Archive for the ‘Here’s to your health!’ Category

Let’s erase today and start over

May 3, 2015

Well.  The week hasn’t started out as well as it could have.

I got a call from the clinic.  The VNG machine has broken down, so my tests scheduled for two days away have been postponed.  They have no estimate on when repairs will happen, so we can’t even set a new time, they’ll call when the machine is up and running again.  When I expressed my dismay, the receptionist promised to talk to the professor and see if we can get permission to do the tests at the hospital instead.  She’ll call me back when she has more information.  Luckily, the past week has been pretty much OK, but the week before that the vertigo was really making itself a nuisance.

The socks have been sailing along.  Finished both heels and started up the cuffs.

toe up taat flkh finished

The fit is amazing, and the socks are very comfy.

toe up taat starting cuff

(Partner made the comment that these are much too pretty to wear on the feet, they should be hung on the wall as art!  I refrained from making a rude retort and kept on knitting…)

Knitting well up the cuff I again tried one on…and disaster.  Somehow on one cuff I managed to make not one but two accidental yarnovers – just a couple of stitches apart, and it looked like a vampire had made two little holes above my ankle.  I was already inches past that point, and I hadn’t noticed the change in stitch count.

I tried dropping one of the stitches down to the yarnover hole, hoping that I could ease the slack from the resulting ladder into the stitches alongside it.  No such luck with this fabric.  Plus the other yarnover is only two or three stitches to the side, and dropping that stitch as well would make the ladder impossible to smooth out.

toe up taat cuff disaster

So….nothing to do but tink.  In the picture above I’d tinked a few rows already.  From both socks.  Since they’re two at a time.  I’m considering somehow just tinking the one sock, but that would require careful counting, and concentration is not at a high right now.   But still – better one than two, much less discouraging and less chance of error as well.

The momentum has definitely been disrupted.  Dagnabbit,  Fie.  Piffle.

Yes, I could have just ignored it and carried on, but those two holes would have driven me batty.  Battier.  Hmph.

Let’s see the week getting better, please.



Running to stay in place

April 21, 2015

Time is again moving much too quickly.  Events, experiences, the days just crash and blur and pile up upon each other in an untidy mess.

The vertigo is back.  Not as bad as the episode that put me in the hospital for four days last summer, but enough to disrupt plans and activity.  Because all of the tests that were done in the hospital and since – like CT scans, MRI, Doppler, etc – have been just fine, my doctor sent me to an otoneurologist, a specialist in all kinds of vestibular disorders.  I was lucky enough to get an appointment with the top guy in this field in the country, a professor who has spearheaded the study and treatment of vertigo and other balance dysfunction and dizziness.  So…he was very nice, very serious, asked good (and thorough) questions, and actually listened to my answers.  A rare breed of fellow.

From all the data available, he is pretty sure that we’re talking about MAV – migraine associated vertigo, or vestibular migraines.  The migraine headaches are hitting more often than usual as well.  Still, he has scheduled me for an additional series of tests – VNG, or Videonystagmography.  (Don’t ask me to pronounce that…) That’s in another couple of weeks.  So we’ll see what comes of it.

I had a really nasty bout of cold/flu in the midst of all of it, too.  I was in bed for the whole week preceding Pesach.  It was, I think, only the second time in my life I didn’t make it to Seder, which made me feel very sorry for myself.  I’m not a very… um, pleasant person when I’m sick, and this was enough for me to consider putting up a storm warning sign on the front door.  Niece was worried, sent Partner home from the Seder with a big food package for me, which was really a life-saver.  And I think it was the first time since I’ve had my own place – which is (ahem) quite a while now – that my house and kitchen were not ready for Pesach.  All the Pesach dishes and stuff stayed in the cupboard – I cleared one table for Pesach foods, we used plastic plates and utensils, and got through the week.

The worst part of all?  I wasn’t even up for knitting or reading.   So you can imagine what sort of a grump I was.

So I’m glad that’s behind us, and I’ll tell you soon what I’m up to these days!  If they’ll just slow down, sheesh.

