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

I intend for 2018 to be mine.

So I wore a heart monitor device for 24 hours starting Monday afternoon. As I mentioned, it was to monitor how I was doing for that 24-hour period. If something went wrong, I was to push the button and record my progress. It was basically a Life Alert thing. I’ve fallen! And I can’t get up!

It was more cumbersome than anything. I couldn’t lay on my stomach while I laid on my bed. And I had to keep adjusting it because, sometimes, the device would just kind of fall off the side. So it really annoyed me.

Nothing went wrong. I was fine. I had fleeting chest pains weeks ago but I’ve been A-OK in terms of my heart since. All the heart tests went fine.

And now I have a follow-up on the 29th. Hopefully, it’s the last time that I’m at that office for a long, long time. That is definitely some good news.

It’s not the only good news.

I’ve been going to physical therapy since immediately after the car accident, which was September 5. Well, my back doesn’t feel as tense anymore (only when I’m driving, really) and the pain hasn’t been as great. I still have aches that pop up but I mean, I’m also not young anymore. I can manage. The chiropractor has been monitoring (I mean, that’s his job) my healing and he thinks I can close physical therapy before the year ends.

To be honest, I would like to have physical therapy for the rest of my life because who DOESN’T like getting their back massaged? That roller bed is AMAZING. And I can put heat pads on my back myself if I need it.

But yeah, going to some sort of clinic for four days out of the week isn’t exactly the greatest feeling. I may be finally free from that when the year changes to 2018. I had set that as my goal and I’m a little excited that I can actually accomplish that.

The mental issues are another story. But I also understood that it would take time. Yesterday was the first time I drove with a passenger since the accident. I still stuck to the streets, mind you, but this is a win for me. The passenger happened to be my friend, Nick, who encouraged me that I’ll eventually get there, even if it takes a whole year. I still have to drive on the freeway at some point. And at another point in time, I have to drive on the freeway constantly.

I’m still seeing a therapist and he’s been very good at helping me break down what’s going on in my head. It’s not like he’s the only one that says this to me but he continually reminds me to not put too much pressure on myself. And I really shouldn’t try to take on too much especially since I have a heart condition (even if it’s okay now, I still have to be careful). I have to remind myself that I don’t do well under stress at the moment.

But as of now, I might end up getting that third chance in life (2004 was what I considered my second chance). Not many people get that. People like to use the new year as a starting point (or restarting point) and I hope that’s true for me in 12 days. That light at the end of the tunnel is right in front of me.

2018, you will be mine.

And to all of you that have been with me throughout this ordeal, I cannot thank you enough for being there. I never felt I was alone because of you guys. And your encouragement really does wonders. I love you all.

Let’s live it up.

R2

Sooooo… it’s been a while since I updated about my health. I’m as okay as can be. Except for this cough. It’s super annoying. But everyone around me seems to have caught something.

I had my third and final heart test. Well, not “had.” More like “have.”

So I did the usual EKG and blood pressure tests. From all indications, my heart is doing fine. Blood pressure is a little higher than normal but the dangerous levels are a distant memory.

The picture you see above? It’s a device that monitors my heart. I have to wear this for the next 24 hours. Whenever I feel some sort of chest pain, I hold the button and record what I got going on.

So it’s almost like some sort of Life Alert thing. I’ve fallen. And I can’t get up.

Basically, the best-case scenario is that I wear this thing and nothing happens. I have to return this device tomorrow at noon.

It does feel weird wearing all these wires and this device on my body. I almost feel like the doctors can electrocute me anytime they want to.

As for my anxiety on the road? Still a tad difficult. I was riding with my friend, Nick, a few days ago and I freaked out when cars cut in front of us twice that night. Other drivers suck.

Back to the chiropractor tomorrow in addition to returning this device.

Oh, yeah. I have one more follow-up appointment to the cardiologist’s at the 29th. It’d be good to take care of everything related to this heart attack before the year ends.

Give me strength for 2018.

Thanks for all your support throughout this ordeal. It always feels good that I don’t feel like I’m going through this alone.

R2