Tuesday, June 23, 2015

On Femaleness and Flight

I've never met Marchant-Sensei, but from what I've read of her life and times she is a Dame of ever there were one. I'm grateful to be a part of IOGKF, humbled to share a /mon/.  There will always be cups for tea at my table for her.

Linda Marchant-Sensei is the highest ranking female karateka in IOGKF. She had a high-paying job in the UK, and left it behind to pursue her passion as a martial artist. She succeeded, too. Like every rounded pebble that tumbles over Niagara Falls, you don't become so well rounded without tumbling a long way, getting knocked around and bumped, before becoming just as smooth as the waters that carry you through time.

On the other side of this thought trail stands a fellow karateka in my dojo, a /Senpai/ to me, also dedicated beyond compare. An artist, she studies the body in total, learning to read every curve and arch, working in the dojo to see how those angles change and shape the /gi/ which shroud the figures inside. She is so young to carry this largesse of curiosity, with shoulders already conditioned to bear such weight on a very thin frame. She could remind us all that "thin" and "frail" are not synonyms.

The feminine side of karate is so often characterized by a white crane. To stand before a white crane demands respect for every such creature that ever put itself through the rigor to learn to fly.


These days it is impossible to say just what I mean. As I continue to fight nausea, pain and fatigue, my feelings and thoughts have the impish drive to swell in my head and demand to be known. I have only a fraction of the energy I need to host them all, barely enough. My blog posts may be short for a time but I will continue writing them. It makes me sad to report that I'm still sick. Even though Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a cradle-to-grave companion it is still very much unwelcome.

This is a tournament week. I'll harden my thoughts to the point that, even if I don't fight this time, I truly have yet to spread my wings. I must believe that old axiom that says, "the best is yet to come," because I am nowhere near as fierce as I shall be when I finally fly. If femaleness of what I've got to work with, then truly, I am in the downy company of the finest flock.

Be well.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

90 Days Sick

Another night sick as a dog. Back to fully dehydrated despite fluids. I reviewed some kata in my head but I'm too tired to think clearly. I'm determined to be strong, the enemy isn't going to ask if I'm feeling up to a fight.

I've been intensely sick for 90 days as of today. I spent the last week in March in the hospital and have been struggling desperately to recover.  I've had a gauntlet of the most gross medical tests I can imagine having done, and have more to go, before I get any answers. Until then I'm on a rainbow of pro-motility agents that work on my guts like your friendly neighborhood jackhammer.

Gastroparesis is the working diagnosis but my emptying study turned out negative. The radioactive eggs weren't all bad, but it was the least disgusting of all the tests, with this Friday bring the grand finale of gross.

I'm afraid to eat because my guts are like tubes full of grenades. I'm afraid not to eat because no food means no energy. Every few days I eat full meals and get so sick that I end up dehydrated and exhausted. And doubled over in pain.

My couch and I are very close these days. I haven't seen the dojo in over a week and my toddler mind is afraid it won't be there when I get back.

In my mind I'm going over kata, but I'm really so tired...so tired.

The enemy is not going to ask if I'm tired. I need to keep fighting. It's in my blood.