Archive for October, 2011

Happy Halloween ! (?)

October 31, 2011

October Smart Asses – with Gina and Jane (and Mom)

October 29, 2011

The October package of the Smart Ass Knitters/World Domination Club has arrived!  Something to make me smile.

There’s some gorgeous Merino Silk-quel Lace (80% merino/20% silk) in the colourway You Know You’re Doing It Right When Both Your Mother and Jane Austen Would Disapprove,  a pattern – Gina Lollobrigida – by designer Kate Atherley, and some yummy organic bath salts – Orange and Clove – made by Karen Sloan.

The yarn is delicious and soft, in a sort of shimmery silvery warm grey.

The pattern is for a lovely lacy camisole, and for a cowl if you want your knitting to be visible.  (The yarn is enough for both.)   Since I’m not really a camisole kinda person, and this isn’t exactly a warm wooly underwear kinda climate, I’m thinking of using the yarn for a larger cowl, probably the Reunion Cowl, by Natalie Selles.  And if I can manage it in the Indigodragonfly Cowl Along, all the better.   I really want to finish some WIPs first, though.

It’s time to get back to knitting, dammit!!

Comedy of Errors

October 25, 2011

More like a tragedy.  High Drama.  Or simply a Timeline of Incompetence.

September 6th.  During lunch at work I felt a pain in my tooth.  The back molar.  Really sharp.  OK.  Got home, called my dental clinic to find out their “emergency” hours.  They told me they were already closing, but if I hurried they would wait for me.  Rushed and got there.  My dentist wasn’t in, so they plopped me into another office with someone else.  He poked and prodded, took X-Rays of all the teeth in the area of the pain, and pronounced that there was nothing wrong with the teeth that he could see, but rather it was a problem of the jaw joint (which also hurt when he poked).  He told me there wasn’t anything he could do, and to make an appointment at the oral (mouth/jaw) clinic.

Got home and called to book an appointment at the clinic.  The first appointment available?  Mid November!  I asked how on earth was I supposed to wait in pain for two months, but only got sorry, that was the best they could do.

September 8th.  Went in to see my GP, told her the story.  She wrote a referral for the clinic, with a note saying how urgent it was and please bring the appointment forward.  She also prescribed pain killers in the meantime.

A few days later.  Took a morning off and went into the clinic with the referral and the note.  Shouted.  Cried.  They were very sympathetic, but told me there was only one specialist who deals with jaw joint pain, and she was booked solid.  They managed to get me an earlier appointment, though….for November 6th.  Gee, thanks.

The pain killers seemed to help, but I could only take them for 10 days.  After that, I started taking a different kind.  They only slightly helped.

Beginning of October.  With my tongue, I could feel an abscess forming between my cheek and my gum at the jawline, from just by my ear halfway to the chin.  Sometimes it felt swollen and was really painful.  Went back to my GP, she again prescribed the pain killers.  Seemed puzzled, though, and said it sounded more like tooth pain and not characteristic of jaw joint pain.  We decided that I should again check with the dentist. The problem was when, as we were in the midst of a bunch of holidays…

October 18th.  The pain was simply unbearable.  It hurt from my chin to stabbing pains in my ear.  I couldn’t stand it, so we went to the late night walk-in clinic in town.  Blood pressure was by now through the roof.  The doctor there said it sure sounded like tooth pain to her, but since the entire side of my face hurt when touched she couldn’t pinpoint it.  I told her the dentist had said it was the jaw.  She sent me from there to the ER at the hospital.  There an oral surgeon checked me, but since their X-Ray machine wasn’t working he couldn’t tell much.  He also said it sounded more like teeth than jaw, and that I needed to get to a dentist.  He told me no solid food for at least three days.  And he upped the pain killers to mega dose, and added an additional pain killer.  And said if it got worse to come back to the ER.

October 19th.  Before everything closed, I tried to get a dental X-Ray at my clinic, and an appointment.  Got an appointment for 2 days away, after the holiday, but they told me their X-Ray equipment wasn’t the best quality, especially if I wanted to include the jaw joints.  So I went and got the X-Ray privately.

Holiday dinner.  Partner took my portion of chicken and vegetables and threw them into the blender so I could have some.  Otherwise, I stuck with soup and baby cereal.

After dinner, it just got worse.  The whole side of my face was swollen, partner said I would do well if I was auditioning for the part of the Godfather, or maybe a chipmunk.  Pain now spread from my throat to halfway up my head.  We decided to go back to the ER.   This time we had an X-Ray to show them.   The doc took one look and told me there was a bad infection at the roots of the molar.   (Yes, the same molar.)  Prescribed strong antibiotics, and said get to my dentist.

Spent the holiday in bed.  Taking two painkillers and the antibiotics and screaming a lot.  No sleep.  No food.

October 21st.  Finally got in to see my dentist.  He told me it was indeed the tooth, and that I would have to start root canal work.  He poked a little bit, but mostly looked at the X-Rays.  He tried to get me into the root canal specialist right away, but they said impossible, only after the weekend.  First appointment was 3 days away.

October 23rd.  After two more days of pain, no sleep, no food, I couldn’t bear it.  Went back to my GP.  She prescribed a third painkiller to add to the others, and told me not to wait, to go and demand to see the dentist now.  I followed her advice.  Told them I wasn’t able to wait one more day.  They ushered me in to yet another dentist.  This one actually examined the tooth.  And lo and behold, when he removed the filling he discovered a huge crack in the tooth that did not show up on the X-Ray, and was the source of the infection and pain.  He gave me a monster shot, and among other things, drained the abscess and killed the nerves in that tooth.  And finally said sorry, the tooth can’t be saved at this point, it will have to come out.

