Published non-fiction article written in June '08 about Kenpo Karate and a hospital stay.
|You’re Being Admitted
by Pastor Ray Mann, WDK Orange Belt
Our theme this month is about the heart. Both in a physical sense, and in terms of personal character. In this featured article, Reverend Mann demonstrates the true meaning of heart.
“You’re being admitted” are words you dread hearing when in a hospital emergency room. I had come into the emergency room in February of 2008 after seeing my doctor for a backache and a stomach ache. What I did not realize was that the two issues were not separate, but related to the same thing, an attack of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas which can be extremely painful and even possibly life-threatening. The treatment, though, is simple. After finding me a room, I was given an IV with morphine for the pain and a saline solution to keep me from being dehydrated. To rest the pancreas, I was allowed nothing by mouth… No food, not even water. For the next six days, I had the pleasure of watching daytime TV hosts cook wondrous meals and not be able to have even a bowl of jello!
Over the next two months, I spent 20 days in the hospital with three separate incidents of the same illness. To this point today, the doctors still do not know for certain what triggered these episodes. Early in the course of this adventure, I realized that I was in danger of growing weaker physically, a state the doctors called “de-conditioning”. Each day spent in bed meant at least two days recovery time after release… In my case, over 40 days of recovery time!
In November of 2007, I joined World Dragon Kenpo and began training. I am a minister in the Church of the Nazarene in my mid-forties, and started down this road with the thought of starting a Martial Arts Ministry in my church, as well as getting into shape myself. Having had prior experience in Aikido, I advanced quickly to Yellow Belt. When I was in the hospital and realizing the problems I was facing with de-conditioning I asked my wife to bring in a set of resistance bands for me. I began walking up and down the corridors trailing my IV stand like an old friend, and practicing the routines from WDK in my room. I had some access to the Internet in the hospital and was able to go online a few times to the WDK site. With these resources available I was able to maintain some degree of an exercise program.
It is now a little more than two weeks after my release from my last stay at the hospital, and I can say that the conditioning that World Dragon Kenpo afforded me before I was admitted, and the routines and techniques I was able to practice while actually in the hospital have allowed me to recover much quicker than I otherwise would have. I have now advanced to Orange Belt two months behind schedule, but I’m here!
Moreover, the benefits of WDK are not simply physical. The benefits of concentration, focus, assertiveness and prioritizing which WDK teach also were qualities that became very important in the hospital setting. “Make the most of every opportunity” is not simply a nice saying or Bible verse; I found that WDK was a way for me to open bridges to people that I would not otherwise have had much in common. It was a way for me to help other people as well, in the middle of what I was going through.
I also know that WDK is keeping me in shape, so that if this should happen again and I hear those dreaded words, “You’re being admitted,” I will be ready physically, mentally and socially. Hooah! Go WDK!