Karate prep: Townsend Rebel Reliever leg splint to keep my lower leg in place. Shoulder sling and finger splints on the same side. The enemy isn't going to ask if I'm okay, so it's time to train and find new strengths. KIAI!
I made it through half of karate class, but it was a very intense time using only the right side of my body! It gave new a chance to learn what I could do in different ways.
We started off with drills. Punching, I worked hardest on pulling my punch back to chamber, knowing that such a move could be used to jab the ribs of the person behind me, or to escape a hold, as is done in Seiyunchin bunkai.
Practicing blocks was the most interesting thing, because when we're doing a drill with both hands I don't think about the hand that's returning to chamber as much as I think about the front hand and its major movement. Having just one hand, I paid much more attention to the directions of its movement; the way in which my hand was facing; and what it was blocking, or leaving open.
Working in pairs was fun because I had to get creative with bilateral blocks. If the punch was right-to-right handed I did the traditional block. Right-to-left, inside block.
When I got home I had some oatmeal, then I rested on the couch as is my Saturday ritual after karate. I slept for six hours, which was not part of the plan. I should have noticed this when I was too tired to set an alarm, because I slept right through the time to take my afternoon meds.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a lot to manage. I don't blame anyone who struggles with it so much that they don't do much else, but I do wish everyone could find a way to get a little exercise into their routine, or something they can look forward to doing with their bodies.
It felt like the other people in the dojo were watching to see how I did things. Their faces said different things: I don't know how you do it; I would never do all that just to come to class; If they can do it, I can do it; I guess I have no excuse not to be here. These are things people say to me, so I know that this is what people are thinking. I'm not supernatural, and I have no intention of inspiring able-bodied people to go beyond what is reasonable for themselves. Able-bodied people are not used to being in crushing pain 24x7; if they had had the injuries I dealt with today, they might have rightly stayed home, for hope of healing.
Much to my comfort, nobody said I was a distraction or that I should have stayed home. I would rather get a thumbs-up for splinting correctly and showing up than a pitiful face for being in splints. I'm always worried about hearing that I should have stayed home, or that I'm bringing everybody down, because that's how my family has reacted in the past. They seldom do anymore, but it's a doubt that I carry. At the dojo, however, people expect to see me in whatever I come with that day, ready to learn. We are all working through some challenge in this lifetime, and I'm glad that we all spend a few days a week going through it together. I can let my guard down; nobody is going to tell me I should have stayed home because I have EDS or because I can't hear.
My hearing seems to be failing further, that's bothersome. My hearing aid causes piercing pain. My ear bone implant causes extreme pain and I want it taken out. I'm not sure I understand how to let go and go back to deaf when all my friends are hearing; I am afraid that my hearing loss will be much worse now because I've had several years with Cognitive Auditory Processing Disorder to scramble up what is left of the hearing in my "good" ear.
I have more to say but my shoulder is killing me, even though I haven't even used it today. I'm confounded by this. I'm also totally wiped out. I slept all afternoon and will still sleep through the night if I can keep the pain under control. This day is still a success because I learned a new thing.