Tedious Ramblin’

Doing my typical weekend thing, being half-productive / half-bum. 😐 Last week wasn’t too bad… got a few of my “must do” things done, while adding in a couple new things on the fly – and whatever wasn’t accomplished last week will just be added to the list of stuff for the upcoming week.Β πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ I guess I got just enough of last week’s stuff done that it’s not really stressing me out today like it normally might.

Dealing with the misc “bill stuff” last week was tedious.Β πŸ˜’ My check for an bill that I had gotten was returned to me, with a note that said no balance was due. That same day, I got a second bill for that same amount… and it took talking to someone in person to get them to acknowledge that I was handing them a check for the amount due, at least according to their file. 😠 Not a big deal, just annoying.

Then I got a bill from one of Dad’s nurses or doctors, for an “at home visit” which I obviously don’t get here at my own home. I called and explained that our names are similar but not identical, but she still couldn’t tell me why the bill came to me, in my name. 🀨 She assured me that she fixed it in the system and that I won’t have to worry about it. It was for only ten bucks, but still… annoying.

Tried to call the hospital about some additional bill stuff on Friday afternoon, but even though it wasn’t that late in the day – apparently everyone with any authority had already left the building for the weekend. In theory, the financial assistance should absorb some bills as they’re generated, so there’s a good chance that the ones I’m calling about will have already been affected (or perhaps eliminated) by the time I actually speak to someone about them.

Everything that I ordered for Maven finally came in. There were issues because of the package being damaged in transit, then automatically refunded, then the order was automatically re-orderedΒ – despite me doing that same thing manually… just nonsense that had to be worked out before everything was good.Β πŸ™„ But she’s feeling better, isΒ mostly flea-free… so basically I’m handling a few things at the same time with her, like I’ve been doing appointments with myself for a few months now.

Oh, and then the “on the fly” thing that I mentioned having to make room for last week… it was an intake appointment that my PCP had made for me, to start seeing a therapist and psychiatrist.Β πŸ˜³πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈ The last two PCP appointments I mentioned that I’d like to do that eventually, but that I wasn’t ready to throw it in with all of the rest of the things I’m dealing with quite yet… but my PCP apparently (and accurately) figured that I really did want to get started with the psych side of things, and that I just needed the nudge of having an appointment straight-up scheduled without any input from me. 😏

The first person I saw (and the only person, until next week) was the therapist lady, and I think I’m going to like her. 🧐 I got the typical hour-long intake visit with generic questions to start sizing me up… and I think I’ll like her not only because we share political and social views (it came up while talking about insurance and pre-existing conditions), but also because I think she’s aware that I’m relatively smart – and she seems pretty sharp herself. I always like therapy better when there seems to be a “fun” but somewhat adversarial type relationship – where we each know that what we both say will likely have merit.

Not much talk about meds yet, since that will fall under the umbrella of what the actual psychiatrist will be handling for me… so, I dunno, it may seem weird but I’ve always liked counseling for some reason. Even if it’s just because I can rant to a disconnected party for almost an hour and then just go home.Β πŸ™‚ I don’t have to consider any “solutions” that they think might make me “better” compared to what I usually am. I mean, I’m open to suggestions… but do I have any specific goals or methods that I’m particularly interested in? Not really. Hey… I’m not the one who actually made this appointment.

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The Little Moments

Okay, so, the good from yesterday…

When I went to get my drain removed, I first stopped by my neck doc’s office since the two are located in the same building. πŸ€” Hmm… I guess I’m going to have to figure out another nickname for him since I technically have two neck docs now. 🀨 But yeah, my workers comp neck doctor, Dr Walter… I wanted to stop in there real quick to let Nicole know about the two prescriptions that I was given, just so they’d have a bit of a heads up for my next appointment.

Luckily there was nobody else in the waiting room when I went in, and when she opened the glass and saw me she joked, Wow… what’s the new accessory you’ve got there?” Heh… and that’s exactly the kind of response I hoped for, because for as long as I’ve known her through my monthly visits, and since she knew this was in my cards, it was just nice to get a jokey but caring response from her – especially when I showed up unannounced looking startling like I did. 😏

After getting the drain removed I went to leave and ended up running into Dr Walter in the parking lot. He could have ducked me, since I didn’t even see him coming, but I heard him say “Hey, Robert…” as he walked over to greet me. πŸ™‚ Like Nicole, he knew this surgery was coming, so he was interested to hear how it went and to even take a quick glance at the surgery site for his own curiosity. It was just nice, when he was probably ready to just get the hell out of there and head home, that he took five minutes to talk to me there in the parking lot like that.

