Sometimes our shadow journey is kidney stones

I’m no stranger to difficult times. My life has been one challenge after another with enough sunshine and rainbows to get me through. I wouldn’t change it. Often in retrospect, those struggles were some of the best times of my life. These kidney stones, and especially the stent, is not one of those times.

The physical pain and the worry of being down for the count for my kids and my job (our only income) left me a balled up knot of a person. I cut myself off from everything. I knit through the nausea, the spins, the pain. It kept me grounded, but not connected. This went on for weeks. Weeks of waiting my turn for ‘sound’ surgery and weeks of working in a haze of bladder relaxers and pain relievers. Weeks of clawing through the day so I could ball up at home.

Finally, I called a friend. I had been holding my phone in my hand for days debating on calling. Text messages started and deleted. I’m good with messy. I’m not good with feeling broken. I was broken. So I called the one person who could snap me out of it and wake me up to just how cut off I really was. I had to open back up to start healing and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. All I could manage was a little opening where I could let the world slowly filter back in.

It helped a lot. I was still in pain, still angry, still ‘wintering’, but when I remembered to be open I felt better. I worked at finding the right amount of open I could handle, adjusting to each environment. I laugh to myself to see how easy as breathing this all is when I’m working. When I’m one on one with another person as their guide, it all just flows effortlessly. I mean, there was effort put in through all of this, but it was easy. The same could not be said while I was home, but I tried.

The day to remove my stent came. I have some childhood trauma that I have only begun to deal with that makes these sort of things even harder. I was eager to be done and very afraid it was all a lie. That I would be forced to cope for yet another week. I read while waiting for my X-ray. I knit while waiting for the urologist. Everyone seemed to know it was simply coming out today, so I relaxed just a bit. He told me I still have a 4mm one, and I held my breath. Then he proceeded to explain what he was about to do. It was weird, but painless. The stent was out and I waited for the relief.

Instead I felt tired, worn out, and ready for a nap. I was sluggish the rest on the day. Thankfully I had the next day off and the kids were in school. I allowed myself rest and that included just existing. I drank a lot of water and made sure to eat. By the day after that I felt like I had emerged from a cocoon. The despair of being a ghost of myself was gone and I felt joy.

Everything is still hard. The craziness of our new home is only beginning. But I feel like we’ve all come through this storm more together. Which is good, because we’re not done yet.

“No. It’s perfect.”

This was my littlest goofball’s response when I asked if I should make the sleeves longer or add some sort of hem. I had to laugh. It’s nice to be done.

It cracks me up that I refuse to make anything with seams, but will gladly sit here and sew a hundred patches of yarn together. When I’m in the mood for granny squares, they are one of the most zen projects I make. Each stage with its own comfortable rhythm.

First Day of School

They were ready to walk out the door an hour before we needed to. That is definitely a first. The excitement of a new school.

I made them chocolate chip waffles and they had to have it the way Oma makes them. It’s the same way I make them- with powdered sugar. They were gone before I could get a picture.

And so begins the massive amount of paperwork! I hope everyone can have a safe, happy, and just the right amount of exhausting fall season and school year.

It Started with a Dishcloth

Our sponges are getting gross and I can’t seem to remember to put them on any grocery list, or that we even need them. I’m almost never happy with whatever I find anyways, so I decided to make several dishcloths with all the cotton yarn I have for such a purpose. It really is quite satisfying to make three or four of these in an hour.

If only there was an end weaving fairy who would take gifts of honey (or the scrap yarn from the ends!) in exchange for weaving them all in. I keep trying to convince my kids it’s a fun activity, but they see right through me. I’ll get to it soon. I’m just distracted by the granny square sweaters I’m suddenly in the mood to work on. My youngest’s is almost done, and thankfully I had not seamed the sides. She was very excited to try it on and I was able to see how many more squares I need to make. She was a lot smaller when I started making this for her!

Another Book Done

I’m making my way through those three books I have been reading and finished Life and Death by Stephanie Meyers the other day. This version of the Twilight tale was much more in line with the vampire novels I grew up reading. There was the gut wrenching reality of dying in order to be reborn. The loss of so much to gain this new life. The choice being made long before it happens. Bella definitely had an amazing adventure, but I really enjoyed Beau. And Edward is great, but Edythe was wonderful.

It’s a much shorter ride, but I absolutely loved the way this version played out. There was a sense of Meyers having had enough time to really flush out each character’s story and create a richer world with less words. Life and Death is such a satisfying twist. I’m so tickled by the nostalgia I felt as I finished it. I have read so many variations of vampire stories. Horror, romance, action-adventure, mystery, comedy, you name it, I’ve read it and this one definitely ranks with the best of them.

I do find it interesting that when there is a type of story that is predominantly loved by women, especially romance stories, there is a need to dissect and explain why it’s ridiculous and that any self respecting woman wouldn’t like these flat and unimaginative works of fiction. I love the Twilight novels. And so do many other intelligent, emotionally aware females of all ages. There is a lot more to this tale than a sparkling, ‘vegan’ vampire. And why can’t we have stories that are just for fun? Why does everything we do have to have some bigger agenda?

I have one more novel in this world sitting on my shelf. Midnight Sun, Edward’s version of things. As the weather and length of daylight shift quickly towards Autumn, I feel I may be in the mood to read it sooner rather than later. At the moment I am focused on finishing The Girl in Red, by Christina Henry. Still an eerie read for having been published in 2019. More on that to come.

Happy reading, everyone.

