End of 2012, almost two years and still legal ongoing.

 

Chapter 11

December 2012

Dec 1 Sat, The Ridgecrest 30 and 50k is tomorrow; damn I wish I could be there.  Maybe next year, if I do my walking diligently, I MIGHT be able to enter the 30k and walk it.  They have an early start so that might be an option but if it is 30 degrees, I don’t know.  I would love to get up there a day or so early because there are some sights I would like to see.  An OC Register article from a year ago listed some interesting places and they could be worthwhile to visit some.

A running friend, Jenesse, came into town from Ft. Worth for a few days and we had lunch with her today. She even brought her 3 month girl with her and what a sweetie.  Jenesse is a running fiend; I wish I could run with her.  Even when I was in great shape I could only keep her in sight for a few moments, she did try for the Israeli Olympic marathon team, close but not quite good enough.  Enough said!

Another day at the orthopedic doctor.  He looked at my back MRI, shoulder and pelvis X-rays and will send me to a pelvis specialist, a spine specialist?  I still have the neurologist to go to next week.  Lots of doctor visits in the next few weeks!

Dec 4, Tuesday  Most Wonderful News, the settlement conference is Dec 19th.  Maybe something good will happen, just in time for Christmas and somewhat early for my birthday.   If we settle I AM going to sign up very soon for the Feb. Brea 8k in Jan. and the Nanny Goat 12/24 hour run in May.  The Brea 8k will be just a little bit of push for me but really will not be too difficult.  I have no idea how far I can make it on the Nanny Goat but do I really give a damn?  NO!  I just wanna make a start and even if I have to stop every hour for a couple of minutes that’ll be no problem.  Plus I can start wearing my special T-shirt  “I was hit by a bus!  What’s your excuse?”  Just judging from a very few select people I’ve told, it’ll be a winner.

Took Bella and Heidi each out for 2 laps each about 10 pm w/o cane it and seems both are walking faster and easier.  This might mean when I do get to really start walking freely they’ll be well behaved.  Probably need to start with just one and then work up to 2.  I know Heidi will easily work up to several miles, bella will probably max out at 2 or 3 miles.

Dec 11 Tuesday  It has been a full week without me writing anything.  I did go to Tx for a cousin family reunion and had a wonderful time.  I was not planning on going but I mentioned it to Nancy and she surprised me by saying “Why don’t you go by yourself, I have too much going on at the bank right now.”  I thought about it only for a few seconds and agreed.  When we went to the airport I was feeling like a 10 year kid on my own for the first time.  Nancy did make arrangements for a wheelchair and I first I must admit I was kinda resentful but it worked out fine.  I got to bypass the security lines, but not security, and first on the plane.  I could do that, I think, pretty often.

The reunion was a blast and I got to see, and meet, lots of folks.  Interesting tidbit:  One of my cousins wife, both deceased, had some family traditions that were a bit out of the ordinary.  Short story: someone mentioned they thought they were old Jewish customs and a Rabbi got involved.  Turns out Silvia, who had flaming red hair and a feisty personality, had Choctaw Indian blood and was of Jewish descent. How many people are around that are American Indian and Jewish and a redhead?   So now her daughter has an Indian card and a Jewish heritage. Interesting tidbit!

Did not get to do any walking to speak of but that is okay.   I got to eat lots and that made up for it.  I even got to eat at Mexican Inn in Ft Worth.  My family has been going to location for about 60 years or more.  Can you believe, 60 years and it is virtually unchanged? Anyways I get to try to make up for it this week by doing lots of laps and yoga. 

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Linda Gray Gilley, Morton Gray, Gary Don Popken and me

At the Cousins Reunion, close to DFW.

My elbow is NOT happy today.  It hurts whenever I straighten a little too far or bend ink too far, has not been bad but it is letting me know all about it today. Seems I did something this morning and now most certainly not happy.  I even took a couple of Tylenol, jumped in our big tub, and soaked for a 20 minutes. Between the Tylenol and soak, it seems to be a little better.

Seems as though I am drifting into another ”what the hell and I really don’t give a damn” phase.  Not interested in walking, yoga, or much of anything.  Maybe I’ll snap out of it soon, hope so.  Meanwhile, a glass of wine is calling..

