Based on how I felt last night I was expecting to get at least my new-normal six hours of sleep. Nope. Got about 5.5 hours, but up since 4:45 and already started the 2nd load of laundry — bedding this time. I’m using different settings to learn how it all works and to learn how these machines decide on the timing of various cycles and options.
As others told me yesterday, these new-fangled fancy machines do take longer than the old-style machines that I am more accustomed to. I guess it’s a learning process. Apparently these new machines use less water, are more energy-efficient, and are gentler to clothes. We shall see.
Most importantly, I think I’m figuring how to prepare my yarns and such so that I can use the washing machine most effectively.
Yesterday when the delivery guys came, they were supposed to haul away the old washer. I told them they could actually haul it away or just put it to the street and surely someone would claim it. And someone did – the next door neighbor lady wanted it. Since I have a dolly (hand truck) I moved it for her, from the street to a space on her side of the yard that she picked out. I probably should not have done that, as I woke this morning with a twinge in my lower right abdomen. Nothing ripped or anything like that, but a reminder that I need to exercise caution.
I just hope she doesn’t leave it in the yard forever as they’ve done with many other things. :-/ But no matter, it is no longer my problem.
Later …. now washing the third load of the bedding laundry. I guess I just have to be content with things taking longer. sigh
I hope to finish the Old Shale scarf today. Just a few more rows and a bind-off. Then blocking. I’m not sure if I want to finger-block it or pin it out for a severe blocking. Also want to re-pot the plants that live in the kitchen window. I brought these with me from New Orleans, so they’re plenty hardy enough, but it’s been a few years since they’ve had new potting soil. I found a whole new bag in the storage unit when I moved the unit to make way for the dryer; now is as good a time as any to use it and make my plants feel better.
So it appears I have the day’s agenda in place. Plus I need to full some yarns for dyeing this week — some Blog Reader Specials and re-doing the custom job. So, into the day I go.
In my life there have been times I had to sleep on floors, couches, overstuffed armchairs, back seats of cars, and even in a bathtub one time (long story, don’t ask). Basically, I’ve learned to fall asleep in whatever situation I find myself in. Sure, a luscious bed is glorious, but I’ve never had the privilege of becoming a bed snob. And yes, there are people who actually require certain types of beds for legitimate health seasons, and I don’t begrudge them their necessities. There are also those princess wannabes who will bitch and moan over the slightest inconvenience. Fuck them. Or not.
So anyway, when I moved to Houston I brought with me a queen size folding futon frame, and purchased a new futon to fit the frame fairly quickly. It was usually folded into a couch position. I had also brought a full-size bed with frame, but soon after moving here I gave it to my son because his kids needed more bedding. So my futon became my bed for sleeping.
Fast forward to 2020. Over 13 years, that futon had become lumpy and bumpy, and had developed a significant valley down the middle. I had purchased the best I could afford at the time, and I certainly got my money’s worth out of it. Last fall I decided I would take my time and shop around to find a suitable basic queen size mattress that would fit squarely on the futon platform. I had no interest in gimmicky beds — adjustable air-chambers, memory foam, water beds, etc. I just wanted a basic innerspring mattress.
But then I got sick from uncontrolled diabetes. Then I was restricted due to the aortic aneurysm, followed by surgery and recovery. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and there was no way to get to a bedding store even if I had wanted to go to one or another of the many bedding stores.
Recently I’ve been seeing ads during the evening news for a place called Texas Mattress Makers, saying they were still open for business and they were having a 35% off sale. They are a local small business and all they do is mattresses and bedding. I went online, found a queen size medium-firm mattress and box spring set at a ridiculously low price (with their 35% off deal) compared to what I’d seen at the national mattress stores. I got on the phone and made the deal on Thursday. The mattress I wanted is normally over $800, but I got the mattress with box spring and delivery for just over $500, and they agreed to haul away my futon.