I Don’t Recommend Kidney Stones

I really thought I’d be feeling better after my kidney stone surgery, but I underestimated the ‘discomfort’ of the stent in my ureter. The doctors all told me it would be ‘really uncomfortable’ and is not pleasant to have, but they really undersold the pain factor. They warned me about the constipation too, but I must have been too loopy from the pain and all my medications to actually understand what it meant.

I’ve been back to work for a week now, and it has been the hardest week of massages in my career. I handled being 8 months pregnant and doing five massages five days a week better than I did the four days of three massages a day (one day was four appointments) I did this past week. I’m glad I’ve had years of practicing being ok even when I’m not because those acting skills really came in handy for work.

I’m also incredibly grateful for the therapists I work with. They are all such amazing people and so supportive. They know exactly the kind of pep talk a massage therapist in pain needs to get through their day. When I had a couples massage the other therapist flipped and cleaned the room for me. Their acknowledgment of my obvious improvement (I finally realized I really did need to keep taking certain medications to alleviate my suffering) worked like a spell and my final day was the easiest and most normal one so far.

Our front desk staff (there has been only one plus the owner until recently and now we have one more person on the front desk) has had to do a lot of rescheduling for me due to needing three weeks off last minute. Then I went and changed my permanent schedule after the cut-off because I really have to accept my limits. It wasn’t a huge change, but I know what it takes to do it and that’s why I work where somebody else does it for me and I am always so grateful for them. Our long time person, whose been with us since we reopened after the only close-down we’ve experienced, could recognize my struggle and did her best to help me out through this week.

And I just can’t sing the owner’s praises enough. The amount of thought, time, and energy she puts into the place to give us therapists the best environment possible is way more rare in this industry, and all work forces honestly, than it should be and is incredible. By taking care of almost everything for us and paying us commissions that actually have us seeing real worth, she allows us to be our best. Thus lots of people love what we do and her business has grown and been able to keep steady through this all.

So I’m adjusting to my new, but temporary, normal and am so grateful for everyone where I work making it as easy as possible for me. The rest of the time I’m focusing on rest, or restful activities. With any luck, I’ll only have this thing in for another three weeks. I don’t really see it coming out any sooner. If that becomes possible, I would be a very happy me. Drink your water, and get some citrus in regularly. Kidney stones are the worst.

The ‘Secret’ Husband Sweater is Done

Finishing a sweater always seems to be so anticlimactic. All the hours of knitting, reading and re-reading the pattern, making notes and tallies for rows and progress, the laddering to fix mistakes, the fittings, and months of sitting in a bag, it just all falls flat when I can sit back and look at it all done.

But he’s really happy with it and, honestly, so am I. My husband finally has a sweater from me. Yay! This pattern was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the plain knit sections too. I had thought about adding some cabling to the sleeves, but I’m glad I left them out. The center cable stands out better on its own.

Now, to focus on my cable sweater and all the other projects I’ve got going.

Friday the 13th

I can’t sleep.

I have my ‘sound’ surgery tomorrow morning and it seems to be making me restless.

I’m pretty excited about it being on Friday the 13th. Always one of my favorite days. As a kid I remember hearing that 13 was such an unlucky number that buildings would just skip that number all together. So I decided it would be my lucky number.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned about the feminine power associated with the number and a link between the goddess Freya and the day Friday. So I look at it as a day of power and possibility.

The crickets are loud tonight. There was quite the rain and lightning storm earlier. There is something in the air. A change taking place.

Maybe I’ll go stand in the grass for a few moments and try sleep again.

Rabbits Review

That was one wild ride. My mom finished it before I did and so we haven’t really talked much about it yet to make sure I didn’t accidentally get any spoilers. The only thing she said was that she wasn’t sure how she felt about the ending. Now that I have finished it, I understand what she meant.

I really enjoyed the story building. If you’ve ever found yourself going down a rabbit hole of any conspiracy, like the Berenstain versus Berenstein and Mandela effect, then you might really enjoy this trip. I swung a lot between not being able to put it down, and needing to put it down to feel sane again and remember what reality is.

This is definitely worth the read and staying on my shelf. Even if the ending leaves you unsure of how to feel, the rest of the book is a page turning thrill ride full of twists and mind bending excitement. I highly recommend it.

His and My Cable Sweaters

I can feel my husband’s delight every time he sees me working on his sweater. I had been calling it my secret sweater and had, in fact, been working on it in secret for months before other things took over and it sat unattended for a while. Much like the sweater I had been working on for myself that I recently picked up again. With all our troubles, I decided to show it to him one day in the hopes of cheering him up. It worked for a short time, but as it continued to sit, the effect wore off.

Both have entered sleeve land and mine still has some rib edging to do yet. It has been very satisfying to work on something for both of us during this really tough time. I don’t even care about my mis-crossed cables on the back of my sweater. Or the too-short I-cord on his. They speak to the imperfection of our lives together and those imperfections make us who we are.

This is one of my favorite sweater edition magazines. I have many plan inside these pages. For my husband’s I have combined these two patterns to be able to knit in the round and use the fisherman’s rib. And since my husband knows about the sweater now, I’ve been able to have him try it on and know it fits. His smile is very motivating.

My sweater is this top down cardigan that I’ve added Viking cables to and will be making just a few tweaks to the ribbing set-up. It may be a bit larger than I intended, but I did want a big comfy sweater, so I’m happy. I’m hoping to inspire us to remember who we are and that this family can make it through anything. This is just another one of those trying times and things will be looking up soon. At least I hope they will be. I mean, I do have hope that they will be.