I have been meaning to post for a long time now, but my absence this time hasn’t exactly been like the others. The greatest reason I haven’t posted in a while is that I really want to finish my report on the autoimmune diseases conference, then a report on a webinar I attended on cognition in CFS/ME, but I haven’t had the mental fortitude for it. I often get hung up on the idea of doing what I need to do as opposed to what I’d like to do. If I can do something that needs to be done, I tend to get on that right away because I never know when the opportunity might arise again. I came to the conclusion that I should write, even if it isn’t what I “should” be writing about.
Since my last post, a lot has transpired. I had several weeks where I felt amazingly, wonderfully normal. Not totally normal, but I was waking up before 8:00 in the morning, my head was clear, and I could do things I hadn’t been able to do in years. For example, I painted my kitchen and entry hallway.
I finished that work just before I left for my cruise in April. I have some pictures that I hope to post at some point. The trip was nice, even though we missed a port-of-call due to high winds and waves. I got thoroughly sunburned, but it was nice to just travel purely for pleasure again. For the record, Carnival Cruise Lines does a great job with gluten-free food.
I then went to visit Dr B in May after a business trip to Chicago. I believe we will be repeating that trip in October. I didn’t manage to photograph the things I knit for his wife, despite my best-laid plans. I’m getting used to this kind of thing now. Nothing seems to go as I intend.
After the cruise, and maybe even during the trip, I started to slide backward. I had a hard time waking up early, and I started to have flu-like symptoms. I had to rely on pseudoephedrine and caffeine to get through a day. I gained eleven pounds. And I was freezing to the touch, even in 90+ degree weather. This led me to believe I needed to start taking thyroid hormones again, as all of these things are explicit symptoms of hypothyroidism. I had stopped taking the hormones roughly three months before, and my sleeping schedule had normalized to a late-rising, but generally steady daytime schedule. When I started on the thyroid hormones again, within 24 hours my schedule began the familiar rotation around the clock. I couldn’t sleep before 4:00am, and I couldn’t wake up before noon. I’ve been playing with the dose, and it seems I can take about 25mcg twice a week without causing the schedule to rotate so severely as it always has (it took about 10 weeks for a full rotation around the clock). I’ve been able to wake up around 11:00 or so the last few days. I’m hoping for a better schedule by the weekend, as I would like to attend the Estes Park Wool Market on Saturday, and I need to manage a two-hour drive at an early hour.
So, at first I wasn’t blogging because I decided to jump on the the new-found ability to do the things I used to do. After that, it was because I was too sick to manage the thinking required.
I’ve been knitting, but in the last week it has been difficult. For some reason I can’t thoroughly explain, I started losing the use my right arm. I know there is some muscular involvement, but also neurological involvement. My arm frequently goes numb from down the backside of my forearm to the tip of my pinky finger. If I don’t keep the arm supported, It starts to feel like the weight of my arm is too much for the muscles in my shoulder. The arm actually starts coming out of the socket. This makes knitting, driving, typing – all of that – difficult. I get some relief from the chiropractic adjustments, and a little from massage. I also thought about my POTS diagnosis. I tend to sleep on my left side because it keeps my heart from racing (the blood pools in whatever part of me is downward when I am still. I can’t fight the effects of gravity on my blood supply, so whatever is on top gets deprived of blood supply. When I am upright, my brain takes this hit. If I am lying down and my heart is deprived of blood, it starts to race in an effort to increase it’s own blood supply, but this effort actually fails because my heart moves too fast to effectively refill and it makes the problem worse). I thought that maybe if I could force myself to sleep on my right side, the blood would pool there a bit and I would have relief. It sort of works – I am not in pain as soon as I wake up, but it still gets there later in the day. Now my left pinky is going numb, too, probably from slight blood supply deprivation. There has to be a balance.
So, as for the projects I am actively knitting (you can click on the small pictures to enlarge them):
3. Color Me blanket for Jen. I edited this pattern to make all the crayons face the same way. I’m compulsive like that. Jen had her baby about 10 days ago. She was a little earlier than we expected, so I didn’t finish in time. I despaired for a few days, then managed to start working on the blue crayon again. I’ve completed the green one, and I still need to make the purple one. I can do it quickly if I can just manage the focus.
4. Basic socks for Michael. There is nothing fancy to this patten, just stockinette socks in a variegated wool (Cascade Heritage Paints in 9931 Indian Summer)
I still have plenty of other projects in hibernation, but I’m focused on these.
I recently finished a few things as well.
1. Striped Blueberry Bubbles socks for me. I started and finished them on the trip to Chicago and Minnesota.
2. A crocheted Spiderman hat for Dr B’s nephew, J. J loved the hat the moment he saw it. He loved my blueberry bubbles socks, too, and suggested they would make great soccer socks for him. I promised to make some soccer socks for him just as soon as I could – I think after I finish the crayon blanket. I should point out that J is three, so I don’t consider it at all forward of him to just ask a relative stranger to make him some socks. My niece did the same thing regarding a sweater at one point. I find it flattering, even though their parents found it mortifying. I am never going to discourage a kid from liking yarn crafts.
3. Gentleman Socks for Michael. I had a hard time motivating myself to work on these, but once I had that motivation, they were done. I think the motivation came from procrastinating on another project.
I would have been knitting for one more baby right now, but the friend I wasn’t ready to name in a previous lost the baby. Guess my instincts were right about not feeling like I should announce it yet, despite having permission.
I’ve also been spinning, but I haven’t photographed that, either.
I’ve also fostered about eleven kittens since Mozzie. The first set was a mother, Clair, and her five kittens named for characters on The Cosby Show. I have to see where I put the pictures. Now I have five kittens without a mom. They were exposed to Panleuk, and they needed to leave the shelter. The kittens are perfectly healthy now, so they should be going back soon to get adopted. They have been named after characters from The Office. I need to photograph them as well.
So, I’m glad I posted today. I had a lot to say, and I’m hoping that getting what I wanted to do completed will free up my energy to do what I need to (the rest of the educational posts). I think this is going to be another life management lesson for me – it’s ok to do what I want to do if I don’t have the energy to do what I need to do. I’m not saying this applies to everyone, just people who have limitations like I do. This will no longer apply if I miraculously get better. But for right now, this will have to be my new rule.