10:30 a.m. I want to knit today, but my thumb always hurts now, and the back of my hand/index finger really started hurting at knitting on Friday. So fuck it, I’m going to try going back to English.

Does Ravelry have any help?

10:42  …nope, just everyone talking about going from English to Continental, not the other way.  Let me post a quick plea and then I’ll try on my own.

And make a cup of coffee.

11:00 Okay. I did this for a couple of years before switching, maybe I can just get my muscle memory back.

11:06 Well that was a disaster. Perhaps YouTube?

11:25 Whyyyy? It’s like when Google corrects your spelling. “Surely you must mean ‘English to Continental,’ let me just fix that for you.

12:48 The Internet is no help either. Dozens of articles talking about why it’s good to know both (when trying to talk English knitters into learning Continental) in case of injury, but apparently I’m the first person on the planet who injured herself with Continental and needs to go the other way.

1:00 Okay. Refreshed by a Twitter/Facebook break, let’s get back to this. I’ll just turn on a podcast and try quietly for awhile.


1:52 Okay. Took a break, yelled about my problem with friends. Watched a couple epidsodes of Things I Bought At Sheetz. Turning on another podcast and trying again.

2:03 ::throws knitting on the floor::

2:29 You know it’s bad when you decide to clean house instead of fight with your knitting.

After another break, I have checked Ravelry and my friend Tess mentioned Portuguese knitting. At least it would be something different…

2:53 Rejoice! Portuguese purling is definitely slower, but it’s so much different than my usual style that my brain isn’t trying to take over and revert to habit. I got a whole row on my giant rainbow blanket purled without cursing or throwing anything at all.

Now I just have to hope that the novelty doesn’t wear off before my hand feels better.


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Six Month Saga    |    1 Comment »

28 Jan 2015


(We live in the future! I am typing on a Bluetooth keyboard that is plugged into nothing!)

It’s been six months since my surgery. Dr. Google says I should be “recovered” by now. I do feel better than I did before the procedure, so I’m counting it as a win. I don’t feel completely recovered from the problem that led to surgery, but I do feel recovered from the surgery itself. I still have some flexibility issues with scar tissue, and I my SI joint is still a pretty painful challenge (from all the limping), but the plantar fasciitis and peroneal tendon are both down to a pain level of 2 from the pre-surgery 7. There have been some setbacks along the way, however.

Once I started walking (six weeks after surgery), I was still having terrible pain and weakness in both arches.  I had my physical therapist look at my prescription orthotics and he (reluctantly) admitted that the arches seemed pretty high. Looking back, I realized that the plantar fasciitis that started all of this only started mutating into all of the other problems once I got the orthotics. I switched to SuperGreen insoles and started feeling better almost right away. There was a brief flare-up of the plantar fasciits as the arches were getting stronger, but I’m doing acceptably well with that now.

My lower back has been angry since the week of surgery. Having my legs unevenly elevated for so long kind of twisted everything out of alignment. The stiffness and pain has risen and fallen over time. My office chair started exacerbating it just after Thanksgiving, leading to a distressing click in my SI joint when I walk. Then the week before Christmas, I was doing my scar massage, which requires me to sit crooked to reach my ankle. When I stood up, the pain in my SI joint was just awful. My chiropractor said that the fifteen months of limping, walking funny, and sitting crooked had just finally all caught up with me. Gentle stretches and sitting in a very precise posture has helped me progress back from that, and I feel about 75% back to normal in the backular arena.

A week after New Years I was doing some of my pt exercises. I don’t do them regularly anymore, but I could still use more strength. So I was finishing up with some calf raises – just raising up to my toes and lowering down again – when something went “pip” in my foot. I spent the next week and a half in terrible pain in the side of my foot, limping like I was before surgery. Whatever it was resolved itself just in time for January 23, the official six-month mark.

With the six month milestone met, I decided to take a class at the gym with Kala on Monday. I’ve been going to the Y once or twice a week with her and/or Gwen, mostly messing about in the pool or doing some time on the elliptical. I figured the “Beginning Yoga” would be a nice soft reentry into something more structured.

