Underneath my yellow skin

I’m slicing and I’m dicing

My thumb is nearly 100% and I can’t get over how great it is. When I had trigger thumb, I rationalized that it wasn’t that bad. I rarely had to use my thumb so as long as I babied it, it was fine. Not great. It was always tender and I always had to be careful about bumping it, but it was fine. Or so I thought. Now that it’s back to normal, I can’t believe how much I had to accommodate it and how much it low-key bothered me. It’s only in retrospect that I realize how restrained I was by it.

In a metaphysical way, it’s the same with any flaw a person has. It’s hard to see how much it hampers you while you’re in a situation where using it doesn’t seem so bad. Or working around it. It doesn’t help that I have an insanely high tolerance for pain plus my mother’s mentality of stiff upper lip. When I got my steroid shot, the doctor warned me that it was going to hurt because it was in a very sensitive spot. I exhaled as she pushed the rather long needle into the base of my thumb and it was nothing more than a sting at the site of the needle. I didn’t react and we went on with the appointment. At the end of it, she asked how my thumb was feeling. I said fine and she gave me a strange look. She said I was very strong (or something similar) because that was a very sensitive spot for a shot.

She sounded almost admiring of it and I wanted to tell her it was not a good thing, but I just nodded. Someone accused me of humble-bragging when I tweeted about my reaction to the second shot or rather trying to garner sympathy. I wasn’t, but it made me think about how we’re supposed to react to medical things. In a letter to Ask A Manager today, someone who suffers debilitating migraines (of two different types) and was wondering if when they returned to the office, she could get away with crawling on the ground. She worked for a huge company and the vast majority of the commenters were appalled at the idea. The few who pointed out that it was akin to a disability ask were shouted down.

To be clear, it would be odd to crawl on the ground. My impulse was to shudder at the thought. And the fact that the OP is in a corporation with thousands of workers does make it a different situation than if she had a team of five or so. If it were the latter, I’d say explain to your colleagues and then do what you need to do. With the former, however, it’s not feasible. But some of the solutions were, well, ignorant at best. Migraines are not understood well at all in part because for as many people as there are who suffer from them, there are that many symptoms. You can even have a migraine without the headache, for example. In my case, I can tell when I’m about to have one and if I pop two Excedrin Migraine in time, I’ll avert most of it. I’ll still have low-key nausea and light sensitivity (which I have to varying degrees all the fucking time), but it’s not bad. If I don’t catch it in time, well, that’s another matter.

Keep in mind that my migraines are on the easy side of the spectrum. When I have one, yes, I have to keep things dark, quiet, and cool, but I can tolerate low levels of sound and light. Very low levels. On the other end, it can knock people out or incapacitate them to the point where all they can think of is stopping the migraine. That’s what happened to the Op when she got hit with a migraine in public. That’s why she wrote in to AAM because of the reaction she got when she did it in public. It’s a good thing she did right in because people have Very Strong Feelings about it, which I find sad. Like I said, my initial impulse was to shudder, but when I thought about it more, it didn’t really bother me. I do take the point about it not being hygenic, but that’s probably the least of someone’s worries when they’re hit with a migraine.

I’m trying to teach myself the left side of the Sabre Form and it’s going about as well as I thought it would–which means not well. It’s not going horribly, but it’s not intuitive the way the left side of the Sword Form was. I have to stop and think about it, which means I don’t know the right side as well as I thought I did. I taught myself the left side of the Sword Form in two days. This is going to take me a sight longer. I’m ok with it, but I have to tell myself to chill the fuck out when I get frustrated.

I am thrilled that I’m able to do the Double Sabres again. By the way, I’m switching freely between sabre and sabres–huh. Sabres is red-squiggled. Anyway, I’ve talked before about how each weapon has a different feel to it. The double sabers are just a joy to wield. There’s a lightness to my heart and my step when I’m practicing that form that I cannot explain. My sword will always be my first love, but the affinity I feel for the double sabers is unlike any other. It’s really strange because I don’t feel the same for the saber. I no longer hate the saber, but I don’t love it, either. I would say I appreciate it and have come to see the beauty of it, but it’s still not the first weapon I would reach for if I had my choice.

With the double sabers, I love putting on a lively song like Adrenalina by Wisin ft. Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez (see above video), then letting them fly. I like to practice the double sabers fast and slow, and I used different songs for each. It’s funny to me how I use different songs for different weapons. With this song, for instance, I would never use it for the Sword Form or the Sabre Form. The Sword Form is elegant and ethereal so it needs a lighter touch.  The saber is heavy and weighty, which means a slower song. Using music in my weapons practice has been a game changer. I love dancing and this is akin to that for me.

With the double sabers, I’m having to slow myself down because my temptation is just to teach myself everything. It can be done, but it’s better if I pace myself. The problem is that there are so many weapons I want to learn and I want to learn them all NOW. I don’t have a problem learning more than one weapon at a time (much to my surprise. Five-years-ago me would have been aghast at the thought), but there is such a thing as overload. Right now, it’s best if I focus on the left side of the saber and the right side of the double sabers. For now.

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