Dinner and wine and lightning, oh my

November 4, 2014

I have to cut out red wine from my diet.  I really do.  I rarely drink it because there seems to be a correlation with my migraines.  Not every time I drink red wine, but it happens.  (We haven’t done a real check, though.)  But last night we went to dinner with our friends visiting from Sweden and I agreed to a small glass of sweet Marsala as an aperitif.  Woke up this morning with a horrific migraine, stumbled to the kitchen with squinting eyes  and swallowed meds, then crawled back into bed for another hour or two until I could actually function again.  Head is now in working order, kind of balanced precariously on the shoulders…

Our friends served a lovely meal.  The table was beautifully set, and I had to take a picture.  But I liked the after-dinner photo better, it gives more of a feeling of memories of a great meal rather than anticipation of something not yet experienced.   Plates cleared but glasses still there, candles still lit but burning lower, chairs pushed back.

Wine is also not good for goats.  Was knitting and chatting away after dinner, when I realized I had reversed a cable a row or two back.  Had to tink.  Tinking brioche requires concentration.  Especially with fuzzy yarn.  But I did it.  Yay me!

We left for home after midnight.  It had been nice weather when we arrived, but the rain had begun to fall during the evening and like  a fool I had left the umbrella in the car.  Mad dash along wet and slippery pathways to the car.  Dropped off partner so she could go rescue the dog (who gets very traumatized by thunder) and take her out.

Kidlet wanted to take a drive to take her mind off a minor tiff with boyfriend.  So the two of us hit the highway heading south.  The lightning over the sea was mesmerizing.  We discussed methods of photographing lightning.  When we reached the town of Atlit we turned back, choosing the inner road by the mountain this time instead of the shore road.  At the edge of town we headed up the mountain, passing by the university at the top and down to other towns on the far side before turning back towards home once again from the other direction.  Most of the time we were headed towards the lightning, but once it flashed behind us, lighting up everything in front of us very dramatically.  We continued to cruise randomly around town.  When we finally approached home we chose the scenic road overlooking the bay.  We parked at the one spot that is covered.  There – appropriately enough given our earlier conversation – we found a group of serious photographers set up to shoot the lightning, tripods facing out to sea but protected from the rain by the bridge.  They cheered when they managed to capture a good shot.  I wanted to take a picture of them taking pictures but kidlet thought that was uncool and begged me to restrain myself.  Yeah, ok.  I was sorry I didn’t have the equipment to properly shoot the lightning.  When we left there, it was lucky that we were less than a kilometer from home, because all at once the skies opened up and the rain poured down in sheets making it impossible to see more than a couple of meters in front of us.  The streets suddenly were rivers and the puddles were splashing up to car window height.  Whee!

When we parked at home, kidlet shrugged off her sweater and jumped out of the car for a mad spinning rain dance in the deluge, climbing back into the car dripping and laughing to collect her things to go inside.  I’m certainly glad she had the presence of mind to take off the sweater – she knows not to ruin a hoodie hand-knit by Mom!

Partner clucked a bit over our adventure in the middle of the night, but mostly because she missed it, methinks.  We all fell deeply asleep very quickly.

And today the sun is shining once again!

Of Buckets and Ice and Charity

August 27, 2014

I have lost two people very dear to me to ALS.  Two of my mother’s best friends.  It’s a horrendous disease, and there is no cure.  The only treatments are designed to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients.  Even drugs that “improve” survival only lengthen it by a matter of months.  So I have been aware of this for a long time.

2014.  Cue the Ice Bucket Challenge.  In case you have no TV and refuse to look at facebook, it works like this:  A person is nominated by someone to meet the challenge.  The challenged person must – within 24 hours of the challenge – fill a bucket full of ice and water; they will then state who nominated them to do the challenge and will nominate three other individuals of their choice to take part in it. The person then dumps the bucket of ice and water onto themselves. They are then to donate US $10 (or a similar amount in their local currency) to ALS research at the ALS Association in the US, or Motor Neurone Disease Association in the UK, or another local research foundation. Anyone who refuses to have the ice and water dumped on them is expected to donate US $100 to ALS research.

