added to the cabinet. It’s funny… to anyone else it’s just a regular glass candy dish with a lid.

But it’s definitely a “Batina thing” because it’s been around since I was little, and the whole “thing” was that you weren’t allowed to take a piece of candy from it unless you could lift and replace the glass lid without it making any clinking noise whatsoever. 😁 Now, once her nieces and nephews are old enough, she’s going to carry on that tradition / game with them… and that makes me happy, versus it just sitting here and not living its full purpose anymore.

So yeah, gonna try to keep my weekend light… a few doctor appointments coming up next week, along with whatever other stuff that I didn’t accomplish this past week, so it actually makes sense to treat the weekend like an actual weekend in this case. Might try to do something fun / hobby related… like, I still have fireworks from a couple of years ago that I’ve wanted to shoot in slow motion – might try to do something like that. Or I might do nothin’…Β  who knows. πŸ˜‹πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

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See, I’ll Still Ramble…

I had a good day out of the house yesterday. Well, afternoon anyway… did some “chore” running that I had to do, stopped off at a couple thrift stores, and then went out to visit with Dad for an hour or so before heading back home. πŸ™‚ Did quite a bit, relative to the same time several weeks ago, and it didn’t take too much out of me… but I did fall asleep way too damn early yesterday. πŸ™„πŸ˜ It wasn’t that “drained” type of sleep… I just went back to the bedroom early, figuring I’d watch a couple movies before I sacked out, but I ended up actually falling asleep around 7pm. 😴

Woke back up at midnight, watched the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies (since I watched the first one again a couple days ago), then fell asleep near the end of the last one and didn’t wake up until around 10am this morning. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So it’s 11pm now, I’m in bed, and I’m tired – but not sleepy – so I really have no idea when I’m gonna fall asleep or when I’ll wake up. πŸ€ͺ Luckily the only thing on my agenda tomorrow is going out to see Bri at some point. She’s one of my friends that I didn’t want to see me in as bad of condition as I was for those several weeks, especially considering that she lost her mom to cancer last year. 😟

Two totally different kinds, so any symptoms shouldn’t be compared at all – but I just know that if people saw me during the really bad week or two, they could definitely get the wrong idea about how good or bad I was doing. 😳 But anyway, I’m feeling “better enough” now that I don’t think I come off as “concerning” anymore… at least no more than usual. 😏 So I’m 99% sure I’ll still end up seeing her tomorrow, it’ll probably just be later in the day than I was thinking when I talked to her earlier. She’s great though… and a little frustrated with me at the moment… because like she repeatedly tells me – she’s been through the worst of the worst with her mom, so she doesn’t want me to feel like I have to hide anything from her for her sake. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

But my little thrifting trip… it was productive as well. I got a couple shirts, picked up some cheap stereo speakers for Cassi’s receiver that she got, and then found this strange, lone drinking glass with the silhouette of just a woman’s black hair and old-school glasses. 🧐😯 It immediately reminded me of Mom… from a few of her photos when she was really young… and when I showed it to Dad, unprompted, he immediately saw the same thing that I did. 😊 So that was kinda neat, and such a random thing for me to have spotted on a shelf where I normally wouldn’t have even been looking. I’ll have to take a better photo of that glass and then find one or two of the pictures of Mom that it resembles. πŸ™‚

Even more random, Genesee was heading back home from a trip she had taken with her family over the long weekend – and at the same time that I spotted that glass, she sent me a photo of an exit sign that they had just passed under, showing that they were only a couple of miles from the Atlantic City Expressway. 😊🎰 So, yeah… even though I think about her every day, it seems like Mom wanted to make sureΒ that she definitely got our attention that day. πŸ™‚Β And it worked…

Garage Door Springs

After having a good start to the day yesterday, it was actually going back home that fucked up the rest of my day, evening, night, and now into the early morning hours. πŸ˜’ It’s a little after 2am right now, and I’ve tried just pushing it out of my head for the night, but that’s not gonna work. I need to ramble. 😏

Had a good visit with Dad, Toni, and Anna as planned. πŸ™‚ Skipped the drive across town to the hospital afterwards, also as planned before I even left the house, because I could just tell that I wasn’t gonna have the oomph for both. Not a big deal. I don’t think Toni prepared Anna for how I’ve been feeling lately though… 😏 because more than a couple times she asked if I just woke up, if I was tired, and looked at me like I was a weirdo when I was wetting a towel and cooling off my head. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But again, no big deal… it was a nice and long overdue visit, and we stayed about two hours.

