Monday, June 30, 2003

well, what's new?

i have made my mind up with surgery. i have a consultation with a surgeon on August 1st, and I will schedule a surgery as soon as possible after that. but, since that is around 2 months from now i still have a lot of time to see if i can recover on my own. i am still making significant progress but the reason for my decision is this over the weekend, i was basically one of the 5 subjects for the herniated disc treatment class for physical therapy. i saw him twice, and with his help, i made some really amazing progress in the last 2 days, but it was also his opinion that my condition is on the severity range that physical therapy has a low probability of fixing. but he also assured me that even though my symptoms are severe, it is very common and recommended surgery, but also said there is no reason i should stop physical therapy. so that's the latest news. the most significant thing is that i can walk with almost no pain in my calf now and that is pretty amazing. so until then, i will continue with physical therapy, but as the day nears and I am still unsure if I'll ever get better without surgery, then I'll go ahead with it.

i have also decided that i want to go to europe and do a similar tour that Diem did. sounds like the tour has many advantages over backpacking. and is not costly either. probably not a 36 day tour...probably something around 2 weeks. this means that after some celebrating, I will save money to pay off my credit cards, and hopefully have some money to go to europe. maybe i can get some people together. you only live once right? might as well do it when I still can.

other than that, nothing much has happened. been watching a few movies a day. just saw "bowling for columbine" and was pleasantly surprised. finished harry potter 3 finally, started book 4, and hopefull i can move to book 5 in about a week.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

today is such a gloomy day. after such a wondreful verteran's day weekend, it looks like we are going to get one of the ugliest thanksgiving weekends ever.

here are my tentative plans. not much going on today. work out after work. pick up some tortillas at the market. eat some home made carne asada burritos, watch lord of the rings extended edition. do laundry.

drive home thursday morning with wei's tv (since all our tv doesn't have RCA jacks), ps2, DDR pads, few dvds (spiderman, starwars2), pick my brother up at irvine, go shopping with my family to get ingredients for the turkey. (i made turkey last year, and they want to make the same thing.) then cook, eat, hang out with family. friday, spend the morning with family, maybe catch some holiday sales, i'll meet up with tommy early afternoon, and just hang out, maybe get some boba, eat some peruvian food (since there are no peruvian restaurants near by), and watch james bond.

saturday drive back to SD in the morning. maybe pick up some divxes from my brother. go work out if i get home by 11. go shopping for a new bible, maybe some christmas gifts, have dinner, and maybe watch another movie.

sunday, church, nap, gym.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Why you gotta be a playa hater?

after reading some negative reviews of the Hulk, there seems to be one thing that people keep pointing out. the bad computer generated graphics. well, first off, being an expert of comic books does not make you an expert on computer generated graphics. it is obvious that with today's technology that they could have easily made him look realistic. but they chose a blend of computer and cartoon animation. which seems to be the way computer animation is heading towards. that is why Nemo in Finding Nemo looks less realistic than the aquarium screen saver running on my computer. also the story of the Hulk is a pretty dark story. And if you make the Hulk look too realistic, he'll appeal to the viewer as more of a monster even when he's having fun blowing up tanks and other fun stuff to demolish. if you realize that then there is nothing bad about the film. i'm not saying the film is spectacular. just sharing my opinion on how to better view this film for your enjoyment.

got my second epidural injection today. i actually feel kinda worse than i did yesterday i think. but they said it can take up to 24 hours to kick in. we'll have to see when i wake up tomorrow. other than that, physical therapy is still proving to be the miracle i was looking for. we might get to a point where physical therapy can only help up to a certain point. i hope that certain point is to a point where i can go about walking, sitting, and lying down without any pain as long as i don't do anything to put stress on the disc. then, i can give it as long as i want for it to go back in place. even a year or more and if it hasn't moved back to normal by then, i could go ahead with surgery.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

could this be it?


