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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The calm before the storm

Last Friday I submitted to a CT-guided biopsy of one bony mass on my hip.  Dog, that was one unpleasant experience. For starters, I had no pre-op instruction such as "Do not eat!", so I ate a cup of yogurt at 5 a.m.  The procedure was scheduled for 8 a.m., and I had to arrive at 6 a.m. for all the paperwork processing, and to allow the radiologist to view the CD of my earlier CT & MRI scans.  Hey, I had a greatest hits CD!!  Folks who know me, know I cope with humor -- even very bad humor.  As soon as my breakfast became known, the service was postponed to 11 a.m.  I was confined to a very uncomfortable gurney from about 7 to 11.  The only bright spot was finding Shark Week on the Discovery Channel (we're Luddites, and haven't got cable at home), very cheering altho rather bloody.  The rest of the Plaid Patrol was present, but took turns running down to the cafeteria for breakfast.  Some 36 years ago, I herniated a lumbar disc, and have not been able to lay on my stomach since then.  So, when I finally rolled into the CT procedure room, I was appalled to learn that I'd have to be on my tummy for the whole thing.  And the CT table is very hard.  They kept promising me some good drugs, otherwise I think I would have made a run for it.  So, I'm on my tum, with an extra cushion under said tum, and the gown opened in back, and the nurse tells me the table is defective in that it won't slide back under the CT scanner unless I can pull my arms off the edge to a "Superman" pose -- does she know I've got a broken C-7 vertebra?  Much groaning followed.  Well, the whole thing took about 40 minutes, and the drugs were good; I dozed a bit near the end.  I  had no pain from the needle aspiration biopsy itself, but every core collected involved a loud crunch -- let's try not to think about that too much.  This Friday, I'll discuss the results with my Alpha Team Leader (oncologist), and we'll make some plan.  Enough of this topic.
Yesterday I found a "fatal error" in the second sleeve of the Gramps Cardi, so it's been frogged & restarted.  I looked at a lot of my knitting books & magazines yesterday; I still have so much to knit and possibly even less time to do so.  I surely wish I could get Disco interested in knitting, I hate to think my rather large knitting library and collection of yarn will go to some stranger.  Maybe I should consider destashing? 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Unsettling, to say the least

I've been just about managing to keep working while suffering a severely pinched nerve in my neck.  My primary care physician diagnosed it (without diagnostic imaging) as a slipped disc, gave me 9 days worth of Prednisone and some muscle relaxant med to help me sleep.  When the Prednisone was a week gone, I had to call her again, wanting a referral to a chiropracter or orthopedist.  She sent me to a physical therapist.  I took PT 3 times a week for 2 weeks, then 2 times a week for 2 weeks, and wasn't really getting any relief.  The last scheduled session was cancelled by me, as I felt too much pain to allow me to do the exercises suggested.  I went home early from work that Thursday, and didn't go to work at all on the Friday after.  I was really just laying in the bed & moaning.  Saturday evening the Plaidman went to the hardware store & made a few more stops.  While he was out, I got up to answer Nature's call, took about 3 steps and heard (and FELT!!!) a huge snapping/cracking sound from my back & hip.  I was immediately immobile; Disco had to bring me a cane and take my arm to get me the last two steps to the bath (very small house).  I dithered, but eventually the pain won out and when Plaidman got home we headed to the ER in Robertson Co.  The upshot is, I've got two pathological fractures, in my cervical spine (the so-called slipped disc) and in my thoracic spine.
Other findings point to masses in my chest wall, spinal column, and hip.  The very worst of bad pennies seems to have shown up again.  I don't think I've talked much about my history of cancer, and I really don't want to now, but if you don't hear from me for a while just know that I am fighting and praying to save my life. 
Let's change the subject before I dissolve in tears.  AHEM! I've been working on the tiny Gramps Cardigan, and have one sleeve done up to the point where it'll be attached to the body.  I've started the other sleeve too!  Still tickled to pieces at this darling sweater.  I did a mini-project in cotton yarn, which should work as intended but which doesn't really deserve any more attention here.  Still working on the party purses ala CAP for the nieces, even though I still have not heard one word about the Bunny Hop being received.  Gah, all I want is one picture of the kid in it, for pete's sake.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Twice in one week

