July Update 2023

Published on

Tags: Update 2023

Back Update

The probability of me avoiding surgery for my herniated disc were already slim, but now they’re pretty much non-existent. I started going to acupuncture to try to help with the pain, thinking maybe if I could get the pain to subside that I could start walking more and it would start to heal on its own. On the very first visit, even before I got on the table, the acupuncturist was saying how I was probably going to need the surgery. Based on where the pain is in my leg, how intense it is, and how long it’s been there, he wasn’t expecting much out of my visits.

Acupuncture has been a cool experience overall. I’m not afraid of needles, but this was a little scary since they’re sticking needles into your nerves based on things they feel in your skin and muscles. After the first visit, all of that fear was pretty much gone. The needles still hurt and make you jerk a little bit when they go in, but it’s more like “Ugh, I gotta go get poked” feeling than fear. My acupuncturist is really nice and explains what he’s doing and why, and is overall a really cool dude.

On my first visit he put about 10-12 needles in my leg and low back for about 30 minutes, then he stretched my legs out and cracked my hips/back a little bit. When I got home I was sore, but not in too much pain. Since it was on my back and leg I couldn’t tell if there was much bleeding. My second visit was significantly worse. That time, he hooked the needles up to a machine so they would have electricity pulse through my back and leg. I drove myself to and from that visit, and I almost intentionally drove over a bridge on the way home. There’s no doubt that’s been the most pain I’ve ever been in, and hope to ever experience. The pain shot down my whole leg and stayed there, it made it so difficult to focus. It’s not the acupuncturist’s fault at all, I just didn’t realize how strong the electricity really was, and should have told him to back it off a little. Driving myself was also a bad idea and I haven’t done that since. I’ve been 2 other times and those were much better.

I had some pretty good days after going to some of the appointments. There was one day I had like 0 pain, I was standing straight and only felt a little pressure in my leg which was really nice. I still hurt pretty bad some days though. Even with the good days it’s probably weird to say to people who haven’t had this issue, but I can feel that something is wrong with my spine. It’s an odd, almost hollow feeling when you’re sitting or walking around. It messes with your brain to have a weakness like this. Even if I do get the surgery, my back will always be weaker than it was. There’s a lot of feelings of despair that come and go. Some weeks are better mentally than others, it’s kind of dependent on how I’m feeling and what else is going on (how un-stoic of me).

I’m trying a few last things to hopefully avoid it, I’m doing more exercises, being way more aware of my movements and changing how I sleep (I removed some pillows). I’m also looking into a peptide called BPC-157 which is a chain of amino acids that are produced naturally in your gut and promotes healing. Athletes and bodybuilders use it to help out with their workouts, and I think the NFL banned it not too long ago (maybe because it works so well). I’ve read in several places that it doesn’t help with herniated discs, but if it can help nerve damage or nerve pain I’m in.

“So we’ll see” - Theo Von

One Piece Update

On a lighter note, on to One Piece! I forgot to add a spoiler warning last time, but I don’t think there were any spoilers besides maybe the progression of islands. This time I’ll include the warning.


I’ve been reading A LOT of One Piece since last month, it has been getting so good. Last time I posted I was almost done with the Dressrosa arc, I’m not sure where I was exactly. Now, I’ve just finished the Wano arc and am currently on chapter 1060. There’s been several days where I read from the time I got off work, 5pm, until about 12am (10-20 chapters). I finished a good hunk, like maybe 30 or 40 chapters, of Whole Cake in a single Saturday.

Since Dressrosa we’ve been to Zou, then Whole Cake, and then there was a cutaway to the much hyped Reverie, and then Wano. I’ve been excited for Wano since maybe Baratie because my friend was telling me about it and how stuff was getting intense (it gets so intense).

I have been loving the lore drops and chapters that follow what’s going on in the world. Sanji’s character development was great, I loved hearing about his family. My friend had kind of hinted to me that Sanji had some major stuff going on later on in the series, and pointed out that to get from the North Blue to the East Blue he had to have crossed the Red Line. So I thought as a kid he’d crossed this desert, but what ended up being the real thing was much cooler.

The Reverie was really cool because in IRL time it’s been maybe 10+ years since it was first mentioned. Seeing all of the world powers come together and revisiting older characters like Wapol and those from Alabasta was really nice (not for long though).

The stuff about Rocks’ Pirates was insane too, 956 and 957 were amazing and right now are my 2 favorite chapters. 957 specifically because of the stuff about Rocks and Garp being a badass. I really hope Oda draws out the God Valley incident, I will go feral if it’s not. I think that’d be a really cool idea for one of the One Piece movies.

I have only been reading for about 7 months and I cannot imagine what I would have done when reading it weekly. My friend got caught up towards the end of Dressrosa, so he’s been reading for 8 years. I’m really excited to get caught up, and I will probably finish before August is here. Then I can really start getting into the theories and I can finally watch One Piece content without being spoiled.

I swear, anytime I watched anything I would get spoiled. I had to be really careful on the wiki, I inadvertently got Ace’s death spoiled for me because he didn’t have a post-time skip image. I also got spoiled about Whitebeard being a part of Rocks because it was the first sentence on the page.

Anyway, back machine broke, One Piece is great. See you guys next month!

by Jackson Taylor