Tuesday, December 30, 2003

recap of 2003

2003 looked so promising to turn out to be the best year of my life so far, but if you know me at all, it was quite the opposite. Beginning of th year, I was in the best shape I had ever been in my entire life. On top of that I was turning 25, which is commonly known to be the apex when it comes to being a male, both physically and mentally. I had conquered myself of smoking and an unhealthy lifestyle. My car was fully paid off, and the difficulties in life were a mere simple solution away from being solved. The plan of this year seemed simple. Bulk up till mid march, cut up till the beginning of summer, and bask in the rewards. The world was my oyster and I was ready to shuck it. So how did it all go wrong?


The year started off with a bang. I got to experience the Rose Parade for the first time with a good friend. Then a few days after, I went on a church retreat which turned out to be one of the most exciting experiences I've had in a long time. I also met someone who I quickly gained a lot of interest in. It all seemed to be going well, but it just wasn't in the cards. Other than that, it was quite an exciting month.


I kept busy this month. I was in and out the door a couple of times a day. One of the things did was go to Puerto Nuevo for some lobster and ATV'ing. When I could, I spent time catching up on TV shows and watching American Idol. One thing I did start this month was drinking coffee. I definitely wasn't getting enough sleep with all this extra activity added into my previous entertainment media and internet content rich lifestyle, so I was compensating sleep by drinking more java. This was abig mistake as I'll soon learn next month. I was also using caffine as a stimulant to give me that extra boost in the gym. That's double the trouble.

March to August

I missed church for the first time 2 weeks in a row since I started going. Then basically it hit the fan when I injured myself at work on the 11th. I still can't say what caused it. It might have been the row machine at the gym. Or it could have been the pilates. Or it could have been the fact that I wasn't getting enough sleep. Or it could have been the fact that I had existing back problems along with my problems with slouching and posture. Most likely it was all of that combined. At first, I didn't know how bad it was. I thought it was just a pinched nerve or something and I just had to get the kink out. Even though I did things that would improve symptoms for a short term, it just gradually got worse and worse. Days turned to weeks. Weeks turned to months. The doctor said it might take 3 to 6 months to heal. When I heard that, I was in denial. All my plans, and all the hard work I had put into at the gym was pretty much down the drain. Still, knowing what I was facing, I had to keep my spirits up and be optomistic. Within the next few months, I had tried everything known to man short from surgery. Chiropractor, acupuncture, BackPro CPM machine, lots of different prescriptions and medicine, physical therapy, changing to a tempurpedic matress, and steroid epidurals. All had some effect, but after about 3.5 months along, I knew this wasn't going to be fixed without surgery. Being injured for so long I gained a lot of respect for the terminally ill and crippled. The way that they can carry on in that condition is something not many people have thought about. Also being injured for so long, I grew cautiously pessimistic. I was unsure if I would ever be able to start walking normal again. We're so used to injuring ourself and then healing. When you injure yourself and don't heal even though you've tried everything people tell you, you get used to disappointment. As much it was painful (and believe me, I've gone through more pain than any human should in their life span), I would say this experience was emotionally draining more than it was physically. Unfortunately, the doctor that everyone recommended was off on vacation, so even after my decision, I had to wait anouther 1.5 months. For the whole month, I was in constant pain 247 ranging from 3 to 10. I spent the 5 months watching TV numbed out on painkillers...even though the painkillers only helped with the pain, and it never made it go away completely. I started working from home around mid June so that I wouldn't go horribly in debt. I had no idea how bad my injury was and decided not to file workers compensation. It is a mistake I won't be making again. Some days, the pain was so bad, I was just taking muscle relaxants along with anti-inflammatories so that I would just be sleeping the day through just to get by with the pain that I was experiencing. Luckily when I had the appointment with the surgeon, he saw the immediate need for surgery. It had turned out that I had been understating my pain to the doctor, and one shouldn't be in bed longer than 6 weeks in my condition. 10 days after my appointment with the surgeon (which was 5 months to the day, even maybe the hour since my injury) the surgeon performed a L4-L5 hemilaminectomy by microsurgery. The morning of surgery, I remember feeling relieved that the worst part of this was over, and everything from here was going to have a positive effect. It was a very quick and successful surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery wasn't the miracle surgery that I assumed it was going to be. I still had a lot of recovery ahead of me.

