Warrior Wednesday – Exercising While Injured

sword

Image created using Bitmoji

In the physical sense, things aren’t ideal. My neck still hurts though I have a little more range of motion today. The last couple of days I couldn’t tilt it left or right at all. I can’t go far with it, but I can do more than none.

The things that are helping aren’t just the neck exercises, but swinging my sword and other exercise. That’s likely partly due to endorphin being a natural pain killer, but also moving is necessary for healing as the newer acronym METH (Movement, Elevation, Traction, Heat) says. Oh, Aleve and Tiger Balm are also wonderful things.

The video link that I shared the other day suggests to keep doing the exercises that don’t hurt or stop before the point where it hurts. This is something none of the physiotherapists I’ve been to said. In fact, most just put me in a room after showing me the exercises once and just left me without thinking that I might never have been injured enough to have a clue about pain being a bad sign. No pain, no gain except when you’re talking about the spine, apparently. Therefore, it’s not so much of a wonder to me why my neck issue keeps returning. Hopefully, this time I’ll get it to heal for good.

I have another complication though. Monday’s Couch 2 5k session has left a small muscle in my left leg called the m. tensor fasciae latae feeling pulled. This is one of the muscles used in lifting the leg. I got through martial arts last night because we were focusing on standing techniques rather than a lot of up and down movement. Today’s session will likely be a lot more walking than jogging, but at least it’s exercise.

I bet that wouldn’t have happened had I been doing kicks regularly. I’ll have to get back into that.

It’s possible that I have a longer recovery time than others due to Sjögren’s. I’m not worried about it. I’ll just push a little less hard. I may also be more susceptible to chafing in areas due to the extra dryness. It’s a normal running problem but takes less run time for me to experience.

I also make sure to take L Glutamine to prevent gut damage. It was suggested to me by a nutritionist when I first came to Ottawa to help heal my yeast sensitivity.

I’ve noticed something about myself. I seem to over tense my muscles when using them. I’m not sure if this is related to being bullied during gym class in elementary school, living through an emotionally abusive long term relationship, Sjögren’s, anxiety, or some combination of the above, but I’d sure like to get it to stop. If anyone has experienced this, please let me know what has helped.

Off to eat breakfast and slowly walk. I’ll probably get rained on, but it’s rather warm in Ottawa anyway.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

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Thoughtful Thursday – A Mishmash of Things

thoughtfulToday’s post… I almost forgot to post one. At lunch I had a Somersby and then about an hour later fell asleep. Oops…

Anyway, I’m plodding along in my course and found a neat website for helping you think about the goals you are pursuing, so I thought I’d share that.

Last night was fun. I went to help a friend’s storytelling club out. My job was to sit in chairs and listen to stories. The first chair I sat in was the most perfect story it could’ve been for me. The young man talked about his love of Harry Potter and his hope for meeting his Hermione and Ron and perhaps his future love on the train. As one of the founding members of the Ottawa Harry Potter Society who used to work at a train company, I just really connected with it. Also, he spoke of his grandmother who he couldn’t talk to much because of a language barrier, and I had the same thing with mine. Anyway, you can go hear their stories free this Saturday. Here is the information.

I’m having a rough time with seasonal allergies this year. It sucks extra when you have generally dry eyes because allergy medicine dries you out and makes your eyes feel like hard rubber balls. This makes it hard to read books or screens. And I have so many I want to read voraciously!

I’m a little annoyed that I had so long of a nap as I planned to get more done today, but despite allergy medicine, I’m still feeling sneezy, so maybe sleeping really was the best thing for me. I’m really behind on my dishes and laundry though and those are some of the things I was hoping to get done today. I suppose there’s always tomorrow, that place where all achievement lives to the procrastinator.

I really should get something done today beyond eating food. I’m going to do at least one load of dishes and of laundry. That’ll make me feel like I’m not a complete failure today.