An aside, in praise of the company. They called Friday and told me the delivery window would be 9:00 to 11:00 on Saturday morning. On Saturday morning, a driver called at 7:43 (I had it marked on my phone log) and said he would arrive in 20-25 minutes. They showed up at 8:10 and were gone by 8:20. WOW!!! Excellent service, and I’m helping a local company stay in business during these hard times.
Anyway, so this is the before and after:
The box spring alone is taller than my old futon! I happen to have a tiny stool that is perfect for climbing onto the bed; thank goodness for that.
So, anyway, on to the ‘blues’ part. I went to bed around 10:30 and got about four hours of sleep. The entire time, though, I was aware of the arthritis in my hip. I mean, I could not find a single position that didn’t hurt. And shifting about was worse since moving actively involved the joint. Damn it! Did I choose the wrong sort of bed? Was I a fool to purchase a bed without trying it out first? I slid down off the bed and went to the kitchen. Yeah, this bed is so high I have to slide down until my feet touch the floor!
Wait! What’s that?? I walked to the kitchen without a stitch of pain, without a limp, without anything hindering me. How can that be? Painful to lie on and try to sleep, but nearly free motion when I’m upright and awake? Hmmmmm….
Obviously, the first night on a new bed isn’t enough to know for sure. I will give it a while and see how my body responds over time. I may end up having to change out some other furniture as well to see if such other changes can also improve my physical experience. I already know I need new bed pillows; it’s been a few years since I bought new ones.
It was very difficult to make up the bed — stretching a new mattress pad over it, and then stretching the fitted sheet took a LOT of exertion to get things all tucked underneath the mattress. That sucker is heavy and I definitely did more than I should have — I spent much of the rest of the day with abdominal pain. When I went back later to put on the top sheet and blanket, I knelt on the floor to shove the sheet and blanket under the mattress using my upper arms instead of the usual lift-and-tuck method I’ve always used for making a bed. I got it done, but golly gee it wasn’t comfortable. At all.
At one point yesterday, the weather was terrific and I decided to take an exercise walk. I figured I would use my regular cane instead of the walker. Mistake! I got only halfway between Nancy Rose and Manor and simply had to turn around and come home. I suspect it will be a while yet before I can leave the house without my walker. I will keep trying — I can’t stop trying — but I will absolutely pay more attention to exertion levels and other factors.
P.S. – went back to bed and got a few more hours of sleep. And the pain is back in my hip. Not so bad, and I think I can slog through the day, but I did too much yesterday so I have to go slow and easy today. Most of what I need to do can be done sitting down, which is good. Tomorrow is a work day, so today I need to just focus on what my body needs – food, meds, blood sugar, blood pressure, low-exertion exercise.
I got a couple hours sleep last night, but was awake from about 2:00, waiting in anticipation for the “severe thunderstorms” that were to pass over in the early morning hours. Hardly any rain and not much noise. Pfft! I could have had a good night’s sleep.
I did manage to get a couple naps this morning, but mostly it’s a drag-ass sort of day.
Things aren’t hurting quite so bad today, at least not as bad as recently.
Had a tuna, cheese, and tomato sandwich for lunch, then tried to take my walk. Holy fuck! Got half way to Manor and had to come back, the hip muscles (both sides) and right knee hurt too much. Why? I do my exercises and I am trying to be up-and-about around the house as much as I can, so why is my body not consistently getting better, day by day, little by little? Why do I have good days and then bad days? I hate this shit. 🙁
Oh well, I’ll rest a bit, and later this afternoon will get the other yarns pulled that I will need for the weekend.
It’s already clouding up, but we’re in for spectacularly stormy weather this afternoon, overnight, and into tomorrow morning. I don’t dye in stormy weather, so that takes care of today’s plans, and maybe tomorrow’s.
