Life

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Back to Work

Workers CompI’m glad to finally be back to work at my night job.  I just wish this nightmare was over.  Turns out, it’s far from over.  The whole ordeal with this situation has been a disaster from the start.  It took a couple of weeks just to get the paperwork moving.  Then another couple of weeks to get the insurance company to put it together.  Nearly five weeks to get a check for missed income and an MRI to even look at my knee.  That whole time, if the meniscus in my knee had been torn, it would have likely healed incorrectly needing some serious surgery.  Thankfully it was just really tweaked.

Finally at that point I get Physical Therapy and some meds to take the swelling down quicker.  Things finally start moving and I’m almost at the end of my boredom rope by this time.  Total time off work was 7 weeks and 3 days.  I receive a couple of checks for income from the insurance company.  My understanding was they take the highest 39 weeks of pay and base my income on 66% of that.  Well for several weeks, I was working full time and even getting over time on occasion on top of working my day job.  I was a working fool until it started to really wear me down.  So I backed off to 3 – 4 nights a week at best.  And that’s where I’ve been since.  So when I got the checks, I assumed it was based on the time I was working like mad.

Today the insurance company tells me they over-payed me.  To the tune of almost $800 and they want the money back.  I just started working decent hours this week.  I was cleared to go back to work on July 27th.  Though for the first 11 days I managed to get a whole 4 hours.  I might have gotten 9 hours had I not already been doing paint work on my truck.  In any case, that’s horrible, but people didn’t want to give up their hours for me.  I get that.  Sucks, but I get it.  Now that I’m managing to get hours, I’m going to have to work more to pay the insurance company because they made a mistake.  They admit the mistake, but I have to pay for that mistake.  I wish I had more of a choice, but even if I get a lawyer, what would that do?  I’d just have to pay the lawyer too.  I can’t afford that.  If I’m lucky, I might be able to pay $50 every two weeks when I get paid from the night job.  That would take me nearly 9 months to pay off.  Providing I can keep the hours I’m getting.  There are people who had to step in for me while I was out.  They want hours too.  On top of that, while I was cleared to work, I still have some pain and swelling.  I still wear a knee brace to work.  A brace I’m hoping the insurance company remembered to pay for.  Can’t say I’m trusting this AccidentFund company much.  As my friends would say, they cocked it up from the start.

Why does something always have to fuck up Christmas?  😡

Paint Dot Truck

So I finally had a nice day today that was just a perfect day to get something done.  Weather-wise that is.  It wasn’t too windy.  It wasn’t too hot.  I can finally walk without a lot of pain now.

About three months ago, I took off my truck topper.

Truck with Topper

I’ve never been a fan of toppers and while it was perfectly matched to the truck, I still prefer to replace it with a Tonneau cover.  Which I hope to have on by winter.  However, the topper has been on the truck since it was originally manufactured.  Removing it had some repercussions.  Such as it took a lot of paint off the truck bed edge.  Some was gone already and rusted.  Plus there were some nasty rust spots inside the bed as well.  Just after the topper came off, I bought the matching primer, paint and clear coat.  Along with some paper and tape that supposedly the pros use.

Today I decided to fix it.  Keep in mind, I’ve never done this kind of thing before.  I’m not in the field of body work and paint, nor do I wish to be.  Though I do really want to keep this truck in good shape.

I had some help.  Though I can’t say for sure if it would’ve turned out better my way or their way.  First I sanded everything down.  I wished I could’ve done the whole truck box, but I didn’t have the funds but for what absolutely needed fixing.

I also taped off areas I didn’t want painted.  Now I wanted to keep the paint from getting to close to the tape.  This way I had hoped it would blend in better.  Plus any mishaps would be hidden when I put the Tonneau cover on.  So when I did the primer, it turned out like so.

The problem came in when I tried to do a wet sand.  Seems all I was doing was removing the primer again.  I didn’t take photos, but my help resprayed the primer and put a lot of it right up to the edge of the tape.

When I tried to put on the paint, I moved the taped edge down some.  In hopes that it would blend a little of the edge in as again, the wet sand only seemed to remove primer, not smooth it.  No such luck.  I’m not real thrilled with how it turned out.  Though I suppose it’s better than when I started.  After putting on two coats of paint, I tried to use a buffing wheel on my drill to sort of blend it in.  The wheel I bought simply started to fall apart on contact.  Spewing lint and threading all over the place.  I cleaned it up and since I was out of options, I put two coats of the clear coat on.  Here’s how it turned out.

