Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Slowly but surely, progress is made

I will never know what triggered this bout of muscle spasms that I've been suffering from since Monday night. Doesn't really matter, though. The most innocuous things have been known to trigger it, and one can only be so careful. Maybe I should look to my supplements, increase my mineral intake, several minerals are involved with proper muscle functioning, and this could be an indication that I am low on them. Something, anything to try to avoid another episode like the one I had this week! It had been years since I'd had one this severe. I thought I was going to die - and welcomed it. Anything to get away from the pain!

It's still painful, but at least I can stand up straight again, and walk with minimal pain. Sitting, and standing from a sitting position (as long as it's high enough) can be accomplished. I will have to come up with something for sitting on the couch, however - that remains a huge problem. Sitting there is not so bad, but getting up off the couch - ouch! Last night I had to roll off the couch onto my knees and lean hard on the coffee table to ease my way back up to my feet. At least I was able to do it. Getting out of bed was not quite as complicated - or as painful - this morning, so I have hope that I'm on the mend. Not quite ready to go dancing in 3 inch spikes, however! Not that I ever did anyway, lol!

Aiding and abetting my misery was the as-always timely visit from Aunt Flo - who arrived with a vengeance and refuses to accept being ignored or playing second fiddle to a bum back. I am so wishing I could have had this situation checked out before my insurance ran out, as things are completely out of control. Bad enough to have to deal with either one of these issues in my life - but both at once? Sheesh! When it rains, it pours hailstones lately. Something is wrong with the equipment, it's definitely malfunctioning - or should I say functioning in permanent hyper mode? Anemia becomes a real concern. Back to those supplements!

I found a few things to be highly helpful in bringing my spasms under control to where they are receding. Late Tuesday night, I finally managed to collect enough scattered braincells together (those that weren't obsessing about the stupid pain) to gather up and mix the necessary ingredients for an aromatherapy rub. I finally got smart this time and wrote everything down - it's ridiculous that every time I've needed this stuff, I've had to "reinvent the wheel" because I failed to document what I previously used, and in what quantities! But no more! Of course, it's always a pleasure to play with my collection of little bottles of heavenly scents, just doing that always makes me feel instantly better. But I mixed myself up a bottle of oils and immediately applied some to my lower back. Ahhhh! my muscles said. There was an immediate response, muscles relaxing. I almost felt like dancing a jig, lol! But, even miracle oils don't work that permanently that fast, and I got almost no sleep at all, thanks to the pain, finally managed to squeeze about 3 hours out of yesterday morning.

Isis came up to see me in the afternoon, bringing me an extra heating pad, and a few vicodins she had left from a dental procedure a few years ago. Blessed relief! We ordered Chinese takeout and had lunch together, then called mom from her cell phone and both of us had a nice chat with her. Good thing, too, as apparently when I'd called mom Tuesday, she could hardly understand me. We've always had a hard time communicating when I call from my own phone, a cheap cordless number, and frankly I was in tears when I'd talked to her, further making it difficult for her to understand me. So she'd had no idea what the problem was that caused me to cancel my visit! At least now she knows. It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to go see her until next week at the soonest, thanks to this back of mine, which bums me out. But what can you do? At least, it's giving me an opportunity to finish up a couple of things I'd like to add to her Christmas gift, as the scarf didn't seem like enough to me, and I'd been feeling bad about that too.

Isis brought, along with all the helpful aids, the 3 dvd's she had of the Harry Potter movies, plus the latest book (which I have yet to read). I've got one of the Potter films, probably the first one, but couldn't check my movie shelves since it would have required stooping or getting down on my knees in the narrow hallway with a flashlight to look at the titles. I'm not quite limber enough to pull that off right now. So I told her to bring all 3. Now I have plenty to entertain me while I continue to mend.

Phil, bless his heart, brought me one thing that has made the BIGGEST difference - a back brace. He knows what I'm going through, as he was out of work on workman's comp for a year following a back injury, which still plagues him frequently, even though he works out at the gym on a regular basis. Until I got that back brace on, I could not stand upright at all, and it was getting tiring crab-walking through my house. I felt like the hunchback of notre dame! But the brace has helped tremendously! Between that and my massage oil, I am feeling almost normal again. It's funny, but many many years ago, when I suffered the first of these horrid spasm episodes, I had received a custom-fitted back brace from the orthopedic doctor I saw at the time. It was a big elastic and velcro belt, with a hard panel insert which had been molded to my back, to fit me where I curved, a nice close fit. I had thrown the panel out about 5 years ago, stupid me, don't know what I was thinking. Especially since the problem is so far down on the spine - it's sourced in the lowest part of the lumbar region, though the muscles that affected run up along either side of my spine to midback region. Now that the worst of the spasms have passed, I can actually pinpoint the mid-back muscle that spasmed out - when I press on that spot, it feels lumpier than the other areas, and it hurts when I knead it with my fingertips - in that good "exercised muscle" kind of way, telling me we're almost there, at least with that spot. The ones at the low end of my spine aren't being quite as cooperative yet, but they're getting there.

