Freaks of nature

9 08 2012

First weekend of practice after a really long time of Aikido inactivity. Monday I felt quite sore especially in lower back and legs, typical when one does not take ukemi often enough! I admit I had lost a bit the tatami feeling: even if I got some at home, one thing is sitting on them, another is being thrown.. and my neighbour living below me would not appreciate too much ukemi over their heads!

My biggest worry was my right ankle: for once I decided to avoid using pain killers (natural or less) even with 3 session practice on Saturday and one more intense on Sunday. Of course I used elastic bandage on the ankle for every session. Tighten up effectively. The result is that I do have some pain in the ankle (not surprised), but the left one is a little painful as well!!! And I did not twist it or anything!! But I did not use any bandage there. Maybe the seiza sitting and few suwariwaza exercises were enough to afflict my joints.

I don’t think there is the typical explanation like: I don’t want to put my full weight on the right foot so I overstress the left. During practice, the last thing I think is my ankles (I know, not very smart maybe, but I used to be an Aikido freak as well..). So I think I do use them both in the same way, unless I feel pain, thing that did not happen!

Anyway Monday both ankles were sore and both were a little swollen: the swelling is what worries me the most, bringing up bad memories! I used to not be too upset by some ankle swelling, since it has been a constant companion of summer (and winter, and autumn, and spring) evenings after one day playing basketball!! After last summer RA diagnosis and painful experience I take the swelling more seriously. So that I tried to not walk too much during the day, not work standing and in the evening I used a lot of Yunnan Baiyao spray on the swelling.

Tuesday, for my surprise, I woke up with 2 “normal looking” ankles. The normal for me is anyway a weird sight for people that never had problems there. But no swelling, no soreness, actually no pain anywhere (legs and lower back also fully recovered). Maybe my physical condition was not that bad? Probably it only means the practice was softer than I thought.. next week will be the proper reference! To not over stress my luck I decided to go to bath & sauna in the evening: first I noticed that anyway during the day at the office the swelling in the ankles increased (still no pain and no special distressed feeling, but the feet were just bigger). For once the sauna was really good and hot.. and for once I did not even manage to sit my 45 minutes without a break! But my body felt so good afterwards. Also I do a sort of exercise I read as suggested for joints: walk in a hot water pool for a couple of minutes, then do the same in a cold water pool. Repeat the sequence a few times, finishing with the hot water one.

Wednesday and after I stop thinking too much about my ankles, keep though an eye open for the swelling!

But a new weekend gets closer!

Nature decided to be clement with me after the first August effort. Instead of punish harder the lack of physical practice during July, it let my body recover fast and almost without pain. Was it just a joke? Is nature playing with me like a cat with a poor mouse? The answer will be probably next Monday.. or the one after or.. the first Monday of September..

FUNNY THING OF THE DAY – Since the spray Yunnan Baiyao was almost finished I resolved to buy more. But the little pharmacy I went had nothing, except Yunnan Baiyao pills! First time seeing them, so I took them. As usual the application explanation (one of the very few that has it in English) is extremely funny: magic pills, good really for about anything you can think of! Understandable, but equally interesting expressed precaution: “pregnancy is contradicted“.

yunnan baiyao magic pills!

What a nice ankle I got!

9 06 2012

"healthy" practice..

It wasn’t a beauty at start (left) but now (right) it’s a wreck!!

Same ankle I have injured in Japan, and unfortunately it wasn’t fully recovered, got twisted again Saturday during practice in Shanghai. And as in Japan I practiced a little longer, with pain killers and elastic bandage support (I was scheduled to teach one session!).

Admittedly I do not feel so good today, but I have big hopes (and rest planned) to get a good condition back for the seminar in two weekends in Beijing with Irie sensei 🙂

..and just for be safe, I’ll pack a good amount of pain killers for the trip!!

I am sure it is not RA effect, even if these weeks I have been feeling some tingling in my joints and knees especially, a feeling I remember right before last August RA appearance.

Today and tomorrow the plan was practicing in Wuhan: I will still go but taking with me the good Nikon camera and focusing on some Aikido pictures!

Best drink for 2011!

4 01 2012

During Christmas in Chengdu I had the chance to taste a new easy drink: warm coke with ginger. Since then, once back home, I have been making it almost every evening!!! It is a little cheating, since I tried the drink so close to the end of the year and actually made it mainly these extremely cold days, in 2012.. but who cares!

I love ginger, also it is very good for my rheumatoid arthritis.

Food and herbs according to Chinese medicine and traditions categorize as cold or warm, according to the effect they have on the body. Rheumatoid arthritis for Chinese medicine can present different aspects: factors of Wind, Cold, Heat, and/or Dampness. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor I visited more often, I am affected by cold factors.

Ginger is a warming food aliment.

