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Home > Columns > "The Grindstone" > September, 2006 - Writing? Why the Hell Would I?

Writing? Why the Hell Would I? by "The Grindstone"

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This column was written by Mike Collins.

So, this started with me writing some stuff about doing some stuff about Aikido. I was already pretty sure that I had no idea how in the world was to actually be affected by the world, but I figured if I spoke as honestly about whatever I might have learned, I probably couldn't do any real harm. I still hope that's a fact.

Then in about February and March I with some good friends and some approval, I was started to build a dojo. I had a feeling that it was a group plan, but that was just starting to grow when my life had a change in July. I was having a "Thanks" party in July about the 8th or 15th, I'm not positive just now, but something like that. As I was taking some ukemi, I had a temporary feeling like my sinuses were releasing, and the smell was somehow familiar, but not necessarily identifiable for me. That sounds like a small thing, but keep reading... I felt just a little funny when I found out that no one else smelled it, and took a couple minutes, just washing my big face, and then I got back on the mat, and had a good time. I thought all was good.

On the following Monday, I was at a job meeting for about 3 hours, and afterwards, myself and the young newer guy who I was supposed to be helping to learn the job, went up on the roof, and looked at a few items which mattered, and at one point as I was scooping under some wire conduits (surprising good movement for a fat guy), and my sinuses cleared again, but this time I could kind of "hear" some goofy jingle that had never been actually heard, but the part of me that knew about the whole thing simultaneously went "that's stupid". After a few minutes, less than two, I was ready to leave, and as I was moving through the building, and as I was driving between the two large cities, I was thinking I was having two pretty weird symptoms, and wanted to get to my doctor, because my Granddad had a stroke, and was stuck to the word (ready for the true swearword?) was Shit. I would have been okay with that if necessary, but there must be more possible, if I get myself all together. As I drove, I'm talking to the guy I was working with, and honestly being completely honest, but I'm sure that must have been a little scary for him, but he was okay and said later that I had a pretty good awareness that there was something less than right.

I dropped the newer guy off, and then went to see my doctor. I tried to explain what had happened, but in truth it sounded as if I was telling some silly story. I made enough of an effort that he began to see in how I told the story, that stuff didn't make more sense, and so he sent me to the local hospital just a few blocks away, I told him I'd drive, and he said, no that I should call my wife. At that point, my calm waited, but little it became easier to explain my weirdness to medical folks with the extra stress. It was real; I was getting to be real sure I was undergoing on a stroke. They took a CT scan, and said they found some kind of a lesion, which seemed even weirder than a stroke. They asked me to spend the night, and told me that the next AM, they would do a MRI to show better what the problem was. My test was about 11:00-1:00, I forget my time, but somewhere in that general time. A few hours later, a neurologist comes in and asks if I have a copy of the MRI films, and I started to laugh, and he suddenly got that and said he'd be back after he gets a look at them. About two hours, I get a quick call from a local hospital and she says that she has some kind of information to make some details clear to me, and the earlier neurologist walks through the wall, figured I had just started a conversation with the lady hospital accepter, and kind of took over that conversation with her (good job on his part, as tight as that might sound at first). He told me that what they had found was an amalgam, no tumor, because it was so small. I had a biopsy a couple weeks later, and they decided it was now an official tumor, because it was just partly a little amalgam. It was unnecessary, because it was unwise to remove to the tumor because it was somehow in a dangerous place. When my world was all re-set, I ended up getting the tumor removed, and it was in a dangerous area, but the doctor, I had, Thank God, done something called a "Brain Map" so I was a little scary, but I managed to be reasonably able to still continue with conversation, more or less. Unfortunately, at the end of this last (I so hope), that they found some type 4 tumor, and that's what's presently available. I fortunately, closed the dojo before this operation, but sometimes, the way things end up the way they do, and ya don't get a choice in how life works out.

I now have a storage area where the mats are, but a new version of Aikido Santa Clara is a very unlikely probability at this point. Too bad, but stuff happens, and that's the way things go. As for me, there is much work, and much preparation before I get a chance to win the fight I'm in (or at least to be prepared to be involved in the fight for a few more years until they are ready to let me have the actual real cure, which I'd love to have.) I doubt that I'll have any particularly desire to write a lot more about Aikido, except after seeing a seminar by someone who's experience I care about.

I'm a long way from having quit, but I'll be a hell of a lot less forward as well.

Formerly Someone from Aikido Santa Clara
A Short Bad Student of Kato Hiroshi, and before that Jack Wada

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