I have had good luck staying conscious most of the time this summer. I only blackout a few times a day, and I can sometimes predict when it will happen so that I don't fall.
I blacked out right at warm-up on Saturday. Bummer! But I did everything I could do, gently, by adapting. I missed a solid forty minutes of instruction, during which time I performed other meaningful tasks to help my dojo. I had tried to lie down, start fluids and elevate my legs to restore my blood pressure, but with three different leg injuries and a cloudy head my mind and emotions were like a bad neighbourhood and I didn't want to spend time there by myself.
I'm not exactly sure what is wrong with my legs, these are pains with which I am not familiar, but they have lingered for a few weeks and several times my legs have dropped out from under me. Most of the time I'm fine, but those occasions really get to me. I'm sad about it because my ability to kick will be set back...again. I'll just get back to it when I can. It will be okay.
Summer is very hard. I'm able to withstand more heat than I could last year but not much more, and not without hypervigilance about hydration, sodium, potassium, and calcium levels. The Nausea is back too, and thank goodness for IV anti-emetics.
Next week is Warrior Week! Hard training, a shiai (tournament), Spirit Training, grading (for others this time around), and a potluck. I love this time! But I'll have to be very careful. I want to make it count and do my best, but I think I should be conservative about my participation because one more injury will make it so that I can't function. Right now I can still prepare meals but it is hard to shower and do laundry. I have to sleep a LOT.
When I'm in the dojo I want karateka to know I am as dedicated as they come! But when I'm unwell, and I stop to take care of myself, I still sometimes get this little hint of doubt: "do I really need to stop, or am I just bring lazy or unmotivated?" This doubt is not useful, and no one else in the dojo doubts me, so why would I doubt myself? Well, there are a few reasons. For one, when we are in pain or tired we can get discouraged easily. Two, I have been hugely doubted in the past. Three, karate is technically contraindicated for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which I aim to change with a modified curriculum someday. My Sensei never doubts me. He just says to get back in as soon as I can. This keeps me motivated because I do want to be with my friends in the dojo, not on the side in a personal fight to stay conscious or alive. It's just so dramatic a problem, but I have to take it seriously. If I were not realistic and responsible about my body I would not belong in a dojo, because if I'm not careful I can really get hurt. Such is true of anybody. And on that plane, we are all equal.