September to December

After about a month of dealing with pain from recovery and physical therapy I was finally well enough to make it worth while to go outside and finally break out of the bubble. 4 weeks after surgery, I returned to work after a 6 months absense, and I gradually returned to my normal routine over the next few months. It has been already 4.5 months, and I'm about 98% better. Looking back I'm amazed at myself how I was able to get through this devastating life experience with only few momentary bouts with frustration. One of the biggest things that has helped me get through this was from my experience in high school when my first love broke up with me. I was devastated and in a great deal of depression for 2 years. I always been a firm believer that all things happen for a good reason. Up until this latest experience, I always wondered what good my high school experience with a breakup would bring me. I know for certain if I hadn't suffered from such a devastating experience before, this injury would have been infinitely harder mentally. Life is funny that way. I would like to extend my thanks to God, Amora Kelly L. Ac., Yvonne Body PT, Dr. William Taylor (Surgeon), Ruishan Gao L. Ac., all my friends, and my dad for helping me get through this.

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm glad 2003 is over. This year has been tainted with war, accidents, injury, killer flu, mad cow, surgeries, fires, etc. etc. So what does 2004 bring? I'm happy to say that all my credit cards have been paid off, and I could finally start saving for a property which I'm starting next month. And if I really try, I can save up for a trip to Europe. Also, I'm finally well enough to get to the gym regularly, which I've already started. So I'm starting from ground zero. And that is mighty fine with me. Happy New Years everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

merry christmas everyone! i'll have a long recap of 2003 in a week.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

i'm gonna try to focus on the positives....

alright...starting first of january i'm gonna start working out again. even with some of the residual pain left, its safe to say i'm well enough to start working out regularly. why not sooner? maybe...i just feel lazy. i've just been in a downward spiral of unhealthy activities and diet. i actually look at cigarette ads, and they seem appealing. but i've been meaning to not fight the urge, even though one night, i had seriously considered it. its surprising that i can still get the urge to light up after 2 solid years of being completely smoke free. also, probably what i consume is still relatively healthy compared to the average american diet, but that's not saying much. isn't a large number of the population over weight? i'm going to start off slow on the machines at the IG gym then maybe after 2+ weeks, i'll sign up again at rimac.

i have definitely cut down on video games. been playing close to 3-4 hours a day to playing once or twice a week. i think its because of the lack of time. since i'm trying to make it to work relatively on time (no double digits), i find myself falling asleep around midnight. its quite not what i want to be doing, but i know its really good for me.

i'm done with christmas shopping! i shopped online for one gift. then just wrapped up my shopping for everyone else in one night. i got very thoughtful gifts too. shopping has been so easy cause i only decided to shop mainly for my immediate family this year.

still haven't decided what i'm going to do for christmas. i might even drive home....probably on christmas day. hmm...

Monday, December 15, 2003

man, i'm so out of shape....life is so cruel

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

stupid blogger. i lost a post....here's a summary.

been playing lots of video games.

rented manhunt. really bad disappointment. not violent or realistic. not worth the $7 rental.

bought super smash melee for $24 on black friday. it's the best fighting game i've ever played, and its 4 players.

got hot shots golf 3 and socom 2 through casey. been playing a lot of hot shots. haven't played socom yet. i'm really enjoying hot shots.

sold true crime, socom, and the getaway.

friend from high school got married. congrats to him. it was a total surprise though. he just went and did it at vegas last weekend. here it starts...

another high school friend is coming down this weekend so i'll probably chill with him saturday and sunday, and maybe grab some phils bbq.

Monday, December 1, 2003

thanksgiving was okay. we didn't have any korean food. and i kinda feel like i missed out and i should go get some turkey and mashed potatoes to eat. even though turkey in all reality isn't all that great. You can always eat a better, more flavored, crispier, better prepared chicken. what makes turkey so great is the experience of family and the holiday, not the turkey itself.

as always, my dad got on my nerves. he means well, but just doesn't have any sense of what is proper. i really think there is something wrong with him. has he always been this way?

so it looks like i may finally get my vioxx today. after like 2 weeks of waiting...maybe more. i really hope this will make 90% of all my symtoms go away and i'll be able to start working out and getting back in track.

yesterday at costco, i realized that had stopped reading nutritional facts. so i looked at the stuff in my cart, and decided to put a lot of things back...tameles....kielbasa... and i realized, damn, how was i ever do that math in my head. i was so mindlessly calculating calories, percentages by the hour. the motivation that i had when i got into the swing of things last year has been exhausted. i'm gonna need some help to get into the routine. i need to start eating like i was doing again. a lot of people have told me i've gained some weight. i'm pretty afraid to step on the scale.