Friday, October 31, 2014

Chronic pain and Spoon Theory

      So i saw the post on reddit/r/chronic pain about a woman whose daily life is limited by 20 spoons.
Each activity has certain amount of spoons ranging from 1~5; for example, taking a shower is one spoon, and taking a walk is 3, working is 5. When the 20 spoons run out, the person has overworked and needs to rest for the day. If she overexerts herself, then she'll use spoons from her next day, and she wants to avoid putting herself into the spoon debt as it reduces her energy/capacity for the future.

      It is similar to willpower & physical limit combined, and I agree with her and my friend who told me about this theory. I have limited amount of energy, especially physical, since I am prone to pain flare ups and I feel breathless every day. That is why it is crucial for me to carefully decide what to do each day to maximize utility/time to achieve my goals.

      It seems to me that i'm disregarding the spoons or rather, ignoring them completely by doing things that do not contribute to my concrete goal of learning programming. I've been always indecisive, and especially with choices that could offend other person.

Here is a list of my available spoons
1. Walking to bus stop/home before&after school - 5 for roundtrip.
2. attending lectures and labs each day - 7
3. eating - 1
4. sitting for a prolong period of time - 3
5. Doing homework 3~5
6. Studying - 4

// Shit, that's already 23~25! I am using the next day's 3~5 spoons already
7. ObjectiveC - 3~5

No wonder I've been overwhelmed by my current schedule. Just commuting, attending lecture and studying wears me out. I wish that I hadn't screwed myself, but it is too late to regret. The optimal way is to lessen pain, but do well enough in classes so that I can graduate.
I am feeling worried about the current progress in my class; especially biology lab. Despite studying,I feel as if the information overload is occurring; I am not able to grasp the concepts as quickly as I wanted.

Do not run away from your situation. Face them, and don't be afraid of offending someone else. Take care of yourself.

It is October 31st! Time flies...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Looking at my GPA

Made me realize that I have a large number of units that my max gpa is actually capped at certain point. Even if I got A's from now on, it will rise by .1 at most. It works out like life does in a way; All the mistakes or choices you have made do not simply disappear. That is a wishful thinking.

The effects of those events stay with you permanently; What you can do is do your best and minimize similar mistakes you made, in order to move forward.

Losing my health has been the worst mistake i have made in my life so far; I have lost 3 years of the most potentially productive part of my life (early 20's!) that WILL define who I will be. The best I can do is convince myself (but acknowledging the fact that I screwed up and it will be very hard to make up for it) that I can start afresh only if I enjoy the struggle and whole ass one thing instead of half ass-ing two things.

The next two days could potentially affect my life forever. What day doesn't?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

So much to do.

     I was walking over the hill breathlessly to see that the 41 bus has already at the bus stop. Several thoughts ran through my mind, but within 0.6 second, I knew that I was too late. I raised my arms up in exasperation, and the bus began to leave. I slowed down as there was no point in walking fast anymore. I calmed my breathing and got to the bus stop, to hear a middle aged man say out loud, "You shouldn't have stopped running!"
    He had a particular accent I wasn't used to, but his smile made me relax.
"Maybe," I replied.

"It's like life man, you have to keep running even if you are late," he said as he was huffing and sweating.

Luck was on our side as another 41 was coming from a distance.

"I knew the exact time the bus was coming, but you should have kept running. Even more since you were late." Already, I was interested in him. The funny thing is that he took about 2 minutes of fumbling for exact change ($2.25) once he got on the bus; the bus driver was nice, because usually they don't have the patience and just start driving.

He came to sit one seat away from me; he was sweating a lot and I mentioned it to him. The man started to explain why he was late - that he was called to work although he was sick(? might've misheard him since the bus was loud in the back and he had an accent). He was easy to listen to; we talked about San Diego being the 4th most expensive city to live in the U.S. & his experience with having a 2 egg breakfast that cost him ~$19 total. He knew that the ingredient cost was less than a dollar, and it was a restaurant recommended by a co-worker.

"first time paying out of my pocket. usually, company pays for breakfast... ridiculous," the man complained. I felt the pain, since i was broke also.

Before I knew it, we got to talking about his son who goes to SDSU who recently changed his major to physics/mathematics from business. The father seemed disapproving of his son as he explained, "that's late. He wasted 2 years of his life by being unsure of what he wanted. When I was young, in middle school, I KNEW I wanted to learn international relations/studies and majored in business."

When I heard that, I felt a pang/guilt inside me. I was turning 24 within a year, about to graduate with a BS in biology which I had no interest in. I should've graduated in 2012, but life kicked me in the face/ribs and I ended up wasting 3 years of my life in pain and misery. All I could do was listen to the wise man from Morocco who was hustling.

To have no doubt at all, is something I used to envy. Now that I have a concrete goal (which I'm not comfortable enough to say it to anyone else), I feel less scared/doubtful than I have in past 3 years.
Watching the man leave, I couldn't help but to smile a bit.

It was nice.

