It’s a double-bacon gimped leg burger!

Injury + injury + injury = Cranky Sean.

But hey, at least I’m blogging!

You’ll have to indulge a slightly grumpy post, as I’m a bit grumpy tonight. I was warming up in prep for class, as I do every time before class. I’ve found doing a full round of leg stretches before class allows me to push my legs farther than I would in class since it doesn’t matter if I break the suction seal on my leg, which will normally happen a few times when doing a full round of leg stretching πŸ™‚

Anywho, I was doing this and checked up on my foot, and you know what? I’ve gone and split the bloody toes on my foot shell again! Wifey said to stand up and try a few techniques to see how stable I was; sure enough, the thing’s gimped (i.e. I fell over) πŸ˜› It doesn’t provide much of a problem when I’m in shoes or stomping around the house, but as soon as I roll into some exercise (especially when doing partner work!) that puts pressure on the “toes” of the foot, it’s just too easy to mangle myself or inadvertently injure my training partner.

The frustrating part is that this has come after two more weeks of missed classes – two weeks back I sliced open one of my fingers (don’t laugh!) trying to put away an airing tray in the baking tray drawer when it got caught between the sharp end bits on the wire of the airing tray and the raw wood on the cabinet. This meant that I couldn’t perform locks/holds with one of my hands, let alone form a fist!

Then last week I had an infected sore on the base of my stump that I ended up having to lance and drain in order to relieve the pressure. Normally I can heal up overnight when I do this, but this one required a bit of extra love as it turned out to be 2-3 infected sores close together once I opened it up and all three needed draining and a little bit of extra time to recover. Thankfully I had the week off work (took some much overdue annual leave from the office for a break) and could take it easy, but still, it meant that I missed another week of training.

So yeah, three weeks of inconvenient setbacks to heading back to the dojo.

Still, it’s not like I’m in a rush or anything, it’s just that I really enjoy training and martial arts and can see how it has had such a positive effect on my condition, and when I miss successive weeks of training due to issues with my leg, it’s frustrating.

Share

Wear a hat you douchebag (or, having things cut off your scalp is annoying :P)

More recollections of what I’ve been up to!

About 12 months back I noticed a small lump near the crown of my scalp – being the delightfully slack person I am, I decided it was fine and nothing to worry about. Shoot forward to November last year, and I finally had a skin cancer check up. To be honest I should have gone in to have this done a while back, because even though I’m still in my 20s, being a ranga, I should be more conscious of this. Especially since my hair’s not as thick as it used to be either!

Anywho, so the skin cancer guy has a look, and nothing out of the ordinary. I point out the spot on my head hiding in my overdue-for-a-haircut mess of reddish hair, and I’m sent away with a “see your doctor” slip of paper. After seeing my GP, I was then referred to a specialist, who suggested that taking a knife to it would be the happiest method of dealing with it. I went into surgery about a fortnight later, which brings us to the end of January (yes, I was slack following up on the referral slip and seeing my GP). Now, considering the size of the bump, I’m quite surprised at how painful it was! I guess because after it gets cut out of your scalp and they stitch the wound back together it pulls tightly on your skin and causes extra pressure, but I didn’t sleep well at all until the stitches came out… and crazily enough once that was sorted, my head felt a lot nicer and I was back to my usual sleeping habits!

It’s been neraly two months since I had the spot removed and funnily enough it’s still not 100% healed – almost, but not quite done as yet. The test on the bit they removed came back without any nasties, so this one ended up being a preventative measue and it’s re-enforced how proactive I’ve become with at least looking after myself when I’m outside – when working in the garden enjoying the subrubian life, I’m out there with sunscreen (30+, and now with smelly clear zinc as well!) and the world’s most awesome sombrero. Because they’re cool.

It also goes without saying that I kept from training for a couple of weeks due to the recovery – rolling round, falling over, being thrown or getting into locks and holds wouldn’t be doing the recovery any favours, and it’d be nasty if the stitches caught on something mid-way through class! If life were a Tarantino film though, that would have happened and people would have been bathing in the red stuff!

So unless you want a knife taken to your scalp, wear a hat you douchebag. Or at least make sure you have a nice full head of hair to absorb the impact from the sun πŸ˜€

This announcement has been brought to you by me, Sean, the colour orange, and the letter ‘R’.

Share

Catching up on what’s been happening

I thought I’d make my first proper post a bit of a catchup on what’s been happening with me over the last couple of months πŸ™‚

I’ve been training on and off since mid-late November due to a handful of injuries that have been rolling my way, probably the most persistent of which has been my stump’s ongoing issues since November. It actually started after I took our dog out for a walk after Wifey and I caught up with my brother and sister-in-law for a weekender, and ended up mangling the back of my stump. This wasn’t a biggie at first because I thought I’d just done some minor surface damage to the stump, but it ended up turning out to be more serious and on-going than I first imagined.

What ended up happening only started to get resolved maybe a month ago – what had happened was to do with some foam padding added to what’s called the “seat” of the prosthesis. This is the part of the socket that comes up to the base of your arse cheek and forms a foundation to hold your weight when you walk – by doing this, it means the weight and pressure of your body is spready out on your bum (which is handy, because it’s cushiony and generally has a large surface area!) and along the bottom of your stump, which can only physically take so much repeated pressure/impacts before struggling to hold your weight.

