I went to the clinic for my usual physical therapy earlier today. I also expected to go to the cardiologist since I thought they had set up something for me.

When I got there, I told the nurse who was taking care of me about it. She was as baffled as I was about the heart attack. But the readings said that it happened.

Apparently, they didn’t get me an appointment. She had to call a local cardiologist about my situation. From there, I had to set up the appointment myself. I see them in two weeks.

I wasn’t comfortable with the two weeks but the receptionist said she has me on the urgent list. The nurse assured me that I’m not in immediate danger. My blood pressure is under control. My body is responding better to the physical therapy. And I’m not hyperventilating as much. I still feel tense on my back, sure. And I’m still not THAT comfortable on the road. But all signs point to me getting better. There sure have been some twists and turns along the way, though.

I’m still annoyed that we arrived at this point.

I went home and decided to go on with my day. To me, it’s turned from one day at a time to one step at a time. In a way, it’s good because I’m starting to make the most of my time. Maybe I needed this wake-up call.

My family has actually been really great about this. Normally, my parents (the typical Filipino parents) would shame me about this. They’d tell me that it’s my fault that I got to this point instead of being encouraging. This time around, they’re listening to me more about my concerns. I think they realized the gravity of the situation.

I didn’t even realize that anxiety ran in my family. I knew that my mom was the nervous type but my brother told me a few years ago about how he also suffers from panic attacks. My sister also has bouts as well. I didn’t have these anxiety issues until this year. Host an anime cosplay contest in front of hundreds? Sure. Interview NBA players and media? No problem. But being on the road these days? It’s the worst for me. It’s like I just got my driver’s permit.

The HeadSpace app has really done wonders for me. Not that I am quick to lose my temper but I feel that I’ve become even more calculated when it comes to reacting to something that would probably enrage me. My brother also uses the app as well and he told me how great that was for him as well. I’ve done 23 straight days and it’s become a normal activity in my day.

Anyway, right now, I’m not in danger. I feel fine right now. I just did a 30-minute elliptical session.

Just gonna take it one step at a time. I might have taken a few steps backwards in the last week or so but I think we have some forward progress here.

I love you all.

R2

So earlier in the afternoon, I was actually writing on this very blog/journal/diary when I received a phone call.

It was my doctor. I had just taken an EKG and blood test earlier (on Thursday morning). I thought it was a bit fishy.

He told me if I had gone to the hospital for some sort of chest pain. I said no. I was at the hospital for high blood pressure. Sure, I had fleeting chest pains but I didn’t feel I was in danger of anything. So he went on to say probably the most surreal thing I was ever told in my life.

The doctor told me I suffered a heart attack.

I instantly searched for questions. When did this happen? How did it happen? But aren’t I feeling fine right now?

The EKG test didn’t tell when it happened. I feel like it happened in the last month or so. Maybe when I was sent to the ER. Maybe right after the accident. I have no idea.

The next step is now to go to a cardiologist. I will do that in the morning.

I thought last week was surreal. I was at risk for a heart attack. And then I found out I actually DID have a heart attack. It was a minor/silent one but it happened. This would be even weirder if it happened in my 20s or even like… five years ago.

Right now, it’s all I can do. Take the next step. I have so many emotions at the moment.

But one of them that sticks out is annoyance. I’m annoyed it got to this point. I just wanted to move on from my car accident. But now I’m being sent on what feels like a weird wild goose chase.

I just know this for sure.

I don’t intend on going anywhere.

I love you all.

R2

Right now, I’m just happy to be writing. I’m just happy to be… here.

I’m enjoying a walk around town. I’m appreciating all the sights and sounds. It’s been a rough month. That’s really an understatement because not only was my September taken away but there was a chance “I” could’ve been taken away. This week has been especially sobering. Sometimes, you just go through the motions of life without appreciating everything you have whether it’s people, experiences, rewards, or even the present. I definitely have a much bigger appreciation of life now and I am so happy to be here after that ER scare last Tuesday. To those that have stuck with me and gave me support throughout this month, I love you more than ever. Words really aren’t enough to describe how grateful I am. I just ask all of you to not take life for granted because everything could be gone in just a moment. Here’s to life. ❤️❤️❤️

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

I think that pretty much explains where my attitude is at.

Today was great because I didn’t have to go to a clinic or a hospital. I do have to go back Tuesday because of more tests for my blood and my heart. I can’t say I’m looking forward to this. I also now have to keep track of my blood pressure every day for the time being.

But I was glad to be not there today. I took a walk around town and, like I mentioned in that Instagram post, I’m appreciating all my surroundings. I was just fine relaxing with the dog and watching the WNBA Finals.

Good friend Darrel called me during the game, too, and it was so great to hear from him. He’s definitely one of the great people in my life. He was the first one to call me after my accident and I very much appreciated his encouragement.

