I managed to fix this issue - KEEP IN MIND: the reason my fix worked is because I overlooked using my own theme
I was not using a theme, instead, I was just modifying the “default” folders (../default/default/ )
This was fixed by copying the /app/design/ folder and re-uploading the whole folder with the latest ORIGINAL files over again to:
Because I originally just modified the files located in ../default/default/ I now realize that this isn’t a smart way to do things (it works but then when you upgrade, problems like this happens).
Even the Magento instructions clearly state that it is best to just copy the ORIGINAL folders default/default/ folders (located in ../app and ../skin) and rename them to create a theme before making modifications.