Thursday, May 8, 2014

first update in a long, long time

ugh.  this is my first post since 10/29/2013.  You may want to grab a beverage and/or a snack, because this a long, long tale (that still continues).  In my defense (not that I have any followers/fans to apologize to or whatever), I was in a catastrophic motorcycle accident on November 7th of last year.
I was on my way to meet my girlfriend for dinner when a young woman (I'm not sure how old...)"failed to yield " and hit my motorcycle with her  SUV.

  Since then I have been in 4 hospitals: UCLA   Harbor, UCLA Ronald Reagan, Vibra Hospital, and Sharp Memorial (in which I went through  in-patient therapy).  I also went through a program that is part of Sharp, called 'the Community Re-Entry Program, or CREP for short.  This has definitely been the most challenging chapter of my life (way more challenging than puberty, haha).  I have had to re-learn how to walk, dress myself, bathe, groom, etc.  Maybe "re-learn" isn't really the right verb.  It's just that doing all of those things is now horrifyingly difficult.  Now I am doing out-patient therapy through a program called "Rehab Without Walls," in which therapists come to my house to do rehabilitative things with me (basically it is all the various kinds of therapy: physical, occupational, cognitive, and even recreational <the fun one>.  It is relatively cool.

Perhaps I should explain what happened so that this epic tale has some context:  I was in a coma for I believe about a month.  My parents were in Hawaii at the time, so I guess I cut their vacation a little short.  I broke both of my legs, my left arm, some of my ribs, my left hip, and my nose.  Additionally, as a result of the broken ribs, my lung collapsed.   I'm just damn lucky I didn't break my spine.  However, as a result of my head being shook (shaken?) around inside my helmet, I have a severe traumatic brain injury.  Bummer!  Luckily, I'm still very intelligent and I can still speak Chinese, although reading and writing Chinese is a little more difficult.

So, basically every weekday, I have one of those kinds of therapy, and often more than once a day (for example, I might have physical therapy in the morning and cognitive therapy in the early afternoon
(this is where a sarcastic "yay!" is inserted).

Currently, as I write this post, I am waiting for my physical therapist to arrive.  Physical is always my least favorite type of therapy.  I was never much of an athlete in high school or college.  I did like to go to the gym when I was in college, but in typical male fashion, I basically only paid attention  to my upper body.  Recovering has definitely been the greatest challenge I've ever been through.  And I suspect I won't ever be the same as I was before my accident, physically, mentally, or emotionally.  "Emotionally" is an interesting dimension to examine  though.  I'm definitely just as friendly and kind as I was before my accident, but after seeing all the people in the 'CREP' program, I definitely have a new (or somewhat modified) sense of appreciation for what I do have.  A lot of the other people in that program were in similar situations, but were much older.  That's always a bummer, as recovery becomes more difficult as you age.  As part of my progression back into real life, one of my therapists (I believe it was cognitive) recommended I continue blogging.  Thus this post was created.  Farewell for now.


  1. Daniel, this is a great thing! Thank you for sharing. I hope this is a helpful outlet for your recovery.

    For those of us who were there with you in the hospital and had so many discussions about what your life could be, it is beyond amazing to read the story from your perspective. You may not feel the same in every way, but I know that so many of us are glad that we can still discuss the complexities of life with you.

    1. Sorry, who is this? And thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Daniel, I'm glad you are blogging, as I think it's a helpful and constructive thing for *any* person, not just those who are going through an incredibly trying time in their life. But I may be biased since I have a blog :P

    I completely agree with the above commenter about everyone being so grateful for and amazed at your recovery. I remember talking with our old Tecolote crew and preparing for the worst, fearing how much of your intelligence/humor/personality that we've all come to know and love would be lost with your accident. With that in mind, it's incredible how far you've come. You have so much to be proud of! Things can only go up from here.