Salut,
R~

Can-Con 2016 – Day 2


Day 2 went pretty smoothly. I think the main highlights for me were the panels involving The Ed Greenwood Group. I’d like to write something for them.
The panel on mental health was interesting. They talked about a variety of issues including psychopathy, sociopathy, depression, autism, adhd, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. They said something I wholeheartedly agree with, which was that people are not defined by their mental health or other conditions. Yes, they implant their experience of the world, but they are not their condition. I also identified with what they were saying because of my autoimmune disorder. Someone walked up to me the other day when I was surrounded by a group of strangers and loudly said that he was surprised I do martial arts given my “illness”. I do not think of myself as ill. Ill to me implies that I’m dying of cancer or have something like cystic fibrosis and need organ transplants. Largely I manage quite well with very little medicine, eating healthily, and exercising. I need more water and lubrication than other people. I get fatigued easy. I have some tendon pain. I have zero percent worries of having a healthy pregnancy when I find someone who I see a real future with. Yes, there are people who are more debilitated than I am. I think a major difference for me is that I’ve had symptoms since I was a young teen. I’ve grown up with this just being a thing I deal with. Other people deal with sick parents or depression from the loss of a loved one or something else. Others with Sjögren’s were extremely athletic prior and get hit hard by it. That would be Venus Williams experience, I believe. But she still plays tennis. Because she loves tennis. I’m actually very healthy. My heart is in great shape and so are my other organs. My eyes aren’t damaged either. It is a small piece of who I am.

We also talked about how a psychopath will convince their victim that the victim is remembering things incorrectly and systematically tear apart their self esteem. Basically they’ll convince the person that they have a mental health issue when really it’s the psychopath’s version of reality that is messed up. There’s a good reason why I’m so picky when it comes to choosing someone to spend my life with.

Next up was epic fantasy and why it has no respect. One conclusion was that people have Tolkien fatigue. Another conclusion was that a lot of people who wrote it were terrible at writing. 

I changed panel plans several times. I’m not much for attending readings of any sort, so I went to one called, “Our Monsters are Us,” which explored ideas like how humans often try to label anything different as bad.

The one Stormtalons panel was only for current TEGG writers, so I went to one on adapting literary works for TV and Movies. I didn’t learn as much at this one as other panels but it was nice to just listen to the discussion.

The panel on writing groups was interesting and in line with what I thought. I’ll be unable to attend my group for the foreseeable future as French class is during that time slot. Becoming bilingual is important to me. 

I took a break for food, drinks, and socializing before going to a panel on selling at conventions. There are divergent theories on this and it’s best to find out what works for you was what I took out of it. 

Well, off to Day 3!

Ciao, 

R~

Merry Monday: Busy, But Happy

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

The Weekend

Health

This weekend started off with me feeling pretty terrible. My parotid salivary glands were hurting and I felt generally unwell on Friday. Saturday was better. I got blood work done in the morning as the rheumatologist wants to recheck the numbers to see if they’ve changed at all.

Writing

While in the waiting room, I wrote furiously, which continued when I got home. I have a list of ideas to build upon. I did some baking. I took a cinnamon roll recipe and made it into GF cinnamon muffins.

Geocaching

Then I went geocaching. I found two on my own and met a nice old man by the third. It was lucky I did as my app wasn’t getting me close enough and I had lost my pencil during the hunt. I walked with him back to the caches I had already found and he told me of his caching adventures with his son. Apparently, there is a gondola in the Caribbean where you get a free drink for finding the cache. The bar is high up and the view is tremendous. The gondola owner owns the geocache. I think he said it was a multi. I’m up to 14 now, which is barely anything.

Guitar

I also watched some movies and played guitar. I played around with syncopation and palm muting. It was fun. I’m looking forward to my Squier Mini Strat in Torino Red. My acoustic has a bit of a buzz. It’s a vintage cheapie Brantwood K-100. It’s probably due for new strings. I strung it wrong when I first did it. Maybe I’ll get a set when the electric comes in. They’re probably about a year old now…

Martial Arts

Sunday my wonderful Sensei and Sempai helped curb some of my nerves by running me through a mock Taikai (tournament) in preparation for this upcoming weekend. My first attempt was horrible. Then it was the monthly B-Movie night where we watched an Easter-themed movie, Night of the Lepus.

The Week Ahead

Work

I have a challenging week ahead, which started with an early morning today. I normally begin work around 10 AM, but today I had to be there for 8 AM. I got there at 7:30 and the company I was to hand over our backups to couldn’t take them because their processes are a mess. We’ll see if it gets resolved tomorrow. They have messed things up more than once in the last couple of weeks, so I’m not holding my breath. I have another early day on Thursday. At least I’m mostly focusing on QA this week, which isn’t strenuous, but some parts of it are very tedious.