No matter, though, because I pulled some yarns yesterday that could have been dyed. I had a really rough night of pain, barely 4 hours of sleep. BUT… when I dragged my sorry ass out of bed I had a new insight how to reconfigure the steps for the dye project so I can accomplish more in less time. I was making it all too complex in my head for some reason, but it just flashed into my head this morning. So I do feel better about it, and this portion of the work can be done before next Monday.
Meanwhile, I am seriously hurting in my joints this morning, and I strongly suspect it is because of this weather pattern moving in. Fluctuating air pressure and increased humidity. I hate this shit, and I seriously do NOT look forward to a future of weather prediction based on what my body is doing.
Speaking of which…. when it was discovered I had an issue with the aorta, I was put on 3 different blood pressure medications to deliberately lower my blood pressure and avoid a blow-out. Terrific. Then with my doctor visit a few weeks after the surgery, my blood pressure was terrific, well within where it should be, so he said I don’t really need to be on blood pressure meds. And during the whole 2 months when I was getting weekly home nurse and PT visits, they’d check the b.p. and it remained very good and I got a little lax in taking my own b.p. on the wrist-cuff unit I had purchased after surgery.
Yesterday I took my b.p. and the systolic was up in the 180s. EEK! I messaged my doctor to ask, and I told him about my unusual reading. He is out of the office this week, but one of his nurses (or another doctor covering for him?) and said I should use an arm-cuff monitor, take readings 3-4 times a day, and call back later in the week. So I went and ordered an arm-cuff b.p. monitor (it’ll be here tomorrow).
And someone there called in a new Rx for me to go back on amlodipine, sending the Rx to the local CVS. It’s fine, I suppose, except nobody told me they were renewing that Rx, so I was surprised when CVS texted me to say my Rx was ready for pick up. A couple phone calls and text messages back and forth, and now that Rx is being mailed to me. No big deal since I had a small supply leftover from when my dr told me I don’t need to take any b.p. meds.
What fun. Maybe. Whatever.
Texas is going to be opening up in phases, starting this Friday. I think it’s a crock of shit, because we still don’t have adequate state-wide testing, nor are there an vaccines or really confirmed treatments. Vaccines will be another 18 months, I imagine. Besides the obvious health risk of opening the state too soon, there is the fact that if businesses are “allowed” to re-open, any emergency funding and/or unemployment is cut off and people must either go back to work or deal with no income. That’s bullshit. This crap about opening up is for business OWNERS and their bottom dollar, not anything about protecting the people who are put at risk.
No, not really. But I am not well today. I had a rough night last night, and at one point felt a very strange and sudden and painful ‘something’ in my abdomen, sort of like a twinge or ping but larger. I won’t make up fantasies of what it might have been, because I really don’t know, but it was almost certainly with the intestines and not the abdominal muscles. And today all my innards feel ‘bruised’ when I try to do anything. This is not a good thing.
It is gloriously sunshiny today, and temperatures should get up to the low-80s, so fairly tolerable as long as it isn’t humid.
Washing the bedding this morning to hang outside and freshen up a bit. That’ll be nice when it is bedtime.
Friday my daughter and grandson came by briefly to pick up some veggies I had ordered from a local restaurant supplier, now selling boxes of goods to the general public so they can stay in business at all. I ordered two crates of goodies, since each selection had some things I wanted. There were several layers of stuff in each crate. I kept what I wanted and let Donna have the rest. She lo-o-o-ves cilantro, and there were 3 bunches of it. I can’t stand the stuff.
It was good to see Donna and Dagon, but they didn’t stay long and stayed outside. Donna is about my height, Dagon towers over us both. He’s only 15.
In a little while I will try to pull some yarns for dyeing this week. I won’t try to dye today but I can get ready to dye tomorrow. I still seem to only manage a half-day at best before my body peters out and I’m down for the rest of the day.
Okay, so I worked on Tuesday and Wednesday, just pulling hanks to dye so it wasn’t a lot of work. And I worked on Thursday and Friday to get a full batch of Blog Reader Specials done. That took a lot out of me. When I slept last night, I slept well and hard, but there was a 3-hour period when I was awake; got back to sleep around 4:00 or 4:30 and slept until almost 7:30.