Had just enough oomph for the drive back home, like I figured… but when I clicked to open the garage door, only the right side went up – and just a little bit – so I quickly hit the clicker again to stop it from whatever it was trying to do. 😠 And this is a little ironic, because in the past few weeks I’ve only been on Facebook a couple of times. The most recent time was to let people know I was here and okay, and the time before that I remember leaving a comment on someone’s post about garage door springs. πŸ™„ Such a random topic, I know, but I think she was looking to have hers replaced, and I commented something about how Dad and Grandpa B both said that you definitely didn’t wanna be standing next to one of them if they decided to go.

Well, that’s what happened yesterday. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Not awesome. Also, completely mentally and physically draining, at the push of a clicker and lurch of a busted garage door. Nothing I can do about it though, so I was hoping to just go “Nope” and go inside and not think about it for at least the rest of the night. But yeah, one of the springs popped in the middle, and with such force that there’s even broken pieces of wood on the floor of the garage from where things broke apart in the supporting rafters. 😯 (The door itself looks mostly okay from the outside) I’ll have to go out and get some shots of the damage whenever I wake up later today, not that I’m gonna be able to do anything about it for a while. Perfect timing, so to speak.

And it wasn’t even something that I had been slacking on. I bought a thing of grease that I specifically used for the tracks, rollers, and parts of the drive motor that function better with grease on it. But the shit is old… really old… so I can’t be that mad. I just wish it broke in a way that made it look more like a “repair” than a “replace.” But the door is crazy heavy, the old opener has struggled with it for a while, so replacement will be the best route when I’m able to get to it. And luckily, with that, there’s no huge hurry.

Silver linings: I wasn’t standing near it when it broke. Nobody else was standing near it when it broke. My car wasn’t underneath it (the door or the spring) when it broke. And it broke when the door was down instead of up, where it probably would have slammed down and shattered. 😬 So it could have been a heck of a lot worse. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€ All it means for now is that nothing will be entering or leaving the garage, which is fine – car’s already outside, and even though I’ve got a mower, I’ve also got my lawn d00ds that handle that right now. It’s just one of those “defeating” things where I know there’s not a damn thing I can do about it by myself, which means I’ll have another “big thing” to add to the schedule at some point. 😟 But like the AC install, it’ll be new, it’ll work better, it’ll fit better… and since most garage doors are steel molded to look like wood or vinyl siding, it’ll be a hell of a lot lighter.

Something that needed to be done eventually anyway… it just forces my hand at a really inconvenient time. πŸ˜• But now that I’ve barfed it out here, it should help me to put it out of my immediate thoughts for a little while… at least until the medical stuff is done or nearly done.

It’ll Be Fine

I’ve developed a bad habit of letting my mail sit and gather dust for a week or two before getting to it, but sometimes that procrastination yields interesting results. For example, in the current batch I got two bills from the hospital for relatively small amounts… but I also got two checks from the hospital as well, which total about five times more than what the bills are asking for. πŸ€¨πŸ€” Part of me wants to say nothing and mark it up as a win, but the twitchy side of me insists that I go in and talk to someone in the billing office and get my account in order before the actual expensive things start up again here soon. πŸ˜’

Toni actually messaged me a few hours ago (before I got into my mail) to see if I wanted to go with her when she cuts Dad’s hair tomorrow. I told her I’d have to sleep on it, since every day is basically a crap shoot lately – but between the hospital mail and some other mail that I got, I’m hoping it’s a sign that I’ll feel good enough to at least go see Dad, and then hopefully hit the hospital on the way home. Didn’t start feeling extra shitty until half the day was done today, so hopefully tomorrow can be the same. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I just hate feeling so off of my game… 😟 and worry that being around me could be mostly depressing.

And yeah, I know I instantly jinx myself whenever I “make plans” for something, but both of those things are things that I want and need to do, so I’m gonna do what I can to make it happen. Now, when it comes to my car crying about an oil change, or that one of my tires is low on air… (and how rude is it that it knows which tire, but won’t specifically tell me?) 🀨 yeah, that stuff can definitely wait. No pushing of the luck tomorrow. 😠 In fact, no pushing of the luck tonight… I’m not even gonna waste any energy cleaning up all the sorted mail and trash and whatever. Time to hit the recliner for some Avengers: Endgame and hopefully sleep soon after.

