tennis

The Sport of tennis

Have you ever heard a song you like so much that you play it over and over again until you want to press skip whenever it comes on? Well, imagine listening to that same song over and over again everyday for twelve years.

The sport of tennis became this kind of song for me. From the first time I picked up a racket at six years old, I fell in love with the sport. I wanted to dedicate my life to it, I wanted to become the greatest, I thought I had found my purpose. As the years went on, more and more days came where I wanted to skip the song, but never the less I kept it on my playlist and kept listening. Don’t get me wrong, even when you get tired of your favorite song, you still love the song, you just don’t want to listen to it everyday.

Twelve years later, I am all I’ve always wanted to be: an NCAA Division 1 tennis player. But now that I’m here I see it isn’t how I always imagined it. I love my team, I love my coaches, I love competing, but it isn’t the love I once had. Most days it takes a tremendous amount of will and mental effort to get myself out on the court, to get myself to want to be there. A wave of dread sweeps over me before every practice, and I question if I can make it through the next three years, but I remind myself how good four years of a Division 1 sport looks on a Law School application. It’s hard because even though I may be tired of this song, listening to it reminds me why I loved it in the first place, but most days the struggle is simply hitting the play
button.

Learning how to help my Brother

It was the month of November 2010
I was heading home to visit my father who was ill and my brother who had recently shown signs of OCD and Schizophrenia. Throughout my brothers childhood he had maybe only showed signs of Attention Deficit Disorder which was never officially diagnosed or addressed do to denial and or disagreement by my parents as to how to handle it. He never heard voices, talked to himself or paced back and forth like he was now. After a few experiments with drugs, it seems as though this was a switch that activated these conditions.

My mother, father nor any if by brother’s friends knew how to deal with his current condition. Education for family members on coping skills regarding mental health is crucial. Not only for the betterment of the afflicted but for the loved ones as well.

While visiting I was able to see first hand the unhealthy environment. My brother would pace off and on for hours, he’s taken walks with only a t-shirt in freezing temperatures and tried exiting a moving vehicle. In the state of Illinois if someone is over 18 exhibiting such behavior, there isn’t much one can do except call the police. Which, I did not believe was the appropriate course of action. Determined to help I devised a plan to trick my brother into going to the hospital. once I got him there and explained what he had been doing they kept him for observation. Against his belief, because he thought nothing was wrong and that he was fine. By Illinois law they could only keep him for 72 hours unless he was a harm to himself or someone else. I think trying to get out of a moving car and wearing only a t-shirt in freezing weather is potentially harmful to oneself. I knew 72 hours wasn’t long enough, he needed real treatment.

My girlfriend and I found a woman online. Her name was Karen. She was instrumental in helping us find resources that we needed to get my brother help. She had a brother that suffered and ultimately passed away from mental illness. But she fought for years to get him the help he needed. In the state of Illinois once a person is 18 they have control of themselves. Unless you have guardianship you have no control over whether or not someone gets help.

My brother ended up remaining in treatment for 6 months. This because I had an advocate in Karen. And constant threats of legal action if they were to let my brother out before he was better. You see, I had years of his detrimental behavior as proof he was not well and needed help.

A big issue with mental health is recognition and then treatment. Those suffering might not recognize anything is wrong. So those family members that do recognize it are trapped until that loved one causes harm to him or herself or someone else. Even after treatment the issue of continued treatment becomes a challenge.

My brother receives a monthly shot and is able to recognize the benefits. He feels much better with the medication. This was not the case initially. Once he felt better he would refuse to continue his treatment. This makes sense in many cases. If one has a headache medication helps and that’s that. But if one has diabetes, well now they might need medication for the rest of their life. That was the process I was able to help my brother understand. This was his new journey and continued treatment would only help him have more control of his life and it has.

eating disorder

A Story About Eating Disorders

It is no secret that impossible modern beauty standards have caused many people, especially women, to look in the mirror and hate what they see. Indeed, not every woman’s body is shaped like the runway models walking at New York Fashion Week or the Instagram-famous influencers that appear in sponsored posts. We’re not all shaped like Kendall or Kylie Jenner. Now, imagine what these body standards do to women athletes. I know I do not look like Kendall or Kylie, mainly because of genetics, but my statement is also caused by the fact that I am an athlete. I cannot be on a restrictive model’s diet, and I have to work out parts of my body that make me bigger than the frame of the beautiful body standard.

I think I am lucky to be a tennis player when it comes to discussing how women athletes are able to make themselves feel beautiful or feminine. Women tennis players have the options of wearing dresses and tying their hair up in a stylish fashion when competing. I know women athletes like swimmers do not have these options, and I acknowledge that fact. However, being a tennis player did not stop me from self scrutiny about that way I looked growing up. My height peaked when I was 12 years old at 5’2. I was an average height at 12 years old, but, as my peers started growing, I stayed the same. I was a short woman, always being looked down upon. As a child, I was overweight. Although I trained daily, I was never considered skinny, and I remember going into the doctor’s office and seeing the rapid weight gain on the growth chart. The line eventually flattened in high school, yet I’ve never felt the desired “skinny” that seemingly made other girls look beautiful. Because I trained daily, my shoulders were broad and my build was stocky. I remember how my coach would joke about how I could compete in a Men’s tournament. Throughout middle school and high school, I hated myself. Why didn’t I look like those fit Instagram workout gurus when I practiced everyday? Why didn’t I look like those skinny, pretty girls in my year? Why didn’t I love the image I saw in the mirror?

Before I graduated high school, during my senior year, something clicked in my head. Fat equals bad. Fat equals food. Therefore, food equals bad. I never got myself medically diagnosed during this period of time in my life, so I do not know if I was suffering from an eating disorder.

However, I do recognize the facts from my perspective. Everyday for that period of time I would not eat. Every morning, my parents would make my siblings and I a nice, hearty breakfast. Sometimes eggs and bacon. Sometimes pancakes. Sometimes both. I avoided these meals by staying in my room till the minute before my dad would have to take us to school, so I would not have time to eat. Instead, I started drinking tea. I resorted to caffeine instead of a real meal. I would make tea very quickly and put it into a thermos. This tea would replace my breakfast and lunch. This tea would “sustain” me throughout my seven AP, honors classes and my hour and a half tennis lesson afterschool. Sometimes I would let myself bring a bag of carrots to snack on, but when I didn’t, I drank water to fill my grumbling stomach. One day, my dad brought donuts home from work, and I remember sitting next to the box and just smelling them to imagine the fulfilling taste. I always went to sleep feeling hungry. Headaches and fatigue were normal in this period of time. I remember looking into the mirror and slowly seeing my stomach getting smaller, but I noticed the most difference in my face. My jawline became clear and apparent, and my cheeks have sunken in. My eyebags were prominent, exposing the fatigue I felt from the lack of energy. The ironic part of this transformation was that despite the skeleton I saw in the mirror, I was praised for the changes in my body. I was often mistaken for my younger sister, who at the time was significantly smaller than me. The mothers who watched us play praised me for my weight loss and asked what I did. And my coach stopped making fun of me for the way I looked.

I was not okay. During my classes, I wanted to sleep all the time, and I was never fully focused on the lectures. During practice, I stopped hitting the ball as hard, and I got easily irritated with my opponents and my coach. I was not myself. Luckily, my junior year tennis statistics got me into my dream college, but I knew I was not the same. Before graduation, I told myself that I would get better. I could leave the stresses and drama of high school behind. I would focus on myself and my happiness, and I did. Slowly, I started joining the family meals. I allowed myself to take small portions of meat to start off the journey. Soon, I added vegetables because I was still afraid of consuming the carbs that I equated to weight gain. However, after days upon days of honest discussions with my friends and prayer, I learned to allow myself to eat what my body needed to live and what my mind needed to stay healthy. Discussion allowed me to acknowledge the unhealthy problems in my life and realize how I have been depriving myself of simple, essential happiness. Prayer allowed me to realize the most important aspects of life: loving God and loving yourself. My portions were small in the beginning, but soon I started to eat the portions necessary for me to thrive as a student and an athlete. I started adding more vegetables to my diet for a more fulfilling meal, and I added additional workouts to my tennis practice that would allow me to work on my body in a healthy manner. It wasn’t easy, but it took all of my mental strength and willpower to treat myself like I deserved to be treated. This body helped me complete 11 AP classes throughout my high school career. This body helped me walk across the graduation stage to accept Scholar Athlete of the Year. This body helped me get into a Division 1 college with my tennis skill. I started to love my body more than ever before, and to this day, I have educated myself on healthy eating and habits that make me feel like the strong woman I always was internally.