status update

i must admit, physical therapy is some amazing stuff. i had downloaded exercises on the web for herniated discs. i have been doing them with minimal effect to my injury. i basically thought they were just going to make me do the same stuff (which wasn't helping) at Physical Therapy. Boy I was wrong. the stretches that I do at PT are much simpler. It's more like....get in this position and rest 5 minutes. Or shift your body this way, and stretch. And just 3 sessions of PT, I think I have made more progress in the last week than I have with just about everything I've tried so far. That includes adjustments at the chiropractor, acupuncture, prescription meds, and steroid injections. Anyway, each visit to PT so far has been great. We make big breakthroughs and find out a lot about what is exactly wrong every time I go. The physical therapists have been awesome. When I went there, about 4 therapists flocked to me and all scratched their heads. So they called "the guru", Yvonne. And wow, she they weren't kidding. You just get the feeling that PT is something she just knows how to do, not something she just learned out of the book. She looks at me and see's a puzzle, not a subject random of trial and error. The way she speaks of my problem is something she can fix with no doubt, in a short amount of time. I thought she just didn't know how bad my case was, but now I'm starting to believe why she's so sure of what she can do. I'm still not convinced myself, since I've been injured for what seems like eternity, but I think with her, I'm starting to see a clear path to recovery without surgery.

As for my BackPro CPM machine, it was amazing the first time I used it. But now that I don't really have inflammation to deal with, I don't think its helping at all. not at my current state. I'm sure if the inflammation is ever flared up again, it would be a 15 minute fix for that. And I'm sure that not dealing with the inflammation is helping me progress at PT at a much accelerated rate. So I gotta give the machine a lot of credit. I'll keep it around for now since it's only costing me $50 a month.

So here is my progress. i'll add one more thing. The lateral leg raise. The lateral leg raise is the standard test to measure how bad the herniation is and and it also indicates the improments you make as you're able to raise your leg higher. About last week, I could only raise my leg lying down about 20 degrees with my left leg, and 15% of the right leg. basically almost no movement. and it had been this way for the last 3 months. no improvments at all.

today, no obstruction of my left leg raising, and my right leg can go 30-35 degrees. a significant improment if I must say so. I can almost stand straight now, and just walking around the apartment and standing up for a few minutes is significantly less painful.

2 weeks ago:

was able to put some weight on my back, even though really painful.


i can almost sit normally if i position myself. gotta slouch slightly to relieve some pain, but sitting pain even goes down to 0 sometimes. this is an amazing improvement.

2 weeks ago:

discomfort on the right hip. but more localized pain. it usually always hurts, so i gotta say 1 to 4. hurts more than 0, but not as bad as 5.


pain is at about 1 to 3. small improvement. but increasing hip pain is generally a good sign. it means that the nerves are not being pushed in as much.

2 weeks ago:

right leg pain1 to 3.


1 to 2

2 weeks ago:

inability to completely stand up straight. leaning less than before.


i can almost stand up straight. Laterally, I can adjust so I'm not leaning but its only temporary. But big improvement here.

2 weeks ago:

all levels of pain raise up 1 to 2 numbers higher when the medication is wearing off (about the 7th hour).


no change

2 weeks ago:

pain while driving is 1 to 3.


I think it's more like pain is 0 to 1. so big improvement here.

So pretty much I've clearly improved. And this time significantly. I'll do another progress update in 2 weeks.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

it has been a week since my last post. and i have good things to report.

i began the physical therapy....trips to the pain clinic aren't as pleasant as people made it sound like they were going to be. my 2 trips so far have been very painful, mainly due to heavy inflammation. but that will change.....i'll explain why in a bit.

i got my first epidural steroid shot friday. unlike what they were telling me, it had an immediate effect, that teetered off as time progressed. 3 days later, all noticable effects were gone. i'm not sure if all steroids increase the amount of testosterone being released...and it might just all be psychological, but some of my muscles seem bigger. for example my triceps. since i haven't been using my muscles at all, i've lost a lot, but today, when i feel them, they are almost as big as they were when i first got injured, minus the tone.....then again i might just be imagining it. i'd say the overall experience with the steroid injection was positive, but it really didn't do much. they require at least 3 shots. i will get my 2nd shot in a week and a half. and they say the first shot doesn't really do much, but the second shot should really make a difference. we'll have to wait and see.