The Other Stuff

TRIGGER WARNING: This entry is gonna cover some of the other depressing shit that has also been filling my thoughts and influencing my mood recently. But I think it’ll help to explain why when it did hit me, about Mom being gone gone… why it was so easy for it to knock me down and keep me there.

About a year ago my best friend Jim lost his mom to cancer. At the end of last year, Brianna, another of my closest friends, lost her mom to cancer. And Christina was more than just “Bri’s mom” to me… she treated me like family. Rick, a classmate of mine, has been fighting cancer for two years now, and rarely posts to Facebook anymore, which seems like a bad sign. Then on the first of this month, anotherΒ school friend, Stephanie, died in her sleep from unknown and absolutely unexpected causes. Her oldest son turned 18 just two days later. And then today, my “cousin-in-law” Gloria lost her sister Wanda to cancer as well.

Jim’s mom was in her early 70s, but Christina was only in her early 40s, Rick is my age, Stephanie was only two years older than me, and I think Wanda may have been barely into her 50s. And Mom’s best friend through the entirety of her adulthood, Cecil… she passed away within the year as well. I’m actually sitting here afraid that I’ve neglected to mention someone, because it seems like every direction that I turn – sickness and death is what I see, and in many cases – in people far, far too young for most to even think it’s a possibility.

(Oof… this is gonna be a downer of an entry, that’s for sure…)

And of course, having cancer myself… or at least having had cancer (fingers crossed)… all of the stuff mentioned above doesn’t exactly do a lot to put my mind at ease. A long life before passing… that is something that hurts, but we understand it. People dying at my age or younger, from things like lung cancer when they were very vocal non-smokers… those are the ones where it starts to make less sense. And then ones like Stephanie that are there one day, making posts about her dog and her son’s upcoming birthday, then *poof* … simply gone the next. No rhyme or reason, and I’m not good when it comes to shit like that.

But for my stuff, I did get another appointment with my family doctor at the beginning of this week, tried to sum up all of the things I’ve been talking about here, and told her that I’m not really comfortable with what (to me) feels like a lack of concern or urgency once my thyroid removal and radiation treatment was completed. I’m not being neglected or anything… but after the surgery, radiation, and scan – other than the thyroid guy getting my levels right via medication, nothing else has happened or was scheduled to happen until July. I realized that I’m not okay with that. “You have cancer. We cut the cancer thing out. We think we got all the cancer. See you in half-a-year.”Β Christina also got the “we think we got it all” speech after her first surgery as well (I was there) so… umm… no. Not good enough.

It would be another thing if I honestly just felt great, and all these other things were just spooking me, but that’s not the case. Without going into details, there are things that just feel “wrong” for lack of a better term, and since I’ve gone with the “flashy” insurance this year I would be dumb to not metaphorically pound my fist on the table and ask for a little more. So that’s where I’m at now… the start of “a little more” phase. Tomorrow I’m seeing someone regarding my come-and-go, sometimes excruciatingly painful back problem… and, thankfully, with the lab being in the same building, my primary care provider has ordered an assload of blood and urine tests to not only hit on the regular “physical” type stuff, but cancer indicators as well… so I’ll do those right after the back guy.

So yeah… I’ll admit that with all of this stuff on my mind, I’ve essentially disappeared as far as my friends would describe it. At least in person, I mean. One, it’s hard to want to go out and do anything fun or visit with anyone when my brain is so full of this shit… and two, more than half of the time I just physically feel too crappy to even consider it. Now that it’s going to be looked into with a little more detail, I’m hoping that with good or at least encouraging results I’ll be more likely to spend at least a few days trying to act like everything is fine, and hopefully trying to start living my life again.

I’ve been out to see Dad a few times in the past month and a half, but when it’s hard to make myself get up and do anything even on good days – I know that I’ve not been visiting as much as I should or as much as I want. It’s hard to explain “I just can’t.” to someone, when it’s hard for you to even understand yourself. I can’t remember the last time I’ve opened my e-mail app, but I’m gonna try to at least start doing that again. My biggest problem is that I’m not exactly some cheery ray of sunshine right now, and I’ll probably struggle to come up with e-mails to Dad that are any less depressing than this particular blog entry. I guess that’ll force me to really think about each day, or couple of days, to find the little good (or at least “okay”) moments that I’m sure are there. But yeah, that’s the plan for now…

(And I’ll try to limit the depressing topics here in the blog for a while after today’s posts. Wish me luck.)

Whirlwind

The past few days have been rough… starting off with some sort of 36-hour bug that had me down for the count. I can’t remember the last time that I felt that bad and threw up that much. It was awful. For 24 hours I didn’t even leave my bed, unless it was to go to the bathroom, but by yesterday morning I could tell that I was starting to get back to decent. Not completely better, but with as miserable as I was feeling, man did I feel blessed to feel at least as good as I was feeling. (I appreciated Gen keeping me “company” through an always-open message screen… ‘cuz man does it suck to feel alone when you’re that sick.)

But later that evening I got a few messages from my friend Bri, telling me about some concerns she was having regarding her pregnancy… and that she was advised to go to the hospital to have a couple tests done, but she wasn’t able to find anyone that could give her a ride. Her sister and brother-in-law both had the same bug as me, so I totally understood their inability to drive her there and wait – so I ended up being her last resort, and luckily I was just good enough to be able to go in and take her.

Everything ended up being fine but the whole ordeal didn’t wrap up until after 1am, and then I didn’t manage to get to sleep until after 4am. I had made plans with Aunt Sharon to go visit Dad today, but that was before I knew I’d have my late night at the hospital. (I had a bunch of old slide scans of him, Mom, me, and others turned into prints that I definitely at least wanted to drop off – even if I wasn’t feeling good enough to stay long.) So a few hours sleep and I was back up and at ’em. Sort of. Took me forever to get moving, because I could (and can still) tell that I haven’t quite shaken whatever had me laid out.

The visit was really good, and I finally ate some real food, but almost immediately when I got home I sacked out for a three hour nap. Not really what I wanted to do, risking losing a normal sleep schedule, but I didn’t get much say in the matter. I think I’m still good though… and between wearing a mask the whole time at the hospital, and then hopefully being over it by today, hopefully I won’t end up getting anyone else sick. Whatever it is is really going around though, so everyone’s kinda watching out for it.

I don’t know how I didn’t manage to jinx myself today. During that “Ahh!” period of feeling better after a couple days of puking, that’s when I made the plans to go see Dad… so I’m lucky that I didn’t end up overdoing it or setting myself back with the lack of sleep and end up having to cancel. For once my body didn’t betray me… let’s all hope that I can still get some good sleep tonight in a few hours though. Still staying optimistic, cuz any improvement over a couple days ago is worth being happy about. And maybe it was good to get one more day before I try to throw myself back into “getting some things done around here” – albeit slowly. Still trying to get myself back on track from this past month…

Sorting

Genesee’s spring visit here got cut short, so she’s making up for it on this trip. She got to Ohio early last week and plans to stay through my birthday. She’ll be visiting this person and that person, but she’s using here as a “home base” for most of her stay.

That was the plan from quite a while ago actually, with her helping me go through all of the tubs of Batina family stuff. For both my grandparents and my aunt, when they passed away I ended up saving way too many of their things that were important or keepsakes to them but hold no meaning to anyone else. As much as I want to save all of those things, it only makes sense to narrow it all down to something manageable.

Cards that they had received from decades back, candles, keychains, weird little nick knacks, photos of their friends, photos of me… where each one seemed to have at least one duplicate of random size… heh… and then of course there were receipts and manuals galore… and you might ask, “Why did you save that stuff in the first place?” Well, if they had stuff stored or marked as something important, I assumed it was all important. But just knowing that they saved it made me feel like I had to save it.

So that’s where Gen comes in. Without assistance I don’t think I’d be able to get rid of any of that stuff… so she and I sat a couple nights and went through most of the tubs and boxes and finally got it to where I’m keeping only the stuff that needs to be kept. There’s still some more things to go through, but I’m betting that by time she leaves to head home we’ll have taken care of all of it. Plus it’s nice that it means we’re stopping and looking at each thing before deciding its fate, which I think they would be happy about.