Gastro sucks

I was intending on following up on the last couple of weeks’ worth of posts with new material, but got knocked out with gastro last week. Bugger.

Anywho, there should be at least another update this week, then regular updates from next week – I’ve got a couple of martial arts movies to waffle about, as well as some updates on the new prosthesis being put together.


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.


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’.


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 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!


More love for the Magic Mud

Rotarua Thermal Mud Heat Rub

The Rotarua Thermal Mud (aka Magic Mud) came to my rescue (again!) this week – I’ve discussed before how it’s like a piece of awesome in liquid/paste/cream/whatever form (as recently as just over a month ago, actually!), and following this week’s training (particularly the resistance training on the stances), my knee was feeling a bit sore and inflamed. So, as per the usual, I slapped on plenty of mud and gave it a good rub in while watching a classy episode of Thundercats in bed, tried my best to relax my muscles and not sleep in a weird position, and sure enough, it was right as rain the next day.

When I finish this tube of it, I’m definitely going to grab some more (pretty sure Wifey’s found an online store that sells it) – I swear by the stuff, it always works a treat.

Although it might have been the combination of a double-awesome – Thundercats + Magic Mud. Sounds very scientific to me.


Companion blogs


June 2024