Anywho, because I’m pretty active, a while back my specialist put some tough foam-like padding (only a few mm thick) along the back of the seat of the prosthesis to soften the cutting-like impact walking was having on my socket liner. This is a good thing btw, more cushion = less direct impact. The issue was that a while ago, part of the foam padding broke off and I ignored it, because at first it wasn’t making a difference. However, after that long walk with our dog it happened to grind away so much skin that it caused an open wound (at the time though, I didn’t realise the extent of the damage). Roll on to December and I had two weeks off work over the x-mas break, which was great for my leg because I kept the prosthesis off for the most part. However, jumping back into work and all the goodies that comes with my work ethic, and again I had problems with my leg. It was getting very, very frustrating!

My lightbulb moment came in February – after getting into my socket and feeling the familiar soreness on the back of my stump, I put my finger between the liner and the socket where the pain was comgin from and took a look, and the exact spot where the sore happened to be was on the torn edge of the foam backing! Following this revelation, I made an appointment and had my specialist remove the offending material and replace it. The effect was immediate, and for the first time in months, my stump is slowly healing itself.

So, because of this in particular, training has been really erratic – I’ve only done a handful of classes this year so far, and am nowhere ready to grade next month (I also missed out the December grading due to the issues knocking me out solidly from November 2009 until the new year, so that’s two in a row as we generally hold gradings quaretly throughout the year), so I’ve been working on training at about 80% so as not to damage the stump. I’ve managed to do classes for the last two weeks without too much trouble, and for the last three weeks I’ve been able to finally get back into the yard as well and work on revamping the garden. Things are definitely looking up!

So, I’m at a good place at the moment. Over the course of my break form training, I also took the opportunity to do some reading on martial arts – I read Patrick and Yuriko McCarthy’s translated works on Gichin Funakoshi and Motobu Choki (regulars will know I’ve mentioned him when referring to Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo-jutsu and the International Ryukyu Karate-jutsu Research Society in the past – you can check out their website here, and read more on the books themselves here), finally read Tom Cleary’s translation of Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings (more info on the translation is at Musashi Miyamoto.com) and a translation of the Hagakure (can’t recall the translator for this one) – Wifey actually bought me those last two as a gift, isn’t she awesome? Down the road I’m planning on writing up something on my impressions of these books so that others interested in them can see some of my thoughts on them, being inspired by the martial arts book reviews section on Black Belt Mama’s website.

There’s been some other stuff happening as well on the injury front, but I’ll save that for another post in order to keep this one a little more focused!

Anywho, expect more regular updates form now on, I promise!

Share

Taking a (forced) break over x-mas

Sorry for the lack of updates of late πŸ˜› Last week ran away before I knew it!

So, update on how I’m going – erm, leg’s not holding up too well πŸ˜› The issues that cropped up a week or two back have come back again, so it’s out with the walking stick again to keep me company πŸ™‚ I’m not sure why the stump’s not healing up as quickly as it normally does, I suspect it’s to do with the location of where the split skin currently is and the fact it’s in constant pressure, whether it be wearing the prosthesis or not.

So, I have to exercise something I’m not all that good at – patience πŸ˜‰

So, I’ll be taking an extended break, longer than I first thought when I took a week or two off in November. I’ll have to make sure I don’t indulge too much over the break as well, since I won’t be able to exercise as much! πŸ˜‰

This does raise a couple of questions though – how do I exercise whilst trying to minimise excess physical impact to my stump? I want to use the next month and a half until classes start again in January to get back into weight training, and I reckon this might be able to float the balance between being able to have a good workout, but do it without excess pressure on the rear of the stump since I can do a slew of different exercises on the bench, rather than standing.

The other thing I’m considering doing is working on adapting some of my core techniques to being able to do them standing on one leg. Taking a note out of Jesse’s (of the Martial Explorer) book and his interest in practical application of martial to real-world scenarios, I thought this is something I should be looking at. While I’m generally wearing my leg while I’m awake and out and about, there will be times where I’m going to be without my prosthesis, whether it be because I’ve mangled my stump or damaged my leg. So, I’m conscious that, in the spirit of trying to be a well-rounded martial artist, it’s important that I consider broadening my skillset to cope with performing at least a handful of upper-body techniques if ever I need them. So, I figure while I’m a bit mangled, it may not be such a bad idea to roll in an exploration of some of these techniques with my condition.

So, while there are definitely some negatives with where things are at, there are also some opportunities in there as well. I’ll update as I go πŸ™‚ I’m actually a bit excited about exploring what techniques can be transferred to training on a single leg, hopefully the resultant posts won’t be too convoluted!

Share

Stupid stump

As the heading suggests, I’m in a very mature and rational mood πŸ˜› Was heading home from work yesterday looking forward to jumping into a good session last night at the dojo, and thought – “My stump feels a bit funny, I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with the prosthesis though”. By the time I got home and walked out the car though, I knew it was happening again – much like the problems I was having with my leg last week, where I thought the skin had healed over the split in my skin, it was in fact splitting open again. I was actually pretty confident that it was on the mend, but I must have gotten ahead of myself; I should have kept the bandaids over the wound a little longer, but to be honest, it was probably the great little training session I did on Tuesday that started undoing all the good I’d achieved by taking it easy over the course of the last week and a half.

The bummer is that this throws my training regime completely up in the air, as it means I definitely won’t be able to train outside of class, and wholistically, I definitely won’t be able to grade before the end of the year. I know martial isn’t all about the grading, but I like to set goals and achieve them, and am a little bummed that I’ll be falling behind that target I thought I could achieve. Not that it’s really something I could have avoided as I didn’t know the wound hadn’t completely healed over, but still, it’s a bit disappointing.

Still, all the extra effort has not gone to waste by any means – all training is good training, after all – so I’ve now revised my goal to grade up by the end of Q1 2010, and will try to train hard and get myself to a level of expertise so I can grade again before the end of next year.

Share

Companion blogs

Calendar

August 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031