Like I’ve said, I’ve been seeing this same doctor for over a decade now, so you do sort of feel a bit of a friendship… maybe that’s not the right word, but after countless office visits you end up being pretty familiar, often times talking more about “other stuff” than medical stuff, and I always felt like he genuinely cared about my issues and treatment… so it was just nice to feel like that was confirmed, by him going out of his way to show interest, concern, etc. when he could have been 5 or 10 miles closer to home if he had just taken off. πŸš—πŸ’¨Β  Β  Β  Β  Β πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

So it might sound silly that it was such a big deal to me, but having two of “my people” from that office treat me so kindly at a time when I really did need it… it makes me feel even more fortunate that those are the folks that I ended up with right after my injury happened all those years ago. 😊

Oh… Yeah

Today was a good day. I have some papers that I needed to sign which also required two witnesses, so this afternoon I went over to my friend Amy’s house so she and Rick could provide some initials and signatures to help me out with that. I ended up staying there about a half hour, and we stood outside talking and looking at various projects that Rick either had been working on or planned to start working on soon… and lemme tell ya, that guy can do almost anything. πŸ’ͺ🏻😎 And like I told him, sometimes it’s nice to live through someone else’s inspiration and motivation about their passion projects. 😏

After that I made a quick trip to the gas station in Rockbridge so I could a) fill my car with gas, b) pick up enough necessities to make it to next week, and c) grab some Burger King so I didn’t have to do any cooking tonight… all in one shot. Basically just a mini-run to keep me “good” here at the house until next week, when I intend to do a much bigger “stocking up” shopping trip before my surgery… just in case I don’t feel like leaving the house and mixing with the unwashed public for a while afterwards.

But what I actually did while I was out today isn’t the point. The point is that I did all of that stuff today without thinking about the problem with my leg at all. πŸ˜ƒ I may have had some pain as I was getting in and out of the car, but I don’t remember it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ And as I was walking around to get ready, or over at Amy’s house, or while I was filling the car and doing my shopping… once I got home I realized that I hadn’t been limping, at least as far as I know, through any of it. 😯

I’m not going to start cheering just yet, since I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs as I’ve been going through this… but yeah, it feels good to have not been nagged by pain for at least that small part of my day. I’m hoping that sitting on this giant silly yoga ball is actually making a positive impact, because I’m going to keep doing it. I’m also going to change the sheets on my bed and add that fluffy mattress topper thing that I bought a few weeks back.

I really needed something like this today. πŸ™‚ I mean, I’ve got much less on my mental agenda today than yesterday, but it really was an uplifting surprise to have (for the first time in a couple of months)Β such a span of painless walking. And the older and more broken that I get, the more that I’m learning to appreciate these small victories.

Paying For Yesterday

I’m right in the middle of a “spell” with my lower back. πŸ™ It happens a couple times a year, and I’ve even been to the ER once (several years ago) while it was happening – and the scan or x-ray or whatever that they did, it didn’t reveal any damage or specific thing that could be causing it. (Because of course it didn’t. 😠) So, even though I woke up today essentially unable to walk or take steps due to the unpredictable random jolts of pain – I’m still planning on waiting it out, and then theΒ next time that I feel this coming on I’ll make plans to go to the ER again to see if I can get some answers.

It’s hard to describe the pain and that effect that it has if you haven’t experienced something similar. Cautiously and slowly taking each step, being unable to predict what movement is going to cause a jolt of pain that would knock me over if I didn’t have a wall to grab on to. 😳😒 Even just getting out of bed required five minutes of rolling, twisting, sliding, bending – all to find the one way that allowed me to sit up. And I do mean allowed. Because no matter how much pain that I was determined to accept, there’s a point where pain dictates what the body does, and when it doesn’t wanna allow you to put your weight on one leg, it’ll be happy to let you fall to the ground to avoid it. πŸ˜”

But anyway, today is the price that I’m paying for yesterday’s activities. I went up to Columbus to take Cassi to her doctor appointment, and it was actually helpful to spend so much time sitting in my comfortable car seat with the heating elements set to max. β™¨πŸ˜‹ I think that’s actually what allowed me to function as well as I was during the moments when we were out of the car. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I also gritted my teefs and made a bunch of phone calls to handle appointments and things that I’ve been needing to take care of. πŸ“žπŸ˜¬

I had $80 in free slot play, and $30 in dining credit, so after her appointment we went over to Hollywood Casino. By the time we got there we were both starving, so we opted for the buffet and absolutely poofed ourselves before we played. πŸ§‘πŸ»πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ•πŸ—πŸ₯™πŸ”πŸ₯©πŸ₯“πŸŸπŸ₯—πŸ– I let her play on my free money, and I took the same amount in cash to play along side of her. By the time we left she had won over $240, and I was ableΒ to (again)Β walk away with the same amount that I took, which is absolutely fine with me. 😁 So that “Meh… why not?” side trip ended up being a good experience for both of us.

We then went to the huge thrift store across the way from the casino, and she picked up a handful of new black pants for use with her work uniform, along with some extra shorts and tops thanks to the unexpected winnings. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ I found a couple of shirts that I liked, but no jeans. πŸ˜’ I’ve finally started looking for jeans that have a waistband that’s one size up from the ones that I’ve been wearing for the past many years… not something I’m too excited about… and I’m hoping there’s still a medical explanation that can eventually be fixed so I can stick with my normal “almost fat” sized pants.

