I learned about pain a long time ago, in what could almost be called a "past life."
|Nidan promotion ceremony, I think. Lookit the hair!!!|
This was not a female-driven school--
we had only 4 or 5 women in the building most nights.
For thirteen years after finishing my undergrad work, I studied goju ryu karate.
Despite being distinctly smaller than most of the other students (and I frequently had to practice with the juniors because of that),
|I told you I was a bad ass.|
I learned a lot, had fun, and eventually earned the rank of sandan (third-degree black belt). Persons of my stature often do well in kata practice, which can be compared to dressage : the perfection of the form, working towards demonstrated excellence of kicks, blocks, and punches. Those who know me will understand that I did my kata only because it helped with kumite, which is sparring practice. The relationship between kata and kumite can be compared to the relationship between dressage and trails--the practice makes things happen better when the rubber (or steel) hits the road.
Like every other karate student, I got injured. I broke most of my toes (one at a time, not all together), crunched up most of my fingers, and had fabulous bruises on my shins and lower arms almost all the time.
There was even a joke--funny, because it was so obviously true--that you could tell a student's rank without looking at the belt whenever he broke a finger:
- When a white belt (beginner) breaks a finger, there is crying, there is cussing, and the student gets hauled off to the nearby hospital for a splint and a round of painkillers.
- When a green belt (more advanced) student breaks a finger, there is cussing, and then the student drives himself to the hospital for treatment.
- When a brown belt (even more advanced) student breaks a finger, he finishes the exercise with some minor cussing and then heads down to the dressing room to grab a painkiller left from the last time he got injured.
- When a black belt student breaks a finger, he says, "Sh*t. Not again."
(BTW, the last time I broke a finger, the first words out of my mouth were, I kid you not, "Sh*t, not again.")
Black belts don't feel less pain than white belts.
However, after years of experience with injury, there isn't much fear involved with breaking a finger. It hurts, but if you've done it (several times) before, you know approximately how bad the pain will get, you know that it will eventually stop hurting, and you even know approximately how long the pain will last.
Most of the problem with pain, I learned in karate class, is that it is tightly wrapped up with fear.
Which brings us to the present day:
|Consulting with hip surgeon #1|
If I were 30 years younger, there is a "resculpting surgery" that would be helpful, except that 30 years ago the procedure didn't exist. These days, there's even a treatment for dysplastic newborns that didn't exist in the olden days when I was little.
The realistic option that will get me back into my normal, hyperactive life, is total hip replacement. Two months ago, the idea of this surgery terrified me. But in the last two months, the pain has increased a lot. I haven't gotten on my horse in three weeks--probably the longest time I've been out of the saddle in 30 years. I am not happy--and I know, from experience, that the fear that the pain will continue forever unless we do something drastic is making the pain worse.
Truthfully, if they offered to take me in for the procedure this afternoon, I would grab my truck keys and drive myself to the hospital.
In real world life, it will probably take 3-4 weeks for my name to come up on their schedule...but I am ready now. It hurts. I'm afraid of losing more of my lifetime fun to this pain.
And besides, Spring (and Summer) are coming.
|I want my LIFE back!|
Let's get this thing done!