Nancy said that Ron, our attorney, is asking for, I think, $1 1/2 million for all my future accident related medical costs, including $30,000 yearly for someone to drive me around since I can’t drive.  I could live with that. I hope, I hope medical costs are wildly optimistic. I’d be happy to just spend a small part if it would make me better.  I hope I don’t need all of that, if I do need it all I just see more loss of mobility and more pain. I go see Dr. Asher tomorrow and I’ll ask him to see if Dr. Stein can take care of all my orthopedic needs and get rid of Dr. Folmar.  I am offering no opinion of Dr. Folmar’s credentials but I really do not like his office or staff, they suck big time.  Also, I’ll ask Dr. Asher about going to a psychologist.  As I’ve said, I think I’m doing ok but it would be nice to get some professional validation and make sure I am headed in the right direction.

Took my first late night walk in days.  Finally made myself go out and do it.  A mile in 26:24, not too bad considering the time I’ve not walked.  Had to force myself out and get to it and this just a short while after a fast ¼ mile on the treadmill.  Mood?, Not overjoyed but not despondent either, it is just is.

A few weeks ago I was gripping about how my feet felt like I’d been playing soccer with a bowling ball. So I went to a neurologist today and enjoyed several tests. He confirmed my suspicions, I do have issues. Maybe in few days I can find out if I have any viable options.   Meanwhile, I’ll continue with my mega        B vitamins I’m taking and see if that helps a little. Since I am gripping, here is a bit more.   I get SO damn sleepy in the afternoons/dark thirty I feel if I fell onto a bed I’d be asleep before I hit the bed.  It has been like this for a few days and I don’t like it.   I just want to be sleepy when it is time to go to bed.  At least I do sleep well so I better not gripe too much.

Nancy showed my X-ray to Ray, her boss, and he said he has never seen so much metal and she mentioned I probably have 10 pounds of metal in me.  That is it, why I seem to be heavier, it is all that metal.

12-14 Friday  Dark, very cool – 57 degrees, very light sprinkles and I walked 1.25 miles with Bella and Heidi.  I’m finally getting down to about 6:45 – 7:00 on most laps w/o having to push too hard.  Maybe the leg rpm is naturally ramping up a bit.  But… I’ve fallen off the yoga wagon, thought about it today but I just could not get started/motivated.  However, I did some leave cleaning today and that counts for a bit of exercise. My vision and head swimming seems a bit worse today, not happy.

Went to the annual Snails Running Club breakfast Sat. and saw several old friends and met some new members.  The club is changing and growing, that is good.  Skip finally gets to give up the newsletter editor post and he is glad to do so since he has done an outstanding job for 3?years. Finally got into the mood to do a daylight walk with the cane and I am so ready to dump it, really slows me down.  I like hearing my friends say “No cane?”.  It is good to be perceived as making progress even though I am a very long ways away from where I think I should be.

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I ended up with another headlight and I’ll give to Santa so he can can pass it on to Mick.

Sunday 12-16  Micks birthday today so we’ll head out to eat somewhere in Fullerton.  I did go to the Headz Christmas party at Lo’s this morning, great time and so good seeing old friends.  Steve will save a spot for me at the Nanny Goat in case it sells out and Greg Hardesty is still wanting to do an article on me once everything is settled.  You know, I think I’d really like to have my 15 minutes of fame this spring.  With his article, maybe I can make it into Trail Runner Magazine and who knows what else.

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Greg Hardesty and I at the Headz Party.

Kinda cool and misty today and I am cold.  I’d really like to get the sauna just to warm up.  I know there is supposed to be a maximum one uses the sauna but at least I can warm it up, turn it off, get in just to warm up without running everybody out of the house or wearing layers and layers of shirts, vests etc.

Only 3 days to the settlement conference and gosh, I am most antsy.  I’ve been running numbers thru my mind speculating what they will offer.  Nancy, Ron and myself don’t seem to be far apart on the numbers but I will NOT post here or anywhere else any speculative numbers I probably wont disclose any real numbers, just that I am happy or really happy. Just hurry up and get this done so I can at move on with my life.  That said, I still I have difficult time wrapping my mind around what happened.  The only way I know for sure is all my hurts and can’t do’s.  I will be so glad to maybe start bragging about my small triumphs and can do’s on FB.  It will be nice to start getting some feedback from the outside world.

Took Bella and Heidi out together late night, and no cane,  for the first time with both of them in 2 years.  Ira and Karen were walking their dogs at the same time and Bella was a pain in the butt, barked and then on the way back to the house her collar slipped off.  Still more pain in the rear!  Finally got both dogs in and I was ready to call it a night.

Today I was a wee bit energetic and threw out a big handful of business cards that I’ve not looked at in 2+ years and will never have a need for them again.  Not all went out, only 98% are never to be seen again.