Later, I will share my back liniment formula, in case it might be helpful to anyone else.

So, I am happy to report that I am almost back to "normal", able to move with a bit more mobility again. But not quite enough yet for the acrobatics that will be required to clean out my dryer vent and hook it back up to the pipe leading to outside, which means I can't finish the laundry. The darn thing had fallen off while my last load was drying. Fortunately, I noticed it before I started to wash another load - a load of towels, no less! Good thing I have another set for the bathroom! I have lots of vacuuming that needs to be done in that basement, and everything is scattered all about, waiting for me to sort and organize it all, another one of my major projects. Besides, I never did get around to the "seasonal shift", bringing summer clothes down and winter stuff up, so I've had to resort to pawing through the crates whenever I've needed another sweater. I'd like to get to it soon, though, because all these extra clothes coming up have had no place to go besides the "unused" side of my bed, and that has turned into a real mountain, piled high with clothes and yarn, lol! That has been another bit of frustration for me with this back, because the weather has been cooperative yet I still can't get the job done. I hope the weather holds at least until I can get this accomplished, as it's holding up a lot of other projects too.

On the crochet front, I can't say I've been making blazing progress - I still seem to be suffering from the "snail" syndrome - but it is progress nonetheless. I currently have two projects on the hooks. The first is the Light and Lacy Stole from Dot, which I foolishly thought I could whip together quickly for addition in mom's Christmas package. After all, it only took Dot 12 hours to make this thing - and that was her "trial and error" version! I started mine Saturday, using a pretty tweedlike baby yarn from TLC but found the going rather slow and the result kind of sloppy looking, seeing as how I was working with a sportweight yarn and a K hook, which is much too large of a hook for this type of yarn, imo. I had shortened the pattern from the 72" length down to 60 since it is to be for a very short person. I was very dissatisfied with the way it was looking, and the process was not going smoothly at all. I finally decided it was because I was trying to use a plastic hook, when I switched to my aluminum hook, it began to work up much more smoothly and easily, and the stitches didn't look as "loopy". I had gotten about 5 rows into the project at this point, and decided to frog and start over, particularly because the starting chain was SO crappy looking, I couldn't stand it. So Sunday, I frogged the whole thing and started over. It's been a slow go ever since, largely because of my other issues stealing brain bandwidth, and my lack of ability lately to go on autopilot with even the simplest of projects. I have determined, though, that if I do another one of these stoles, I will use a smaller hook, and just increase the number of repeats to reach the correct length. It has been hard working such a fine yarn with such a large hook. I've found it impossible to keep the loops of my stitches looking even, especially when so many of them are chain loops,
and that bugs me! I think I would have scrapped it and started over, yet again, if I wasn't so far along with it now (about halfway), and if it wasn't such a pretty pattern. I also keep reminding myself that I am probably just being overly-critical of my work, which really isn't all that unusual.

The other project I've been working on so far seems to be coming along nicely - but I won't know how successful it will be until it reaches a stage where it can be tried on for fit. This would be the "Men's Thick Warm Crocheted Winter Hat
" (link is pdf) from Etaria, a pattern she so graciously offered for free from her site. It's a very nicely textured hat, which I'm working up using Lion's Wool-ease in the color Blue Mist (which I absolutely LOVE, btw - I want MORE, would also love to get it in a sportweight for their diamond-lace tunic pattern if I can find it - they've discontinued this one too, alas), so far so good. I'm on round 8 of this pattern. Last night, I hand-wrote the instructions for rounds 8 and 9 on a small piece of paper so I could take the project to the living room to work on - otherwise I have to be sitting by the computer to work on this one, as I don't have the pattern printed out. Yet. But if it works out, I may want to make more of these, and if I do then I will definitely print it out. She also has 4 other hat patterns, as well as scarves to match, for sale at the above site, and I'd like to get those too. These are not your run-of-the-mill hat and scarf pattern, and I love the textures on them! This hat, btw, is to be for Phil.

So, that's what I'm currently working on, crochet-wise. Hopefully, I will soon have pics of finished objects to show off! Time to get off and go see about getting closer to that goal!


  • At 5:34 PM, Blogger ladylinoleum said…

    Jeez Goldi, I feel for you and your back. I suffer from a similar situation a couple of times a year. It's terrible.

    Wishing you good health and plenty of joy in the new year!

  • At 2:17 PM, Blogger Micky said…

    Hope you have a very Happy New Year! And beyond!


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