It began to gain momentum when personalities from sports and morning news programs performed the challenge live on the air. This was quickly followed by numerous celebrities, politicians, athletes, and everyday folks posting videos of themselves meeting the challenge online and on TV.  According to The New York Times, people shared more than 1.2 million videos on facebook between June 1 and August 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on twitter between July 29 and August 17.

This fund-raising craze that has gone viral has both pros and cons.  On the pro side, it has increased awareness of the disease on a phenomenal level, and has raised millions of sorely needed dollars for research.  As of August 25, the Ice Bucket Challenge raised $79.7 million for the ALS Association, compared to $2.5 million raised over the same period in 2013.  On the con side, there may be dangers for people with specific medical conditions to take the challenge, and the craze has been criticised for being self-congratulatory, focusing primarily on fun rather than donating money to charity.  (Some folks, like Bill Gates and Charlie Sheen, have emhasized in their videos that the point is to donate money.)  Other critics have said that considering the water shortage in places around the world, it is a foolish stunt.  (Matt Damon, co-founder of, an organization focused on providing access to safe water and sanitation throughout the world, brought this up when he was challenged.  He solved his dilemma by using water he scooped out of his toilet, so as not to waste any.)  There have also been some spectacular fails as people attempt stupid stunts to go along with the ice and water, some causing injuries.

If that much money has been raised to fund research, I don’t have much of a problem with the silly fun of it.  And there will always be foolish people who do foolish things in the name of “fun”, not much we can do about that.

There have been quite a few videos of Israelis taking the challenge.  Several were interrupted by air raid sirens warning of a rocket attack, adding a little extra drama.

Yesterday kidlet got her first challenge.  Today I became her photographer as she met her obligation.  Money has been set aside to donate.

She nominated three more of her friends (after telling her own challenger to “drop dead, thanks”).  She forgot some of the script she had practiced, but added it to her facebook post.

At least she kept me out of it.  I don’t need ice on my head to give to charity…

The Patient Diary

August 23, 2014

Last month we had a bit of personal drama when I spent a few days in hospital.  I’m fine now, but it was a bit worrying at the time.  Having nothing much else to do while there, I jotted some thoughts down when I could.  Presenting you with a wee glimpse into the health system.

The Patient Diary

So it seems that the national drama being played out isn’t enough, my body has to create some of its own.  While sirens wail and missiles fall,  I get to deal with my own crisis.

Woke up with vertigo so bad I couldn’t even sit up.  Very disconcerting when the body is lying flat and the mind is absolutely sure you’re in freefall.  Scary as hell.  When I finally managed to get up with kid’s help, the nausea took over.  Partner decided not to take any chances.

Bad side:  the gurney the ambulance team brought in scared the cat badly.  Good side: one of the very nice team was a sweet immigrant trainee from the US.  Bad again:  I may have been too out of it to thank her/them properly.

Bad:  spent the next 6 hours undergoing a whole lotta uncomfortable tests.  Good:  was wheeled around to many of the tests by a funky funny dude with dreads who made me laugh.

Good:  brain CT was OK.  Partner was somewhat surprised by this.  Told her that until she does one and it’s OK she shouldn’t make remarks.

Bad:  blood pressure is high for me.

Was admitted for observation overnight in the Neurology ward.

Good:  room is clean and comfy,  roommate is nice.  Bad:  I really really don’t like the backless fashion statement.  Does nothing for me.

Good:  I finally managed to eat a meal and keep it down.  Doubtful:  this  may be due to all the Pramin they pumped into me earlier when they got tired of my throwing up spectacularly every time they tried to do balance tests.  (The Ear doctor holds the record – he succeeded in making me throw up once more than anyone else.)

Good:  they let me go to the bathroom.  Finally.  Holding the  infusion pole on wheels helped me stay on my feet, as did the two strong nurse hands at my back.  This was much better than the (bad:) wretched bedpans I had to use until then.  Somewhat bad:  they didn’t allow me to lock the bathroom door and it wouldn’t stay closed.

Bad:  kid is pretty freaked out by all this, especially my staying overnight. Good:  managed to convince her to sleep at home with partner instead of in the armchair in my room.

Bad:  no TV, no news.  Good:  no TV, no news.