I fed the boys and took the trash out, and now, as I sit here sucking my first morning coffee I feel sooooo wiped out. Not sore or particularly hurting in any new ways, just feeling super drained. I’m going to sit on my ass today, I suspect, and just veg out and try to replenish myself.
A Facebook friend made me a few face masks to wear in the even I need to actually go anywhere. They aren’t quite as wide across my face, but they will do for my purposes. There are three different fabric designs, and they are different insides as well.
I’ll come back later and see how I feel.
OOOPS!!! I waddled off to bed and realized I didn’t finish or post this.
Anyway, so there was a 4-hour sleep, then a 3-hour sleep in the night. And during today I had another several hours of assorted naps throughout the day. Yeah, I was pretty wiped out from the work of the previous few days. I’m still feeling exhausted and not walking at all well. Grateful for the walkers and cane, all available and close at hand as I need them.
I keep reminding myself I’m not all done getting better, but it doesn’t help me all the time. My body reminds me I’m not there yet and it pisses me off. Probably more than I should let it, but it does.
And even though I’m taking the celecoxib and the gabapentin as prescribed, I continue to have assorted pains in my right leg. Sometimes I can tell if it is the actual hip and knee joints, but sometimes it feels like muscles or nerve pains. But it just hurts most of the time, although less after the meds for a while. It also doesn’t help that I have a wonky sort of couch and I was hoping to replace my 13-year old mattress this spring. But with everything shut down, it doesn’t look like that will happen. It is nearly impossible to find a position that doesn’t hurt when I lie down. Or sit. Or stand. Or walk. Half the time when I do actually find a pain-free position, within minutes my bladder is screaming as if I’d not peed all week. Go figure.
Yeah, I know — I’m whining and bitching and moaning about shit. I went to bed at 10:00 and it’s now 10:45 and I’m awake and hurting. Oh well…..
Today was a mostly down day (although I did send out notices for the Blog Reader Specials), and tomorrow is Sunday and I’m taking an extra down day to get ready for the week ahead. I have work projects to pursue, and they won’t get done if I don’t do them.
Lemme see if some classical music will help me relax enough to get to bed.
Only got about 4 hours, barely. I’ve been awake since about 2:00 this morning, so I am sort of dragging.
I took the short walk and then did my leg exercises outside. This time I did a full set with 10 reps in each direction for each leg, holding each position 3-4 seconds before releasing. Not a lot of pain from it today (so far), and I’ve been a bit more mobile today with various chores around the house. Not a lot, just some.
I will definitely expect a nap at some point, probably after an early lunch.
Not a lot else to whine about.
People working from home are discovering all sorts of things about their co-workers…
So yesterday I felt like shit. I was in bed before 10:30, only got up to pee just once, and slept through until about 5:15 or so. That’s pretty good, considering my recent weeks of hyphenated sleeps with long wakings in the middle of the night.
I do feel better than I did yesterday, so I suspect I simply did too much in the day or two before, and needed a time-out.
I’ve been reading the posts of others, many of whom are both scared of the virus and fearful for the future and what our fiber arts industry will look like when so many people are being laid off. Much of what we do is targeted to those with discretionary income. I know that the yarns I sell are more expensive than even the nicer commercial wools and fancy fibers, and much more more expensive than the acrylic hobbyist yarns. Many people will not be able to afford what I can produce. And, at some point, there’s a possibility that my supply chain will break so I can’t even get yarns for dyeing.
It’s perhaps even worse for those who derive an income from teaching in the fiber arts, or writing patterns and books. Currently, all the fiber festivals have shut down for the virus, but will they be able to start back up if people don’t have money to attend? Will people be buying books or patterns when they can barely afford to eat, much less cover their other expenses? Who knows?