The whole process took most of the day.  Started at 9am and finished around 7pm.  Once I got all the sanding done, it was an hour between each coat of primer, paint and clear coat.  So someday I hope to have someone better than me to blend it a bit in to remove the noticeable edge.  😕

Seven Weeks Three Days

Denver PizzaFinally.  I finally get the go ahead to get back to work.  After 7 weeks and 3 days of a painful knee injury.  I have been reprieved from the agony.  Both the Physical Therapist and Physician have signed off that I can finally get off of Workmen’s Comp and make money legitimately once again.  So after being talked to death at one place and waiting forever in the waiting room at the other.  I get the green light.

I go see my boss.  Tell her the good news.  She says she has to talk to the owner to get the final approval.

I get a text about an hour later, saying I’m welcome back.  But can’t put me on this week or next weeks schedule.  The one after she can put me back at normal hours.

That’s 11 days from now.  After all this, I’m faced with no hours from my night job for almost two weeks.  Which also means I won’t get a check for another one to two weeks on top of that.  The night job is the majority of my income.  I can’t say I’m happy.  Not that there is much I can do but hope they call me in, or I find a new job.  Which would take almost as much time to get a check.

Feeling a bit…

…unloved.

Too Much Time On My Hands

The FutureFor those that will be paying any kind of attention, might see a few references in this one.  But hell…  I’ve had way too much time lately.  All because I wanted some time off, I got a whole lot more than I bargained for.  Most of it not so great.  Though I’ve done some minor things in the interim.

Changed web hosts.  Again.  Yes, this is the second time this year.  I switched because I wanted secure certificates for my sites.  Any site with a login, Google beats up now for being insecure.  I found a free way to get an SSL certificate via Let’s Encrypt.  However, the original host (A2) I found was very slow, held all resources hostage unless you paid over double the basic rates to get more.  I moved to Dreamhost who has been fairly speedy so far and they aren’t nearly as greedy in both monthly cost and resources.  So saved a few dollars per month and get what I need.  We’ll see how long that lasts.

Started Playing WoW.  Again.  Yeah I know but I’m so freaking bored!  Not working as much, can’t afford new games.  Besides, I have that same old issue of new games just don’t appeal to me.  Even if Legion is broken.  There’s a ton of prior content I have yet to explore.

Installed my new headlights on my truck (that I ordered prior to getting hurt).  Oddly was about the same as spending time and money on a restore kit.  Just over $50 on Amazon.  Though everything you do on crutches takes three times longer.

About two weeks prior to the injury I also installed a new taillight.  Just under $50 on Amazon.  Besides, this was a crack, with water and sand inside it.  There’s really no repairing that easily.

Sadly my parking brake broke.  Yes, I actually like to use it.  I’m sure many folks don’t, but I do.  Though I thought perhaps I would put off fixing it and confirmed with my cousin that in most cases it’s OK to do so.  However, something must be lose in the brake drum, it almost got me stuck in the car wash yesterday.  Trying to find someone to fix it now before I hit the roads again.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.  In this case good working legs.  In between Physical Therapy sessions, Chiropractic visits, MRI’s, X-Rays and just waiting in doctors offices, I’ve also been thinking about where my life is going.  Which honestly is no where at all.  Though looking back, I’ve done more before I was 30 than a lot of people do with their lives.  So I’m not upset that’s not much going on now.

Weirdly I don’t really expect to change it much.  These (going on 7) weeks have put me back months and possibly years from getting my own house.  But I’ve grown weary of my living situation and once my mom finds a house, I won’t be moving with her.  I’ll stay here.  Even if it means working my ass off to pay for it myself.  Unless by some miracle I can find a decent roommate.  I’ve never had any luck finding a good roommate.  Unless it’s via a girlfriend.  Though I have my sincere doubts about finding either of those.

Let’s face it.  I’ve grown comfortable with my jobs.  Try as I might I can’t think of any new career to replace my IT job.  Delivery work isn’t bad.  Makes decent money and to be honest, even through all of this they have treated me good.  A bit slow on the initial workmen’s comp thing, but I’m alright.  Can’t say Gaylord is where I want to be, but where else is there?  Petoskey is too expensive, so is Boyne City.  Everywhere else in this area is too small and Traverse City is just too far away from my kids.  Although getting out of Gaylord would put an ease on the freaking snow.  We always get the worst and it lasts the longest here.  I hate snow.

References:

Still Mending

Denny CrutchI’m not sure when this will end.  It’s been well over 5 weeks that I’ve been out.  Everything is taking so damned long to accomplish.  As of 3 days ago I finally got my MRI done and managed to finally get some income from Workmen’s Comp.  I did everything I was supposed to do the first day.  When I received any paperwork, I had it done in an hour, scanned to PDF and emailed.  Yet when it comes to the response of others, it’s been nothing short of painfully slow.  So much so, that my claim was put in dispute because of someone not doing their part in a timely manner.  So here’s where I sit waiting.  I’m sure it can be argued that I have nothing better to do.  Whereas they have to work.  To that I say, priorities.  Want me back on the job?  Make it happen Captain Tight Pants!

