Monthly Archives: October 2017

To be this feisty when I am old

I’d planned to write my blog post over lunch today at the day job, but I think I’m going to be too busy for that. Here is an article from my breakfast reading which inspired me instead.

http://taskandpurpose.com/world-war-ii-vet-celebrates-95th-birthday-little-skydiving/

I aspire to be this feisty when I am old.

Ten More Days

On Friday they measured (and then remeasured) my healing progress. I healed 1.5 cm over the course of the last week. The wound care doctor asked me if I’d like to have the Vac off once I run out of supplies.

Yes, please. Very much so.

As of today, that will be 10 days from now. Maybe sooner if I get lucky.

Yesterday started out dreary. Ms. Roommate and I took out Sophie-dog for a walk. I snapped a picture just before the first mist started falling. We turned around shortly after this as the rain kept getting heavier. I tucked the Bellysucker 9000 into my rain coat to keep it dry and we got back to the car damp, but no worse for wear as the clouds opened up and the real rain begain.

We skipped the Tweed Ride. Temperatures didn’t get much above 50 and the rain barely let up all day long. Watching the traffic go by as we at lunch at a favorite local restaurant, Ms. Roommate remarked that the day could be worse: We could be on a Tweed ride.

That became the theme of Saturday: This is great because we’re still not on a tweed ride.

When we decided that maybe trying to ride bikes with a medical device and the accompanying tubing wasn’t a great plan, I understood the wisdom of making the choice. It still disappointed me to have to make the choice. I enjoy biking and this whole summer has been something of a bust for me on that front.

Saturday I felt extremely happy we’d decided not to go on the ride. Riding in wool in the rain sounds like a recipe for misery to me. Imagining the prospect as cold rain came down with more and more force made the prospect even less appealing.

We wandered through Aldi, which was packed. I still wasn’t on a Tweed Ride.

I got a cup of hot tea and watched rain fall through the windows. I wasn’t watching it fall around me on a Tweed Ride.

I logged up my computer and played some Rift. I still wasn’t on a tweed ride.

I put a heating pad on my back because it felt a little twingey. Still not a tweed ride.

Ate a nice dinner with Ms. Roommate with steak and mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and a glass of wine. Warm. Dry. Only a known number of days left lugging the Bellysucker 9000 with me. Also not on a Tweed Ride.

Once upon a time – old projects

Once upon a time I made a sweater. I loved the colors of the yarn. I hated the fact that it was a sack on my body. I knew nothing of gauge or matching the yarn to the project. It was the second thing I ever knit. I learned that yarn has weights and fibers and that those things can make a difference in the success of a project.

Once upon a time I knit a hat out of someone else’s handspun yarn. It had leaves all over it and was a lovely color of orange. It was scratchy because the blend had mohair in it. It made my hands break out in hives. When I tried to wear it, it made my ears break out in hives. I learned that I am sensitive to some fibers and I need to be aware of what yarn will be touching my skin where, because nothing itches quite like hives on your ears.

Once upon a time I made a shawl from laceweight weight cashmere yarn salvaged from a discarded sweater which I bought from a talented dye artists who dyed it ombre golden yellow to orange. I held it doubled. It’s still one of my favorite things I’ve knitted. It taught me the magic of blocking.

I was fearless in those first days of knitting, learning by doing and doing all the wrong things because I didn’t know better. I need to find that adventurous spirit again. I find I’m timid about committing to projects because I don’t want to ruin things.

A little ruination is okay. It’s only yarn, after all.

Now with extended Monday feeling

I have systematically broken every nail this week (and it’s only Tuesday).

I have blisters under the adhesive of my wound vac bandage (vac change is tomorrow morning).

Every project I want to start at home with yarn has a critical piece missing like no orange yarn that feels “just right” for a candy corn shawl and no red yarn for a Wonder Woman Shawl.

Time to recalibrate

Can’t fix the nails. They’re gone. Back to square one with that.

At least tomorrow is bandage day. I’m going to talk to the Wound Care Doctor and see if there’s something different we can do to protect my skin. Wednesday morning is going to be a tough morning no matter what we decide to do.

The Wonder Woman shawl seems like it’s on hold for a while unless I think about doing it in shades of gold and brown instead of red and yellow. I’m okay with putting it on a shelf for the time being. I rewatched Wonder Woman over the weekend and I really feel I’m more of an Etta Candy than a Wonder Woman. (Meaning, I get three scenes in the whole film, but I steal them when I’m there.)

Likewise, maybe I should rethink the seasonal shawl. I was looking at the harvest colors in my stash and I kept thinking “Indian corn,” either like the candy corn with brown on the end instead of yellow or like the the beautiful ears of maize that are becoming endangered crops.

I am left with questions. Are we allowed to call the candy Indian corn? Is that culturally insensitve? Should I call the corn “flint corn” instead of “Indian corn” even though all I mean is the beautiful multi-colored corn grown by indigenous people and not specifically “flint corn” vs “dent corn,” which is a different distinction entirely? Am I the only person who thinks about these things?

Either way, going with a white, dark orange, and brown color scheme might be less “Halloween season” and more generally wearable throughout the year. White, orange, and yellow screams “Halloween season” to me, even if it doesn’t to anyone else, so I know I’ll be likely to reserve it for that instead of just wearing and enjoying it.

With a bit of luck, this extended Monday feeling will fade before it extends into Wednesday. Hey, a person can hope, right?

More from the harvest

Bell peppers and three different varieties of tomatoes from my garden.

