May Update 2023

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Tags: Updates 2023

Back Update

If you aren’t aware, I herniated a disc at my L4 and L5 vertebrates. This came about mostly from my negligence, and not going to the doctor when I should’ve. So if you have back pain or sciatica that doesn’t go away after a few days to a few weeks, don’t wait a whole year until one morning you can’t walk (shakes finger). That’s very dumb.

I’m still in a good bit of pain sometimes, but I’ve gotten a lot better at managing it without medications. Exercises don’t totally help still, but I have found positions to stretch in which seem to help with decompression, and cold showers seem to help. I got a steroid shot back in March that helped straightened out my contralateral shift, so I stand much straighter and have a lot less really bad days because of it. I used to not be able to sit for more than 5-10 minutes, which caused me to work from home (My company has been very awesome about the whole situation). About 2 weeks ago I actually went in to work for 3/5 days of that week for half the day. It’s not much, but it helped my mental state a lot to see different rooms and faces. I thought I was going to develop agoraphobia.

I did cancel my trip to Texas, which was upsetting, but I think it was for the best. The people I was going with were going to be very accommodating, but there were a lot of variables to plan for. I also didn’t want to slow them down from having fun while I’m irritable or unable to focus. There’s also the risk of the herniation getting so bad I have to have emergency surgery, so I really want to avoid that.

The probability of me having surgery to correct this is growing and shrinking, if that makes sense. On one hand, I’m making a lot of progress, but on the other hand I’m ready to be pain free. The surgery is an outpatient procedure, but it’s still back surgery. Some people claim it doesn’t help. There’s also the possibility of me having permanent nerve damage in my legs, with or without surgery.

I’m doing better, but I’ve still got a long way to go. My next planned milestone is either staying an entire day at work, or going every day of the week. Whichever feels right at the time, I probably won’t know which I’m going to try until I do it.

What I’ve Been Up To

This year I’ve tried to read more. I started One Piece around the start of the year. I’m all the way up to chapter 654 (end of Fish Man island) and I really enjoy it. I have a good friend who has been reading One Piece for several years, so it’s really nice to have someone to talk to about it and clarify things where I’m confused. It’s not really a confusing manga, but I have poor reading comprehension sometimes. My goal for One Piece is to catch up and be able to read the ending as it comes out. It’s way better than I originally thought it was going to be. I thought it was gonna be about the same quality as Dragon Ball, but it’s so much more. Don’t get me wrong Dragon Ball is good. The action and characters are super iconic. But One Piece is so much deeper than Dragon Ball with its themes. Finding small things mentioned hundreds of chapters ago that turn into plot lines is like a drug, Oda is a genius and he will go down as one of the best writers for it.

I’ve also started reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”. I got into a little Dr. Jordan Peterson phase for a bit, and this is one of his favorite books so I decided to try to read it. I’m about a quarter of the way through, and it’s pretty good. I’ve only recently started annotating it to help keep up with characters and draw out a little more meaning. I’m reading the Peaver and Volokhonsky translation, which I’ve heard is better than the Constance Garnett translation. I think I will try to read more of Dostoyevsky when I’m done. The main 5 of his are “Crime and Punishment”, “Notes from Underground”, “Demons”, “The Idiot” and “The Brothers Karamazov”, so once I’m done with this one I’ll move on to “Notes from Underground”. I might review the books, or I might not. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve been wanting to review but haven’t yet.

I don’t normally have so much that I’m reading at any given time, but I am also reading David Goggins’ “Can’t Hurt Me”. David Goggins is the hardest man alive, this dude is crazy. He’s a former Navy SEAL and a pretty good endurance athlete. His book details how he dealt with childhood abuse, racism and the holes he’s drug himself out of during his life. I’m about halfway through his book, this one is an easier read for me than Dostoyevsky because it’s a lot simpler (in a good way). There’s a lot of good messages in it, and he’s living proof of how mentally fortified someone can become. He thrives off of pain and suffering and finds more out about himself. He’s ran until his feet were broken and he was peeing blood, that kind of pain and suffering. It’s really good motivation and a really great example of discipline. He’s got another book that came out in 2020 called “Never Finished” that I also plan to read.

Apart from reading I’ve been doing more behind the scenes with my site. I’ve got a few reviews that will be coming out soon, and a little more site reorganization. I played through the “Red Dead Redemption” games for the first time and absolutely loved them. That review is massive so far and contains a lot of stuff related to the games and lore so it’s taking a long time to finish up.

I’m also planning to watch a bunch of classic movies that are really popular, but I’ve never seen. I started a list of movies I hear are really good, and plan to give them small reviews. Like a score out of 10 and a few notes, nothing major like the Cowboy Bebop and Red Dead Redemption reviews, unless it deserves it.

I’ve kept a streak going of posting once a month, so I’ll try to keep that as best I can. That’s another small goal for the year.

by Jackson Taylor