(Walking down these halls made me feel uneasy every time.)

I was extremely disappointed on the weekend of Feb. 16-18. I didn’t get to attend NBA All-Star Weekend. While I still could’ve gone as “a fan”, I was unsure of what to do when I get there. What? Say hi to a couple of random people and then leave? With no plan, I decided not to hit downtown Los Angeles unless someone called me up (nobody did and only a few people checked on me).

The gym made it easier for me to get over that. I’m just going to dust myself off and move on, right?

Then February 19 happened. I was called over to see my dad sprawled on the floor in his bedroom. My nephew and I tried to carry him to the bathroom but he was dead weight at that point. He was very weak and barely talking. Two of my other siblings arrived. With no choice, my brother called 9-1-1 and we were all off to the hospital.

We were at the hospital for nearly nine hours before we were told that there was an infection that got into his blood. I’ll spare all the details (I can tell you privately if you don’t already know) but, basically, his diabetes caused a TON of issues. Pops was awake on and off during that entire deal. Once he was in the ICU, he looked a little bit better but he was obviously a loooooong way to go.

I made the mistake of not eating the entire time I was there (I thought we would get some confirmation by dinner time and, with the cafeteria closed, I ate a granola bar from the vending machine). With friends reminding me to take care of myself (after all, I was near death myself last fall), I ate a quick late dinner when I finally got home and still went to the gym afterwards. I needed to be at my healthiest I possibly could be for this (and in general).

I visited him every day and made updates on my social media accounts about my Pops. He’s stubborn so I had high hopes that he would pull through. As each day went by, he got stronger and was back in Full Dad mode pretty quickly. He was back to making comments about me not being married. He was even upset that The Price Is Right wasn’t on when I reminded him that it’s Saturday. (We ended up watching Mean Girls which was an adventure in itself.) Later that day, he was already taking steps without a walker. At that point, I thought he was back to normal.

By February 27 (Tuesday), he called me in the morning saying that he was “being released” and ready to go home. We got there and he changed into his regular clothes. But he neglected to tell us that he was scheduled for antibiotics around 6 PM (which was later moved up an hour after the nurses noticed him being antsy). He went home that night. He’ll be surrounded by nurses every day to make sure he’s okay.

As for me? The gym became my safe haven. It was stressful being inside a hospital considering I had been in that environment the entire fall.

It also reminded me of the important things. Sure, missing All-Star weekend at “my home city” sucked. But I’d miss EVERYTHING if I was dead. I can attend another All-Star weekend if I play my cards right. There was always another chance as long as I was breathing.

The last six months haven’t been great. I had to deal with my own mortality. And then in the last two weeks, Pops had to deal with his own. Now it’s March 2018 and we’re both still here. I am so glad for that (especially for Dad since he isn’t exactly young).

Now here’s hoping for something good soon. REAL soon.

As always, thank you so much for sticking with me.

R2

(I have a loooong way to go.)

How am I doing?

Physically, I feel good. MAYBE the best I’ve felt in years. I don’t want to say the best I’ve felt in a decade just yet; I don’t feel AND look like my 29 or 30-year-old self yet.

I know I’m doing something right when my Pops said that I looked a little smaller… and no punchline came after that.

But really, I’ve gotten obsessed over going to the gym. I normally don’t like to describe myself as obsessed but I think that’s where I am about this. Lately, I just look forward to GOING to the gym. On Super Bowl Sunday, I purposely went in the morning (I normally go at around 10-11 PM) so that I could catch the Puppy Bowl at noon and watch humans hit each other at 3:30 PM. After I caught the Super Bowl with friends, my instinct was to pack my stuff and go to the gym at around 10:30 PM.

I actually had packed my stuff before I caught myself and realized I had gone earlier in the day. There is nothing wrong with doing two-a-days but I shouldn’t stress my body that much.

So how obsessed am I? Well, tonight will be my 30th day in a row of going to the gym.

(Yup. I’ve gone to the gym 29 straight days.)

Like I said, my initial goal was to make it three straight days before it evolved into something bigger.

I started to post about daily gym check-ins at both Twitter and Facebook. I do this for a couple of reasons.

1) To hold myself accountable. And others can hold me accountable, too. So if I skip a day, people can remind me about it. But seriously, I SHOULD take a day off at some point.

2) To show people that I am serious. I get it. I’m NOT seen as a serious person. But I was pretty damn serious last fall; I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE. But I needed to get serious about my health. And the gym is part of my recovery as well as my therapy. Going to a clinic four or five times a week SUCKED. That was my entire life for the last four months of 2017.