The morning started out well – at least as well as any morning of a day off where I found myself on a bus at 8 a.m., voluntarily dragging my carcass to exercise. Kala joined me on the bus and we entertained each other – so much so that I think we were eliciting resentment from the regular bus commuters. But then I dropped my silicone-covered glass water bottle in the locker room, which shattered everywhere. I babysat the dangerpuddle for twenty minutes after Kala went to fetch help – luckily she then went to stake us out spots in class, so at least I didn’t have to be at the front for what happened next. A lovely Y official took over the cleanup (and didn’t berate me at all) so I headed into the studio, which filled up with thirty-four other students, probably twice what the room would best hold. Being midmorning on a Monday, most of the other participants were older women, but it quickly became clear that as far as our body function was concerned, I was the oldest person there.

About halfway through the class, I lost my balance during a simple transition (when you move from down dog, bringing your right knee forward into a lunge). I was close to the ground so falling over should have been only mildly embarrassing. But as my pelvis fell to the right, my leg stayed right where it was, making it pop halfway out of the hip socket.

That was a nasty sound, let me tell you.

By all that is graceful and holy, it popped right back into place. So it hurt, but no one had to call an ambulance. The teacher was immediately checking on me but I convinced her to go on, spending the rest of the class mostly in child’s pose. She came over to see how I was doing after class was over (inner monologue: “oh God I’m fine stop it everyone’s looking go away go away go away”). I told her I was recovering from surgery and that my falling over wasn’t entirely unexpected. She said she was proud of me for staying through class and modifying the routine how I was able. So my inner approval-seeker was rejoicing at the same time I was just praying I’d be able to stand up off of my yoga mat. But I was indeed able. Kala and I limped our way back to the bus (an adventure for another time) and I spent most of the rest of the day with a heating pad on my hip.

It hurt so bad, you guys. But there’s no clicking, no restriction of my range of motion, no swelling, and our insurance situation is…complex at the moment, so I was determined to make it through. I slept like crap (despite a contraband leftover pain pill) and woke up yesterday near tears with the pain. We’re super short-staffed at work though, and apparently I’m stronger than I thought. I decided I’d go into work and if I had to flee for urgent care, then that’s what I’d do.

Weirdly (and with much gratitude on my part), the pain actually got better as the day went on. I went in at a pain level of 9, actually crying a little (hooray for mornings alone at the office), but by the end of the day, made it down to a 6.5. I guess moving about helped with blood flow, and I was super careful to go slow (and stay loaded up on NSAIDs). Today has been 3-6, so I’m confident that my body is going to fix this one up for me. Muscles, tendons, ligaments are all bound to be irritated by being jerked out of place, but I think it will be okay.

I’m so ready for all of this body-drama to be over. I’ve been variously out of commission for seventeen months now. I want to go on hikes, I want to try to learn to run, I want to be able to wander aimlessly around the goddamn mall if I feel like it. I’m way too young to feel this old.

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Published    |    6 Comments »

05 Oct 2014



I’ve had my first pattern published in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of knit.purl magazine! (Formerly knit.wear.) Super exciting! I found out in March and kept the secret all year, with the idea of dropping a copy of the magazine on the table at my knit night and prancing around the room. The surprise was ruined, however. First when the patterns started showing up in people’s pattern highlights at the beginning of September, and then for good when the Yarnery put the magazine out for sale before the official publication date. I’m trying to pretend I’m not as upset about that as I was, so let’s move along.

The Equation Cowl (60 faves) (13 queues) (not that I’m counting) was first designed with at scrumptious skein of Anzula Cricket I bought on a visit to Michelle in Florida. I wrote up the pattern and then sat on it for two years, too anxious to actually do anything with it. After a few friends test knit it for me, I finally bullied myself into submitting it in January, and they sent me contracts in March! Two hundred fifty bucks and eternal bragging rights. (I bet you know which excites me more.)