my BackPro CPM (continuous passive motion) machine came today. i was bit skeptical, but considering i am willing to try anything at this point, i thought it couldn't hurt. $50 a month is nothing compared to the $600 a mont i was spending on acupuncture and $250 a month for the chiropractor. acupuncture seems to help but very slowly...and it is expensive. not to mention being stuck with needles all over. do they hurt? heck ya they do. you just get used to it. the chiropractor....i really can't say it has noticeably helped. getting adjusted might straighten me out, but the car ride will mess it back up. maybe when i have dealt with all the inflammation, and gotten reasonably straighter i can go back. but i don't have any future appointments scheduled for right now.

anyway, back to the BackPro CPM machine. well, I got on it, and it was painful and rather soothing at the same time while on the machine as it compressed and elongated my spine. but as the minutes passed, the pain i felt when i was on the machine went away. and i noticed that i definitely felt a positive change. then a while later, i noticed a remarkable difference. basically all the inflammation was gone. i would say this machine is pretty incredible. it has achieved more in a few hours than a shot of steroids was supposed to do. more than i had ever accomplished with acupuncture, and all the medication i have taken. why don't more professionals know about this machine? i've been on the machine twice so far (15 minutes at a time) and can't wait to use it on the days to come. i also noticed another amazing result. i can almost sit with no pain now....amazing considering i couldn't sit comfortably for more than a second or two for the last 3 months.

so i'm going to guess that my next physical therapy visit will be more productive considering the inflammation is no longer going to get in the way. in physical therapy, they explained that if the pain increases in the hips, and decreases in the calf, that means that the disc is pussing less on the nerves. i've been assuming it the other way around because when there is a lot of pain in my hips, i can't move at all, so i've been trying to reverse what caused the pain in my hips and not concerning myself with the increasing pain in my calf. this meant that i was basically making it impossible for the disc to make it back because i just push it back out further when it tries to creep back to its normal healthy position. so i've adjusted my resting positions so this won't happen. another thing i learned in physical therapy is that my pelvis was pushed in one direction, and that was the cause of all the pain. once i force it back, basically all the pain is gone. but for right now, if i release the pressure, i get hit with a crippling pain...where i just want to collapse because it is too overwhelming. so i'm trying to put my pelvis in the correct position, and my goal for right now is to push it slow enough to where i wn't get dealt that crippling pain as i release. i think it eventually should hold that normal position as my body lets go and i keep trying to psh it back.

i've been downloading movies in the theateres...that's my new thing.


finding nemo

bruce almighty


2fast 2 furious

kangaroo jack

i say the worst movie in there was 2fast 2 furious. absolute crap. the camera shots make the car looking like they are going about 300 miles, and they keep going back to the spedometer, and they aren't even doing 100. i'm thinking like, damn, with all that fancy gear changes and facial expressions, if they are doing the speed that they were showing you, even my honda would have smoked them. only time they do go above 160 is when paul walker jumps the bridge using is nos....ummm....all i have to say about that is "YEAH RIGHT!". Let's see, jump a ramp at 160+mph and expect to live? that is pure suicide. well, paul walker in his skyline is the only one that lands without a scratch, while 2 other cars land and do damage to the cars. yeah, like anyone really does this in real life. not even close. total bullshit. add all this to the worst acting i've seen (worse than keanu reeves way back when). also the script is total crap. like they keep repeating how paul always gets in trouble because of the girls. that never develops, and they repeat this about 10 times. the script is absolute garbage. it could have been randomly generated by a computer.

kangaroo jack on the other hand was surprisingly entertaining. the kangaroo doesn't really talk. that was the guy having a dream. the trailer made it seem like he talked during the movie. i also got the watch the hulk 2 weeks in advance (vhs quality vcd). my comments are, better than daredevil. more darker film than spiderman, but a better film overall.

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

latest developments on my herniated disc

the pain clinic said i should stop taking my ibuprofen 4 days prior. i took the whle day off yesterday, but caved in after 24 hours so i could sleep. i think i can manage just taking it once a day without having complications.

i'll be starting physical therapy thursday

starting steroid therapy friday

i have my consulatation with a surgeon on june 18th

oredered one of these

they need a better website. that is all. my plan is to be back on my feet by my 25th birthday (aug 30) even if it means i have to go under the knife.

torrent sites that are working today: