The story behind Hup’s unexpected dislocated shoulder and why he loves Steph even more because of it

I Guess You Can Call Me An Optimist
If you knew me for any period of time, you would quickly realize that I am an optimist. Actually, just calling me an optimist is probably a radical understatement as I have always lived my life with a ‘the glass is definitely half-full‘ mentality and the rose-colored lenses that I tend to see the world through don’t come of too often. Some people in my family say that I’m a little too optimistic sometimes and that I tend to trust people a little too much, too soon. To this I say that on a few occasions they’re totally right — I’ve been taken advantage of and I’ve been used a few times thanks to the fact that I’ll give pretty much anyone the shirt off of my back if they’d  simply ask. But, as I tell the naysayers — the benefits that I have been blessed with and the people that I have gotten to meet due to my high level of trust and optimistic view of the world greatly outweigh the minuscule level of times that I have been taken advantage of. In other words, the good has always outweighed the bad about 10,000,000,000 t0 1.

I tell all of you this because over the past few days I have been put into an unexpected situation that I could have easily dealt with in a negative manner, which would have only made a seemingly bad thing turn into something much, much worse. But, instead of viewing my unexpected accident as something that I don’t deserve and something that’s going to practically ruin my life and plans that I’ve made for the near future, I saw it as something that was unavoidable at the time and something that can potentially make my life even better (if dealt with in the right way).

I Fought The Street (And The Street Won)
Monday morning was such an awesome way to start the week. I had just moved into my new place the weekend before and had woken up, worked out with my buddy Redg, had a productive day at work and was heading home to hang out with the love of my life, Stephanie, who had just gotten home from work about 30 minutes ago. As I was peddling home (literally a block and a half away from my apartment) I was picking up speed and in a few split seconds something really, really bad happened that left me laying upside-down on my (dislocated)shoulder with the bike somehow still attached to my foot. As I came to my senses, pulled my foot out of my shoe that was stuck in the bike’s front spokes and dragged the bike out of the street I began to feel a big, throbbing pain in my shoulder. Honestly, it didn’t feel any worse than any other time that I had fallen off my bike, but this is the only time that surprised me with a bone that was definitely not in the right place as I took off my backpack and ran my hand over my back and shoulder. Something wasn’t right here and at this moment I started to freak out a bit.

“Hey man, are you OK??”, a young woman said to me as I tried to gather my thoughts on what had just happened. I told her that I was OK and that I hadn’t hit my head, which she didn’t really believe. “I’m just trying to evaluate your state of mind right now and make sure that you don’t need my help.” she said as I pulled out my Blackberry so that I could call Stephanie to come pick me up. “I’m alright” I told her again, “I live right down the road and my fiancee will come and get me”. She must have felt like this was a good enough answer because with that she took off down the sidewalk and I called Stephanie so that she could come rescue me from this crazy situation that I had literally thrown myself in.

The Calls For Help
At this point I called 2 different people. First I called Stephanie and told her that I was in a bike wreck and that I thought that I had really hurt my shoulder pretty bad. She freaked out a bit and asked me what had happened and I told her that I wasn’t really sure yet, but that I was in some serious pain and that it was only getting worse. Despite the fact that I completely lied to her and told her that I got hit by a car less than a month ago, she said that she would be over as soon as humanly possible. The second person that I called was my homie Redg (who I had worked out with that morning) who’s girlfriend Liz is a nurse and who I hoped could tell us the best (and closest) emergency room to go to around our apartment. This phone call was pretty funny now that I think about it — I wish that I had recorded somehow. It went something like this:

Redg: Wudddup Hup? What’s shakin’?
Hup: Hey Redg (grunt in pain), how’s it going? I have a random question for you.
Redg: Sure man, what’s up?
Hup: Well, I’m sitting about a block away from my apartment and I just wrecked my bike and I think that I have broken my shoulder. So, I was wanting to ask you what ER you would go to around here if you were in my situation?
Redg: Oh man — are you serious? I’ll ask Liz where you should go and get right back to you.
Hup: Cool, thanks man — talk to you soon.

After this I sat there and while I waited for Stephanie to come pick me up I came up with what exactly had just happened and why I was sitting there with a dislocated shoulder and a wrecked bike. After clearing my head a bit, thinking about it and looking at all of the damage that had been done to me and the bike I finally figured it all out.

The Explanation Of The Wreck
So, what had happened was pretty simple, but oddly accidental. As I was peddling faster and faster my left foot slipped off of the pedal and as it slipped, the force of the missed peddling shoved my foot directly into the front spokes of the bike, which stopped the bike immediately. As all of you out there who took physics class know, even though the bike stops, that energy is still traveling through my body, which kept on going right on over the handlebars and onto the street. As I flew over the handlebars my foot was still stuck in the front spokes of the bike, which meant that I was actually dragging the bike behind me as I hit the ground. Luckily, all of the impact went directly to my right shoulder and not to my head, which would have probably resulted a much, much uglier and serious injury that I have now.

Just minutes after the wreck Stephanie came and picked me up, she threw the bike in the trunk, dropped it off at our apartment and rushed me to the California Pacific Medical Center emergency room (which Redg directed us to).  It was kind of funny how just a day before Stephanie was driving really timid around San Francisco and now that she was in ’emergency momma’ mode, she wasn’t taking any prisoners and was weaving in and out of traffic like a freakin’ champ. I mean, she had to get her baby to the emergency room, people SO GET OUT OF THE WAY!!

The Diagnosis
After getting a few X-Rays, meeting a couple of really cool nurses/doctors and hanging out at the hospital for a couple hours I was finally given a diagnosis that wasn’t too bad I guess. I had basically torn a ligament that holds my clavicle in place and it’s going to require surgery to get it all fixed up like I need it to be. It’s called an AC Joint Shoulder Separation and it seems like I have the wreck has somehow cause me to have the most severe case of  it. Awesome. Here are a few pics that can help explain exactly what I’ve done:


Yeah, not good.

What Good Has Come Out Of This?
So now the question is, what good could have possible come out of this, Hup? Your shoulder is all tore up, you’re in pain and now you have walk around with a stupid-looking sling on. I have a feeling that I’ll have more good than just these few points, but these are the ones that have stood out to me so far. More to come, for sure.

  1. I got some killer pain meds. You know, it’s not often that you can get high legally, but when they gave me some Oxycodone for my pain I knew that I was in for some dizzy times ahead. Those things do NOT mess around and I haven’t even taken any today because of the crazy effects that they have had on me. You take one and you’re practically knocked out. KO, goodnight.
  2. I realized just how much I love Stephanie and how much she really, truly loves me. It’s always great to know that your partner-in-crime has got your back and throughout this whole ordeal I could not have imagined Stephanie dealing with it any better. She is truly the love of my life and I have no idea how I could have gone through this without her.
  3. We might have found a Honeymoon spot in Australia? As we were waiting to get my prescriptions on Monday night, we met a guy named Ken Howard from Australia who has made tons of money developing board games and consulting for board game developers and inventors. Well, we got to chatting and before you know it he had offered us to use his mansion in Australia for our honeymoon and I’ve even emailed him since to confirm it. We’ll see if this turns out to be true, but if it does, it would be pretty sweet.
  4. Nic, my new roomie, had no problem helping me put my shirt on while I was in my underwear. I’m pretty sure this is a good thing?
  5. It made me feel good knowing that I had enough friends around SF that if I had an emergency that I could get it taken care of. It’s definitely a good feeling to have.

So that’s all I have for you right now — sorry for the long explanation, but I didn’t want to leave anything out. I’ll keep you all updated on my progress as time goes on, but everything is getting better as time goes on and today is the first day that I can type AND put on my clothes by myself. Sweet! :)

I have finally conquered my contacts

Wow, I never thought that this day would ever happen and to tell you all the truth I am feeling pretty accomplished right now. For about 2 months I’ve been dealing with the somewhat frustrating task of getting used to putting in and taking out my new contact lenses. Honestly, after I had my first training session at my eye doctor in San Francisco I thought that I would never get used to putting the small, yet very challenging lenses on (and taking them off) my eyeballs every single day. I can remember the first time that I tried putting them in — I think that I jabbed both of  my eyeballs about 15-20 times until they were both completely sore and bloodshot. It wasn’t pretty and it didn’t seem like I was ever going to get used to the seemingly easy process.

But, after some serious perseverence, frustrating mornings and some contact counseling from Stephanie (she’s a freakin’ pro), I am happy to announce that last night, for the first time ever, I took out both contacts on the first try and this morning I put both of them in on the first try, too. This might not seem like a big deal to you (especially if you’ve never tried to wear contacts), but to me this is a monumental occasion that should probably be remembered from this point on in my life as a personal holiday.

You know what? That’s not a bad idea. I hereby declare that from this day forward, April 2nd will be celebrated and recognized as the day that I conquered the contacts. I guess that all I need to figure out now is how to celebrate it. Maybe I should laugh and point a finger at all of the people who I see wearing glasses today and scream something like ‘CONTACTS RULE!!’. That might be little obnoxious, but it sounds like a good starting point.

How do you think I should celebrate and if you wear contacts do you remember the day that you finally conquered them? It’s a great feeling, I’ll tell you that.

Hup, the basketball has-been?

A guy I work with, Chris, is a competitive, super-active guy who is always up for playing some hoops. Well, when I told him that I played basketball in college and might be interested in joining a league with him he was ALL over it. This isn’t really a bad thing I guess, but for some reason even though I always feel like playing some b-ball, playing in an actual league just doesn’t seem that appealing to me. I think it’s a mixture of things, most of which I seem to only worry about as I get older. Sad, but true.

A few of my lame reasons for being a little hesitant at playing in a basketball league are:

Even with all of these lame reasons, I still had a lot of last night when I went and played with Chris and the rest of the guys on my team who I don’t really know yet. And even though I nearly died right there on the University of San Francisco basketball court last night during our game, it felt great to get out and play some ball again (even if we did lost in overtime).

I’ll keep you all updated on the league progress as it moves along, but hopefully we’ll get us a few wins and end up taking the league championship. Hey, it can happen. :)

p.s. A small fun fact about the University of San Francisco — it’s the alma mater of the great basketball legend Bill Russell.

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