THE VERY WORST:  Too dizzy to knit!!!  Can’t yet wear my glasses without random things like walls and furniture spinning, so no reading either.  I do have my kindle with me, so may try later.

Day 2.

Good:  night was quiet and uneventful.  Bad:  kept waking up every couple of hours, mostly due to the infusion doohickey taped in my arm.  Couldn’t get comfy with that jabbing me.  Good:  roommate said I didn’t disturb her, so either she’s a very deep sleeper or I didn’t snore.

Annoying:  had to get up at 6:30 to pee in a cup.  Even more annoying:  they can’t use the existing doohickey to take blood, since it was used to give me various concoctions the day before, so they had to jab the other arm.  Ouch.  Pfui.  Not fair.

Bad:  Still having dizzy spells, but good: only when I move my head too much.  Or stand up.  Or look or bend down.

Took me for Doppler/ultrasound tests (neck and head).  Orderly parked my wheelchair in the hallway,  handed me my paperwork, and left.  Lots of hall traffic but no one came for me.  Finally snagged a nurse who checked on things.  Bad:  doctors were in a meeting so no telling when they would get to me.  Good(??):  only had to wait an hour.  Funky dreads dude came by and we joked a bit.

Came back to my room to a worried partner and a now-cold breakfast. Good:  nurse was happy to reheat everything.  Bad:  reheated oatmeal is truly disgusting.

After breakfast they took me for X-rays.  Right next to the ultrasound room where I was before breakfast.  Seems kind of inefficient, but hey, it gets me around more.

New doctor joined old doctor on rounds for more tests.  Wobbled around for her flashing my backside. They’re keeping me here for another night.

Sigh.  Good?  Bad?  Routine tests are discovering little things unrelated to the vertigo but needing to be followed up.  Consults with other doctors who come dropping by.

They start me on fluids again.  I ask about the possibility of taking a shower.  Nurse says maybe tomorrow.  Ick.  I feel icky.

Good:  partner has brought me toothbrush and toothpaste and shampoo.  Bad:  can’t use the shampoo.  Very bad bed hair.

Try to knit for a half hour before dinner.  Good:  I knit English style so I’m not moving the left arm with the infusion too much.  Irritating:  the tube still seems to get in the way.  Manage about 3 rounds.  (Hey, they’re long rounds.)

hospital knitting 1

Nurse comes in for more tests so I park my knitting on the infusion pole.  Nurse is not amused.

hospital knitting 2

Partner and kidlet come after dinner.  We ask for an extra hospital gown I can put on “backwards” over the other so my backside is decently covered.  Kidlet is mortified by my unshaven legs.  I tell her to get over it.  Good:  I can now walk (slowly) with them down the hall to the ward lounge to watch TV.  Bad:  news on TV.  First cease fire attempt- one side says yes, one side says no – it all continues.

After visiting hours, knit some more. Very good.

Day 3.

Bad:  the extra fluids In the infusion kept in overnight caused me to run and pee every hour.  (Well, shuffle…can’t really run while wheeling the pole.)  Around 2 or 3 am I head out to the nurses station to ask if this will continue all night.  Bad:  they tell me that that’s what happens.  I say I would really like to sleep for more than an hour at a time.  Good:  one of the nurses says let’s try this and sets the drip for much faster.  He says this way it will finish much sooner.  Bad:  one of the other nurses clucks at him in disapproval so I guess he shouldn’t really have done that.  I thank him.  After a half hour I’m up to pee again.  There’s still more to drip so I decide to wait instead of going back to sleep.  Do puzzles on my phone for another half hour then give up and go back to sleep.  Good: sleep through until 7.

Good:  Shift change:  I am now described as “independent”.  I am inspired.

Good:  morning nurse unhooks the damn tube when she comes to measure blood pressure.  Bad:  blood pressure is still higher than usual.

Small victories:   I succeed in raising the head of my bed by myself.  I can take my empty breakfast tray out to the nurses by myself for the first time.  Only very slight flashes of dizziness.  I’m making progress.

Bad:  slight headache, can’t knit.  Good:  doc says more tests today with the ear doc and I can go home tomorrow.

