It’s been a while since I updated about my health. It’s actually been 60 days since the car accident happened.

Basically, there hasn’t been any setbacks since.

I’ll say that there are still roadblocks, though.

A few days ago, my pops asked if I could take him to Glendale (which is like 35 minutes away with no traffic). I immediately said no. There is no way I’m ready for that big of a drive.

It’s been three weeks since I drove on the freeway. Honestly, I haven’t been on the freeway since most of my drives have been to physical therapy. And the cardiologist.

I’m still operating under one day at a time. Sometimes, I’m operating under one hour at a time.

But since I feel like I’ve been making forward progress since then (I can’t say it’s all been peachy; my lower back is killing me at the moment and I have the usual anxiety issues), I think I’m ready to set some goals now that I feel like I’m no longer in Survival Overload Mode.

I’ve already resumed writing at The No-Look Pass. I think I’ve found my writing rhythm and, honestly, keeping up this health/personal blog has helped me find that groove.

But other goals?

*Lose 20 pounds.

I weigh quite a lot for my height. I’m not comfortable really sharing that at the moment but that is my immediate goal.

The stuff below kind of goes hand-in-hand with this goal.

*Walk a mile every day.

I was actually walking three miles nearly every day until, one day, I found myself catching my breath. Turned out that my body got so weakened after the hypertension and heart attack. I was told to slow down until then. I had only been walking a block since and I can feel my energy coming back a bit. Now I get to step it up.

*15 and then 20 minutes on the elliptical.

I had been doing 10 minutes.

*Weight training back on.

I don’t need to lift heavy weights. Just enough for resistance. Although my brother talked to me recently and said that my goal should be to be better than my younger self.

Yeah. I would love to bench press 275 pounds regularly. But that sounds REALLY absurd at the moment. One step at a time.

Yup. I used to bench 250 regularly, bro.

*Practice drives on the freeway.

I had kind of stopped doing that after I went to my high school reunion. Like I said, I kept my driving on the surface streets to go to physical therapy/chiropractor and the cardiologist.

At some point, I have to go back to driving on the freeways. Can’t be limited.

*Resume the podcast.

Talking still exhausts me. And talking to someone else is giving me a lot of anxiety these days.

I also love talking. I love talking to people. That’s just me. And I want to keep my podcast going. I took a break originally in the summer only for things to happen afterwards. I haven’t done a pod since the spring.

I did a practice run for myself earlier today. It tires me out. But it’s like any exercise; I should get better once I do a lot of reps.

I hope to resume the podcast this month.

All this while I try to manage my anxiety. Of course, I’ll continue my meditation (whaddup, HeadSpace!), which I have done for 50 straight days.

Oh, yeah. One more.

*Karaoke.

I haven’t gone in a loooong time. And seriously, it’s not me if I don’t do karaoke! Does my anxiety kick in during that time? I need to know. Tell me, baby girl, ‘cause I need to know.

Those are immediate goals. This will help me in the long run. I can’t say I’m the most goal-oriented person but this will help shape me to not only my full recovery, but also to be the best Rey Moralde I can be.

I always told people I was at my happiest in my late 20s (2007, to be exact).

Maybe I can be happy at 39 and 40.

I love you all. Thank you so much for sticking with me.

R2

I was doing well, health-wise, in the last few days. And I was starting to find my rhythm writing basketball. Life was starting to look up.

But after I watched the late game between the Wizards and the Lakers, Pops called me up and mentioned that one of my uncles passed away in NorCal. It froze me. I broke down.

You never want to think that anybody, especially a family member, would be going away. It’s been difficult dealing with losses in the last year. It really started when good friend, Colleen Burns, passed away tragically in the summer of ’16. My brother’s best friend, who I played basketball with in my teens and 20s, also died tragically playing ball from a heart attack (this is resonating with me more and more). I’ve also had a cousin and an aunt (my mom’s sister) die in consecutive days and in different circumstances.

I was dealing with so many emotions last night. I was sad because I lost yet another family member. I was scared because life is so fragile. I was frustrated because it’s so tough to be so limited physically. And I was angry because all of these things were happening.

While I couldn’t sleep, various friends contacted me throughout the night to make sure I was okay. My chest did hurt for a bit and my back felt super tense again. After getting those talks and doing a lot of breathing, I was finally able to go to sleep around 3 AM. It didn’t help that on some nights, I had been afraid to sleep because I thought I would never wake up.

It’s been rough.

Earlier in the morning, though, I got a surprise text. It was my best friend from high school, Madison Alexander, who I know as simply Gee. He happened to be in town for JUST today and wanted to catch up. Gee had been busy hosting trade shows all over the world. We met at a local park.

Gee had known a few things about the recent car accident but he didn’t know all of the other things that had been happening like my hypertension that sent me to the emergency room and the heart attack that I did not even feel. I also told him about the anxiety that I had been having.

Gee also told me his own problems, in terms of his health. He’s doing better than he was a few weeks ago. He had also been through a lot in the last few years, like dealing with the death of his newborn baby. We also talked about our synchronicity. Gee told me that he was wearing the shirt the last time we saw each other, which was three years ago! He just felt that, besides it being overdue, he NEEDED to see me today and waited until the morning to call me up. I’m glad he did.

I also got to see his dad, who was with him playing hoops. I hadn’t seen him in 20 years. I remember him being such a kind man and he remembered me being so positive (which has been far from that these last seven weeks). He’s in his mid-60s and he still runs around the court like he’s in his 30s (basically me and Gee).

The talk with Gee and his dad was very therapeutic to me. And the timing (the synchronicity!) was great. He was like the guardian angel that was sent to me when I needed it the most. Hopefully, it won’t be another three years before I see him. I hope you’re reading this, Gee. You know I love you, brother.