I was reminded by the good people on social media (yes, there are good people) that they are rooting for me to get better. It’s really what I need whenever I feel like everything feels bleak. And trust me; it can get really tough on your psyche when the challenges of anything regular seem to overwhelm me.

This weekend, I have friends to chill with. They’ll give me a good laugh and what I need the most right now is company and laughter. Just more steps to get closer to being me.

Let it flow. That’s all I should do. Everything will fall into place.

I appreciate you all.

R2

I’d be lying if I said I’m not scared. Hell, yeah, I’m scared. Not only am I replaying the car accidents in my head but I’m also remembering yesterday very vividly.

I left the ER around 4:00 in the afternoon; I had gone to the clinic around 10:30 AM for a routine physical therapy. So it was an exhausting day. When I drove towards a pharmacy and then home, I had this eerie calm feeling. Everything could have been all done yesterday.

I didn’t want to change anything on Tuesday. I had planned to hang out with my boys, Nick and Beerman, that night. Nick picked me up as planned. I told him what happened and the trip seemed quicker because I basically talked his ear off about going to the ER.

I needed the laughs hanging out with those guys; I’ve had a very rough day. Of course, the guys broke into this song. “YOU HAD A BAD DAY!”

(VIDEO CREDIT: Warner Bros. Records. )

It seemed all peachy going back home until we were stuck in traffic. I immediately got uncomfortable and we saw why everyone stopped: there was a car on fire. I immediately looked away.

It’s just great. It’s the second car accident I witnessed in three days (there was one on Sunday). We were able to get away from the traffic about 15 minutes later as police let us get into one of the exit lanes that led back to the freeway.

I talked to a longtime friend for a few hours and she helped me do some breathing exercises. It gave me great relief after such a stressful day. But of course, it was on to the next day as I went back to the clinic a few hours ago to get a follow-up on what happened to me.

I’m taking medication now for blood pressure. I did my physical therapy and found out that my blood pressure is still high but it’s out of dangerous levels for now.

What will I do? I will continue to recover mentally and physically. Just take it easy. Just let it flow. Just take it one day at a time. And I just won’t worry about anything else. Can’t do much when my health is in an awful place.

I also need to find myself because it’s obvious I’m not the same person the last three weeks. I don’t watch a lot of basketball footage. I’m not exercising as much (which is SERIOUSLY MANDATORY now). I’m not singing (I think everyone knows that I do). I’m not sending random pop song lyrics whether it’s tweets or texts. All the internet stuff that I do is on hold because, again, health over everything and I don’t want to feel like I’m on some sort of deadline or whatever. The only writing I’ll be doing is this blog about my health because this is part of my healing process. I’m sure people understand that. And if they don’t then they can suck it.

But I do appreciate everyone’s support. I appreciate everyone checking in. All of that goes a long way towards my recovery back to my normal. Thank you so much for not making me feel so alone.

Until then, I just want to get to the next day.

R2

I figure I should lighten things up a bit because I had a scare earlier today.

Scene: 2000. At home and was about to leave with Beerman when the phone rang.

IDIOT: “Rey! Quick! It’s an emergency!”
ME: “What? What happened?” (I thought something happened with his kid.)
IDIOT: “It’s a Virtua Fighter emergency!”
ME: “Wait. What?!”
IDIOT: “I’m going to go get my PlayStation 2 back from the pawn shop and then go buy Virtua Fighter 4 after!”
ME: “No!”

I hung up. That was an emergency?!

Yeah. Okay.

Back to the present.

Scene: September 26, 2017. 10:40 AM. Was getting my usual physical therapy. I did a routine blood pressure check. I knew I wasn’t feeling good and I was feeling VERY tense.

NURSE: “160 over 101. Oh, my God. You can’t leave.”
ME: “What?”
NURSE: “We’re gonna have you stay here and see if it lowers. If it’s still high, we’re going to have to send you to the ER.”

I was sent to the couch and they put my feet up on the table. It was tough to relax when they basically tell you you have very dangerous blood pressure levels. I did my best to chill for an hour but quite frankly, it was tough.

An hour later…

NURSE: “166 over 104. You’re going to the ER. You’re at risk for a heart attack.”

THAT was an emergency. This isn’t over some stupid video game; I could suddenly die.

Level 2 hypertension. A few days after the accident, I was around 140 over 90, which was already high.

I have been documenting for the last three weeks about how my tense feelings have been up and down. And I guess it’s reached a peak today. I went to the ER and after another hour, the nurses there took my blood. It was down to 157 over 90 but that’s still pretty damn high. But at least, I was out of Level 2 hypertension.

I also did an EKG (heart) test, a nurse drew my blood (needles are fun), and was prescribed some high blood pressure medication. I guess for now, I’m out of the woods.

I just haven’t reacted well to stress. I’ll get back to my normal activity (as normal as it can get) but it was definitely a scare. And I wanted to finish and put up some hoop articles today (last week), too.

Right now, though, there are a lot more important things than that.

Life. Please cherish it.

Love you all.

R2