Gotta be a record for me posting, lately.  The Plaidman has his marching orders, to get in touch with some structural repair companies & have them give us estimates on the floor joist repair.  We'll just hold our breath until that's done...or maybe NOT.  But summer is now officially upon us here, and this is the time to get home repairs done  with minimal weather delays.  I don't know if anyone's interested in the process, but I think I'll be documenting it all -- just to show what I survived (if that actually is the outcome; otherwise, it'll show just where the final straw was laid on my back!).  To that end, I want to create another page here.  That would be the fourth page, although there are currently only two: I've promised DiscoDame her own page on my blog, to showcase her jewelry & stitchmarkers.  I'll need to take some more pictures!  She's really been busy since she took a class in jewelry making.  I gave her some strands & other bits that I don't wear much anymore, and she's cannabilizing them for other jewelry.  She's hoping to be able to sell some items; we'll have to set her up a PayPal account & figure out how (& how far!) she'll ship her goods.  So, I'll probably be back here this weekend to get all that set up. 
And I hope to have a Finished Object to show -- a lace scarf that I finished on Saturday.  I still need to wash & block it, but I'll get before & after pics.  Honestly, right now it looks like someone spilled Easter egg dye all over a huge vat of Ramen noodles. 
In other knitting, I finally swatched with the Knitter's Pride Trendz acrylic needles, for the Gramps Cardi.  Guess what?  I got soooo close to the stockinette gauge!  I'm so glad I forked over the $ for the Trendz interchangeable set.  I've already ordered more of the DK yarn from Knit Picks (and it's already been shipped!  yippee!), so I'll make the next larger size with the Trendz, getting a gauge just a smidgen smaller than the pattern calls for.  I'm sure I'll have to swap back & forth between the yarn I got earlier and the new yarn, as KPicks was actually completely out of the Tahitian Pearl colorway -- sure to be different dye lots.  Of course, I always order enough from KPicks to get the free shipping, so there are 6 skeins of the Coastal colorway coming along as well.  Plus some lace weight...for which there is no excuse. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ouch

Well, just disregard that stuff about moving.  We looked at the lengths we'd have to go to to get the tiny house paid off (like gutting my 401K!!), and the possible adverse effect that would have on our assets in general...and decided we'll try for a home equity loan instead.  This will be a longish process, as we first have to get some estimates for the work that must be done, and some for the work that we'd like to get done, and figure out if we can do more than the absolutely necessary.  And as we were discussing this last week, we had another problem arise.  I was sound asleep, 10:30 p.m. Friday, when something struck me on my head.  I woke up screaming and flailing, thinking I was being attacked, until I finally got the lamp on.  The ceiling had fallen on me!  Disco & the Plaidman ran into the bedroom as I was looking up at the very large hole in the ceiling.  It had rained about two days before, and apparenly the flashing on the front edge of the roof came down, allowing water to accumulate overhead.  The top of the bed was wet & covered in plaster.  We scrambled around to get some plastic draped over all, and put some pans under to catch the water still falling.  Of course, The Plaidman & I had to go to a motel for the rest of the night.  Fortunatley, the eggcarton mattress pad kept the mattress itself dry.  It's taken him a couple of days to figure it out, but Plaidman has put a tarp over the roof where the flashing's gone, and even applied some tarp to our ceiling, until we can get a repairman out.  Last night I got to sleep in my own bed again; Disco was thrilled, since I've been bunking in her bed while she slept on the floor.  Her cat was totally confused, "Why is MyMom on the floor?  Why is OtherMom in the bed?".  And oh by the way, I was unharmed, which is the reason The Plaidman is alive today. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Don't blink