CTE Diagnosis

View Paolo’s report confirming his diagnosis.

Paolo’s progress continues. He  also had new blood work done on 5/23. You can click below to to see the change in his numbers.

“Since I stopped the process sugar you will see a weight change and vital change compared to their original.”

View Report

Paolo’s Working Journal

First symptom or sign of Rage to physically hurt others but did not act out thankfully handle it differently. What triggered me I think was the frustrations not getting return calls from doctors and the way they talk to me. Now keep in mind I use my checks and balances system for every good and bad behavior. The story is as follows.

Somewhere around mid-May, my doctor noticed my hemoglobin was elevated and ordered a fresh panel of our posted bloodwork. He then left for vacation. I went to Quest Labs and the technician, while drawing my blood, said she worked at a blood bank and that my blood was like red glue. I could be at risk for a stroke or heart attack and I should contact the doctor first thing in the morning and have them write a prescription to have a pint of red cells taken out. This procedure in my scenario is based off the hemoglobin count. It has been known to help with inflammation pain hand is great for overall health. I took her advice thanked her because she is not supposed to talk to the patients she said. She’s only supposed to take the blood as the test required. Their staff was kind and compassionate. The following morning, I knew my doctor was on vacation, but I left three messages over the course of the day for the nurse’s assistant who works under my doctor to call me back so I can have the description and the procedure done. No one called me back. I repeated the same process leaving polite messages knowing some things fall through the cracks and I do not want to come off as being aggressive or a hypochondriac. The third day I went to the office personally to figure out why I’m not getting return calls and requested the procedure and prescription. They said there was no one in the office at that time that could write the prescription. Then the following day I called and asked for the office manager to let them know that no one’s getting back to me. They told me she left for the day, but the nurse’s assistant is in and they will have her call me back. Finally, the nurse’s assistant called me and said, “how can I help you Paolo”. I didn’t want to go backwards and point out how unprofessional their office is with returning a patient’s call. So, I just addressed the issue and told her what the technician said. I said my lab work is back and can you take a look at my hemoglobin count and tell me if it’s abnormal. Normal from my understanding is a score of 11. She said it’s just slightly elevated and the doctor on call will not write you the prescription that I would have to wait until my doctor got back in town. I am still using my coping strategies and breathing techniques to remain calm. Inside my head, all I can think of is I’m at risk at having only a slight stroke or heart attack. This is a perfect case for malpractice. But I do not have the strength to find another doctor or practice that takes my insurance. I took it on the chin and just waited it out until June 13 where my doctor came in. Now I’m a grown man, but I had my father and best friend come with me, so I didn’t pop off or miscommunicate or not comprehend what they were telling me. The disease is the reason why I use my checks and balances system; I have to always make sure my mind is not playing tricks on me and I am living in reality.  My doctor called me in. I did not even bring up the events prior. I just sat calmly as he read my bloodwork. And he said “oh yeah you should need this prescription for the bloodletting every eight weeks” my hemoglobin counts war 16.5 where they should be 11. I just laughed.

If I would’ve took out my anger on my doctor, then I would’ve lost a vital piece of my support team to get my medications. So that was probably trigger one.

 Triggered 2:

I get a call and I usually don’t pick up numbers that I don’t recognize, and my personal number is not listed on the site, but I picked it up and it was a kid asking, “Is this CPMHA”? I was little rough because I thought it was somebody soliciting something. So, I asked who this is and what is it regarding. He said his Name was X, that he’s a high school football player and he thinks has CTE and was crying on the phone. I told him to calm down take a deep breath. Then told him, first, if you read or got our information from the website, we have disclaimers everywhere. I am not a doctor or a licensed therapist. I am strictly Sharing my story. The good, the bad and the ugly with complete transparency. So those who are following us might identify with one of my symptoms on CPMHA.COM  whether it be TBI/ CTE, chronic pain or mental illness that I suffered from and learn coping skills/ techniques that have worked for others and see if they can apply for some relief or be motivated to help others. He then said I’m sorry to bother you. but I just want to kill myself right now and I wanted to learn more about CTE.

After hearing that, I went into protective Paolo mode, one of my core values/Life codes. I remembered when I spoke about this topic(suicide) with Dr. Russell Bourne. He said, when someone brings up suicide, it’s healthy to talk about it, the worst thing you could do it Is to shut that person out.

So I said to X, “it’s okay bro”, first thing I want do is give you a phone number to call someone whose professional so I don’t give you the wrong advice so I gave him the suicide hotline phone number. Then I said after I get done talking to you, you must promise to call that number and he said okay.

Now I was in a position that I did not want to be in giving advice because I am not a professional.

So, I asked him, what are the symptoms making you want to commit suicide. He said he had a concussion two years ago and now he is gay, and his parents hate him, and he hates himself for being gay. I took a deep breath and reiterated I’m not a doctor, but regarding the concussion, you should get an MRI of the brain and see a neurologist and tell him all your symptoms and history. Be completely honest, even if you’re smoking weed or taken any other medications. He jumped in right away and says he doesn’t drink or do drugs. I said cool, good for you, you’re a better man than I am already then I proceeded to say, “From my personal experience and research I have done on my own, CTE is not caused by a single concussion. And I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that a concussion cannot make you gay. I have heard a crazy story, I don’t know if it’s true, but during my research I found a story of a woman that had traumatic brain injury from England started speaking with a Chinese accent out of nowhere.

That said, if you are truly gay and that’s what makes you happy, what’s wrong with that. The world is changing every day, people are more open now. If you are gay, it’s not something you should be ashamed of. I have plenty of gay friends even though I’m straight and some of my gay friends were professional athletes. One in particular was a hard-core Navy seal who served our country proudly and is hero in my eyes.

Then I asked him, if he had anything around him that could harm himself. He said yes. I have my gun in my hand and I want the pain to stop. I said strongly X, if you want to talk to me anymore, which I’m willing to do. I want you to take the bullets out of the gun while you’re on the phone with me and put the gun under your bed. He said okay, and I actually heard him following my directions. He then thanked me for talking to him. I replied, “Good man Now we both need to take a deep breath and chill for a second. because I’m freaked out X.” He then let out a little laugh. Which made me relax a little bit.

Then I started the conversation back up and said I have a policy I don’t talk about politics or religion because everyone has the right to believe what they believe and from my experience. If you’re not on the same page talking about those sensitive subjects, there can be conflict and I’m not about conflict. That said, I told him I was in a lot of pain, physically, emotionally and mentally; I wanted to end it. Anything to make the pain stop.

Now what you call pain and I call pain could be to different things. But pain is pain and it sucks, and I hate to see anyone suffer. But, thankfully, I spoke to an amazing man; who is now my cognitive psychologist. He didn’t try to talk me out of committing suicide, but rather he just listened and did not judge me. Then he proceeded to calmly and with compassion educate me on suicide.  Telling me that suicide is usually a mental health impulsive behavior obviously once you make a final decision there’s no coming back.  Then he said from my experience anything impulsive: sex, buying something, etc. Is not a good or healthy thing. Then he gave me a tool that I use all the time, called three-day rule. I explained it to him and told him that it will be

posted on the website soon. Then I proceeded to tell him that if your feelings are true and your gay so what?

Let’s paint a different picture then tonight Its dark thought you did a good thing you reached out to a complete stranger for some answers that’s pretty brave and you have my respect.  So, you go off to college, besides getting an education and degree. You grow as a human and find yourself. Then say you are gay, and you come to terms with it. You find a partner and fall in love and are happy. But if you kill yourself right now. You will never get to experience that amazing feeling of falling in love. But I can give you this advice don’t get married until you’re at least 30 Play the field and be safe. He laughed and said wow I feel a lot better and thank me. I replied don’t thank me you were the one brave enough to fight through the darkness and pain and reach out for help. So, I said are we cool X can I sleep well tonight knowing that you’ll call and speak to a professional and get different advice that will help you. He said yes sir. I say good because I have a crazy migraine and I need to rest, and we hung up the phone. 45 minutes pass approximately my head is pounding I am icing every joint in my body just about to fall asleep.

The phone rings again but it’s a different number. I pick up there’s a woman on the other end of the phone, angry saying who is this. I said you called me who are you. She said I just got done talking to my son. He said you spoke to him and told him it’s okay to be gay. Who are you to tell my son it’s okay to be a sinner? Now I’m a little pissed off, I said ma am your son called me, I was just trying to help him did he tell you that he has a gun in his room, and he wants to end it. She said well that’s not your business, are you at doctor. I said no ma’am, I’m not. She responds with, let me ask you this do you believe Jesus Christ is your savior. I said what the fuck are you talking about. She said that means no, I guess. You’re going to burn in hell. If you ever contact my son again, I’m going to send the police after you and sue your ass then she hung up. I was so confused/Troubled then anger ensued.

Trigger 3

My partner/ girlfriend is a good Christian woman and a southern woman. We are polar opposites except I am extremely stubborn so is she. I am street-smart New Yorker and self-taught entrepreneur. She is not and everything has to be by the book. She was screwed over by her ex-husband and I have trust issues. So, I think I’m being pretty fair and transparent. I do not want to be throwing her under the bus at all.  Because not too many women would stand by their partner who is dealing with my situation/ illness.

Last week my Little brother Andrew and ambassador to CPMHA, Alex, were over my house and helped me to pick up my dog, Jackson, from physical therapy because I was too dizzy to drive.

He is recovering from an ACL surgery. Prior to the surgery, I went up to talk to the vet who was going to perform the surgery on Jackson.

In the past, I sent a lot of my former athletes to a specialist and I have a little bit of knowledge on ACL surgery and recovery. I talked about it to the veterinarian how about the process in the cost. I made her aware of my financial situation as well as my medical condition and told everyone in the staff about CPMHA and ask them to spread the word and support us. The veterinarian told me the cost would be $ 2300 for the ACL surgery, $170 for the physical therapy consult. Then it’s $150 a physical therapy session.

So, the New York Street hustler in me came out, and I said listen, I am a former professional sports performance coach. I would never have anyone I care for just have surgery and no physical therapy it’s a waste of time. Can you work with me on the price? She said yes if I sign off today it will be $4700. That would include unlimited physical therapy and the surgery but not the medication. I said that’s fair let’s proceed. Three weeks go by and I take Jackson for his second physical therapy session. And they tell me that the veterinarian, Dr. Evans, was fired and is no longer working with them. But it’s okay, I will be working with the main the veterinary who owns the practice and he’s a better Vet and I will be in good hands. So, Jackson’s physical therapy session was scheduled twice a week approximately 10 days ago, with Alex staying in the car, I walk inside to pick up Jackson from Physical therapy. The physical therapist tech brings Jackson outside and says he is doing great. We are going to cut back his physical therapy to once a week. I said why as soon after surgery he still can’t put pressure on the leg. The tech is giving me all this roundabout talk. Finally, he says when someone’s package is coming to an end, we try to stretch it out and cut back to once a week. I said package coming close to an end, what are you talking about? He tells me that I had a package of 10 that cost $800. I said fine, so where did the rest of the money go? I paid $4700. The surgery cost $2300 now you’re telling me physical therapy package of 10 which we have not even used yet is $800. If you add those together, that is only $3100, we are missing $1600, where did that money go. The tech goes back in the room and calls a bunch of the staff wait a half hour comes out and says we will have to go through the receipts and get back to you, I only do the scheduling and do the physical therapy with dogs under Dr. Chang. I said fine, mistakes happen, as long as Jackson is taking care of, we are all good.

The next day Sherry gets a call from Dr. Chang, the physical therapist, saying the whole staff was afraid of me and they know I have a mental illness and they feel uncomfortable if I come up to the office anymore. I was blown away completely speechless over the phone.

Sherry was at work and I could tell she was all stressed out. So, I decided we talk about it later. I proceeded with my day of doctor’s appointments and made sure the house is clean so that she was not in a stressful environment when she came home. She walks through the door looking stressed and out energy and I ask her just to give me 10 minutes of peace and leave me alone so I can compose myself because I’m hypersensitive. She doesn’t give me more than two minutes before she rants to me about something stupid and I pop I yell and say you can’t give me 10 minutes after I busted my ass all day. Now no matter how sick, I will never put my hands on a woman or child. I could feel this rage inside of me that I used to feel when I was a fighter and I did not like that feeling. I just walked away and went in my room to decompress.

She comes in calmly in about 45 minutes and I can feel myself still in that bad place she says can we talk. I said no I really need to gather myself will talk tomorrow, thinking I was doing the right thing. She then proceeded to say, well look, I spoke to the doctor’s office. It is what it is, Jackson only has three more sessions left they’re afraid of you and I feel very uncomfortable. I explode, I said you’re going to take their side over me. She said well you’re always doing the street hustle deals now veterinarian who you made that deal with is no longer working there and it’s your word against theirs and obviously you opened your mouth about your CTE, so you have no credibility.

My hands were shaking, I said are you kidding me we have receipts, it’s simple math. She said she cannot deal with the stress or confrontation; it is what it is. I said no, it’s not that’s not how I work. When I make a deal, I stand by mine part and I made sure the other people standby theirs. I’m sure as hell not going to let somebody steal a dollar from me. Then I said something cruel and I regret. I said I’m not like you; you make stupid mistakes and let people walk over you. You payed a contractor upfront in cash to do work on the house then they never come back and finish the job and you lose the money and you just take it. She starts to cry. Leaves the room says she’s never had anybody ever talk to her this way or be so mean.

I know I am far from being saint when it comes to dealing with men you do not want to mess with me. But when it comes to women children or animals. I know I’m not perfect, but I know I’m a good man. Yes, I’m a passionate, loud, Italian New Yorker when it comes to confrontation or disagreements. Especially now, with what I’m going through not that it’s a good excuse for anything but every day the smallest thing I work hard to make myself meet one main goal: be a better person to myself and to others. I thought I was doing a good job. I told her not to worry, I love her, but I might need to go a hotel for the night to gather myself and I think I don’t know if it is healthy for me to be living under the same roof with her. If I am hurting her in any way or making her life any more difficult and stressful. I knew this disease would be a strain on my relationship, but I didn’t think it would happen until I physically started to breakdown like an Alzheimer’s patient where I’m not even close to being in that category yet.

So, I drove to the beach I meditated ended up breathing exercises for about an hour. Unfortunately, Dr. Bourne was on vacation, so I did not want to cross the boundary and call him for direction. But I couldn’t get rid of this rage also the feeling that I was going crazy that I was not in reality, and I felt betrayed by Sherry. That she didn’t have my back, so I feel like trust was broken. But using my checks and balance system. I reached out to my mother and father to run the story by them to get and impartial reaction. I explained it to them my energy was intense my mother said I’m looking at you right now and I’m afraid of you. My heart broke. My father said you can’t blame Sherry she does not come from our world. You should kiss that woman feet for sticking by you when you’re this sick. So, what, if the veterinarian’s office ripped you off the $1600. I know you telling the truth because I remember you telling me everything as it was going along. But is $1600 Worth hurting Sherry? I took a deep breath and said no but I just can’t handle somebody take advantage of me, and then on top of that They played a mental illness card.

I started to get heated up again thinking about it. You’re telling me you would let somebody rip you off. That’s why I can’t come to you guys and I must use Dr. Bourne. Then my mother chimed in she said she was bought up on the straight narrow my father always hustled for everything and at the drop of a dime he could become very scary people. It took a long time in our relationship for me to adjust to the way he conducts business. And you’re just like him but the major point your father said is $1600 Worth hurting Sherry for all that she is done for you and been there for you.

That’s the big picture. It struck a chord with me. At my age, I have to re-create myself, so I took this it on the chin and I apologize to Sherry. And I told her, if she wants to handle the vet from now on and that’s what makes her comfortable, that’s what I’ll do. My feelings and energy towards her have changed to be honest I feel a little betrayed but I’m hoping I will get over it. Just like she tries to be patient with my garbage.

Hopefully I can use this is a learning lesson to control any anger or frustration in the future to breathe walk away from a problem discuss with the support System and turn the negative into a positive and be productive.

Latest Trigger/ Two sides to every story (Week of February 15th):

I almost let the beast out but I try to bury those feelings and never break my code of putting my hands on someone that’s weaker than me physically or emotionally whether it be a woman, or a child or an animal no matter what the situation. There is no excuse. Thankfully I haven’t acted out physically and I have myself under control.

Case Study – Day 15

I have the house to myself, just me and my two dogs and there is complete peace and great energy. Pain and migraines are pretty bad as expected, but my neck and joints are feeling a little relief. There has been no ringing or sounds in my brain or senses. I’m extremely upbeat, motivated by the support of my small team of Andrew and Sarah and I am calm and have no anger working on coping skills for dealing with frustration and I think is working. My memory, concentration and vision have all seen a decrease. I went through my old workouts reaching back to 2015 when I started the CTE symptoms on a very small scale. I decided to push through the pain and do a very small-scale nonfunctioning strength test today. I could barely do three sets hope 20 push-ups. Back in 2015 I was bench pressing 395lbs one set of five. One set of three in the last set of one at 400lbs again this was not a functional or suggested training technique.

Case Study – Day 14

Finally, my doctor was back from Italy and wrote my prescription to have a pint of blood taken out to reduce my hemoglobin count which was 16.5 and should be in the range I will 11. I had a painless procedure done that in all took about 40 minutes with an appointment. I noticed a little reduction in pain in my neck this morning no nausea.

The Benefits of Bloodletting

  • May help stave of illnesses. …
  • May reduce risk for cancer. …
  • Reduces hardening of the arteries and heart attack risk. …
  • May improve insulin sensitivity, thus decreasing risk for type 2 diabetes. …
  • Burns calories. …
  • Regularly purging yourself of iron is particularly beneficial for men’s health.

Also, another note regarding medical care and doctors that fall under my insurance:

The neurologist I must use now is Dr. Jeffrey Rubin. My first visit I was in a lot of pain and frustrated because the only reason I had to go to him now is to get my Xanax refilled because the new drug laws. I told him that I have post TBI/CTE he did not know what CTE was. Then after I told him I suffered multiple concussions mostly through fighting and football. He said, “oh, you’re what we call punch-drunk” which is ridiculous coming from a doctor. I bit my tongue. He was pretty nice overall. He’s from Canada. He went through a long story about speaking Italian and told a really poor joke which took 20 minutes or more.