Excellent:  doohickey is out!  Bad:  removing the tape left two bare strips in my arm hair.  Which wasn’t so noticeable before but now is.  And it hurt.  Good:  now I can finally take a shower.

Ah.  The pure simple pleasure of a shower.  Partner hypothesizes that the earlier headache was caused by dirt.  I’m not ruling anything out.

Off to more tests.  Weird:  for some odd reason the orderly brings a child’s wheelchair for me…slightly tight fit, sitting very low with my knees up.  Not amused.  Not comfy.

Ear doc thinks vertigo may be migraine-related.  A new theory.

Good:  blood pressure is down.  Bad:  headache is back and worse.  Nurse brings meds.  Feh.

Headache causes me to leave a meal unfinished.  Meals have been pretty decent.  They always ask me in the morning what I want for lunch.  Usually choice of beef, chicken, fish, or veggie.  Bland but not bad.

hospital meal

Roommate is released, many good wishes all around.  I take a nap, wake up when new roommate arrives.

There are many instructions posted all over about hospital procedure.  I must say I appreciate the diagrams in the bathroom that teach how to wash hands.  Not counting the two pictures how to apply soap and the final picture of rinsed, dry and clean hands,  there are six pictures showing distinct motions one should make to ensure hands are properly cleaned.  I begin to pay attention to a routine I do numerous times a day so automatically.  I am horribly ashamed to admit that I only do 5 of the specified motions.  I’ll have to concentrate on adding the missing motion to my routine.  See?  One is continually learning.

hospital washing hands

Headache returns after nap.  I ask for more meds, idiot nurse (the first person who hasn’t been wonderful) tells me the headache must be from the high cholesterol that tests have shown and that when I start taking meds for that the headaches will go away.  (!?!?)

Bad:  When dinner tray arrives I am in tears with pain.  Good: In front of others, idiot nurse is sympathetic and brings me meds.

Chat some with roommate’s parents.  They are very busy calling in influential connections to ensure preferential treatment for their daughter.  As far as I’ve seen here, everyone gets very good treatment,  but I understand them as a parent.  Even so…

Family and friend arrive and we proceed to get rowdy.

hospital rowdy

We move to the lounge to avoid bothering roommate.  Friend brings me a new murder mystery and partner rolls her eyes.

Day 4.

Didn’t sleep well.  Ear doc recommends I sleep at a 45° angle.  (He explained it all with diagrams of the inner ear, etc.). He told me at home to use pillows or sleep in a reclining chair.  Good:  I have a comfy reclining chair.  Bad:  I prefer sleeping in my own room, but I don’t know how pillows will work on the waterbed.  Anyway, hospital bed is set at 45° but I couldn’t get comfy.  Stayed awake much later than usual.  Knitted some, did puzzles.

Bad:  Headache and nausea are kind of hovering around the edges of how I feel.  Bending and standing still bring a second or two of dizziness but good:  it’s not too bad, and definitely better than it was.

For lunch I order chicken for the 3rd day in a row.  Not feeling adventurous in regards to food at all!  Although after two days of thigh/leg, today we are to get breast.  I suppose that counts as variety.

Negligent:  while making myself tea (see how independent?)  I notice for the first time that there’s a menu posted.  Good:  haven’t missed much with my meal choices.

Roommate’s mom arrives and we all chat some more.

Talk with doc.  Good:  steadily getting better.  She asks if I feel ready to go home and says I can stay another night if I prefer.  I decide to go home later today.  We discuss follow-up.

Doc tells me to take sick leave for another week.  I tell her I have a mean boss.  She says she’ll write a letter.  I explain that I’m self-employed.  She laughs and orders me to give myself a week’s vacation.  Hm.

Good good good:  after lunch I remove the hospital gown and put on my own clothes.  Bad:  I discover that no one folded or even rolled them when they were stuffed into the plastic bag that held them and they are now shockingly wrinkled.  I decide I don’t care.

Relax and knit. I have challenged myself to see if I can finish the drop-stitch cowl I’m working on.  28 more rounds to go.  I manage to finish 20.