Friday, January 3, 2014

woke up from pain

          Slept at 10:30 p.m. on 1.2. to wake up around 2, feeling breathless. It felt like my abs were about to tear apart. My diaphragm (and therefore, the chest area) was feeling worse so I still had no choice but to use stomach breathing only, trying to limit chest expanding as much as possible. Now I'm wide awake... fuck
i'm worried about school. How can I spend 3~5 hours of intense movement when I can barely take two 20 minute walks, with 8 hours of rest in between them?
         When you are going through hell, keep going. Keep going Jin, you can do it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Unbearable pain

tion from within myself. I have been very depressed; actually, even worse, dissociated from reality as I wither in suffering alone. Each time I breath is an agony, as I have said many times. To overcome this, to overcome this, I try to find a solution to this unexplainable pain; How did using Powerlung cause such an irreparable damage to the muscles that are used for breathing? Sure, when I got the  green model, I didn't know that it ould be to so tough to breath in and out against the resistance. I was a fool to believe in their advertisement, that I will be able to breathe deeper and harder; it rather tore apart me inside. Now I'm doing my best to breathe lightly in order to limit the pain. At the same time, I must grit my teeth and move in order to not worsen my overall physical being/condition due to lack of movement. Humans were born to be active, just like any other living beings. We are hunter and gatherers, made to run, get animals, eat them. This inactivity is killing me. The paradox is that moving too much worsenes my pain. And my physical threshold is very very low. This is a delicate situation; a catch=22. I must move around in order to regain my health, but moving around will worsen my pain. What do I do? This pain has been going on for 2.5 years, hitting 3 years in just 6 months. Ahhhh, what will other people do in my situation? kill themselves or become strong enough continue living?

I'm not sure if I'll be able to handle school at this rate; in fact, I feel much worse than I have been feeling physically when I was in korea 2 weeks ago. Agh

Friday, December 27, 2013

Getting used to moving around.

     For 3 days in a row, I walked to the 201/202 bus stop from my place, which is about 1.2 miles roundtrip. You may be thinking, "so what?" However, for me, it is quite an achievement. For the past 2 years I have been lying down about 22~23 hours a day in pain; just breathing itself was unbearable.

I have come far within last 6 months. Taking a long break in S. Korea was the best choice I made in last 2.5 years, haha. I'm trying to sit and walk around as much as I can, and reduce the time I'm lying down. I have become really good at lying down; it's all I did for a while. Now, I sit at least for an hour and review chem for the chem 7L, because it has been 2 years since I did any gen. chem work. School is starting in 9 days and I'm trying to get used to being active. It is hard, but I have to do it.

This is the point in my life in which I either wither away or thrive. If I cannot handle 5 classes (3 of them being labs, 4~6 hours/day, oh fck me...) and graduate this summer, I really wouldn't be able to survive in thie capitalistic society. The only skill (if you could call it that) is that I can speak English... that's it. A 23 year old male/man who can speak english with no college degree; that isn't very useful.

Anyways, I have lost 2.5 years due to sever pain. I have to be as effecient as possible from now on, no matter how much it hurts to breathe. I will most likely live with this condition, but what can I do other than to accept it? Be strong Jin, be strong. Keep going no matter what.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 is ending soon...

It has been over 3 years since my last blog. In that period of time, I have gotten my green card so I'm no longer undocumented (good thing!). However, I got a severe injury on 6/19/2011 which progressed into a debilitating chronic pain (affected my breathing) that ruined my life...

I miss being able to surf; actually I just miss being able to handle life. I cannot do much due to pain. Just sitting is excruciatingly painful; anything other than lying down is pain for me. I stopped seeing friends since I was so miserable in pain; I now have handful of people I contact sometimes; once a month? jesus, I am alone. I cannot commute to school since it is so painful to just move around. I spend most of my time lying down, reading kindle since sitting is also painful after several minutes. But I grit my teeth and try to lengthen the total time I can spend walking around and sitting to get stuff done. I am very afraid of what I will be able to do from now on. I am 23 year old; I'm not sure if I can even complete 3 lab classes needed to graduate since they are 5 hours long. Can I even hold down a job? How will I function in a society?

I look completely normal on the outside; people have hard time believing me when I tell them that I have severe chronic pain and lie down. They think that I'm crazy... which is partially true since the pain does drive me crazy.

I have recently moved to a new address to prep for school... I haven't told the new housemates/landlord about my physical condition since it will affect the way they treat me/look at me. Since it is a very quiet and private place, and we rarely hang out, I have decided to not tell them and keep our relationship as normal as possible. Without them judging me or thinking ahead to not bother me because of the pain. I had sam gyup sal with two guys; it was a good time but also a torture as I had trouble eating too much due to pain. It was a labor to keep chewing the meat; I was caring about the mechanism of chewing and swalloing instead of tasting the meat, since the pain made me focus on it. God, I'm blabbering too much.

Even though I took 5.5 month break in S. Korea, I haven't healed as much as I wanted. Before I went back, I was really suffering; because the pain was so bad that it scared me to not move as much as possible, my overall physical condition deteriorated.

I now know that this pain could most likely be permanent, so I might as well as move as much as possible to keep myself in shape. As idiotic/weird as it sounds like, there is a distinction between my chronic pain for breathing vs overall physical condition. I need to move around, sit, and live life despite the fact that it will hurt way more than if I just lied down to minimize breathing movements. It is really hard to explain it right now, so I will need to collect myself and explain it.