I’m just here wearing a heat pad on my back. I’m still a long way from where I want to be.

I also feel I’m a long way from where I was in October.

It’s becoming more and more evident that the heart attack I suffered was more of a shock on my body. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t affect me, though, because it definitely did. Remember that my body felt weak for a good amount of time after that happened.

It also doesn’t mean that I should be careless. I still have to eat right. I still have to lose weight. And you should never mess around with heart attacks.

Still, if the two previous heart tests were any indication, the third one should be okay. My heart rhythm test is on the 18th, a week before Christmas. I should follow up shortly thereafter then go from there. My goal is to be able to start fresh in 2018 even though I know my other issues will go deep into that year. Or maybe for the rest of my life.

Driving still gives me pause. But I’ve handled it better on the surface streets. I still get freaked out when cars suddenly show up on my right side.

I did go through a little test on my driving recently, though.

Longtime good friends Anna Melissa and Angelica invited me out to their Christmas Party, which took place last Saturday. I had told them that I was “day to day.” Well, I made it out there but not before going through the freeway, which felt like a huge obstacle course.

I also noticed something while I was driving: I was blinking for minutes at a time. And I couldn’t stop it for a while. It was strange.

Anyway, I got to their place and it was just good to see people. I haven’t socialized much since the car accident three months ago so it was nice to have those interactions. Of course, if you guys know me, there were a few awkward and funny moments (I botched a hug/handshake and I ended up getting patted on the head) but, otherwise, I had a lot of fun. Shoutouts to Anna Melissa and Angelica for inviting me (and also for being in my corner since the start).

I also got together with some old friends throughout the weekend. It was nice catching up with old friend Alfred. It was also nice to chill with Nick and Beerman on Sunday.

I could say it was the best weekend I’ve had since the car accident. Lots of laughs were had.

The past couple of days have been up and down. Pain is constant but manageable. But really, I’m not a young buck and I’d probably still have some pains even if there was no car accident. I’m 40 next year so I REALLY have to take care of myself.

Still, I love that you guys continue to encourage me to get better. I appreciate you all.

R2

It has been a while since I updated on this blog. I know some of you think that it either means everything is peachy… or I’m dead. But obviously, it’s not the latter (unless a ghost is actually updating this blog).

No. Everything is not peachy. I just don’t want to be repetitive on how I had been doing as of late.

The issues will be ongoing. I don’t have to tell you for months straight that I hate driving. I don’t have to tell you for months straight that my anxiety can get the best of me. And I certainly don’t have to tell you for months straight that I’m in some kind of clinic for four days out of the week. It’s not fun doing that.

And I continue to live in constant pain both physically and mentally. I can manage to be functional with my back but it’ll stiffen up (both upper and lower) at times. Not to mention that my shoulders get tense at the most inopportune moments. So please don’t assume I’m A-OK. I’m not but it’s also not something you’d have to be extremely worried for. I do think that I have gotten past the worst.

But things did happen the last couple of days.

My oldest brother (who I don’t really talk to much) knew about the accident. Yesterday, he texted/called and wanted to check how I was doing overall. He then asked how it happened.

I wasn’t exactly prepared for that. In fact, I thought my other brother would have told him. I stammered throughout my response before he told me that I didn’t need to go any further. I hung up a few moments after.

I immediately had a panic attack thereafter. I haven’t had one of those in weeks.

I don’t normally talk (not type) about the accident. So I guess this was probably why. It’s difficult to talk about it. I calmed down later on but those few moments were scary to me.

I also just finished my heart stress test. They had me walk the treadmill for about 10 minutes. The speeds got faster and faster as time went on. I felt tired as usual but I didn’t feel faint. The only thing that was bad was that my back stiffened up at the end but that’s unrelated to the heart test (but also definitely related to my car accident).

I have one last heart test the week before Christmas. It will be about my heart rhythm. But both tests have gone well so far and there SHOULD be no reason this one can’t be excellent as well. You never know, though, right?

Since I’m the nicest and most mature, guess what my heart rate was before the test today?

69. Heh-heh, heh-heh.

Sure, we can giggle about this all we want. But that is actually really great news. Because when I wasn’t doing well last month, my normal heart rate was around 100-110. The fact that it went down to that number is fantastic.

See? 69 is good for you!

I updated Pops about what went on. Then he asked me why I still have such a phobia on driving (I’ve still only driven on the freeway twice since the car accident in September 5).

You know, I wish I could JUST get over being afraid of driving after nearly dying THREE TIMES in car accident-related events. Reminder:

1) 2002. Going 70 MPH and had to swerve at the last second to not hit the truck stopped in traffic. Moved to the car pool lane without looking and, luckily, there was no vehicle. I was unscathed but that was still a near-death experience.

2) 2004. The one I talk about every October 14th. Car going about 60-65 MPH smashed into my vehicle while I was slowing down because of traffic. Car miraculously did a 180 instead of hitting the guardrail. Went to physical therapy for six months and didn’t drive on the freeway for two months.

3) Last September. The car accident wasn’t major but it was big enough to open up a Pandora’s Box of health issues. Anxiety on the road continues to this day and anxiety in general affects my everyday life. Hypertension was bad enough that it sent me to the E.R.. I noted how tense I felt every day for about a month and a half (sometimes, it’s still there but it’s not as bad).

I also suffered what I would call a silent heart attack; I didn’t feel it but heart tests proved it happened. I’ve been going to the cardiologist since. The worst seems to be over but a heart attack is nothing to be messed with. I was so afraid I wouldn’t make it to my 39th birthday but I’m here now and the light at the tunnel is getting brighter.

But all of that stemmed from that car accident.

So yeah, Pops doesn’t seem to understand. He also tried to blame the radio I listen to, which basically meant he was blaming ME for my accidents. For goodness sake, “I” was the one that was hit in the back TWICE in accidents (the first time I was rear-ended wasn’t a near-death situation if you’re keeping track) and in my third accident, I didn’t cause the car to go in front of me. Sometimes, I wish he would think about what he was saying.

Trust me; I DO wanna get over this fear of driving. But it’s not that easy. My body and mind go to different places before I start the car. It has been better than weeks past but I still have a long way to go. I haven’t driven on the freeway in seven weeks.

It’s still a battle I’m fighting. And once again, it really helps to have people’s encouragement. I don’t feel alone going through this. One day, I WILL be outside of that tunnel. And one day, I will be healthy again in body, mind, and soul.

And I could have a fresh new life in 2018.

Thanks for reading. You know how much I love you guys.

R2