Tales of a 33 year old green belt: returning to the flock

Had my first martial arts class since – ohIdunno – August, maybe earlier, tonight. To tell you the story of that, I have to tell you a different story first.

Why you always read your mail from the pharmacy

I mentioned in the last post that I’ve been kind of checked-out for a while, and there are a lot of reasons for that. One is a very slow slide into depression that started probably last summer. It was one of those insidious unnoticeable deals where I didn’t realize I was depressed until I also realized I was eating maybe once a day, stopped listening to music, stopped calling friends….

So, angst, stress, depression, coupled with the pressure I put on myself to do something about the angst, stress, and depression. And I thought I’d had all the crazy under control, so add on the angst, stress and depression of feeling like I’d lost control of the crazy. At some point, I started to get nightly heartburn from the stress and it was the general all around miserable feeling that finally drove me to see a counselor.

The day after I finally saw a counselor, I got an email from our pharmacy. Now, keep in mind that the pharmacy doesn’t know about the counselor, but they do know that I’m already on prozac. Their email said, in short “Hey, that exercise-induced asthma drug you started last summer? You might want to know it causes…

Cough; dizziness; headache; indigestion; nausea; stomach upset or pain; stuffy nose; tiredness; trouble sleeping; weakness. Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); aggressive behavior; agitation; dark urine; fever; flu-like symptoms; hallucinations; irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes; new or worsening wheezing or other breathing problems; numbness or tingling of hands or feet; seizures; severe or persistent stomach pain; severe sinus inflammation; suicidal thoughts or actions; swelling; unusual bruising or bleeding; upper respiratory tract infection; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Hmmm, stomach upset, nausea, agitation, mental or mood changes…. boy, that sounds familiar. Would have loved to know that THREE MONTHS AGO. Might’ve saved me a trip to a counselor….

So, off I went to the doctor, who immediately pulled me from the asthma drug and bumped my dose of prozac from “infinitesimal” to “tiny”. And what do you know? The heartburn is gone. A big portion (but not all) of the anxiety and depression are gone. The appetite is back. The clouds are gone. Life is great!

….And the asthma’s back.

Don’t know what you’ve lost ’till it’s back

I didn’t leave Tang Soo Do because of the depression. I left because Nighthawk was hospitalized and after that we had a bit of getting our lives back in order to take care of. But for almost 6 months I did nothing involving Tang Soo Do. I didn’t study my Korean terminology. I didn’t study my one-steps or forms. I didn’t stretch. I didn’t even do side kicks to loosen my back up.

On the other hand, I did wear my MBTs every day and I’ve been walking the dogs to various degrees every single day.

Today I learned..

  • I’ve lost some speed, and some power in my kicks.
  • I’ve lost what little technical finesse I had. I look like a flailing loon.
  • I’ve lost the callouses on my feet. My big toes both blistered, popped, and blistered again this afternoon. Ow!
  • I’ve lost my confidence that I know my stuff, even though it looks like I’ve retained more of my forms and one-steps than I thought I knew in the first place.
  • I’ve gained some balance, and some (but not a lot) of core strength, thanks (I think) to the shoes.
  • And I’ve regained the asthma.

There’s nothing so delightful as being out of breath for the first full 20 minutes of an hour-long class. It’s so incredibly hard to concentrate on having good form in your kicks when your brain stem is screaming AIR GODDAMMIT WHERE’S THE AIR?

And I do martial arts in part to learn self-defense. Something tells me that if I ever am mugged, I won’t be able to stop the mugger and say, “Hey, can you wait 10 minutes while I hit my inhaler and then we can try this mugging again so I can kick your ass?”

So, Monday, I’m back to the doctor. The goal is an asthma drug that doesn’t come with a side order of crazy. Wish me luck.

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