Late afternoon/early evening release papers are ready.  Letter and records to my family doctor with copies of everything for me.  Follow-up appointments and tests to have done before them.  Prescriptions for over-the-counter vitamins??  Contact names and phone numbers.  I gather my things that have been ready to go for a couple of hours.  Say goodbyes to roommate and mom.  Get to the ward exit and go back because I forgot my water bottle.  Get back to the end of the hall and nurse comes hurrying up to me to make sure they took all the needles out of my arm.  (?! –  I do think I would have noticed and mentioned it…but I guess they need to check it off the list.). Head out to the street where partner is waiting in a taxi.

Home.  Frantic catbeast sniffs me over carefully then ignores me in a major display of huff.   Gets over that surprisingly quickly and follows me everywhere.  Seems worried that I will disappear again.

welcome home

Kidlet makes me tea and runs out to the market for a few things to tide us over until I can order groceries online.

And it’s back to the real world.

Buzz words: seasonal influenza vaccination

October 31, 2013

Got my flu shot today.  A+B strains.  It hurt this time.  The nurse joked with me that I could get one in each arm, and that way cover next year as well.  Ha ha.  I passed.  (She really is a good nurse, just a weird sense of humour sometimes. )


Seems like the  flu shot is one of the hot topics around.  People for, people against, lots of facts and opinions passing as facts,  Tara Haelle, a science journalist, took a stab (pun intended) at researching and responding to what she terms the 25 major myths about the flu vaccine, and set them forth in Red Wine and Applesauce (Health and Science News for Moms).  She clearly states:

First, an important note: I am a science journalist but not a medical doctor. I’ve compiled research here to debunk common myths about the flu vaccine. You should always consult a reliable, trusted medical professional with questions that pertain specifically to you. For the CDC recommendations on the 2013-2014 flu vaccines (including information on which vaccines pregnant women, the elderly and children under 2 should *not* get), please consult the CDC site directly.

Some of the myths:

Myth #1: The flu vaccine gives you the flu or makes you sick. (No, it doesn’t.)
Myth #2: Flu vaccines contains dangerous ingredients, such as mercury, formaldehyde and antifreeze. (Not exactly, and the ingredients aren’t dangerous.)
Myth #3:  Pregnant women should not get the flu shot. (They should.) / The flu shot can cause miscarriages. (It doesn’t.) / Pregnant should only get the preservative-free flu shot. (Nope.)
Myth #4: Flu vaccines can cause Alzheimer’s disease. (They can’t.)

And so on…

I’m also impressed with how seriously she replies to her comments.  Not everyone will agree with her, but it’s certainly worth reading.

I didn’t always get the flu shot.  And I almost always got whatever flu strain was floating around.  Three years running it turned into pneumonia, at which point my doctor said “Do yourself a favour, get a flu shot next year.”  So I did.  And every year since.  And I haven’t had the flu since.  Other things, sure.  Bad colds, The occasional virus.  But not the flu.  So for me, it works.

So.   After I got the shot, and rested the required number of minutes until my friend the nurse released me, I headed to the pharmacy to pick up some stuff.  Took my number, sat down to wait and knit.  And dropped a stitch almost right away.  With laceweight yarn and teeny needles.   I didn’t have my knitting bag with me, just the project bag, so no tools like a handy crochet hook, but I still managed to pick up the dropped stitch and get it back in place.  Decided that it wasn’t a good idea to continue there, and besides, the line wasn’t too long, so I sighed and put it away.  Back at home, I used a crochet hook to even out the stretched stitch and knitted a round or two.  All’s right with the world.  And my arm isn’t sore, nor red, nor swollen, just a little bump where the needle jabbed me.

Do you get flu shots?  Do you think they make a difference?

Back on track

April 25, 2013

Yesterday’s rest helped.  Just needed to turn off.  Was functioning again today, got a few things on my list done.  Not everything.  But enough that I felt good.  Could still do with some more recharging, but we’re back in business.

My Rainbow Hands and Ducks is finished, just needs to be blocked.  I want to get that done this weekend.  Finished most of it while I was waiting for kidlet to get out of school the other day, sipping chai latte.   I only had about a foot of yarn left when I finished binding off, which worked out well.  I used the sewn bind-off, which I don’t usually do – but I really like the control it gives over the tension and it’s a great match for the long tail cast-on.


