And greetings to all of you who have posted their stories on the list.
It helps I think to know that others have faced serious challenges to
their well being and found that the countless hours training have
reinforced their will paying off. We will not lay down and waste away!
My own story as Bill knows is one of fighting a chronic, progressive
inner ear disease. It is called Menieres disease and affects about 2% of
the populace to one degree or another. Manifestations of the disease
include dizziness, severe vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus. It can
include one, or both ears. I am unfortnately, affected in both. The
vertigo became so bad that in 1996 I elected to have the balance nerve
for my left ear cut to stop the attacks. When this happens, you don't
just have half of your balance, but none for awhile while the brain
reprograms so to speak. You actually have to re-learn your balance.
Doctors prescribe a series of vestibular exercises to do this, but after
evaluating them I decided just to do kata. I did kata at first very
wobbly with eyes open, then progressed to with eyes closed. I was back
at work within two weeks after surgery. Normal recuperation time I was
told was one to two months. I have no doubt that the kata I trained in
for many years prior to the surgery gave my brain a pattern it could
relearn balance much faster with.
The disease still progresses in my right ear, but again, I believe that
continuing karate practice keeps me healthier than I might otherwise be.
It brings to mind the saying(pardon me if I don't phrase it quite
right)"Karate lengthens one's life span."
Bill, thank you for the forum. You and all of the others are very
motivational for me.
I wish you all well.