Aren’t they pretty? They tasted as good as they look. I made a ragout of onions, green peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and northern beans spiced with ginger and rosemary and served it on a sweet potato. It sounds a little odd, but it was very tasty.

Game Night Highlights for 10082017

GM as Talis the White: Sheath your weapons, fools.

Ellibelli Stabby-sneaky: Does she have people with her?

GM: Yes.

Elli: *to the people with Talis* Yeah! Sheath your weapons, fools.

After a long discussion of where everyone is and why Talis the White shouldn’t be casting spells at us.

Elli: We just didn’t want to die horribly in the hall. We’d like to choose where we die horribly.

Marmalade Ranger-danger: S-U-T, S-U-L-B.

GM: What are you doing?

Marmalade: Reminding you that we don’t know how to spell “subtle.”

Adrin: *reveals his face to Talis, his childhood friend* We need to talk, old friend.

GM as Talis: Ah, Adrin. I knew it was you by the amount of collateral damage to my lodge.

GM: For the most part, the rooms in the lodge are very well-appointed.

Elli: Except for the ones that are smoke damaged. *high fives Adrin Burnlodge and Alexeron Farstrider*

GM as Talis: Rezmir follows Severin the Red. He is even more the fool than the lot of you to try to try to raise the Queen of Dragons.

Elli: That’s what we’ve been saying.

Talis the White: I am infinitely more qualified to wear the white mask than Varrom.

Elli: Varrom the so-called white. *writes down the name* I just want to make sure to delivery your regards to the right person when I’m stabbing them.

GM: The name of the town is Parnast.

Elli: Porn-nest?

GM: PAR-NAST

Damn it, Sully Cat. You are not the Spine of the World. GM: Roll Initiative.

Healing progress

On Friday we measured my healing process again. I would have posted about that on Friday, but the first week back at work wiped me out. I was too tired to process how I feel about my progress, let alone write coherent sentences.

Last time we measured, I’d healed a full centimeter. This week, I also healed a centimeter. Assuming my healing process stays consistent, which it is expected to, I will have the Bellysucker 9000 with me for another 4 weeks.

I’ve been told that that kind of healing process is amazing, that I’m doing spectacularly well. I’ve been told I should be very pleased with how things are going. There are people who spend over a year going to the healing center and never have more than a millimeter a week of healing progress. I’m a fantastic healer.

I talked with a friend who had a post surgical wound open up and he said it took him six months to heal up what I’m expected to heal in four weeks.

I wish I felt pleased. I feel like if I were so damned fantastic at healing, I wouldn’t be hooked up to the Bellysucker 9000 right now. I feel like an ingrate for not appreciating that some people wish they healed like I do. Parts of my belly scar that closed properly in the first place are already starting to fade back to normal.

It’s not that I don’t feel grateful. Obviously, there are people who have it much worse than I do. I understand that, but I just feel like it should have already been over. What the hell is wrong with me that I opened back up in the first place? But there’s really nothing. Just me lugging my noisy vacuum pump along with me as I’m trying to settle back into normality, only there’s no normality when the vacuum pump is chugging along arhytmically because there’s a tiny leak in the bandage I can’t find to seal off.

If it were rhythmic, I could let the pump fade into the background. It took me three pieces of extra tape after I got home to find the leak this time and get it sealed up so that the vac runs silently for the most part.

I had to find it. The noisy thing was keeping me from sleeping. I got it calmed down enough to drift off after two pieces of tape at 2:45 AM. I shut the damned thing completely up this morning. Well, mostly. It will always have a little bit of catch up because while the tape is good, it’s not hermetically bonded to my skin. The idea even sounds painful.

Monday, when we change the bandage next, that’s when the hunt for leaks will start again. It seems like it’s always something. There’s a difference between lying on a bed in the Healing Center while they’re changing the dressing and moving around in daily life.

At least I can move around and start really having my daily life again. Some of the people who are being seen in the wound center don’t have that ability yet. They’re bodies are only giving it back to them a milimeter at a time.

I wonder if this qualifies me as having a real super power?

Leaking

I only shower right before dressing changes. That way if there’s a problem (read: dressing failure), I’m already scheduled to go in for a dressing change. On off days I sponge bath and use baby wipes to stay clean.

I hate it. I want to feel safe to shower whenever I please. I don’t, though. I’m terrified of showering. I discovered my incision had broken open after a shower and every time I shower, no matter how carefully I do, I’m afraid I’m going to be patting my belly dry and come up with a towel full of blood again.

Tonight I had a mini panic. I found serious fluid on the front of my underwear as I was throwing them into the hamper after my shower tonight. My dressing has been leaking, but the vac hasn’t been alarming. In theory, it’s still okay, but call me paranoid.  I don’t trust the incision to really be healing. I don’t trust that it won’t break open.

When it first broke open, I put my hand in the wound to check to make sure that my guts weren’t falling out before I decided whether I was calling my surgeon to tell them I was going the ER or that I needed to come down to see them. It was a real risk at that point.

I don’t trust the incision to really be healing. I don’t trust that it won’t break open again. It was like living my own private horror show and until everything’s all closed up, it won’t really be over.

I had a little freak out because I showered oblivious to the fact that the dressing was leaking. Had I known, I would have reinforced things before showering. Instead, I was left with very carefully patting my belly dry and pressing down the existing dressing before reinforcing it to try to make it the 8-ish hours until my dressing change appointment.

Hopefully, I’ve done a good enough job that I won’t wake up to the unit alarming and have to do a wet to dry dressing in the middle of the night. Hopefully, I’ll actually be able to sleep instead of sitting up worrying about whether or not the Bellysucker 9000 is going to alarm.