Yesterday, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I can’t say I was entirely surprised, but it is hard.  No amount of surgery will fix it, and that’s a concept that I am making a conscious effort to wrap my mind around.    The doctor also mentioned that I had extensive nerve damage in my face and hands.  I guess I knew that too – a hot water bottle that’s filled with literally boiling hot water just feels warm on my face.  But it is quite another thing for someone else, essentially a stranger, to point out these two things and name them, and in naming them, making them a conscious part of my life.

I’m not sure where I go from here.

I admit I’m afraid.

I told the doctor I would do anything to feel better, and that’s the truth.

March 14 I go to the ortho,to discuss having surgery done on my left arm… again  This time to rotate my radius bone so that it faces the right angle and stuff. Right now it is facing 4 degrees negative when it should face 9 degrees positive, which is a 50 degree deficiency.  It may not be the solution to my arm pain issues, but I have to try.  I realize the surgery is major and risky, but in doing nothing for the arm since the ulnar shortening short having PT on it twice, I haven’t  improved.  And to me, that’s a problem.   I can’t swivel my arm properly,  can’t do basic things with it, definitely can’t dye yarn.

Thing is, if this deficiency was there from the beginning, that would make me very angry as the ulna itself was set too high from the beginning, that’s why they had to do surgery to shorten it in the first place.  Having had my arm set improperly has affected my life in every way possible, and that’s something I have a hard time thinking about.

I admit I will be upset if the surgeon says no to the surgery. I want to try everything possible short a wrist fusion to try and make things feel better and function better. I know I’m never going to be the same again, but I do want to be at a place where I am at peace with my arm.

 

Sixteen years ago today I was in a terrible accident.  It changed my life trajectory and changed who I am.  Today, I feel more at peace than ever before.  I don’t know what that means, except that perhaps I am finally content with where I am now in life.  Is it what I pictured it would be? Not at all. Not at all.  But that is, at last, okay.

Who am I today?  I am a knitter with two cats and a beautiful apartment that has a separate studio that I use for my yarn.  My depression is under control to a degree it has never been before, and I am happy. Happy.  Finally happy. I am functioning better than I have in years, and it makes life easier.

Of course I have physical ailments still… and that does make things hard sometimes.  The pain is constant and I do struggle with that, but, you know what? It doesn’t drag me down emotionally like it used to, and that is a victory unto itself.

Happiness is being a Rebecca.

I may not be where I thought I would be in life, but I am content, and I guess you could say, less angry.  Maybe that’s all that matters.

She was my best friend in the whole world.

She was my mentor, my aide, my unflappable supporter who believed in me even when I didn’t.  She personally saw me through five surgeries.  She drove me crazy with her logic.

She poked me in the tummy when I was down, when I was happy, and whenever she thought I needed a good poking.

She helped me with the yarn business, helped me when I broke bones, helped me achieve my dream of moving to Chicago.

I carried around her house keys on my keyring, as a reminder of her presence in my life. I exchanged emails with her almost every day, and I regularly got letters in the mail from her.

And then it happened.  She died.

I didn’t think I would survive.

I thought I would drop to the floor and break into pieces. Suicide  crossed my mind with frightening regularity and intensity.  I felt shattered and overcome with the most intense grief I had ever felt in my life.

It was a sea of sadness, anger, hopelessness, and searing aching pain.

I was cast afloat.

I couldn’t help but keep crying out, I thought I had more time with her…that she was supposed to live a few more years… if not forever.  Forever sounded about right to me.

She had been in my life since the day I was born.

What was I supposed to do without her daily emails? Her joy upon seeing me?

How was I to touch the final yarn projects she’d ever seen?  The finality of completing these projects….  sometimes too painful to contemplate.  Still.  What did it all mean?  Learning to go on, to knit projects she would never see, touch, admire, and be proud of me for…..

They’re just things I made with my hands.. They’re the memories I make with my hands. They are the reluctant slow healing of the mind, the body, and the heart, through my hands.

I’ll tell you a little secret though: the pain hurts just as much as it did when she was dying.

Because it isn’t the dying that hurts, it’s the constant surprise of her staying dead.

Sigh.

Happy 80th birthday, gramma.  I wish you were here for it.

There is so much to say, so much to cover.  The long and short of it is, I live in Chicago now, Andersonville to be precise.   It has been a long road here to this 1920s apartment and I can’t possibly discuss it all in one post, so we will cover things bit by bit.  Know that, for now, I am happy here in my apartment, that it is large enough that there is a yarn studio, there are five closets, and plenty of room for Matisse and Picasso.