Kidlet has been bugging me about a new hat.  I’ve been showing her patterns, and finally she chose what she wanted.  She had a hard time deciding on going with a plainish ribbed hat or a cabled one, tight fitting or slouchy.  The only thing she absolutely knew was that it has to have a pompom.  Yarn shopping wasn’t so successful, she didn’t see the exact colour she wanted anywhere.  But when I popped into a local crafts shop to get something else, I took a look at their yarns  (all acrylic or cotton, this isn’t where I usually yarn shop…) and saw a colour that was just what she had been going on about.  Bought it, and when she saw it she pronounced it perfect.

inbalit granada

So today, in between dealing with various bureaucratic issues,  I cast on for the Minty Molly hat for her.  It should knit up quickly.

minty molly brim

Waiting impatiently for the new shipment from the Smart Ass Knitters World Domination Club – of course I’ve checked out the spoilers thread and can’t wait to start the new pattern!!

I suppose I shouldn’t really stalk the mail carrier, right?  It would be rude?

Yeah, I thought so.  I’d better just knit and stay out of trouble.  (Ha.)

Temporarily Out of Service

April 24, 2013

I broke today.

Woke up to crisis mode.  I often wake up to crisis mode.  Efforts to help were met with anger and verbal abuse.  And I just Didn’t. Have. The. Strength. to deal with it.

So I broke.  And cried.

I turned off the cell phone.  Left it on the table in the living room.  Left my bag, and everything else.  Took my house key and walked out.

I didn’t walk far.  I can’t walk far.  Found an isolated bench in the park and just sat.

I thought some.  I dozed some.  I watched a lizard as it alternately darted from rock to rock and paused to sun itself.  Those suckers can really move fast.  A park worker came by picking up trash with his stick and we said good morning.  He began to tell me some of his grievances with his job and what he planned to tell his boss.  I smiled and nodded.  Satisfied, he moved on.

I wondered what was happening at home, but decided I didn’t have the energy to care.

I just sat and tried to recharge the batteries.

Didn’t want to think.  Didn’t want to worry.  Didn’t want to fight.  Didn’t want to knit.  Didn’t want to read.

Around noon I went back.  Partner had been frantically trying to reach me by phone, but kidlet had stayed in her room, hadn’t bothered to check if I was even there.

Settled in on the couch.  Napped on and off.  Turned the cell back on.

At some point I read some.  Finished one book.  Started another.  Got through the first chapter and put it down.

Made myself something simple to eat.  Kidlet’s angry that I’m not cooking.  Plenty of stuff in the kitchen that she can fix for herself, but she wants one of her favourite dishes that I make.  So she’s acting the martyr.  Tough.

Partner wants to help.  Keeps asking me if I want her to do this or that.  She doesn’t quite get that I’m not making decisions today.  Not telling anyone else what to do or not to do.

Irresponsible?  Probably.  Childish?  Possibly.


I’ll be back tomorrow.  I’ll be functioning again, at some level at least.  I won’t be fighting.  I won’t be taking on anyone else’s responsibility.  But I’ll be back.

Right now I just need life to leave me alone for a minute so I can breathe.


And a-yin, and a-yang

April 9, 2013

Today was one of those days.  One step forward, three steps back.  By afternoon, I had a very short fuse.  But then things started to get better.

Today was my last session of Tui Na.  The doctor wants to move on to more tests and perhaps talk about surgery, and while the Chinese massage is a real treat, it’s not helping against the pain as much as we hoped.   I finished with the acupuncture a while ago, but kept on with the massage a little longer.

I never connected much with the acupuncturist, but Michael – the Tui Na massage therapist – and I have had lots of long conversations, about everything under the sun, not just pain treatment.  He has studied Chinese medicine for several years, and is continuing to study.  We talk about cooking, colours, motorcycles, whatever.  Since he always sees me knitting while waiting for my sessions, he asks about all my projects.   He is also knitting a  scarf, but doesn’t have much time to work on it.  I think he’s been working on the same scarf for all the months I’ve been going to treatments with him.

Since today was the last treatment, I knitted him a little gift – a key chain for his work.

keychain1     keychain2

He was quite thrilled with it.

