My foot’s still mangled :P

Well, dropped into the leg people yesterday to get them to do some work. Y’know, like a car service, but for a leg. I reckon I should slap on one of those “Your next service is due by June 2009, or 5,000 kms” on my leg. That way I’d be a bit better in getting it serviced regularly 😀

Anywho, the new foot enclosure is still on its way, at this stage it looks like I should have it done before Wednesday next week, which is good as I’m driving Wifey up the wall at the moment from walking around the house doing karate. Due to the foot I haven’t done anything too stupid (like running up and down the hallway doing jumping side kicks :P), just punches, shuto and the occasional kick. It’s now been three weeks since my last class, and I’m starting to worry about the quality of my kata, so I’ve started going through it in my head every now and again and trying to visualise it and train the pattern in my brain that way. In the meantime with my foot, they’ve fused the toes back onto the rest of the enclosure which should abate any paranoia I have about them breaking off entirely if I keep to my currently level of activity. They also serviced the knee while I was there – I hadn’t snapped the spring this time, but it was given a thorough once-over and its working much nicer now.

Anywho, in general training news stuff, I manage to squeeze back up to 50kg on the bench on Wednesday night, which was good (I could only get to about 46kg the night before). I was going to do weights last night as well, but the week’s catching up already so I gave it a miss as I had a few other things to do after work anyhows. So this ends my first week of minimal reps/maximum weights that I wrote about earlier on after reading Jesse’s blog. Obviously it’s still early days, but I enjoyed the challenge this week, and we’ll see how it translates into my usual training regime for next week. In the long run, I’m hoping it will be a positive addition to my between-class training.

More importantly, hopefully I’ll be able to get to class next week!

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Archive: We can rebuild him, we have the technology

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 26 March, 2007

Ack, wasn’t able to squeeze in a third blog last week – my bad. Between another busy week at work and crunching in an assignment for post grad stuff at Uni, I wasn’t able to get one done. Bummer. But I’ve made up for it by having such an awesome title for this blog. Maybe.

Anywho, it turns out that last Wednesday I managed to get an appointment and had my leg fixed. The problem was the usual one – the big-arse spring in the knee broke in half, hence the weird clicking noise. For those unawares, the knee for my fake leg (see my pics/previous blog for an image) has a big spring inside that helps make it do its usual trickery. Assumedly, after it’s given a fair bit of abuse, the thing shatters/bends/brakes, and so on, which leads to the knee not operating as well as it should (normally, this means it doesn’t swing through as smoothly as it should), and in the worst-case scenario, the knee completely seizes up and won’t move – it stays locked in place.

The last time I had the spring changed, I’d waited ages before I managed to grab some time off work to go in and have it looked at, and the result staggered even the guys who take care of these things in their daily work. I was hoping to have a pic of it uploaded by the time I wrote this up, but was having trouble finding the pic on my mobile phone – thankfully, I’ve finally located it, so I’ll upload it over the next few days. It’s a really cool pic – I placed a brand new spring alongside the mangled one. The result was very amusing. Or at least I was amused, but I’m like that 😉

Anywho, back to the story – the leg got fixed, but due to craptacular study commitments, couldn’t make karate training on Wednesday night, which makes it three weeks in a row that I haven’t trained! Very annoying. I get the feeling my karate will be uber sloppy come Wednesday… and it just emphasises even more that I have to organise the extra night’s training to continue to push myself, and it means that in the future if I have to skip a night’s class due to work or study commitments, it means I won’t be missing an entire week’s worth of training!

Even though I’ve had the time off, I’ve been working hard on my leg stretches in the evenings, and I’m almost at the point of being able to do Chinese splits (i.e. side splits, as opposed to front splits). When I had my previous style of prosthesis (my current style uses a silicone liner for my stump, which is easier on the skin; the previous style had a flexible, plastic-type inner lining and the stump used to slide in and have direct contact with the socket… methinks I’ll have to do a post, or a series of posts, on how my leg(s) have worked over the years), there was greater flexibility between the socket and my stump, and doing the Chinese splits didn’t stress my legs as much as the current leg does, and I could get myself perfectly flat on the ground whilst balancing on my heels. With the extra work I’m putting in, I think I’m beginning to reach that same level again, which is awesome.

