Pairs of socks knitted in 2014

  • Roxanne's socks
  • Brian's Cascade socks
  • Shirley's lacy socks
  • striped Meredith socks
  • striped stranded #1

Friday, July 18, 2008

Crampy and cranky

As much as I hated the last month or so of pregnancy, the hiatus from menstruation for fifteen months was fantastic. Not bleeding and feeling crampy for 25% of every month was wonderful.

Unfortunately, my "friend" made a sudden reappearance this week. (Where did we get that euphemism, anyway? What sort of "friend" makes a woman want to grab a weapon and go to the grocery store screaming "give me all your chocolate and no one gets hurt!"?)

The bleeding is annoying, but it's all part of womanhood. The cramping, however... I'm sure "incapacitating" is probably a bit of hyperbole, but I've spent the last two days sitting on the couch with a heating pad. Not only have I been too ill to knit, but the only reason dinner happened at all yesterday was because all I had to do was throw spareribs, tomato sauce, and a can of peaches in the crock pot. Fortunately, the last two days were my "weekend" off from work.

I'm supposed to be at work right now, but as I've been using the Lortab left over from my C-section to keep the pain under control, I called in sick today. I know how short-staffed they are and I hate to make it worse, but if non-narcotic pain killers aren't touching the cramps, I have no business taking care of other people today.

I don't think it's worth adding a new family member, but I'm really starting to get nostalgic about pregnancy and not having a period for at least nine months. Guess it's time to call my sister-in-law and see how the fetal boxing practice is going.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I managed to spin up 215 yards of silk for the Tour de Fleece, so I'm very proud of myself. No pictures yet, as I'm not quite sure where the camera is.

After all the stress at work (I'm reluctant to go into details here, but let's just say that it's time to re-evaluate what sort of nursing I'm best at. I'm starting to get very frustrated and burnt out caring for patients who are so constantly chronically ill that the best I can hope for them is that they go back to the nursing home.) it's very nice to have some nice, tangible proof that I'm talented at something--even if it's merely "playing with string."

Speaking of "string", what's better than silk string? Free string from people you've never met! Through the magic of her random number generator, I won one of Barbara's Yarnapalooza prizes. I can't wait to see what she sends me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First words

Shirley has hit that developmental stage where she's started babbling. She talks to us, the radio, her hands, her toys--anything that strikes her fancy. She spent most of the time I was watching her before work Saturday talking to our bookshelves!

But it's always "ah-goo gaba gaba" sort of stuff. Nothing remotely recognizeable as any form of English, even babytalk.

Except for yesterday. Yesterday as she was in mid-fussing to be picked up, she said "me me me!"
Brian and I were shocked and wondering if we'd really heard what we thought we'd heard. Sure enough, thirty seconds later, it came again: "Mimi!"

Good thing we didn't commemorate her personality by nicknaming her something profane!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tour de Fleece

Le Tour de Fleece begins today.

And while I'd like to do something outrageous like spin 1200 yards of the amazing cashmere/silk Brian gave me for Christmas, I don't have the luxury of taking three weeks off to do nothing but spinning.

So I'm setting somewhat more (hopefully) manageable goals.

1) Spin at least 200 yards of silk

to use as a reinforcing ply for when I get around to using this

superwash wool to make sock yarn.

2) Spin something every day, even if it's just 5 yards.

Sleep on Shirley, sleep on!

4th of July 2007

Just like last year, I had to work on 4th of July. This year, however, was a boring, normal shift. Which was a blissful change from the insanity of last year's holiday.

There are some things in health care which don't happen very often. So when they do, people generally shrug and say "guess it was about time." However, when several of those things occur on the same night (and the moon is full to boot) people start muttering more loudly.

Last year, on the 4th of July, I was six weeks pregnant with the Mimi, and having morning sickness. (Although I was completely in denial about the possibility of pregnancy, as I wasn't as sick as I'd been with the first one.) In addition to that, I also had a very strange patient load.

One of them discovered the hard way that yes, you can be allergic to Benadryl. Thankfully she survived the experience just fine.

And then there was the pregnant teenager who was having a sickle cell crisis...

But the patient who sticks out the most in my mind from that bizarre holiday weekend was the one I'll call "Joe." Joe learned the hard way that alcohol impairs your ability to tell if venomous snakes make good pets.

Joe was a local college student. And he and his buddies had been out drinking to celebrate the nation's independence. As alcohol is a diuretic, he soon had to heed the call of nature. (Bet you can guess where this is going...) As he was using the bushes, he saw a small snake.

(Wait, it gets better!) Because he had pet snakes at home, he thought this one might make a nice addition to his reptilian menagerie. So he tried to pick it up--and got his hand bitten for his troubles. After instinctively stomping the snake to death, he realized it was a copperhead. Although still lightly "buzzed," he had the presence of mind to put the dead snake in a Ziplock bag for official identification.

Arriving home, he had his mother drive him (and the dead snake) to the emergency room. By the time he got to my floor, his hand and arm were swollen to about four times their normal size. But after several days in the hospital and a round of CroFab , he was recovered enough to go home.

I really hope Joe had a much better 4th of July this year!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Psycho patients

The title says it all. Specifically, the title says that I'll probably be getting an e-mail from the people at NAMI pointing out that such language is demeaning to people with mental illness.

They're right, but I don't care. Why? Because this last week at work was truly characterized by my psycho patients.

Midway through last week, I had a patient who was actively suicidal. And I've had many suicidal patients over the years, and the routine is the same no matter what hospital I've been working for--get the patient a sitter (just like a baby sitter, but for adults!), get a psychiatry consult ordered, and encourage the patient to tell you if the suicidal thoughts/feelings get worse. Above all, keep the patient from harming themselves or other people. But this gentleman was different. Specifically, he tried to jump off the fire escape. (Have I mentioned that I work on the 8th floor?)

I'd gotten a free moment to chart at the charting desk, and was taking advantage of it. Then I had to go to the main nursing station for something. When I got there, three or four security guards were escorting my patient back to his room. Apparently he'd managed to out-run the sitter and dashed out the emergency fire exit. He was holding on to the railing when the sitter and one of the other nurses managed to drag him back into the building. I hope he does better on the [locked] inpatient psych unit....

So when I had a different suicidal patient later on in the week, I was prepared. I politely but firmly told her that the sitter was for her own protection and would be staying with her at all times. The first day I had her as a patient, she wasn't happy, but she tolerated the sitter. The next day, she started telling me how not only did she not need the sitter (she didn't deny the suicidal part, just the need for a sitter) but that she didn't want the sitter to be privy to "confidential information."

"Ms. ----, I know you're a very private person. And that's why Mary Lou will be wearing earplugs." I handed the sitter a box of earplugs. "But she's still going to be in the room with you."

Shortly thereafter, Ms. ---- "fired" me as her nurse and demanded a new nurse for the rest of the shift. I wonder if she was disappointed when she discovered that having a different nurse didn't change the fact that she had a sitter?