So yeah, even though I felt miserable, and feel even more miserable today, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. πŸ™‚ I like when I can do something fun with a friend and it ends up actually really helping them out at just the right time. And when I got home… I was still hurting, but no worse than I had throughout the day… so I certainly wasn’t expecting this when I woke up today. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ I’m going to be taking it super, super easy for the next couple of days though, so I can give it some time to hopefully recover a bit. πŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™πŸ» I mean, I know I’ll get better – because I always have – but it’s still scary when your ability to walk becomes questionable at best.

Birthday Eve

The stars aligned yesterday and I woke up feeling good and was able to go in to visit with Mom and Dad like I had planned a few days earlier. πŸ™‚ Everyone knows that when it comes to planning things, my brain often won’t cooperate when the day actually comes – so that’s why it was nice to wake up yesterday feeling decent and ready to go. It’s actually Dad’s birthday today, but rather than showing up with decorations and hats and horns I just came with several bags full of goodies and junk food – and some Sonic double burgers that seemed especially good that day. πŸ€€πŸ”πŸŸ

Mom was extra talkative, and seemed to be in a pretty good mood, although she did say that she was tired of the CD that always plays in her radio – so I told her that I’d bring her some Elton John music next time I visited. 🀩🎹 I stayed a couple of hours, and was considering doing a couple of other things on my way home, but when I got in my car my brain decided that it was just time to go straight home.

I think I overdid it with my arm throughout the day somehow, because by the time I was supposed to be going to sleep I had a pulsing headache at the base of my skull from the muscles being all meh. 😣 That kept me awake a couple hours longer than planned, so I decided last night that I’d put today’s planned activities on delay… and now that half the day is gone, I’ve actually just pushed everything off until tomorrow. πŸ™„β° Nothing is urgent, other than dealing with the BS surrounding my medication approvals, and I actually dealt with that on my way in to see Dad yesterday… so today, for the most part, will be a nothing day so I can have a little more recovery time for my oush and brain.

I’ve gotta keep reminding myself that the schedule that I sometimes feel compelled to keep (for my “responsibility/adulting” stuff) … it’s just an arbitrary timeline that I’ve pulled out of my ass. 😳😁 So it’s not so much that I really have to do this or that by a certain time or day, but it’s more that I just trick myself into thinking that those things are mandatory and unchangeable… which often isn’t the case. I gotta quit stressing myself out with dumb shit like that.

Toof

After my appointment yesterday I went up to Columbus to hang out with Cassi for a bit. πŸ™‚ It was Red White & Boom night, but Cassi just finished her first week of work at the new Tim’s location, so I wanted to go up and hear all about it in person rather than random texts back and forth like we’ve been doing all week. πŸ©β˜•πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’Ό I just took a path that steered clear of downtown and then headed back home before dark, so I missed any of the traffic problems that go along with the event.

But while I was up there, I noticed that at some point during the day I had broken a tooth. 😧 Not broken broken, but cracked – with a bit of the surface having chipped off near the top. πŸ˜₯ Good times, eh? I mean, I guess I’m lucky that it didn’t break completely, and that it doesn’t hurt… but ugh… going to the dentist was not in my immediate plans. πŸ˜’ It’s early AM right now, so I know it’s likely I’ll be sleeping in late (once I actually fall asleep, hopefully…) but when I wake up I’ll have to call a few local dentists to see which (if any) can get me in to fix it, or at least put something over it until they can. 😣

I should be able to baby it tonight, tomorrow, and maybe the next day… I just have to be careful not to forget about it and accidentally eat something crunchy. Because I have a feeling that the crunching sound would come from myΒ toof. 😲😭 It should be fine though… I’ve already found a couple places online that claim to offer same or next day service on an emergency basis. Wish me luck.

Promising Start

Met my new doctor today… well, nurse practitioner, but it’s the same difference as far as visits like today, where I just needed tests to be ordered for something that I was already aware of. πŸ‘©πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But I do think that I’ll stick with her. Their other practice has mostly male doctors and nurses working with clients, and then the one that I go to has all female doctors and nurses – and at my last appointment they told me I could switch if I wanted. But like I told her, whenever something might be gross or embarrassing, it’s gonna be gross or embarrassing regardless of who’s seeing me. 😳🧐

I didn’t expect much sympathy, since I hadn’t been to their office in a couple of years, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did we take care of the main couple of things that I went in for, but she continued asking questions and let me ramble quite a bit about all of the somewhat lesser concerns that I’d like to eventually address as well. πŸ˜ƒ I told her to stop me when she had heard enough, since I was honestly expecting to be rushed in-and-out in about 10 minutes… so yeah, while she probably had to make this face after I left, she definitely sold me on staying at their office.

So now I have to go have blood drawn, wait for the hospital’s imaging department to call and schedule a test, while waiting for another call from another referral… so, yeah, the ball is now officially rolling. πŸ˜¬πŸ‘πŸ» A different practice might try to milk as many office visits as possible before digging into stuff, so the cheap part of me (which is all of me) approves. 😏 Now the fun part will be figuring out which stuff is covered by my insurance and which stuff will make my wallet and me cry.