Made another trip to Dr Ashers office today.  Looks like I might be able to dump Dr. Folmar for Dr. Stein and it is easy enough to see a psychologist, just call the number on the back of the insurance card.  Also got a prescription for a testosterone cream, I was just a little bit low which could explain my down moods and low energy. I will do more X-rays for the elbow tomorrow so I can them to Dr. Steins office Wed. morning. Then the BIG day awaits.

I went to my hairdresser a few days ago and she commented my hair is finally back to what it was before the accident, my hair was very fine but now is as it should be.  I hope so for I am the only one on my side of the family with any hair.  Everyone else has bald dome or nearly so.

I fear I may be turning into a zombie, a cold zombie.  Cold all the time, have virtually no go and if I do do anything it is only through will power.  The tree in the deck is dropping leaves and seed pods literally by the gallons and the pond pump was clogged today so I reluctantly cleaned the pond filter and the skimmer and now the water flow is much better.  If everything works out, I still want to do a major pond rebuild this spring so we can once again have something to be proud of and show off.  I most certainly want to have lots of visitors over late spring and summer.

We’ll find out tomorrow, finally!, what the defense is offering.  I firmly believe once we settle my mood and outlook will improve immeasurably, that even help my physical condition too. 

Wed Dec 19   Today is IT, the BIG DAY. But, first we go to Dr Steins office for more evaluation on my hip or spine.   After that, have no clue what is planned until we meet somewhere.  Can you tell I am most anxious about the whole day?   Yes, I am chomping on the bit.

I was chomping on the bit but was NOT a bit surprised when their offer sucked, big time sucked.  The offer would not have even paid my potential salary for 4 years and I was expecting to work at least 5 more years.  Pain and suffering, not included.  They offered $100,000 and Ron was expecting $500,000 from them to start.  Trial is now Feb 19th and if they do not go for his offer of $3.8 million before the trial and if a trial happens.  Well, his demand goes to $8 million. If we so happened to be awarded that much, it is substantially more than we need and I will donate some hefty pocket change to some local charities for several years.

My medical  was billed at over $2 million and insurance paid $1.6 million to various doctors etc.  The defense paid very substantially less and we are off the hook for any of those bills. In addition, that means we don’t owe Ron anything on those bills and that means a little more in our pocket. Ron’s a good guy. I was telling Nancy this morning I hope it goes to trial and maybe the payback can be a real bitch for them.

Friday  Dec 21  The world did not end today but it was still a sucky day.  I want to walk but so damn tired of going round and round and round the block, right now it is somewhere around 1050 laps.  I don’t dare go out away from the house just because that asshole new adjustor from Chicago may be trying to nail me on something, anything.  He’s the one that really screwed everything up for us, the other adjustor might have been ok.  Even Fullerton’s attorney, Mr. Harry Potter, was really pissed and pissed that he had to drive 11/2 hours each way in the worst LA traffic for nothing.  If he is that pissed that might be good for us.

I called the insurance about maybe seeing a psychologist and they emailed a list of some 40 doctors within just several miles. Does that mean there are lots and lots of folks around me that need to see a shrink?  I’ll start calling next week to see if I can find someone that might be a good fit for me.  Have one sorta picked out but would like to check out a little more. I really am doing pretty damn good mentally but frustration is starting to build up and I want to keep a firm handle on it.  Less than 2 months until the trial, gonna be a LONG 8 weeks.

Good thing nothing is planned for tonight, I would not go.  It’s not that I hurt or feel sick, I just don’t feel worth a diddly flip.  Maybe tomorrow will find me in a bit better mood.

Sunday Dec 23  I got a really nice surprise from Fred Pollard, one of old Snails running buds.  He is the RD for the Chino Hills races. He brought over one of their jackets and even has my name embroidered on it.  That great!   Ran into Tom and Eddie at Petsmart today, it’s great seeing old Snails friends.  Maybe in a few more weeks I’ll be able to at least show up at the start of some runs and maybe walk for a while.

Everyone keeps telling me how good I look and as I’ve said several times I just wish I felt as good as I supposedly look.  If my head was screwed on straight, could hear and see half way decently, and all the other crappy parts were better I could go along with their thoughts.  Oh, get rid of the tinnitus also. I really would not mind 1, 2 or 3 parts being sucky but all the hurts/nonfunctioning parts and mind together really flipping sucks.

We stopped by CVS to pu some Androgel that Dr Asher’s prescribed  for low testosterone.  The prescription apparently not called in so I’ll check on it tomorrow.  I want to try it out to see if maybe I’ll get a bit more energy and maybe get in a better mood.  I have no idea if the low T is related to the accident or not but the way I feel now, almost everything that is wrong with me is because or worse because of the accident. It might be age accounts for a little of the low T so I’m not going to blame it all on the accident.