In addition to the stretching, I had two pretty intense weight sessions last week – Tuesday night’s workout emphasised chest/upper torso, and on Thursday my father-in-law put me through what he calls his ‘Killer Arm Workout’, with “killer” signifying intensity, and not the usual slang its used for in Australia 🙂 And you know what – he was right! After the workout, even washing my hands was difficult! It was pretty funny mind you – I felt like a penguin, moving my arms from the shoulder to get them to do anything 🙂 Hence on Friday, I was a little sore, and by Saturday, wow… I must have slept with my arms folded or curled up, because the muscles around my elbow were so sore and stiff that the tendons didn’t want to stretch at all, so I had to work on them all weekend to actually be able to stretch my arms out straight! I would like to thank the packet of voltarin for adding some anti-inflammatory goodness, and the magic mud heat rub stuff Wifey and I brought back from NZ in helping me being able to get my arms better! I can now stretch my arms out straight, and it only hurts a bit 😉 Methinks a less intensive session is in order for tomorrow night 🙂

And that’s pretty much it. I’ll post something else in the lead up to training, and will finally be able to do a post-training blog later in the week. Can’t wait – I’ve missed karate!

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Archive: Bugger

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 20 March, 2007

Hmmm, having another one of those amputee moments today. Was walking around the office minding my own business, when -clunk- the knee on my artificial leg seized up. And I muttered “Bugger” to myself. Because Australians are so eloquent when it comes cursing. Oh yes we are.

Anywho, you’re all probably wondering what the significance of this is? Well, it’s not too much to be worried about in the grand scheme of things probably… but explaining it might be a bit tricky, and once again I think to myself – wow, it’s be nice if I had a picture to show 😛 Actually, that’s a good idea – I did a search on the ‘net ad finally found the company that produces my current knee (which I swear by – it’s a brill piece of kit, perfectly suited for what I do), who are Seattle Systems. Now, hopefully this’ll work – I’ve plonked the image into the pics section, so let’s try and plonk this into my blog post and keep it looking nice:


My knee, in monochrome 😛

Okay, anywho, inside the knee, amongst other scientificy things, is a big-arse spring that helps regulate the thing’s movement. Being a somewhat active amputee, I have a habit of putting these things through their paces, and the tell-tale ‘clunk’ is normally a sign that the spring is starting to either shatter, twist out of shape, or spontaneously combust. Okay, I lied about the spontaneously combust bit. It doesn’t do that. It would be funny if it did that though… actually, it probably wouldn’t be. In fact, it’d probably be a bit shit… and possible slightly humorous, but that’s all 🙂

Anywho, what this translates to in the grand scheme of things is that my knee has now entered into an unreliable phase. Sometimes the knee will just lock up mid-step, which leads to amusing situations (trippping up, without falling over), to situations possible determined to be bad (walking down the stairs, knee locks up, leg misses the step and you tumble onwards and downwards). It also means no karate until I get it fixed up, as its current state isn’t exactly conductive to (a) jumping, (b) running, or (c) kicking. It does, however, mean I can extend my expertise in the art of falling down. It isn’t very useful mind, but it’s always good to observe some positive wherever possible 🙂

So, it’s time to slash the lunch breaks again and head out some time this week to get it fixed. If the knee worsens, I have my spare leg available, so I don’t have to worry about missing work and wasting any sick leave. Plus it means I won’t fall behind on my workload either, which is always handy.

So, unless I post otherwise, I’ll probably have to skip karate again this week. In its place though, I’ll see if I can put in another weights session followed by some cycling to make up for it, and continue stretching in the meantime. I’ll post towards the end of the week to let everyone know what happens!

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