I have another early day on Thursday and many back-to-back meetings. At least I’m mostly focusing on QA this week, which isn’t strenuous, but some parts of it are very tedious.

Health

A month ago, I wouldn’t have been able to get up in time for sure. Seems like the B12 has probably straightened out. At least I’m not frequently dizzy, completely exhausted, or so moody.

Martial Arts

The weekend ushers in a trip to the GTA for an Iaido seminar and taikai. Lunches are taken care of in the fee, so that makes things a little easier. Plans for dinner are arranged with good friends and I’m looking forward to a weekend filled with swinging my sword around and being with others who love this thing like I do.

Ciao,
R~

April is Sjögren’s Syndrome Awareness Month

It’s the start of Sjögren’s Syndrome Awareness Month and it’s no joke.

For my first post on Sjögren’s Syndrome, I’m going to list some key facts about it.

  1. It’s pronounced “show-grins”.
  2. The disease was first identified in 1933 by Dr. Henrik Sjögren.
  3. In the U.S. alone over 4 million Americans have Sjögren’s, yet it is virtually unknown or completely misunderstood by the medical community. In contrast, only about 250,000 Americans have Multiple Sclerosis.
  4. 90% of sufferers are female. I’ll talk more about this in a later post regarding Sjögren’s impact on sexual intercourse, which may also help women who don’t have Sjögren’s.
  5. Those who have heard of it think it’s just dry eyes and a dry mouth, but it’s actually an autoimmune disease. Other autoimmune diseases you may have heard of include multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac’s disease, mixed connective tissue disorder, scleroderma, Epstein Barr, Addison’s disease, Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, pernicious anemia, Raynaud’s phenomena, sarcoidosis, psoriasis, and diabetes. There are probably more than those and I apologize if I missed one.
  6. Sjögren’s is actually the third most prevalent of all rheumatic autoimmune diseases, surpassed by Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
  7. The only celebrity that is currently known to suffer from it is female tennis player Venus Williams.
  8. The best resource for information on Sjögren’s Syndrome is the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation. They publish a handbook with the most accurate information.

More to come in the month ahead. There’s a lot more to know, but I figured a little bit at a time is best.

Ciao,
R~

Funky Fridays: March 25th through April 1st

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

I’d say I’m sorry I didn’t post on March 25th, but it was Good Friday and I was traveling for Easter. That said, I’ll try to briefly recap some things that happened. I apologize that many of them are depressing. I put the happy ones at the beginning in case you’d rather not read about the awful things that happened recently.

  1. Relieved: I finished writing, editing, and submitting my short story Solarium, which is about a failing Mars simulation.
  2. Excited: Camp NaNoWriMo starts today! Let’s hope me and my cabin mates are ready to get some serious writing done. I’ll be editing The Page & The Magician. I’m currently on Chapter 7 of 24.
  3. Brave: Today also marks the beginning of April, which is Sjögren’s Syndrome Awareness Month. I was diagnosed with Sjögren’s recently and given the amount of misinformation there is about the condition, how prevalent yet unknown it is, and how much it affects me on a daily basis, I’ve decided to do my part in raising awareness. Check out my posts on the autoimmune disease with the funny name.
  4. Indifferent: The federal budget was released. I didn’t see anything particularly shocking, but I didn’t delve into it either.
  5. Busy: My coworker is gone to Florida for 3 weeks vacation, so I’m doing some of her stuff. I don’t mind, though. It seems I have a lot more to do at work suddenly with many other projects starting at the same time.
  6. I got to watch a friend read from her novels on Wednesday evening at Ottawa ChiSeries. I really enjoyed listening to SM Carriere and David Neil Lee. David was funny. My friend was a little nervous but did really well. She had some stumbles, which I think she’s being overly hard on herself about as she soldiered on and the audience was never left in the lurch. I bought another of her books, which I only do if I really enjoy the way someone writes. I’m not sure when I’ll get to it as I’ve been talked into joining a book club, but I’ll find time somewhere.
  7. Angry: There was a shooting in Bells Corners. The young woman succumbed to her injuries. There have been far too many shootings and stabbings in Ottawa this year. It used to be a safer place to live.
  8. Thankful: A man lost his life on the highway not long before I reached that section while driving back to Ottawa after the long weekend. I’m thankful I wasn’t speeding that day. The visibility was quite awful and I figured it’s better to take a little longer and make it safely home.
  9. Livid: The verdict was announced in the Jian Ghomeshi case. While I agree that the lack of evidence and the lying of the plaintiffs is not acceptable, there’s still a problem and the judge recognized that the verdict didn’t mean Ghomeshi is innocent. It’s ridiculous that in 2016 people still get away with treating others in such ways.
  10. Helpless: There was a bombing in Pakistan over Easter. Whenever I hear about such things, I feel helpless. Everyone recognizes how sad it is that things like this continue to happen, but this is one of those things that doesn’t have an easy answer. When westerners try to help it only compounds the problems, so some gather from afar. Just a couple of days before there was a bombing in Brussels.
  11. Disgusted: People awaiting sentencing are being forced to live like abused animals. An inmate’s death seems to be the only reason anyone is trying to fix the overcrowding issue. The minister’s directives seem to be falling on deaf ears.
  12. Frustrated: A construction worker lost his life when ice fell on him. Even worse? The union raised the risk prior. This right here annoys me greatly as a project manager. There was absolutely no reason for this tragedy to occur. Safety should be paramount on construction sites!