I did 2 laps tonight and 1 more lap each with the dogs and damn, I am really tired I would go straight to bed at 7:30 pm if I knew I could go to sleep fairly quickly and stay asleep to 6 or 7.  I won’t and so bedtime will be 9:30 or later.  Somehow, I will make myself stay up.  I did stay up and did 1 more lap so that is not bad for me.

Dec 25 Tues  Christmas day  The family was over today and a great time, lots of neat presents had by all.  Mick got me a Nutribullet since I am trying to eat healthier and hoping to might make some health difference for me. Nancy got me another Garmin.  This time a Garmin 610 with a touchscreen.  At first I was not too sure about it but after a little digging on the internet it seems to be pretty good so I’ll try it out.   I did take my first long sustained walk in quite a while tonight.  I escaped and wandered down to Chapman and back. It about 1.1 miles RT and all I wanted   I need to get back on yoga, maybe next week timing and my mood will be better. I did not charge the Garmin today but will try it out around the block.

Looks like the only downside for the new Garmin is the lack of battery life, 8 hours vs 20 hours, but I suppose there won’t be any ultas or even super long walks for a while so that is probably a mute point.  Looks like I might even be to get elevation w/o too much problem.

Thur  Today is a cold one for us, 61 degrees and I’ve been freezing all day.  So what else is new?  Still want to get the sauna so I can least heat it up and get in for a few minutes to warm up w/o turning the house into a hot house or wearing a jacket inside all day.  We’ll find out in   a little over sixish weeks what happens.  If I could get out and walk, really walk somewhere for an hour or so I could probably warm up.  This sitting around all day with my thumb up my butt does not help my mood any at all.   I am fricking bored and wonder how I’ll be once I am free to walk about and afraid that this foul mood will want to stay around for a long time. I don’t know if I will be beside myself and do way too much or just find some excuse to say “Screw It!.”

We did check on the Androgel.  That stuff is way expensive and not sure if insurance will cover.  I did find out a generic version can be compounded locally and at very significant savings.  I will call the pharmacy to see if insurance covers or not and go from there.

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Dec 30 Sunday  Well, I snuck out about 9:30 pm last night with the goal of doing 2 miles nonstop and I did get it done & slept good last night.  The new Garmin is enabling me to track my walk rate in real time, 25 min mile or 30 min mile, and encouraging me to push just a little.  The Brea 8k is coming up in about 6/7 weeks and I know I can do all of it.  May have to slow down some part way through but do I give a damn?  NO, I am passing EVERYONE on the couch.

Just looked at my mileage for this year:  virtually 350 walking miles and, of course, no running miles.  Just a wild guess but I might be able to walk over 700 miles for the next year pretty easily if doing only 2 miles daily.  I really hope that once everything is settled I can start doing at least 5 or 6 miles daily.  There’s plenty of time on my schedule since I can no longer be gainfully employed. There is nothing else I really need to do except try to get myself better.

Probably a good time to wrap up 2012.  It’s been a really mixed bag of good and bad.  January was the MRSA infection and the whole month in the hospital.  I seem to have fully recovered from that episode except for losing 5/ 6 or so months on my recovery.  As I said earlier, maybe it was a good thing for I would be a real bitch chomping to get out and on with my life.

There were several depositions last year from a number of people, I did two and Nancy did 1.  Really don’t know how many Ron did but it was several.

The settlement conference, or whatever, was supposed to have happened in Sept and did not. We finally went to a bonafide settlement conference about 3 weeks ago and it was a INSULT.  I did find out that all my legal papers, depositions, doctors evaluations, etc would probably make a stack of papers 3ish feet high.  That is one hell lot of copies.  Yeah, Ron is certainly earning his money and he is worth every penny.

Still have ongoing medial issues with my feet, legs, elbow, etc. but so grateful and thankful I need no pain meds like vicodine, a Tylenol seems to be just fine when needed and that is very rare.  Don’t forget my head is still swimming around and vision sucks.  The tinnitus may or may not be accident related so I suppose there is really no need to harp on that issue.

I did do several Snails and Trail Headz meetings.  Mick and I went to Blackstar Canyon New Years Day for a short walk but that was not on the agenda for this year so I ended up doing nothing.   I may take the dogs out for several laps around the block later if I can get in a better mood.  Probably good I had nothing planned for this morning because it was rather chilly for me and did not want to get out.

Time for another chapter

                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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