After he did a memory test. He asked me to write on the paper. what is the first thing that comes to my mind? I wrote your jokes are terrible and don’t make me feel any better trying to be funny. He wrote the prescription and walked out offended. I realized I might’ve made a mistake. I walked after him using my cane and told him I was just being sarcastic, and I have a strange sense of humor and I hope I did not offend him. He said I’ll see you in three months and walked away. So, my goal was over those three months I would be able to get away from using Xanax, but it seems that will be delayed until September or October. I have been making so many different changes with my body. This particular medication has me in the lock. So, I wrote him a nice polite letter telling him. I would like to apologize if I offended him. And since I have no other neurologist that are working with me if you would like to be one of the many doctors on the case study. I went to his office in person left the letter as well as the bloodwork that I would be requesting, website information, Palm Beach Post article on my disease, and let him know my goal has shifted. I would like to stay on the Xanax until September or October and then have him work with Dr. Russell Bourne to help me get off the Xanax and possibly nonaddictive anxiety/ stress medication. That was approximately a month ago my next appointment is July 1.

So, anticipating on July 1 I will need a refill for the Xanax, and he won’t be cooperative. I have left several messages at his office asking him to give me a call back. And I have never received a call from him or his office. All I could do is hope on July 1 that will be issuing a refilling for my Xanax and continuing with my plan. Anyone that is ever contemplating taking Xanax or any benzodiazepine if you learned nothing else from this website, though I am not a doctor or a licensed therapist and I cannot give advice, but in my opinion on this one subject of medication do not take this medication longer than a week. Once it has a hold on you not only can you die if you stop taking it, but after three weeks it doesn’t work anyway unless you up the dosage.

Case Study – Day 13

I am still not able to do my gym session. I met with my primary care doctor and I got my bloodwork back; I will be posting it on the website. My vitals and blood pressure are better, and my pulse was great. I lost 14 pounds.

I am introducing spaghetti squash, with Rao’s marinara sauce, it’s the only sauce I’ve ever have and it’s the closest to what I make. I also added sweet potatoes and I am going to be having Cheerios every day to reduce my cholesterol. I also found a great product from Trader Joe’s to curve my sweet tooth and sugar cravings; it’s called simply light fine chocolate bar, and it contains no sugar added zero trans fats gluten-free. This can be a lifesaver for me at night with my cravings I can have a couple pieces and drink a lot of water. If something is too good to be true you know the saying, I’ll have to do my research on the product because on the back it says 2 g of sugar and 9 g of sugar alcohol which I don’t know what that is.

Case Study – Day 10

I noticed all my nausea is usually early in the morning, could be contributed to my disease, sugar withdrawal, or my last dosage of one mg of Xanax, I take it between 10 PM and 11 PM to calm my body and mind. It’s been two months that I have been trying to get off Xanax. But since I went cold turkey off of all opiates/pain meds; I’ve been pivoting to only eating plants, fruits, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, almond milk and water. I was holding on tough on meal plan. Until four days ago when I was triggered with frustration and anger. Two days ago, I was able to walk the dog for 20 minutes and push through extreme pain in my joints, back and neck as well as chronic migraines. I was not even walking that hard when I got home, I probably sweated out 2 pounds of water and felt like I ran a marathon, breathing has been a challenge.

Tonight, I woke up at 1 AM my mind was racing thinking about all the things I need to do this week, and due to the lack of support in our cause, I relapsed. I had a handful of Potato chips and eight mint chocolate girl scout cookies. It helped with the craving, but my body wanted me to eat the whole bag and all the cookies, so I’m still not satisfied.

I went online and tried to be productive, going to Joe Rogan’s podcast and watching an interesting YouTube video on crazy health benefits of sauna by Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on the benefits of ice and heat. Though I have my limited education, I continue to research with a desire to learn more. I was always taught never to stay more than 15 minutes in the sauna because you could die of heat stroke. The sauna was one of my methods during my fighting and wrestling weight cutting days. Hopefully this week, I will be better disciplined to my meal plan and I really want to push to get in a gym session in hopefully I can motivate myself to get energy and block out the pain and other obstacles holding me back.

Case Study – Day 7

I am still feeling extremely nauseous and have a lack of strength and the sweats. Weird dreams that I can’t breathe in my sleep wake me up. Numbness in my arms and chronic migraines and dizziness hinder my actions. I’m going to stick to the nutrition plan adding some watermelon and pineapple for sugar. I am stopping all supplements except turmeric for the pain. I was able to walk the dogs and pushed through the pain for 20 minutes.