In my years, I have done things to earn money — in Seattle I spray-painted house-numbers on curbs. I’d drive through posting offers on people’s doors and go back the next day to see who wanted a number painted. When I first landed in New Orleans I had no clue and even less money, so I managed to earn rent money (barely) by reading Tarot on Jackson Square. It wasn’t much, but it lasted until I could get a temporary job through one of the temp services, and that led to someone liking my work and getting me hired in a Louisiana civil service position.
Most of the time I just sort of lucked out by doing what was in front of me to do at the time. I’ve known lean times and good times, and what I know is that it never lasts, nothing is permanent, everything changes.
What bothers me most, I think, is that I hear rumblings of sadness to the point of giving up. I won’t name names, of course, but there are some brilliant fiber artists who see their current income as their identity, and when the money stops they will see no way forward. That’s a shame. Certainly everyone needs an income, but not everyone needs a salary or hourly wage. And what you do for money is not the sum total of who you are. If the darkest forecasts are true, there will be loads of people who have lost their incomes and don’t know how to recalibrate their path to find a new income. It might even get as bad as the Great Depression.
But during the Great Depression there were still people working and finding an income. There will always be people needing essentials for survival, and there will be opportunities for finding or even creating new income streams. The Great Depression eventually gave way for the growth of the middle class. So, perhaps I am being naive, but whatever dark days may lie ahead, I do believe that what comes after will be better. I’m not smart or clever with economic forecasts, and I can’t put my finger on why or how I think most of us will survive, except to look at the past and realize we have always survived before. Individually that might not be so, but as a society we have.
So, my task, is not necessarily about figuring out how to make people buy my yarns at a time when they really cannot afford it. My task is to identify what I am good (all my years of experience, talents, and skills) to see whatever else I might be able to offer to those who want or need it.
And, I need to remember that a fast nickel is better than a slow dime.
So, today is Saturday. The weekend. But, of course, for many years my life hasn’t been scheduled around clearly marked work days and then weekends.
I have heard (several times) that during this time of “stay home, work safe” or quarantine or whatever you call it, that it is good to actually have a schedule in order to maintain at least a little semblance of normalcy. So I’ll try it. Whatever, I suppose.
I know I’ve been eating more lately, but just now my naked weight is still just 139 pounds. I’m not sure why. And I am trying to consume more muscle-building proteins. I just had a bowl of cereal and a banana for breakfast, and I also have 4 strips of bacon cooking in the oven. And I have some Kroger fried chicken to nibble on, and lots of other meat in the freezer.
Last weekend I dyed a small bit of yarn, and yesterday I reskeined it. There are specific muscles used in reskeining and twisting yarns into a presentation twist. Those muscles are reminding me they’ve not been used in a while. UGH. No, it’s a good thing really, but still just the reminder is a bit annoying. I think, “What the hell? I’ve been doing this for thirteen years …. oh yeah, I’ve not done this particular thing for several months.”
And the entire process — soaking, dyeing, washing, hanging, reskeining, and all the rest — involve specific body actions and muscle movements. And some dye techniques are definitely more labor intensive than others.
Virtually everything about my life and my work has become a bit of a challenge, as far as actually doing the things I need to do. It is becoming better, ever-so-slowly, but nearly everything I want or need to do requires a bit of thought: “Do I actually have the energy to do this? Will I need a rest afterward? How will today’s activities affect my ability to function tomorrow?”
For me, thankfully, it is simply a process of recovery and getting back to normal. For so many others it is a chronic daily life-long battle, so I suppose I’m fortunate. It does give me an appreciation for what I do have, as well as some understanding for those living with chronic conditions.
Speaking of chronic conditions — I’ve been on the celecoxib for a couple weeks. Hardly any pain in the hip or knee. This stuff is amazing, and so much better than the OTC NSAIDs I’ve been using. There may come a time when it isn’t as effective, but for now I am happy with the results, and my ability to walk and function without a lot of pain.