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Judie    |    No Comments »

29 Sep 2014

I’m doing that thing where I have a good thing to write about but feel like I need to write about another thing first but the other thing is sad so I just reload Texts From Last Night or knit a few more rounds on my sock instead. Gotta go through if I can’t go around, and I’m just going to have to be okay with a pile of run on sentences in the process.


I went to a funeral on Sunday, my first in sixteen years and only the fifth one ever. (We didn’t have an actual funeral for my dad; we buried his ashes under a tree and cried a lot and then binged on cinnamon pie crust in his honor.) My friend Judie was the coolest old person I ever met and I’m pissed off I didn’t get to know her better. She was a priest in the Liberal Catholic Church, a second degree Reiki practitioner, an advocate for Feline Rescue, a frequent contributor to the Bulletin Board column in the Pioneer Press…I met her a couple of years ago at our Wednesday afternoon knitting group. She said she didn’t feel like “one of the little old ladies” at a different local group, laughing because she was in her seventies and knew how that sounded. I always enjoyed when she was at knitting, getting to know her better, and I thought I’d have more time. She seemed so much younger than her years, I literally called her a liar the first time she mentioned her age.


Kala and Gwen and I sat in the pew together on Sunday. I can’t speak for them, but I know I cried far more than I expected to. The prayer shawls we each knit for her were mentioned in the eulogy and I just dissolved. My face continued to leak for the next hour, increasing when the priest, Judie’s ex-husband, had to pause in the liturgy to fight back sobs. Increasing when Judie’s son-in-law became unable to speak in his grief and had to hand off his pages to Judie’s granddaughter. Increasing when I realized that her lovely husband David is now a widower.

It’s a terrible word.


David is really great, and a knitter himself, of a sort. I’m going to pester him and make sure he keeps hanging out with us. He let me come over and help spruce up the houseplants last week. He gave a few dozen away at the memorial, and I brought one home with me. Now I just need to figure out what it is so I can take care of it. So it will never die.

Like people do.

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Self Date    |    3 Comments »

06 Sep 2014

I get off work around 2:30 most Saturdays, which leaves me enough time in the afternoon to almost feel like another day off. Today was beautiful outside, and Michael was off in Minneapolis with the Ingress Anomaly, so I decided to take myself out on a date.


This was made easier by the fact that I wore two shoes today, for the first time in a month and a half. My surgeon follow-up went well on Thursday and I’m now allowed to be mobile in whatever way works for me. (More on this in a bit.)


I went to French Meadow on Grand, and they have a lovely patio. Gorgeous day in the low seventies.


I wore my rich lady sweater and a skirt that Gwen made for herself, but just happens to fit me.


Blueberry iced tea, turkey burger and mixed greens. So many vitamins!


After lunch, I headed down the block to Grand Central to knit for a while. Sitting outside again, of course. I’m not in total denial about how few days we have left to do that up here in the frozen North, after all.


Had myself a Gray Duck chai and a decent lemon bar, listened to some podcasts and worked on my Jaywalker.


A little girl, maybe four years old, stopped to tell me “Your that is beautiful.” We discussed colors and socks and the importance of keeping one’s feet warm in the winter, before her mom collected her and they went on their way.

It was just a lovely afternoon. As I finally took to my rolly cart and headed home, I was proud of myself. I’d been bummed when I realized Michael was going to be gone most of the day, but instead of hunkering alone in the apartment, I gave myself something really great. Lots of interesting conversations to eavesdrop on. New local Freshmen to observe. Amazing weather. Tasty foodstuffs.

Then Michael came home and we watched the episode of Game of Thrones with the Red Wedding and thoroughly bummed ourselves out.


- – – – – – – – – -

- – – – – – – – – -

- – – – – WARNING – – – – -

- – – – – – – – – -

- – – – – SCAR PICTURE IMMANENT – – – – -

- – – – – – – – – -

- – – – – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED – – – – -

- – – – – – – – – -

- – – – – – – – – -


I’m getting better.  Dr. Bofelli said I’m released from his care unless something goes wrong. I have permission to ditch the walking boot and the rolly scooter as soon as I feel ready. Everything is weak and weird from atrophy, but I have a referral for physical therapy which will start next week, schedules permitting.