Boiled coke and ginger!

..and I see it is also good to fight a cold..

Time and fear

23 09 2011

How much time do you need to pass from good feelings and hope to be able to practice again Aikido at a good level and with good frequency without feeling like an old man, to sadness, frustration, disappointment and again some hopeless fear? Read the rest of this entry »

Walking normally.. no watermelon knee!

20 09 2011

[In other words: Fighting my rheumatoid arthritis update]

After more than one month from showing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, RA, and a about 4 weeks from being diagnosed with this disease, things are going much better. The swelling in the right knee and right ankle is almost disappeared, being the ankle more problematic. In fact, right ankle and foot showed swelling much longer than the knee. Even if at the beginning all the pain and swelling were in knee, with time they both moved south to the foot. Especially the swelling worried me big time (hey, the picture is little disgusting, no need to click it if you don’t want!):

6115630951_0dd6ab8397_z Read the rest of this entry »

Sunny & yummy weekend!

5 09 2011

Almost a summer in 2 days!

For once, the good weather gods that usually spend their time mocking the workers, offering great weekdays and gloomy weekends, for once they have been nice: for the past couple of days the weather was wonderful. The perfect weather: quite warm, around 30 degrees C, a little breeze and low humidity, sunny, blue sky. Perfect weather for walking around and really enjoy the heat.

Chinese roll kebab潘蕾 and I got to the center at lunch time: perfect timing to try another wonderful new experience for me: 芙蓉蛋卷, Fúróng dàn juǎn, what I now call the Chinese answer to kebab roll! That was/is my common night snack in Norway! I must say especially in Oslo, followed by Trondheim, I had quite a few of kebab rolls when going out from a bar or disco, after 2am. I have to check when this tiny shop of 芙蓉蛋卷 closes during the night, even if there are no really bars close to this area. Anyway, it is not dürüm bread, but there are 2-3 sheets of a very thin kind of bread, filled with egg, meat, tofu, vegetables, noodles, and rolled up as a cone and one end is dip in the characteristic sous. Delicious!!!

潘蕾During my session of massage and acupuncture, 潘蕾 had a chance to watch a movie and have a chat with the three boys that run the place (2 specialize din massage and one acupuncture, cupping and moxibustion). Maybe a little boring for her, but she likes to learn new stuff and these boys enjoyed talking about what they were doing.. All in Chinese of course, needless to say! I just lay there, got my knees stick with several needles and try to even my breathing.. 🙂

So I managed to go to the acupuncture/massage place found by chance last week and then 潘蕾 and I went to enjoy the weather walking around a nearby park (杏花公园,Xinghua Park) and taking pictures..

First time visiting that park, in fact the whole area is new to both of us: we ended up there taking a random bus that should have took us close to the Traditional Medicine Hospital, but because of road works we ended up far more north than intended.. and then we spot the tiny place where I now enjoy to go for acupuncture!!

Before 潘蕾 had to run away to her part time job as English assistant we had a nice walk in the park, where she also enjoyed taking pictures of the nice sky and background!

杏花公园, Xinghua Park 杏花公园, Xinghua Park

Jogging time

2 09 2011

I need to practice Aikido soon, otherwise I will lose my mind, but in the meantime, together with some basic exercises the acupuncture guy suggested me, I decided yesterday, given the very good weather, to go out for a slow pace jogging tour. This was a suggestion from the hospital doctor. Suggestion I postponed until then because of a few factors: terrible weather, painful joints after a long walk, laziness, hating jogging.. yeah, the usual ones!

few clouds

These days, even with a good sauna, I felt pain in both knees and right ankle, maybe because the weather changing from rainy to sunny, and the humidity levels also varying quite a lot. So I finally decided to put some more condition in my body, starting with light and healthy lunches. Including today it will be one week on fruit for lunch (and some more fruit during the day). At energy level, I have seen it is ok.

after jogging..Keeping the same path as usual, ie. running around the small lake in the nearby compound, I kept a constant slow pace until the last 500 meters, where I increased the step length, without anyway pushing too hard on the knees. The outcome of the reasonably little effort was more or less the same as almost every other time: sweating like a fountain.. After shower the legs felt tired. I, in fact, fell asleep right after a light dinner.
Today I can say I do not have any special joint pain, different from the diffuse muscle pain I always have after running. I am especially happy for not feeling anything worse at ankle level. Also no pain in touching knees: Aikido practice will be different, rolling the knees will always “touch” the mats, more or less.. but it’s a good feeling to be “normally in pain” after the short run!

Now, 2 days of walking only; hopefully no work this weekend but a few things to buy here and there.. and Sunday a long walk or slow pace run to my favorite sauna/bath place, hoping this time I can take a loooooooooong sauna without interruptions 😉