Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lessons Learning

Karate is where I make peace with my body. I learn to protect it, to discover it, and best of all, to use it.

I feel like I got hit by a truck. Thank God I can work from home. I have barely gotten splinted and meds started, though I woke up at 6:30. Breakfast is sitting next to me, cold. I'm determined to meet all my goals for work today, and to care for myself so well that I get through karate tonight. But man, it's a rough start. Maybe a break to blog will settle me down.

Perhaps sensitive to my enthusiasm, Sensei has begun to teach me Seiyunchin. A month ago he asked me not to study it because it was not my kata yet at my level. So I focused on Saifa and I'm glad to have him looking out for my progress. I enjoy Saifa a lot, it is my strongest kata! I just got excited.

Well, I got what I wished for, and now that I'm learning Seiyunchin I almost wish I could back up! I can't physically sit in shiko dachi for that long. Same with Sanchin dachi stance. Other parts of my life have taken up time and energy, so I haven't been practicing at home. Not good.

Here's what I need to work on (the way I see it):
-Get through or modify Sanchin kata without passing out, choking, or dislocating my shoulders and knees

-Keep Saifa kata strong, polish my performance

-Straighten out mae geri (front kick) for power and balance

-Condition my feet to withstand a pivot on the ball of my foot for mawashi geri (roundhouse kick). I have no idea how I'll do this because the problem is that my skin is not connected well and I can feel it tearing away from the fascia. Maybe a small hop?

-Continue doing lots of push-ups! Maybe I will be able to do them off of my knees someday if I can condition my hands to withstand the laxity in weight-bearing. I've been following the advice Higaonna-Sensei gave me, to exercise my hands 100 reps in everything I do to strengthen them.

-Don't give up. Even if I have to sit down, throw up, lie down, modify, whatever. Take care of my health needs, and follow my Sensei's instruction to get back to the mat as soon as possible.

Future goals:
-I'd like to learn breakfalls. I am a high fall risk and this would be a great skill. Practicing my stances and  has certainly reduced my falls and even dislocations. But I would still like to be strong in breakfalls.

-Rolling and tumbling. I've only done one somersault, and with a spotter, but I stayed conscious! If I could learn to tuck my head

I predict that if I know I can fall and tumble safely that I will worry less in daily life about blacking out. I already worry a little less because I have my port and karate has helped me get better conditioned to withstand the heat. Ambient temperature changes remain a very complex problem.

The hardest part about passing out is that my memory brings back the awful feelings I endured when I was sickest, before my port. Just before I got my port I was ready to stop treatment and give up on life. I was going into shock at every needle stick, the pain was unbearable, the drugs made me feel awful and I was either sedated or unconscious most of the time. I can't believe I survived that and I thank my lucky stars for everyone who dragged me through it.  The feelings that come up today are much the same, but the intensity of those feelings should be lessening and they aren't lessening. So it hits like a wave and my only option is to drag myself off the mat quietly and choke on the tears while trying not to throw up or fall over. I don't know if that sensation is an emotional remnant or if it's actually happening.

I suspect that it's still actually happening because there is no cure for it. But the fact that it reminds me of more severe times even after I've gotten the proper chemo in place means that the emotional component of dysautonomia is still kicking my butt, and needs care.

When you're sick and no one really knows what to do your mind becomes a bad neighbourhood, not a place to go on your own.  For the last year and a half I've been living like there's no tomorrow because for the prior three years I either wasn't sure there would be a tomorrow, or wouldn't want it if there was one. It took a lot of cognitive management to survive that and I was on overload from how much alone time I had with my thoughts.  Now I look forward to the next day.

Anyway, that's what I'm working on. Karate is where I work on it. Balance is a moving target.