Hopefully today I get news of my MRI scan and find out what is next.  While I pray for not needing surgery, I fear it may be necessary.  As my knee seems to be at a point where it doesn’t want to get any better than it has.  I’m down to one crutch to take some of the weight off.  However, I’m only good for about an hour before it’s on fire.  So mostly what I do is sit, ice it and take anti-inflammatory pain medications.  Which I’ve been cutting back on because I don’t want to get dependent upon them.

If I need surgery, I fear it may restart my healing process from zero and be out several more weeks.  Putting me off work for the entire summer.  NOT COOL.  All because folks drag their feet.  Mostly the medical and insurance company I hold accountable.  Everyone at work has been doing all they can for me.  Except for one very important person who almost cost me having to get outside help to get things done.  They don’t work in the store, so I had to deal with them via proxy.

I just wonder when I will be good enough to go back to work.  I’m over this whole thing.  I just want to get things back to normal.

Be careful for what you wish…

Evil GenieMamma always said…  No I’m not going to quote Forrest Gump.  But I have heard that you should be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it.  Meaning not in the way you want.  That’s pretty much what happened to me.  Working two jobs has lasted far longer than I’d ever like.  It seems like all I ever do is work.  I generally work much more than 40 hours a week, especially since I don’t get overtime.  Fine, whatever.  It’s making money.

There are times I would wish, hope and/or pray for time off.  Just when I finally had as much as I could take, and started making plans to just get out of town for a weekend by myself…  I injure my knee.  All because I was rushing to pick up for someone who needed the night off.  I got to work, grabbed the orders and SNAP, SNAP!  I fall to the ground in pain.  Stubborn as I can sometimes be, I still finished the night out.  That was the last night I worked over two weeks ago.  Well at the night job anyway.  Thankfully my day job is a desk job.

I certainly got the time off.  In a good amount of pain.  I can’t walk without crutches.  I was hoping to be back at work by now.  Instead, my knee hurts worse today than it did the past couple of days.  I’m still waiting for the MRI I was told I needed.  Someone else who had a similar injury said he needed surgery and 8 weeks of recovery.  That scares the hell out of me.  Of course, someone is dragging their feet on authorizing the MRI.  Not helping at all.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be out of working the night job.  All I wanted was a break from the relentless work hours and some free time.  I got it.  It’s more costly than a weekend getaway 😕

Camping

CampingCamping is just not for me.  Not anymore that is.  It’s been years since I went camping.  I used to love it as a kid.  Though roughly in my early 30’s when I started having back problems.  So sleeping on the ground was no longer fun.  Just painful.  Air mattresses would deflate over night.  Unless you bought a nice one.

It’s not like I can afford a camper that I’d make monthly payments on to use maybe twice a year at most.  I don’t get vacation time these days, so taking any time off hurts the income to bill ratio.  Though let’s not forget all the costs needed to camp in a tent.  The tent, cooler, sleeping bags, good air mattresses, bags for clothing and food.  Oh and items for cooking, possibly fishing if you’re into that and many other items that you inevitably have to lug about.  If I have to buy a bunch of stuff, just to make myself halfway comfortable, I may as well just use that money on a hotel/motel room instead.  Sure once you use it, you can store it and use it again in camping.  Well mostly.  More than once I pulled camping equipment from storage, just to find it molded or found holes in the tent.

Especially in campgrounds.  This became very evident this past Memorial Day Weekend when I took a delivery to the County Park.  It was packed with people.  Kids and adults walking and riding bikes and it could be compared to a mall on Black Friday.  I almost gave up trying to make the delivery and tell the customer to come get the food at the park office.  It was all I could do to not run over people.  Took me longer to travel the park, than to drive there and back to the store again.

Why would you travel just to ride bikes and walk in tight quarters?  You can do that in your own neighborhood.

I wouldn’t enjoy camping like that at all.  People all on top of each other.  Folks who will certainly be disrespectful of others who want quiet time to sleep at night.  Fighting to get a shower the next morning.  Sleeping in paper thin tents while having to hear every little thing going on around you.  Or hearing Uncle Buck taking a pee behind the tent because he couldn’t hold it to go to the rest rooms.

With my health these days, I wouldn’t want to camp in a secluded place in the woods like I used to do.  I’d be afraid of just never coming back.