And if people are inspired by my going to the gym? Awesome. I think that would be great. But it’s ultimately their choice to go. I made this MY choice. And I felt I had no choice BUT to go because it’s not like I was exactly the embodiment of healthy before the car accident. Life will be a lot easier for me if I started going to the gym, especially as I approach age 40 (I turn that age on November).

I’ll probably stop posting the gym check-ins soon (definitely soon on FB). I think I’ve proven that I was serious about going to the gym every day. And I hope that it becomes a lifestyle change for me. I’m still scared that I could skip a day and then end up leaving it off my routine entirely.

As far as the rest of life? I know I’m going to continue on my quest to find myself. I’m STILL hoping to go to NBA All-Star Weekend but, at the very least, I can hang out with old friends on the outskirts if I can’t get into the building to cover the weekend. I’ve become very used to covering the South Bay Lakers in the G-League. They’ve treated me very well and I loved covering them but we all know I want to go back to cover the Los Angeles Lakers and the rest of the NBA.

I’m also planning a format change at TNLP soon (basically, bring it back to what brought TNLP to the dance). I still love to write. I still love to cover the wacky happenings that are happening in the NBA. Heck, I thought it was going to be my last season doing it but, honestly, I’m not sure I want to stop. And I also plan to bring back my podcast very soon. I’ve talked about bringing it back for months now but I wanted to be completely healthy in all facets. At the latest, I’ll bring it back right after the all-star break.

Oh, yeah. Driving on the freeway still sucks. It’ll probably suck for me forever. Recently, I was pressed to pick up my sister and brother-in-law at LAX. When I got there, my brother-in-law saw me hyperventilating and asked me if I wanted him to take over the driving. But I said no for two reasons. 1) They were jetlagged. 2) I needed to do this for myself.

We got back just fine. But I went to my room quickly and just sat there for maybe 10 minutes to gain my bearings back. This will be a fight for a long time.

But that’s what’s important. I’m going to keep fighting. And I’ll probably fight forever. I’m not sure if I’m fine with that. But that’s life, right? You have to fight for everything you want.

And what I want right now is good health both physically and mentally.

To those that have been in my corner, thanks so much. Y’all know I love you.

fhqwhgads

R2

It’s been a while since I updated about my health.

Physical seems good. To some of you that have kept up with me on social media (mostly Twitter), you know that I’ve gone to the gym lately.

I have equipment at home. If anything, it’s enough for anyone to get a full workout in. The problem is that home is always distracting. So I decided to sign up at Planet Fitness earlier in the month, which was only just a block away. It was an easy drive for me. Driving still very much sucks to me so this was great.

Being at the gym every day sure beats being at a clinic. Part of me is trying to get that clinic phase out of my mind.

I decided to set goals in terms of how much I go to the gym. I decided not to look at numbers for now; the weight and inches loss should happen organically, right? And I know that I’ll slowly increase the heaviness of my workouts, too. But I don’t need to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger (MAYBE I DO) so I stuck with light weights. For now.

Anyway, I write on my marker board on my personal gym streak. I might miss a day at some point but why not set a goal on how many days in a row I can go? So that’s what I’m doing.

(I also give shoutouts and little messages.)

I initially had THREE DAYS as a goal. After all, I wanted to make sure I could achieve THAT. Then it became a week. Now I’m on TWO WEEKS. Good friend Anna Melissa went for 25 straight days so I will shoot for that at some point.

(That is nine straight days.)

I put up a status on FaceBook saying that I had gone eight straight days. I was hoping for a little encouragement but instead I got jokes about how I didn’t do anything (I know they meant well). I was miffed after I saw all the comments (I barely made it out of 2017 alive, people) so I used that as motivation. Thanks, I guess, guys.

Some of you know that I started writing again for Forum Blue & Gold. An opportunity opened up and I ended up covering the South Bay Lakers, the Los Angeles Lakers’ G-League (developmental league) affiliate.

It was quite fun even though the SB Lakers got demolished. Oh, well.

Before the car accident, I had set all these goals about the NBA season. Ultimately, I wanted to cover NBA All-Star Weekend since it’s here in Los Angeles. I was basically inactive (even though I did my best to write for my own site, The No-Look Pass) for a few months and I feel like it’s going to be tough for me to get in. It kind of sucks but I’m trying to be as optimistic as possible about this.

But I can only control certain aspects. For now, I’m just going to keep going to the gym and continue to work through my phobia of driving on the freeway. I don’t know how long it’ll take; maybe it’ll stay with me for the rest of my life.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep fighting, though. I’m here to take back my life.

Here’s to good health.

Thanks for all the encouragement as always. I love you guys.

R2

I am leaving THIS and 2017 behind.