I’m already a lot better tonight than I was on Thursday. I can walk barefoot with the aid of a walker or crutches to get to the bathroom at night. Walking unaided in my shoes is okay for up to twenty steps in a row as long as I can go really slowly. There’s a painful click with every step in the middle of my foot, but I’m putting that down to atrophy of the little muscles in my foot that have temporarily forgotten how to hold everything together. The numbness of the top of my foot is fading, slowly but surely. The whole outside of the foot and especially behind the ankle bone is quite painful while walking, but fine when I’m not on it. If I keep it elevated at least half the time at work there’s no marked swelling. It turns out working in my sneaker is less painful than in the walking boot, since there’s less torque to the ankle itself.

I’m feeling pretty positive about the whole thing. Grateful that the worst is over, grateful the timing was so perfect for insurance/season/PTO, grateful it was only six weeks in the boot, grateful to be making real progress a full year after injuring my poor foot in the first place.

September is growing on me.

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Healing    |    1 Comment »

05 Aug 2014

The view from my knee scooter. Wearing a dress. Because I am a laydee.

So I had my first follow up with the surgeon today.

(As an aside, it felt really strange to get cut open and then just have no one look at the wound for two weeks.)

It went really well! I get an A+ in Patient. Incision looks great (well, “great for a surgical incision,” I suppose). Flexibility is good, no swelling or fever. I’m still NWB for four weeks, but I don’t have to wear the boot when I’m just hanging out on the couch (actual words: “Just don’t fall down while you’re not in the boot.”). I don’t have to sleep in the monster, either, which may have been when I told the surgeon he was my best friend. Elevation only when it feels sore, feel free to massage and put on lotion and do things to make the foot feel loved again.


I refuse to apologize for the capslock, you should just be grateful it’s not in eighty-point purple blinky MySpace text. For two weeks I’ve been washing my hair in the sink, taking washcloths to the smelly bits, gazing longingly at the shower chair that’s been waiting quietly.


Filet o’ Leg

I can go back to work “as tolerated,” so I’m going to call and talk to my lovely boss tomorrow. I had enough sick hours to cover the time away, but I’d like to be useful again. Michael is being very bossy about not letting me do house things (not that I can do much one-legged on a knee scooter) and is generally amazing, but I’ve taken to getting weepy over feeling useless; the least I can do is help some people get their birth control.

I’ve had several people bring or send me goodies over the last couple of weeks, lots of lovely messages and a few cards, and generally have felt well-loved and missed. Thanks to all of YOU for checking in. As a gift, I shall give you an escape hatch from the following: 





This is what I saw when they took the bandage off this afternoon:



There’s some weird mottling but it doesn’t hurt or itch or anything. Dr Boffeli thinks it’s just a reaction to the bandage.


Okay, so it kind of hurts if I think about it too much.

I had eleven stitches – disappointingly one less than my favorite number, but we can’t have everything. I told Michelle if I have an impressive scar, I’m going to get a tattoo to go with it. Perhaps of the nasty demon who tore his way into this dimension via my peroneus brevis tendon.

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Updates    |    6 Comments »

26 Jul 2014


1. We decided not to get the apartment at Mococo. It just wasn’t financially responsible. Future babies are still an option, but that decision will be revisited next summer when we’re closer to being out of debt.