AAAAHH! OUCH!

MeniscusActually I think my first word after it happened was, “Motherfucker”.  With some serious exclamation points after it.  It started out so innocently.  I got called into work on Sunday the 4th.  I clocked in a 4:14pm and by 4:40pm, I injured my knee.

My first set of deliveries for the night.  Three of them, stacked in my arms.  All I was going to do was load them in the passenger side of my truck.  As I swiveled my body to the right, my foot decided not to follow.  Two loud cracks and I hit the ground in agony.  Dropping the hot bags of food on the ground.

A very nice woman in the parking lot heard my pain and went inside to get the manager on duty that night.  He and a young lady that works with us, helped me up and inspected the food.  All was good, and I limped my way to the first deliveries.  I call it dedication to my job.  Others may call me stubborn for not going to the clinic right away.  Though they closed at 4pm, so it would have to wait until the next day.  On my way back I grabbed my knee brace and continued to work the rest of the night, slowly but diligently.  That is until I couldn’t take the pain anymore.  About 9:30pm.  I didn’t realize I had actually injured myself more seriously than I had first thought.  I made an incident report, photographed it and went home to rest.

They took X-Rays of my knee at the clinic on Monday but didn’t really say what was going on other than that they didn’t see any broken bones.  I went back today and the physician on duty assessed it was a tear in my Meniscus.  While common, it takes weeks to heal.  Longer if it needs surgery.  Which they want to have me go in for an MRI in the next few days.

As you can imagine, I’m not thrilled.  Sure I have been complaining that I’ve been working too much this past several months.  Averaging 50 – 60 hours a week.  This isn’t how I wanted to spend my time off.  On top of which, now I’m losing money.  I am of course filing paperwork for Workman’s Comp.  Though that apparently doesn’t always go smoothly, otherwise we wouldn’t have so many lawyers that specialize in that category.  I guess I get to find out if the new owner is a good guy or not.  Pray for me please to not fall behind on bills and to heal quickly.

I was just planning a weekend getaway too.  Even if it’s just to a hotel out of town.  That and my plans to see my son and grand kids will be put off.  Can’t really play with kids when I can’t hardly walk.  I hope I don’t run out of food either, I don’t relish using one of those electric carts at the store.  {shutters at the thought}

The woman who got me help, left right away.  I wished she would’ve stuck around so I could properly thank her.  Maybe even buy her dinner the next time she comes in.  Maybe I’ll see her again some day.

Four… Four Years… Ah, ah, ah, ahhhh

4 YearsI’ve been back now for 4 years.  I have achieved some of my goals.  Not as many as I had planned to achieve by now.  As it is, my original plan for life never did turn out the way I hoped.  Sometimes it feels like I may as well just hang it up and switch to plan B.  Trouble is, I don’t have a plan B.

I’ve admitted my mistakes.  For those, I am sorry.  I know God has forgiven me.  I’m still here when he simply could’ve let me die and be forgotten.  I am truly thankful for that.  I say a prayer every night letting him know just how thankful I am.  I also pray that he bless all the souls, worthy and unworthy in hopes they too appreciate the blessings he’s given onto all of us.

I always made the best of the situations I was presented in my life.  Even when it all fell apart completely and I had nothing left (2011 – 2012).  I didn’t give up.  I put my best foot forward, saved up enough money and got myself back to Michigan.  I’ve reconstructed my life, my credit and I’m still working to be a better man emotionally, physically and financially.  I did it on my own.  Though, I still have some work to do.

If I could go back and change it at the beginning, I would.  I still want to be the Dad I intended to be from the start.  Now also, a grandpa 🙂

I enjoy spending time with my oldest son, and I love spending time with my grandson Noah.  Who is happy to see me and plays with me.  I’m still trying to spend more time with my youngest son and grandson Judah.  I pray that changes soon before my time here is up.

My Old Friend…

InsomniaDear Insomnia,

Hello my old friend.  Of course you and I both know that’s simply the euphemism we use.  We only kid ourselves with what we know to be true.  We are one another’s archenemy.  We have been for many years.  So long in fact I forget why we became unfriendly with each other.

I propose strike an accord.  I think we should work together.

Hear me out.  You help me break the secret of creating Flying Monkeys.  We train them to attack the stupid and the environmentally inhospitable.  You can prey on those you find despicable as well.  As the sleep deprived are much easier to conquer.  Our strengths combined we will be able to reduce the human population while keeping those who would save our way of life and the planet of which we inhabit.  Once we accomplish that, we can then rule the world!!  [insert evil laugh here]

What do you say old friend?  You give me peace and I give you an equal share in world domination 😈

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