In some ways, it has been a long route towards something some might call normalcy, a condition I never had before.

I am happy, happier than I have ever been in my life.

My arm? Well, it looks like it needs major reconstruction to get it back to where it was.   Yet, I have never stopped creating and knitting and crocheting, so I can’t say I’ve let it get in the way of what I want in life.

And that’s what I am – a creator.  An artist, even.  Just not one that dyes anymore…maybe again someday, maybe never again, it all depends on what they can do for my arm.

But that’s okay. Because it’s good to be a Rebecca.

 

It’s been FOREVER since my last post, and I really feel remiss here – that broken arm really knocked me for a loop. I never stopped having horrible amounts of pain, and after the cast came off in July, I was still feeling screamy. In came months of PT in which I went 2-4 times a week and got my wrist worked on and bent to and fro for me. I was still in pain, and had a MRI in August. In September, I had surgery on my thumb tendon, because scar tissue had built up thickly around it, and I couldn’t use my thumb properly. That surgery was a success, resolving my thumb and right side wrist pain, but I still had a lot of pain on the left side of my wrist.

More months of PT later, it was clear something was still wrong with my arm. Earlier this month, I had another MRI done on it, and it turns out my ulna healed too high up and at an angle, rubbing directly on other bones. No wonder it hurt so much all the time! So I am going in for surgery again on February 8th, hopefully to fix the problem at its core, by shortening my ulna bone so that there will be no more rubbing. I find it more than a little ironic that in order to fix the broken arm that started the whole thing, they have to break the arm again, with more screws and plates coming into play.

Lesson learned: never break your arm badly.

I have knit a little through all of this – mostly stockinette and garter stitch, things that didn’t bother my wrist too badly. You can, as always, keep up with my projects on Ravelry – I try to keep that page updated.

I’ve missed being part of the online knitting community, and I hope that I can come back in. It’d be great to reconnect.

So last week I told you about my bone bruise. Guess what happened this week?

DSCN9860

I kinda fell over and landed on my wrist.

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(Little upside down L by cursor)

And managed to break it in three places.

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(Shadow by cursor)

May I stop having fun now?

Exactly a month ago today I fell down the stairs. Four stairs. Four. Unremarkable really, except it HURT LIKE BUGFUCK. FOR A LONG TIME. By the time I had xrays on the 22nd, there was so much blood in my bones that they couldn’t tell if I broke anything or not. Long story. Short version: stupid waiting.

Anyway, I had a MRI done last week and finally saw the ortho today. I broke my leg and had an “extensive” bone bruise that basically made the bone blood filled and swollen.

Someone please let me off the ride already. On the upside: at least it’s a month behind me. On the downside: more weeks of crutch hobbling. Another leg check next week, and maybe then I’ll be cleared for PT.

Someone remind me why I always have exciting things happen to me?

I miss you guys!

I wish to apologize for not blogging, not answering emails, not plurking, and for otherwise having fallen off the online knitting planet.

My physical recovery from the surgery I underwent in October has been more difficult and protracted than I could have imagined possible. This has taken its toll on me, both physically and emotionally. I must confess that I’ve gone to the ER on average once a week – when things are especially bad, I have gone three or four times in a week. Yes, I am working with my physicians to try and improve this situation. No, this situation is not satisfactory. Obviously, this has had a deleterious effect on my work productivity.

It was never my intention to withdraw from the public aspects of my online life, nor was it my intention to take so long with delivering purchased kits and yarns.

If you are waiting on yarn, you are on my list and I have not forgotten about you.

If you are waiting on a kit, please know that all yarn has been dyed and reskeined, all extras have been assembled, the address labels have been printed and affixed onto the packets, and the only hangup is getting the pattern together in a pretty and cohesive writeup. To that end, I have hired help, and I am as anxious as you are to see the wait come to an end.

As always, I am grateful for your support.

Just a quick update, bellamoden is out of surgery, and is okay, but suffering a migraine on top of the recovery (ow!)

She promises to write soon as she’s feeling better.

goodbye, plates

Not a moment too soon, today is the day I go in for surgery and say hello to the fifteenth mouth incision, three inches long this time, and goodbye to two plates and nine screws and start the next stage of getting better and healing from this lovely infection that’s been in my haid for two months and change.

No idea when I’ll be able to get online again, but updates will be posted.

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