More posts will be coming about Sjögren’s in the month ahead.

Ciao,
R~

Christmas 2015 and Moving Forward

Christmas was pretty low key this year, which is a good thing. No hospital visits and mostly relaxation.

I received an ice cream maker, a tortilla press, bath stuff, and movies. A lot of Star Wars, which is fantastic!

I got a few things on Boxing Day. I found Firefly on blue ray for $10. It’s a great series and I’ve been wanting it. Usually it’s triple the price! I also started collecting the Clone Wars series because I realized there’s so much Star Wars canon I’m behind on.

But Christmas has always been more about people for me. Seeing my honorary brother, hearing about my cousin’s successful proposal to his girlfriend, spending quality time with my family, seeing old friends – these are the things that make my holiday.

But there’s always a limit. There’s a point where I remember that living at my parent’s house for more than a couple of days would drive me insane! I love them all though.

On Sunday, I got to visit with old karate dojo teachers and students. I really enjoyed watching the junior white belt group. It felt really special for my first sensei to call me a sensei!

On Monday, the plan was Star Wars with family in standard. Having already seen it in IMAX, I was curious if it would be any less fantastic. It wasn’t. It was just as wonderful. I love that movie and disagree that it is a repeat of A New Hope. That is all I will say as I’m not one for spoiling things for others.

I was planning on leaving on Tuesday, but it became impossible with the winter storm that blew in from the blizzard that hit Texas.

The drive home was relaxing. I got groceries on the way and it took an hour to unpack my car. I used a trolley, but the wheels kept getting stuck in the snow. Ooh well, the exercise was good for me.

Prior to leaving for Christmas, I got myself set up to put a puzzle together and colour. Seeing that put a smile on my face, as did seeing Winchester the Amazing. I took an epsom salt bath and settled into the evening. I worked on my puzzle while organic chicken wings cooked in my Actifry.

It wasn’t long before I felt the call to do some writing, so that’s how I finished the night up. I worked on The Blood Waitress Club.

As we approach the beginning of a new year, my schedule is filling up. I’ve decided to return to karate as I’ve found a nearby dojo that does shotokan and is not-for-profit. They’re also not into sparring, which is great for me. The karate classes are on days I currently have open.

I’ll also be joining a support group for my autoimmune disease, Sjõgren’s. That runs once per month.

Writing will dominate the bulk of the rest of my schedule.

And, of course, I’ll still be doing iaido because I love it.

I’ll be ensuring to take regular breaks to avoid wearing myself out and manage stress levels. Karate always helped my stress levels and I’m really looking forward to it.

I began the day with bacon and pancakes for breakfast. Next was sushi lunch. I hope everyone has a good time tonight and stays safe. I am ringing in the new year with swords and bad sci-fi movies. What a yummy day 🙂

Tonight is the night to leave the past behind and move forward. Whatever negative and unhealthy things you’ve been holding onto, say goodbye. A new year is a new opportunity!

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ciao,
R~