Sunday, February 18, 2007

Work in Progress, February 18, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007
Work in progress, Part I – Me

Now what? It feels like forever since I was here and it has been nearly a month, so I thought I’d better start typing. I do like to write but I have been feeling kind of down lately and I didn’t want to inflict my mood on anyone who might actually read my blog. Then I thought, sometimes I just need to write things down and not worry about who is actually reading. So, where to begin?
The last time I wrote anything was on January 27th, and it seems to have gone downhill since then. I can’t seem to finish anything – all my projects are in limbo. I pick one up and start it and then before I’ve finished it, I pick up something else. The simplest things sit on my needles, waiting for me to pick them up and get them done. Part of the problem is that I am in the middle of changing meds, yet again. I’ve been under treatment for depression for a long time. I have good days and bad days, but I generally get through without too many problems.

I think I’ve been depressed most of my life. I’ve always been overweight, but I hit my low point about five years ago when I realized that I was nearly 400 pounds and that if I didn’t do something soon about my weight I’d probably die young or be stuck in a wheelchair like my Mother. Mom is now 72 (73 this July) and has arthritis and degenerative disc disease. She is in constant pain and this is all because of her weight. She’s been heavy her whole life, too, and doesn’t do anything to change it. Of course, she can’t exercise as she is mostly confined to a wheelchair during the day. She can still walk, and when she is at her own home, she goes up and down the stairs to her bedroom and from the chair in the living room where she watches TV to the bathroom in the back of the house, but that is the extent of her physical activity. She has been staying at my sister’s house in Louisville, Kentucky for the last few months. Mike and I drove her there before Thanksgiving and she should be home, courtesy of one of my cousins, tomorrow or the next day. Anyway, while she was there, she had no stairs to maneuver daily like at home, and she didn’t do much but the crossword puzzles in the paper, smoke, and eat. I expect she’ll have gained a few pounds when I see her again. So this is my “role” model, the woman I grew up with, and I damn sure did not want to be in her shoes when I turned 65. So I started doing research and this is what happened.

I was 386 pounds at my highest weight, my blood pressure was being controlled with medication, I was borderline diabetic, and I was so depressed that all I wanted to do was cry all the time. My family knew I was “down”, but the only person I felt I could talk to was Mike, the love of my life, who has been there for me every time I needed him to be and a few times when I didn’t know I needed him to be. It was at this low point in my life that I decided that I would consider gastric bypass surgery. I was terrified to tell him that I was even considering this drastic step. I knew that a good friend of Mike’s had his stomach “stapled” – a totally different surgery – and had almost died from it many years before. I knew Mike would be against my having this surgery from the moment I brought it up, so I started my research and didn’t say a word to him. Having never hid anything from him before, I found this terribly difficult. Hiding things is like lying, you know? I don’t lie to him and he doesn’t lie to me. Past relationships taught us both that lying can cause the destruction of the relationship and since both of us had been lied to, we made a pact that we would not lie to each other. Anyway, I felt terrible about not talking to him about what I wanted to do. When I knew I couldn’t handle it alone any more, I knew I had to discuss it with him.

Mike and I finally talking about it happened in a strange way. We went to a retirement party one night for a fellow I worked with and while we were there, I saw a friend (also a co-worker) that I hadn’t seen at work for a couple of weeks. I asked him where he had been and where his wife was that she was not at this party, not knowing that she had just got out of the hospital for gastric bypass surgery. When he told me that, I asked if he would mind talking about it in front of Mike so I could bring the subject up. The rest, as they say, is history. Mike and my friend and I talked about the surgery my friend’s wife had gone through, where she had it, who her doctor was, all the things I wanted to bring up with Mike but was so scared to. On the way home in the car, I told Mike that I wanted to have the surgery and that I had been researching it for a while and that I wanted his support in this decision. I cried, he held me, and we talked pretty much the rest of the night. I showed him what I had already found out and we talked about my friend’s wife and, in the end, he told me that whatever I needed to do, he would be with me the entire way. To be continued….

Work in progress, Part II – Knitting

Picture #1: This is the infamous “Cherry Bomb(ed)” in its next incarnation. Right now I’m in the process of sewing up the felted pieces to make some semblance of a bag that I can carry something around in (maybe my laptop?). The bar lying across the bag is a red and black stick-type handle I picked up at one of my LYSs on Super Bowl Sunday at a sale. Now all I have to do is figure out how to attach it….

Picture #2: No matter what it looks like, this is NOT a knitted black bra…it is two socks on two circular needles, started the week before the Super Bowl for DH. Now if only I could get past the first inch of ribbing……
Picture #3: This is the oldest project currently on my needles; it is a pair of socks made with self-striping yarn done on two circular needles. This project has been “in-progress” since March of 2006. I don’t know why on earth I can’t finish socks, nor do I know why I started another pair (see the pair above), but I think I am determined that they will not beat me. So far, the socks are winning.

Picture #4: This is the ever-present cabled scarf that I started before Christmas. Maybe, if I work at it a little every night, I could finish it before winter is over. You can see the beautiful bamboo cable needle I’ve been using. I picked up some very nice cable needles and also some bamboo sewing needles to use, if I ever get anything done enough to seam up.

Picture #5: This is my “mindless” or Zen, if you prefer, knitting project. I love the yarn; it’s Baby Alpaca by Plymouth Yarns and just so soft and lovely. Since this picture was taken, I’ve used up one of the two balls left in the picture and most of the second. When they’re done, it’s done, whatever it is. All I did was take size 13 needles and CO 100 sts and then start knitting every row. I wanted something that I didn’t have to concentrate on as it’s been a very tough couple of weeks for me and I wanted something that wouldn’t tax my brain. It’s worked; I don’t have to think about it or anything else, for that matter, while I’m knitting it. I’m thinking it will be a shawl or just a wrap for whenever I need something to make me feel cozy.

Picture #6: This is the project that is currently calling me. I picked up 8 balls of Mohair Kiss Ombre (73% Mohair, 22% Wool, 5% Nylon – 98 yards/90 meters per ball) on Super Bowl Sunday on sale. Couldn’t resist it! So now, I need to find a pattern that will do it justice, unlike the camera I took this picture with. All the colors are kind of jewel-tones, but so soft and, I think, flattering to my coloring. Anyway, I’m on the lookout for something to do with, but I don’t want anything too complicated as I’ve heard horror stories about frogging mohair….

So that’s the current update on my Work in Progress. As I go along with this blog I’ll continue my story. I need to get things off my mind and this is the place to do it, I think.

Until next time, remember, wear natural fibers; hug your cat!