2. Work has been tough lately, since my best work friend landed herself a promotion over to the head office. I can’t tell if I’m more bitter because I miss her, or because the work load has increased so much, or a combination of both. I keep toying with the idea of looking around for something else, but that won’t be anytime in the next couple of months. One, because I think losing another CA would make my boss cry, and I like my boss, and two, because I’m not going to be at all presentable for interviews any time soon. Because:

3. I had foot surgery on Wednesday. That plantar fasciitis flare that started last September just wasn’t getting any better, so I mentioned it to my GP when I was in for my annual check-up. She gave me a cortisone shot and sent me to see a podiatrist. It took a month to get an appointment with him, and in the meantime the shot did nothing to help (and cost over $500). Something popped in my arch the week before I saw him, but he just said “oh, I’m sure that’s just the fascia” and gave me another cortisone shot, after saying that my GP put it in the wrong place. No relief from the second shot, and the $800 orthotics were only mildly helpful, so I got a second opinion from a different podiatrist. She said she thought I was a good candidate for physical therapy, so from March through June I had 11 visits with a physical therapist, 12 acupuncture appointments, and somewhere around eight chiropractor appointments, trying to fix my poor malfunctioning foot.

First week of July I had a follow up with the second podiatrist and she said she’d go ahead and order an MRI for me. She didn’t think it would show anything, but that she suspected confirmation of an intact foot would be what I needed to finally make progress with PT. Placebo MRI, fine, whatever. I went in for that on Monday the 14th and was told on the way out that I shouldn’t expect to hear from the podiatrist until that Friday or the following Monday…and then my phone rang three hours later with instructions to set up a consult with the foot surgeon.

“Significant tear to the peroneus brevis tendon,” I was told two days later. I could probably limp along as I have been from now on, but we’d done everything there was to do, so if I actually wanted to get better, it was going to have to be surgery. With all of the money we’ve thrown at this problem since last autumn, we’ve hit our “out of pocket maximum” with our health insurance. Normally in addition to whatever copays, I’d have to pay 20% of the costs of the surgery, but (as I told the surgeon) if we could get it all done before August 1, it would all be covered. I’m super grateful for the timing and that they were able to squeeze me in. And six days was just enough time to assimilate the information that I was having real surgery without giving me too much time to panic about it.

(I haven’t seen the second podiatrist since she ordered the “placebo” MRI. I wonder if she has any feelings about this.)

I have so many things to be grateful for. This is happening in the summertime so I don’t need to worry about figuring out how to walk again on icy sidewalks. My sister is coming to visit next Tuesday so I should be a little more fun to be around. Timing with insurance was perfect. I have an amazing spouse who is taking brilliant care of me. Lots of friends are offering to bring hot dishes and jello salads (because Minnesota).  I had almost exactly enough sick time to cover the two weeks (minimum) I’ll be out of work. My boss was super supportive and kind, despite the fact that the next couple of weeks are huge “no PTO allowed” weeks with both regional and national audits to get through. If I have to be cut open, well, there really couldn’t be a better set up for it.

I was terrified on Wednesday and there were lots of things that did not go as planned. There was a bottleneck at the hospital – I was supposed to go back at 3:25 but it was after 6:30 before they fetched me from the prep room. I’d been comforted by nurse friends that the anesthesiologist would offer me  V3rsed and Z0fran when I told him about my tendencies toward panic and nausea, neither of which were forthcoming. I was supposed to have a nerve block as well as the general but somewhere in the fifteen minutes before I hit the O.R. that plan was changed (or they just forgot that part of the plan). Nurse was remarkably snarky when I vomited coming out of the anesthesia (though she had been warned and I didn’t get anywhere near her!).

I have no recollection of speaking to the surgeon after the procedure, but Michael spoke to him and he was very encouraged. He even asked if I’ll be able to try running at some point, and was told that as long as I keep up with PT, there should be no road blocks there. So that’s exciting.

I’ve been home nearly three full days now. I was awake for five hours on Thursday and ten hours yesterday. Hoping for fourteen today. I’m in quite a lot of pain and the N0rc0 isn’t much help, but the doctor on call isn’t calling back the nurse on the nurse line. I’m kind of fretting that I’m not allowed to take the boot off to look at the dressing – what if it’s bleeding or oozing? – but I can at least see my toes, and am telling myself that as long as they are pink and warm, and I don’t get a fever, I should be okay. Two weeks seems like a long time to go between having one’s foot sliced open and having a medical professional check on the wound, but what do I know?

Ugh. I’m a big baby about a relatively minor procedure, but right now I don’t care. Whine.


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