Saving Stacy’s Kidney, Pt. 2

my tournament/goals calenard
I still use a paper calendar/planner for goal setting and planning tournaments and seminars. Although I don’t save the calendar past the end of the year, I paste my competitor wristbands from tournaments in the calendar. Since, I won’t be competing in any tournaments for a while, I thought it would be funny to paste my hospital armbands in there, instead.

And it was funny…at first. Then I got to the third hospital bracelet and it made me a little sad to add it to the calendar. And, for reasons, I don’t fully comprehend, I couldn’t stop once I started. In all, I went to the hospital five times during January. Most of those times, I saw an interventional radiologist. He was in charge of installing the perc tube and placing the first stent. [Read more...]

Saving Stacy’s Kidney, Pt. 1

First, the Starbucks Winners

I’m running late on the whole Starbuck’s card thing. (It’s only three weeks late.) Sorry, I’ve been kind of depressed. (More on that, later.) I noticed some bloggers talk about how they pick their winners, so here’s my highly nerdy method.

I put the names of everyone who left a comment into an Excel spreadsheet. (I’m a marketing professional; we do EVERYTHING with Excel spreadsheets.) Six people left comments. I entered their names as they appeared on the Web site, so they were listed in reverse chronological order.

I then used the formula =RANDBETWEEN(1, 6). The first time I came up with a 4, which is Isshinryu6. The second time I got a 5, which is Heather. Please, drop me a note via the “contact us” form and let me know if you want a physical gift card sent to you or an e-gift card. (I was going to send you a private message via the Disqus Web site, but I’m having one heck of a time trying to log into the site.)

OK, Now the Kidney

This is The Urologist’s actual drawing. (I added the labels.)

“Have you had a hysterectomy?” The Urologist asked.

“What? No.”

I was reasonably sure this question was a non sequitur but I just came back from surgery and was still a little fuzzy headed: coherent but having trouble keeping hold of the thread of our conversation.

“That kind of damage…It’s typically the type of thing I see when a doctor accidently ties off the ureter during a hysterectomy. You see what happened is…hold on, I need to draw a picture.”

It’s the most animated I’ve seen him. Typically, The Urologist is a bit of a douche bag. He always seems just a little bored and even inconvenienced by our appointments. Now, he seemed almost excited. Apparently, my kidney has provided a worthy opponent for him.

The original intent was to look at my ureter, find a place the where it’s blocked, clear the blockage and put a stint into place to keep it open. The problem was the ureter was too jacked up to do much of anything to it.

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Texts and Centipedes


Sensei is in law enforcement. Sometimes I’ll get an email or text from him that he won’t be able to teach class because of something going on where he works.

Wednesday, was one of those days that Sensei had a case and I was teaching class. I was greeted at the door by a large house centipede. Centipedes are number four on the list of Things that Scare the Crap Out of Me. They are right behind truss bridges, suspension bridges and draw bridges.

Shuddering, I carefully crept into the dojo. It (the centipede – not the dojo) had to go, but I was wearing flip flops. The thought of stomping on it with just a thin layer of foam between its creepy exoskeleton and my foot made me want to run out of the building screaming.

I sent out a quick text.

Me: What up with case? Cuz there is a big ass scary looking centipede in here. May have to cancel class if no one kills it.

Sensei: Squish it.

Me: Can’t. 1. It’s the size of my foot. 2. I think it’s making obscene gestures at me.

Sensei: Still working on it. Might have a lead in Chicago.

Me: OK, I’ll just have Eric’s dad kill it when he gets here.

Sensei: OK, my bad ass black belt. LMAO.

That’s the good thing about having a ton of fears and anxieties, every day is an adventure.

Kata Ownership

Who “owns” a kata? The question was spurred by a…”debate” Sensei and I were having about creative kata. Sensei is a traditionalist who has little patience for creative kata. Whereas I feel, in competition, tweaking a kata’s performance is perfectly acceptable.

In fact, doing so, in a thoughtful manner, could even deepen your understanding of a kata’s bunkai because you’re no longer just asking yourself “why did was this move chosen?” You begin to ask, “why was this move chosen over this other move?” or “Why do we show this move going front and backward…what happens if it’s performed on an angle?” Picking things apart, dissecting and questioning is how we learn.

But the real fun (debate) began when I said, “Yes, it’s an Isshinryu kata but it’s my kata, too.”

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Fit Karate-ka Class Update and Map

The Fit Karate-ka classes start tomorrow. And the two bridges that are closest to Annie’s Om Towne Fitness (which is, technically, located on an island) will be closed, starting today. (I’m known for my awesome timing.) The bridges on Benton will be open and the street will be turned into a two-way street during the renovation (which shouldn’t be confusing at all).

The Downer bridges are “historic” (which is political speak for “old as hell”) so I’m totally in favor of the closure. However, I wish it could start in the summer or just about any time after the class starts.

The good news is that there is free parking in the parking garage at Downer and Stolp. If you’re patronizing a business on Downer (that would include us over at Annie’s Om Towne Fitness), you can park for free on the parking deck as long as you’re there for less than an hour. (And my class is 45 minutes and less than a block away, how convenient is that?!)

As an added bonus, if you sign up for the entire six-week session, you will be guaranteed to see me, at some point, crawling on my belly to get to the building. The only thing scarier than a historic bridge is HALF a historic bridge.

If you want information on the bridge renovation, you can read the official propaganda on the City’s Web site.

Feb. 8 update: Remember: Fit Karate-Ka Classes meet 7:15 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 7 through March 13, at Annie’s Om Towne Fitness, 18 W. Downer Place in Aurora. (Don’t let the missing bridges scare you off. ) Canceled. We’ll try again in a month or two.