Monday, November 21, 2011


Just a quick post for now. 2 weeks ago, I had a week off work so I took a few days and went down to Kyushu. I was able to re-connect with some of my old Sensei from down there, and I took almost 700 photos. Some of those will end up on here at some stage. Being down there was great, but kind of bittersweet, because it made me remember how much nicer Kyushu people are than Tokyo people. (This is just a generalization, of course!)

Last week, it finally started getting quite cool and the dojo was actually a nice temperature for Jodo practice. For the first time since early spring, my feet weren't sweating and I could actually move around properly. It was awesome!

The unexpected outcome, though, was that I woke up with terrible pain in my ankle and on the top of my foot. I could barely walk, but managed to hobble slowly to the train. I tried to stay seated as much as possible while teaching, but by the end of the day, my foot was quite swollen.

I couldn't figure out what had happened to me! Obviously, my feet finally having a bit of traction meant that I was able to put a much greater load through my ankle. I didn't feel anything at the time, but I must have strained the tendons in my foot and ankle. I thought it might be tendonitis - why else would I not have felt anything until the next morning? - but there was quite a bit of bruising on the top of my foot, suggesting something was torn somewhere.

Japanese medicine, I've found, leaves a lot to be desired. The doctor looked at my foot and said, "It's quite swollen. Looks really painful." Yes, I asked, but what actually happened? [Doctor cocks head to one side:] "I know, right? What happened, indeed..." Her advice was to try and stay off of it for a while, to ice it, elevate it, and if it still hurts on Monday, to go get x-rays just in case. Oh, and the advice I always get from doctors: try to lose some weight.

Today is Monday and it feels a lot better, so I don't think I need an x-ray. But I'm still wondering what it could have been. No pain the night of practice; agonizing pain the next morning, which got worse after walking and standing on it all day (duh); considerable swelling; some bruising on the upper surface of the foot and around the toes. Any amateur (or professional!) diagnoses? Advice? Similar experiences?

The main point I'm taking away from all of this is: don't neglect cross-training. I've gotten so out of shape these past few months because one or two nights of Jodo a week is just about the only thing I do. It's not good to do nothing all the time, and then suddenly move around vigorously ... (double duh).


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