Friday, September 12, 2008

Time Out

Maybe if I speak it, it will happen. I need a time out. I need a week of work days, all strung together, like normal people have. See, last week I was just asking for one free day, and I got one. Give me an inch and I want a mile, I swear. I did get a free day Monday, during which I swatched mercilessly.
I planned to write patterns the next day and hand off some socks for sample knitting this week, but my mother had another TIA - or maybe we should just call them strokes, since they last for significantly longer than the "brief" which defines a Transient Ischemic Attack - transient meaning "doesn't last for a day and a freaking half". If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say this is probably the fourth or fifth "episode" in the past few weeks, all marked by the same set of symptoms, all lasting greater than 24 hours; each leaving behind more profound loss, each followed more closely by the next. She's refusing treatment, sort of. She will not go to the ER, but will go to various specialists for non-TIA related issues, will take her meds and will go for any ordered tests and imaging. Because she's 65, and this is America, she's within her rights to refuse any treatment as long as she's deemed competent. But is she? Well, when she's not in the midst of one of these "episodes", yes, she appears to be. She certainly does not meet the legal definition of incompetent. And I can't really blame her for not wanting to return to the ER that decided her whole problem was a urinary tract infection. I mean, really. I know UTI can do weird things to older people. But unresponsiveness, left sided facial droop, slurred speech, and bilateral muscle weakness?? Please. If there's another incident where she's unresponsive, she can be admitted, as she would not be coherent enough to refuse. So I wait, try to convince her of the value of acceptance over denial while respecting her right to choose her treatment. I take her from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist, none of whom are related to the TIA's. She's got so many other medical issues, and everyone has their particular speciality axe to grind, while she attempts to ignore the proverbial horse on the dining room table - the strokes - which are slowly robbing her of more and more of her brain. It's like my own little hell. But really, that's not what I came here for. I just needed to vent that.
Really I came here to talk about some actual knitting, although nothing stellar or remarkable, unless you're Girl and you're waiting for care packages. Or maybe if you're waiting for book 2. Or if you like to shop. Otherwise, you won't be interested in the slightest...(sarcasm, anyone?)
On Wednesday I met up with Gail for coffee and deep yarn chat in Shelburne Falls at Metaphor (pssst, hey, Meta, you need a website!). I love this town (free parking, cool coffeehouse, potholes my kids once played in as did I back in the day, beautiful Bridge of Flowers, excellent food, what's not to love??). Maybe we should just move up there. Anyway, I love this yarn shop. I love the big squashy sofa that I never sit on but always stare at. I love the adorable Linen Washcloth kit I've been coveting since my last visit as a Christmas gift for just the right person.And I love what's beneath it even more. Real Farm Yarn. We're talking "still on the sheep, I'd swear" yarn. This is Balky Farm's worsted - they have a bulky also. Single ply, both. I bought 1,000+ yards. I have a plan. I need to design something, or really I already have. Since this picture was taken, they yarn's been handed off to Gail for dying. I want it to be bittersweet, pumpkin pie, toffee, sunflowers in late fall orangey-goldy. I can see the sweater in my head. I suspect it will become my "downtime" knitting, right alongside Malea's temporarily languishing hoodie. Just wait and see! We know it takes dye well, which leads me to the second item.Gail dyed some Balky up and made a pair of stuffed gauntlets with it. I took her idea and shamelessly created gauntlets for Girl using the dyed Balky Farm yarn and some red roving from Girl's stash to create rustic "Momma Loves You, Baby" thrummed gauntlets. So there, Girl, now you know you're getting SOMETHING. But maybe there's more than just these? Maybe ...something ... else? Oh, wait and see.
Swatches - Can't see much, can you? Mwahahahaa! Where would be the fun in that? Where's the suspense?? Where's the mystery? HAH!! You've got to have something to wonder about for the next year. Patience, they say, is a virtue. I personally have become an expert, so I should know!
Next week, Saturday September 20, I will be at Coordinated Colors in Yorktown, Virginia. There's a workshop on Saturday; if you're interested contact Sherri at Coordindated Colors for more information. Hope to see you there!


chickenbetty said...

I think you should go all Kojack and call em "Who Loves ya Baby"

spider said...

Having gone through a stroke myself? You describe that your mother is having strokes... not just TIAs - as you're right, TIAs only last about ten minutes, maybe. Anything that leaves damage longer than that, is a stroke and will show up in an MRI. I'm SO sorry that she's being resistant to getting help as that can only be causing you SO much more stress. Hang in there. Next time it happens and she's not able to deny you? Don't even just drive her to the ER - call an ambulance - so that at least the EMTs can document her symptoms, so if they aren't as severe by the time she sees the ER docs? She'll be treated as if they were still the initial symptoms. Barring that? A little known "good-for-strokes" home remedy? Offer her some Irish coffee - the whiskey thins the blood and improves blood flow and the caffeine expands the arteries (again improving blood flow). Improved blood flow reduces symptoms in over 90% of all strokes (that's why aspirin or coumadin is the usual treatment for stroke victims). Studies have proven that it really does help with the lesser strokes (I don't think they were convinced to try it with serious strokes since the "risk" with it not working wasn't quite worth trying). Obviously ERs aren't equipped with whiskey, but since you aren't getting her to an ER, you could still try to help. Hope it helps.


Anonymous said...

YAY!!! I LOVE YOU MOM!!! I'm so excited now. It's already cold here at night, those will be PERFECT!! ^_^

PurlingPirate said...

I'm gonna say it with you, I need a time out!!! I need a break!!!

Yarnhog said...

I'm so sorry about your mom. I can't imagine a worse way to see a loved one go than by losing mental function bit by bit. It must be even harder if she refuses to acknowledge the problem. Maybe the next time she has an episode, you could call an ambulance and have her admitted. At least then she might get some treatment.