Or you might miss this very quick post.  I'm still (!!!) working on the Cat's Paw scarf, and it's already going to be about 7' long after blocking.  I haven't returned to swatching the Gramps cardi yet, as I'd really like to turn the scarf into a(n?) FO.  And I'm deep into summer reading.  Got at least two, often three, novels I'm reading at any given time.  I really need to switch to listening to books so I can knit at the same time.
Hint hint to The Plaidman:  CeltChick would like some player to which I can download books from the library!  An Anniversary approaches, ya know.  Actually, what I'd really like is to find a decent condo (1,000 sq ft) in our modest price range, and move out of the crackerbox (about 750 sq ft).  Yep, we need to pull up stakes and roll on down the road.  So, darling spouse, please work on finding our new home. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Discuss among yourselves

Hello Hokitka.  Hello whomever reads this in San Antonio; wish you'd comment!  I really like San Antonio a lot, been there several times and always find some fun. 
The Peerless Bunny Hop has been shipped off to its new owner & intended recipient, Princess T.  I sent it inside another gift for her (& for Sis, sort of), a storage bench that is, if not spot on, a really close match for the off-white furnishings of the Princess' room.  See, I usually sleep in her room when I visit -- it's full of toys, and some nice girly furniture, but the bed is super high (I'm only 5'1") and unsuitable for seating, and the only chairs are all tiny kids' chairs with the seats about 1' from the floor.  It's kinda hard for a "traditionally built" gal to use those chairs while trying to get into her trousers or socks & shoes.  So...I bought a sturdy storage bench for T's room.  Shipping cost about two thirds again the price of the item, but it  was quite a bit less than the Postal Service wanted. 
The Plaidman has been under the weather since mid February, having been hospitalized twice and had two procedures.  Dog, he's just falling apart since he retired!  And couldn't wait on this mess until his Medicare starts....oh well.  I think he's finally getting serious about his diet, at least.  Nothing like being kept fasting for long periods, with a threat of liquid diet only after, to make you think about what you put in your mouth! 
Hopefully, DiscoDame will be attending a job fair this afternoon.  Let's all think good thoughts for both her & The Plaidman, please. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Home again, home again


Well, Texas & I have survived each other.  No monster (14” long, 1.25” wide!!) millipedes this time, and our dear Princess T is thriving.  Miss A has had some setbacks, mostly due to being a teen now (and just a bit of a drama Queen? Maybe).  The warm weather has officially moved into middle Tennessee, so we’re sleeping with the window open.  The other human members of the Plaid Patrol did not cook any dinners while I was gone, but still managed to dirty every dish in the house.  That’s ok, they’re the ones that have to clean it up! 

Exciting news: I finished the Princess’ Bunny Hop sweater!  I got some heavy duty fusible binding tape, same width as the ribbon facing for the snap closures, used it to press on the ribbon quite firmly – and totally stabilized the fronts of the sweater.  Then measured & marked (Dog bless washable markers!) placement for 11 snaps, and pounded on those snaps.  Whew!  Such banging and bashing!  But it’s done like dinner (love that expression, thank you Stephanie).  I’m waiting on some ordered presents to arrive, and will ship the sweater to our Princess as soon as I can put them all together. 

 

(pay no attention to the dates on these pics; every time the battery dies the $&^% camera resets to a random date.)
I’m using one of my birthday presents from Sis, some Kertzer sock yarn in very parrot-y colors, to make a Cat’s Paw Scarf (Elizabeth Lovick, Northern Knitting).  I started another pattern in this and then found my copy was missing one line, so switched to this much simpler pattern.  Right now it looks like someone spilled food colors in a vat of cooked Ramen noodles….but blocking will sort it out.  I did get the Knitters Pride Trendz acrylic interchangeable needle set (Haus of Yarn ordered it for me J) , which I mean to use for swatching the Gramps Cardigan – as Dog is my witness, I will get gauge! – but I’m using the size 10 tips for this scarf.  It’s quite loose; mostly air with a bit of string run through it.  It’s been good travel knitting, since there are only 6 rows and only 3 have increases & decreases.  I've been working on it off & on almost two weeks now, and I'm still only half way thru the skein -- this puppy's gonna be long!