Last night was a setback. Today didn’t bring back my uncle. But I’m sure my uncle wouldn’t want me to just give up and he would want me to take care of myself, even though there is so much going on in my life. I feel bad that I won’t make it to his funeral; there is no way I can make that trip to NorCal without a moment of being terrified and anxious. But again, I have to take care of myself, first and foremost. This fatigue won’t last forever. Neither will my back pain. Heck, neither will I but there is no way I’m quitting life.

Life will continue to throw lemons. But I’m gonna keep going. And drink lemonade.

I love you all. Please help lift me up in these trying times.

R2

Friday was the last main obstacle concerning the danger zone for me. It was finally my appointment to the cardiologist. The nurses in the clinic were pretty sure I’m fine. But then again, you never know. After all, my last EKG test mentioned that I had a heart attack.

They made me take another EKG test. After that, the cardiologist saw me. Told him everything that was going on. He mentioned that the heart attack was from the stress and he recommended that I take more tests (including a stress test) on a later date. The EKG test revealed today that my heart was beating normally so that was of great relief to me.

As for my fitness, he told me that I should take it easy for a couple more weeks before I can slowly get myself back to full tilt. It had been mentioned before that my body had been weakened over the last few weeks. While I’m going to see the cardiologist more than I would like, this felt like the best news I’ve had in weeks.

I’m gonna be okay.

Of course, outside of the heart problems, I’m actually fighting a cold right now. It is flu season so that annoys me more than anything right now. I am sore all over the place.

I can’t remember the last time I felt healthy on both body and mind. Maybe August? There are still nights when I don’t want to do anything because of my anxiety.

But let’s start the road to a full recovery. You can do this, Rey-Rey.

And as always, I appreciate your love and support throughout this ordeal. I love you guys.

R2

Not that this was a new challenge but it became more prominent this week as I start to feel a little better physically. Yeah, I still get tired easier. Yeah, my back still hurts. Yeah, I still have to worry about my heart (I DO see the cardiologist tomorrow).

But this week has been all about my anxiety.

It’s really prevented me from doing the most regular tasks. I have gotten better at driving but I still get anxious a ton. I really don’t like it when cars tailgate me (in fear of getting rear-ended) or when they come out waiting at the right side (that’s how my last accident happened).

When I’m alone in the living room, I’m always looking around to see if someone was going to scare me. Or even attack me. I get very jumpy nowadays, too. This has happened more than once but during a walk, when the traffic signals yell out WAIT when you press the button for the walk signal, I literally jumped. It’s not a good feeling when you’re feeling that anxious or paranoid.

You all know I’m a talker (I get it from my family). But nowadays, it’s rough for me to talk on the phone (yeah, I still do that). I have to because I need to get tasks done but sometimes, it’ll take me a while before I actually dial a number. For fear of what? Saying the wrong thing? What wrong thing am I going to say? There’s no rhyme or reason around it. It’s just how I feel.

It’s the reason why I haven’t resumed my podcast yet. I LOVE talking to people about basketball and other things. But I just can’t muster up the courage to do so just yet. I don’t feel ready. And really, it should be part of my therapy. One day, I’ll get back to it. I also feel that NOBODY would listen to me doing a podcast anymore because there are SO MANY podcasts out there.

So yeah. Anxiety has been such a drag. I thought I was getting better after that high school reunion. I had gotten off to such a good start the day after but then I heard some stuff that was stressful and it was right back to being tense again.

I have to learn how to control this anxiety. Doing things used to be no problem. But having that car accident has exacerbated everything. I don’t like this life. But I might have to live with this for a long time.

I love you guys.

R2

I have a new problem this week that I have to deal with. But I’d rather not talk about that at the moment.

Friday night was something that I needed. Quite frankly, it’s something that I need more of.

Friday night was my 20-year high school reunion. Yes, I’m that ancient.

I anticipated the drive for some time now. It’s my first extended drive on the freeway since my car accident on September 5th. I meditated for a few minutes and went on my way.

I sweated a bit. My heart was still beating fast on straightaways. I wouldn’t say I was more comfortable speeding up and changing lanes but I would say I felt more “alive” doing those. Does that make sense? I don’t know. It makes sense to me.

I arrived 30 minutes early and found the first available parking lot that I could go into. After I parked, I sat in my car for a few minutes to reflect how big of a victory this was for me. I went on my way and, a few minutes later, I met up with my classmates.

Even after not talking to most of them for 20 years, it felt like we all never missed a beat. While we all hung out with different cliques in high school, most of us got along.

Admittedly, I became super anxious during dinner. I went outside a few times just to catch some air and calm myself. A few of them knew about what had been going on with me, though, and it was nice that they made me feel more comfortable as the night went on. I told some of them about my story and they, too, made sure I was okay for the rest of the night. It was so great to be around a lot of good people.

After dinner, we went across the street (one of my classmates is currently a DJ and he helped set this up) and most of the class danced the night away. There was also a photo booth on the balcony where we took some goofy pics. I spent most of the night talking and catching up with classmates as I exactly couldn’t move around too much since I get fatigued easily these days. Still, I managed to stay around until 1:30 AM because how often was I going to get this chance to talk to most of my classmates?

It was an excellent night. The drive was a little easier on the way home, even though, yeah, my heart still beats a little too fast on certain situations. That will be an issue for a while.

Thank you so much, Bellflower High Class of ’97, for a night I will always remember. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be another 20 years before I see all of you again.

The last pic was one of a few photobombs I did that night. I promise you that I’m not THAT guy.

Don’t worry, guys. I’m resting right now. Trying to get healthier.

I love you all.

R2