And I am eager to start 2018.

I’m not even going to start with the idiots that continue to run this country down to the ground. That stuff is already overwhelming enough and the last thing I need is stuff that will cause me to break down. But yeah, this was the year that I REALLY found out that I cannot get into that much stress. It’s why I try to avoid confrontation and arguments, if possible. It’s not because I can’t win them (I certainly can) but it’s because it’s just not good for my well-being, period.

The year started out good enough. For one, I liked watching my nephew and nieces grow. The youngest, Eila, turned one year old and she will turn two on March 23.

I finally got to meet a couple of good friends in real life after only talking to them exclusively online.

I met Grandmaster DJ Stan Sy, who was on vacation in California. He came all the way from the Philippines!

And JoannePistonFan, one of my favorite people ever.

Somehow, she even got to witness me bungle through a conversation with a woman.

I even got to meet a few of the Smarkies.

I took a low key approach after the NBA season was over. I traveled to San Diego to see more old friends. It’s hard to believe that I had known most of those friends for 15 or so years. It was like a reunion.

And, yeah, I can’t forget the high school reunion I had. Even before that reunion, we were already seeing each other intermittently. There was never enough time in a day to catch up for 20 years of memories. I hope we get to see each other some more this coming year. ESPECIALLY after what I had gone through in the last three months.

I like that we never missed a beat.

Everything changed on September 5th, 6 PM. I got in a car accident on a routine drive on the streets.

After that, it opened up a Pandora’s Box of health and stress issues. I got sent to the ER on September 26th after hypertension due to stress. An EKG test showed that I suffered a heart attack. I didn’t feel it but then it sapped my energy for the next month or so. Anyway, in addition to physical therapy, I would start seeing a cardiologist regularly.

I had to change my diet instantly because of this. The accident also cancelled my plans for the rest of the year. I was planning to visit friends in Portland in October and that went by the wayside. The car accident also caused me to have anxiety on the road, which I’m still trying to fight to this day. I’m seeing a therapist because of that. I also started to use HeadSpace, a meditation app. I’ve only driven on the freeway a handful of times since the accident.

One of those times? I made it out to a Christmas Party to see old friends, Angelica and Anna Melissa.

Always good to see them.

While it was disappointing to see old friends NOT care about my situation (I was seriously on the verge and they said nothing), it was encouraging to see others that weren’t interacting as much previously come out to lift me up. My current support system is fantastic and I will always ALWAYS be grateful for them.

I just closed out physical therapy last Thursday. I was also free from regular cardiologist visits last Friday. I’m trying to focus back on my goals and make up for lost time. It’s a bit of a challenge but it can’t be harder than what I just went through, right?

I’m looking at 2018 as a renaissance year. I want the last of my 30s to be something memorable. I refuse to lose.

And once again, I can’t thank you enough for being in my corner. YOU guys make me stronger and you don’t even know it.

Here’s to a new year and a new start.

R2

Once again, I intend for 2018 to be mine.

No more regular clinic visits for a while.

My last day of physical therapy was Thursday. I’m still hurting but the injuries that were caused by the car accident have mostly been healed. My shoulders and upper back feel pretty good. I still have aches and pains on my lower back and, sometimes, my legs. But the tension that plagued my upper back is mostly gone. Well, at least, when I don’t have to be on the road. That’ll continue to take some time.

And I visited the cardiologist after all my tests were finished. Everything was good. They still want to monitor me so we agreed to quarterly visits. I’ll be back there in March. I am totally okay with that.

Basically, I have to take care of myself. I still have to take it easy.

I want to feel healthy and I’m still not there. I’ve had a cold and a cough for the last week.

It’s not the only thing that I’m dealing with. Talking is still exhausting. I can’t really talk too much at the moment.

I was actually hanging out with good friends, Kiyoshi and Charie, at a nearby restaurant last night. They were kind enough to go to my area so that I didn’t have to drive too far. I know that at some point, I’ll have to drive on the freeways regularly. Here’a a picture of me as a street thug wannabee:

Street thug third wheel.

A post shared by Rey-Rey (@thinkreyrey) on

I did start to write for Forum Blue & Gold so I can take on a few more things now. I’m trying to make up for lost time. And of course, I am very cognizant of the fact that NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. It was my goal to go for a while. I’ll have to do a lot to get to that point. I hate that the car accident took away a lot of things but I’ll have to go with the cards that were dealt.

But yeah, while not everything is 100 percent okay (and it may never be for the rest of my life), I don’t need to have any regular clinic visits for a while. That’s the good news.

And I can move on.

Thanks for all your love and support. I can’t thank you guys enough.

R2