Thursday, November 29, 2007

a semi-FO

Behold! The Pine Street Inn blanket that I seamed (using squares others had knitted) - using crochet! My first crochet "project", and I do think it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself:

(Thanks again for the impromptu lesson, Wendy!)

I actually like the "reverse" side better, even though the side without the white crochet showing is supposed to be the "front", since all the better sides are facing that direction. But, luckily it looks pretty good from either side! That always helps with blankets, as they always end up all twisted about anyway.

So, now comes the mailing part...I have to find a box I can package it up in, and then figure out how to mail it cheaply...first, though, I'll contact the woman it's going to. Maybe she'll let me hand-deliver it, instead?

I am so pleased that I got it done before the holidays...hopefully it'll be a lovely present for a PSI guest and even their family! I like to imagine this keeping someone nice & cozy on a cold winter night....

Recently Read:

TITLE: Nickel & Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
AUTHOR: Barbara Ehrenreich

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

trains & canes

I waited forever for a D-line train today. So long, in fact, that I was convinced that they weren't running those trains today! I saw at least 3 of each other line go by before a D came through. And the worst part? Bostonians are cutthroat. Instead of spending the waiting time sitting on the benches along the wall, I have to hover near where the doors open, because otherwise I would have to trade sitting on the bench for getting a seat on the train. Seriously. I have gone almost entire train rides without sitting, even though I use a cane!! So I learned my lesson pretty quickly - suffer up front (standing for a while on the platform), for rewards down the line (getting a seat!). Rather religious of a concept, if you think about it. Anyway, I won't generalize to all Bostonians - I know there are plenty of you very nice people out there who do offer me seats on the train. I even commiserated with another woman waiting for the D this morning, and she was so nice as to allow me to get on the train before her (even though I'm pretty sure she had been waiting even longer than I had!).

This always makes me stop & wonder what I will be like with normal hips...will it be as big of a deal to me, then? I know part of why I like sitting is because it's an hour-long ride, and I'd much prefer to be able to read to keep myself from dying of boredom. But part of that is also related to the cane, again, because it's rather difficult to try to lean on the cane with my right arm, hold onto a railing of some sort with the left, and also hold a book or paper (don't even mention turning pages!). So, caneless, that in itself will be easier. And, I wonder sometimes if I've ever had a really "normal" outlook on standing - I think it's always been a bit difficult for me to stand for any long period of time. I think I thought that was just normal. But I think if it didn't hurt a bit, I'd be much more inclined to want to stand, or at least to be okay with it. Right? I mean, normal people's hips don't hurt every time they stand or walk for a while, I don't think. And I can't really remember a time that mine didn't bother me in some way.

So, will I be less cutthroat myself, more inclined to go with the flow? I hope so. But I know that's a ways off, and sometimes I hate to watch myself in the meantime. It's like the public transportation version of road rage, and I can't stand it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

i guess i'm hip

Yesterday, I had to leave work early to go see my hip surgeon, Dr. Millis. It has been several years since I last consulted with him, because of various health insurance problems. But I was glad to get to have a checkup with him, because my hips really have been bothering me. As is customary, I went in for x-rays before the actual appointment. I got there at 2:50 for what was an appointment schedule for 2:45 (stupid trains...I left work at 2! it's supposed to be a 20-minute ride). I didn't actually see the doctor until 2 hours later. However, he's wonderful & entirely capable, and totally worth the wait. Every single patient of his raves about how much they love him. So while I had hoped to get out of the hospital earlier than 5:30, I still made the movie in time (more about that later) and met & bonded with another patient who had been through a PAO, so I wasn't complaining too much.

When I did finally have my appointment, I was surprised to see that it was with both my doctor & the physical therapist (who I usually only see after my hip checkups). It turns out that there isn't nearly as much structural bone damage as I had been thinking (it really felt like there was!) so much as it is muscular, and has a lot to do with my poor posture. Those who know me probably notice that I walk with my ass sticking out a little bit. That ends up causing bad support throughout my entire body. So what the doctor & PT want me to work on are exercises and stretches that will help me strengthen my lower abdominal muscles, so that I am "organized" more stably, and am walking and moving correctly. That, they believe, ought to help ease a lot of my hip pain! Hurray!

I'm well aware that a total hip replacement is imminent at some point in my life, but the doc wants to stave that off at last for the next few years. I am hoping that this PT will really help me carry myself so that I can even eventually do away with the cane again! (I have to admit, a tiny part of me was hoping he would say I should start looking into a hip replacement, because I know that will be the first time maybe in my life that I'll have "normal" hips and be able to bend and flex in ways I never have before! He does, however, want me to start consulting with THR surgeons, so that everyone can keep an eye on me and so we'll all know when it's really time for one.)

So, I was sent home with some exercises and 2 more upcoming appointments: one in a couple of weeks to re-consult with PT, and one in 2 months to re-consult with Dr. Millis. They want to see if this muscle-building really is going to do the trick for me. I'm hoping that's the case.

The last and weirdest thing for me was that I was also sent home with the instruction to take 1200mg of Ibuprofin a day! (600mg in the morning, and again at night.) I feel kind of weird doing that...I've never been huge on taking medications, and I rarely take painkillers. I had been doing so a bit more often recently, because of hip pain, but even then "often" was maybe 400mg once a week. This seems like so much! I don't know how my body will react. I know Ibuprofin is really mild and probably won't do anything (except thin my blood? no, nevermind, that's aspirin), and I know it's an anti-inflammatory so should help with my arthritis, but seems strange to me to be taking it every day, even when I'm not hurting. It's probably partly a preventative measure, but...I still don't feel 100% comfortable about it. I had a hard enough time being okay taking oxycontin post-op back in 2004! I am not so worried about becoming addicted to Ibuprofin...but maybe I am a bit worried I'll become dependent on the pain-free-ness of taking it regularly...?

I suppose I just need to think of it like taking a multivitamin every day, which I currently do. It's supposed to be helpful, and more of a supplement than a crutch (either in the supportive or restrictive roles). I'll give it a go. As they said in the movie last night, "[It] can't do any harm, right?" (Or something along those lines....)

And yes, to return full-circle, Bethany & I finally got to see Gone, Baby, Gone in theaters! We were able to put together this exciting afternoon with the entire plot of the story. And, I got to see my most favorite actor, Casey Affleck, take one of his first real leading roles (and do amazingly with it!). Oh my goodness -- I've said it before & I'm sure I'll say it again: I love those scrappy Irish boys! xoxo

p.s. In knitting news, there is a new post on Sweet Potato Knits.

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics
AUTHOR: Jennifer Baumgardner

TITLE: Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back
AUTHOR: Claire & Mia Fontaine

Recently Finished:

TITLE: The Inheritance of Loss
AUTHOR: Kiran Desai