So now I have an appointment in a few more days with an oral surgeon who will pull the tooth and at the same time lay the base for an implant.  Then I have to wait a few months.

But the pain is finally gone!  Yes, it’s a little sore, and there’s a terrible taste in my mouth even after two days.  But the swelling is gone at last, I  can’t feel the abscess, and it is so fantastic to not hurt.  Back to solid food (but chewing only on one side…).  Still taking the antibiotics.  Doc says I can go back to work tomorrow.  Back to the grind!

This is the first day in ages I’ve been able to sit at the computer.  Haven’t read a thing.  Nor have I knitted.   Nor even smiled much.

One interesting thing.  All the mega doses of pain killers didn’t help at all to relieve the tooth/jaw/ear/head pain.  They did, however, help the hip.  Felt no pain there at all.  Now that I’ve stopped the pills, the hip started to hurt a bit today.   Crap.

Now we’re discussing what to do about the whole mess.  Partner is furious, and wants me to sue the first dentist who misdiagnosed.  On the one hand, his wrong diagnosis sent me off in the wrong direction and caused me one and a half months of pain.  Not to mention I’m now losing the tooth.  And the implant is not cheap.  On the other hand, the problem wasn’t evident on the X-Rays, the second dentist also didn’t see it, it was only when the third dentist opened it up that he found the problem.  But shouldn’t the first dentist at least have checked as well??  I’m really really angry, but still undecided as to what I’m going to do about it.   Any opinions?

At least Kidlet is back at boarding school, all better now.  She’s calling me several times a day, she got very traumatised when I was so “out-of-order”.   Today I was finally able to reassure her that things are ok.

Enough already.

He’s home.

October 18, 2011

Gilad is home.  Alive.

At what cost, at what risk, cannot be ignored.

But for now we put that aside and share the immense joy of his family, his community, our country.   Hopefully from a respectful distance, to let him rest and begin what will undoubtedly be a rough recovery.

We can now, at long last,  stop counting the days of Gilad Shalit in captivity – that clock stops at 1,941 – five years and almost four months.

Welcome home.

The Lost Weeks

October 15, 2011

September was totally lost.  And October has threatened to be as well, but I am determined not to allow that.  While I may never catch up and fill in what all has happened in the past month and a half, I will definitely carry on!

Between work and moving,  September was pretty exhausting, both physically and emotionally.  Wonderful friends helped out with emptying boxes – a very slow job, limited to a few evenings  – and things have finally begun to take shape.   At least I now know what is in the majority of the boxes, and they’re mostly in the correct rooms.

The main problem?  I am a hoarder.  I may laugh and pass it off as being just an ordinary pack-rat personality, but it is a real issue,  and therefore moving is a nightmare.  Thank the goddess I have friends who care enough to be mean when they know it’s necessary.  When faced with an entire box of similar items, they tell me I may choose five, and the rest go.  While they understand me and love me,  they have been ruthless, and I thank them for it and love them back more than they can know.   (And I am also very glad they themselves are knitters, and wouldn’t dream of touching my stash…..whew.)

Many of the things have simply been tossed, and many have been given away.  A lot has gone to the local shelter for battered women and children.  And I still have a house that seems very full!  One plus is that things have come to light that I had either forgotten I had or were buried deep away somewhere – including a whole bunch of my knitting from 20-30 years ago.  (Some of those items have by now come back into fashion, and I’m wearing them again!  Ha.)

Health-wise, the results of all the tests are in, and it seems the hip damage wasn’t as great as feared.   The doc did see something on the MRI, and we’re now waiting for a consultation on that.  He told me to get off the crutches!  Yay!  But that’s a yay with a clarification.  Now the pain is back.  So when it gets bad I still use the crutches.  Or at least one.  I really don’t want to go back on pain killers.  😦   New tests are in the cards.

Kidlet’s health is also being dealt with.  After Rosh HaShana, she went into the hospital for test to balance out her meds, which were causing her major hassles.  Any time for emptying boxes went right out the window, since I’ve spent every evening after work visiting her, getting home so late that I just fall into bed until I have to drag myself out to get back to work in the morning.

So…there’s been almost no time for knitting or reading or visiting or pretty much anything else.  Like shopping for a new washing machine, since my old faithful clunker didn’t survive the move.

I did finish the Ironic Hipster hat.  Just before the deadline for the KAL. The yarn is just unbelievably soft.

And I finished the Rocking Monkey socks.  Not before the KAL deadline, but never mind.  They’re done!! And they’re great.

I also managed one new project.  At the family Rosh HaShana dinner, nephew asked for a hat with ear flaps, as he’s traveling to Hungary in another month and it will be much colder than we’re used to here.  I whipped that project up quickly, using the Thorpe pattern by Kirsten Kapur, published in Through the Loops.  I modified it a wee bit, since I used thinner yarn than is called for, and I left off the crocheted border and braid ties.  Nephew liked it a lot, and said he’s thinking of his next hat….

This weekend Kidlet is home for the holiday, although she has to go back to the hospital tonight.  She had a friend sleep over last night, and as a treat – since she’s been two weeks in hospital – I splurged on the new fad of crackle nail polish, and we all tried it out.   (Partner opted out…)    I like.

Now Kidlet and her friend have just experimented in the kitchen.  They decided to make chocolate pancakes – with no help from Mom.  They downloaded a recipe from the internet, I showed them where everything was in the kitchen, and then – without showing my trepidation – I left them to it.

Not bad for a first attempt!  She may have more kitchen duty in the future….

We are planning a drive up the coast to see the beginnings of autumn before taking Kidlet back.  And then I’m on holiday for a week!   Things can actually get done!

Hope springs eternal….