I made it up as I went along, using Judy’s magic cast-on for toe up socks and knitting it with magic loop, slipping the first stitch on each half on every odd row to make a flatter edge.  I used this yin/yang chart for the pattern.  I am not happy with the finishing, and wish I had done it differently. perhaps double knitting would have been better, with the design on both sides.  Kidlet loves it, and wants me to make one for her, so I may play with it.  If I work out something I like more, I’ll put up the pattern here!

Finished the day on the best note possible, with Stitch-n-Bitch night!

snb 9 apr 13

Thanks, ladies, you made the day worthwhile.


Didja miss me?

July 5, 2012

Another lost month.  And then some.  I can’t tell you how much I miss my blogging!

Kidlet is again in hospital – the third time in the past year.  More tests, more med changes, more observation, more treatment.  It started this time when the kibbutz sent her home because of her condition… after a few days at home, because the youth ward was full at the hospital (no room?!), we reached a crisis and ended up at the ER.  Lots of waiting around, got a lot of knitting done (mostly the Reunion Madness cowl).  Interviewed by one doctor, then another, then a consult with a third, and they decided to admit her.  But the only place they had a free bed was in the small children/babies ward.  Where the rules state that a parent must stay with the child.  So they put me on a cot next to her bed, I texted my boss that I wouldn’t make it in the next day, and we settled in.  Or tried to.  I was wedged in between kidlet and a small child in the next bed who shrieked with pain.  All night.  His father on a cot on the other side of him managed to snore away, but kidlet and I spent most of the time just looking at each other as the screams went on.   Around 1:30 in the morning they wheeled in an infant in a crib and settled her across the room.  And then her mother spent an hour on her cell phone telling people all about it.  Loudly.  I mentioned to the woman that there happened to be other people in the room, trying to sleep, and she got all huffy.  And continued to talk.  When the poor little one next to me finally exhausted himself with screaming, he fell quiet for half an hour.   So of course the baby started to cry.

Not really one of the most enjoyable nights of my life.

The next day, as we waited for doctors to talk to and tests to be done, time passed slowly.  Some soldiers from the nearby base came to visit and amuse the little kids.  Kidlet hid under her covers, embarrassed – most of the soldiers were only about 6 months to a year older than her, after all.  Partner, who had been with us in the evening until we were settled in, came back early in the morning.  At least she got some sleep.  She brought me food.   Interesting that they require a parent to stay with each child – but only provide meals for the children.

Anyway, by afternoon a place had opened up in the youth ward of another hospital, so we played the bureaucracy game and got her transferred and settled in.

That was a month ago.  Life is a cycle of work, hospital, and sleep.  Very little of the last item.   I try and sleep on my commute, so not much knitting.  I did manage to make it to a Stitch-n-Bitch meeting one night after leaving the hospital, which was like a good shot of energy.  But for now no changes.

I am continuing with my pincushion sessions, and also with the Tui na – on those days partner goes to the hospital alone.  It seems to be helping – went to a wedding one afternoon and actually got up and danced – for the first time in two years!  Then a few days later I got overly optimistic and worked hard in the flat…and the pain is back.   My acupuncturist scolded me and told me work is bad for me.  I told him I wanted that in writing.  (Partner wanted him to stick needles in my butt with the American flag on them for the 4th of July – I wasn’t amused.)

Kidlet wants to come home, we’re hoping the doctor will agree that she can soon.

Let’s see…so let’s close the post with something positive.  Back in May, I was one of five winners of a JL Yarnworks   sock pattern giveaway!    Jackie’s fantastic new sock pattern is called Aim True – inspired by the Hunger Games, featuring an arrow pattern:

photo by JL Yarnworks

Can’t wait to knit these up – I’m thinking of using the Shinyyy SWN sock yarn I bought from my pal Bat (CrazyVet on Rav) at the Yarn and Falafel national gathering, in gorgeous sapphire:

They’ll probably have to wait until after the Ravellenic Games, though, as I am frantically trying to do some WIP busting before the cast-on late this month and then will be going crazy juggling two largish projects for the Games.

Hopefully things at home will be calmer then.

Feels so good to be back writing!!