I’m Knitting As Fast As I Can

And I am doing so because in less than two weeks I’m having another – and I hope the last – hand surgery. How crazy is it to keep knitting when I’ve already had four of these surgeries? No, don’t answer that. The answer is obvious even to me, obsessed with strings and sticks as I am. And having bought an electronic knitting machine, you’d be well within reason to assume that I have mastered its intricacies by now, but unfortunately you’d be wrong. Machine-knitting has its place in my creative life for sure, but it will take me several intensive weeks to play with it until I’m comfortable. And that seems like an ideal activity for while I’m recovering from hand surgery in March, don’t you agree?

Meanwhile, not to belabor the infirmities of middle age, but yesterday I had a cortisone injection in my back. It had been bothering me for months, but I tried all other possible remedies first. I modified my workouts at the gym until I felt the routines were more appropriate to a frail and cautious 100-year-old. Physical therapy was to no avail, despite the enthusiastic ministrations of a highly-trained therapist whose technique I truly respected and believed in. Ieven agreed to have my kidneys and bladder tested to make sure there is no other issue at play (and that was such a thoroughly unpleasant round of examinations that I’ll spare you the details. Except to say that I fervently hope I never DO have anything wrong with my kidneys or bladder that would require a repeat of those tests!).

So I was sedated before the cortisone was injected. While I don’t normally assume sedation is necessary before getting a mere shot, for heaven’s sake (I really have skin like an armadillo hide after getting allergy shots twice a week in both arms for longer than I care to remember), I’ve had numerous cortisone injections in my hands and fingers (Ye-ouch!) without sedation, and they hurt like a sonofabitch. So going in, I knew I wouldn’t want to be awake and alert for the one in my back. The good news is, in order to avoid the possibility of paralyzing me from the waist down (good idea, right?), my doctor used an X-ray to guide him to the exact location of the swelling, ensuring that the injection went precisely where it is needed.

Back at home afterwards I slept off the lingering effects of the sedation. It was the purest, deepest, and most relaxing sleep I’ve had in months, and gave me a glimmer of insight into how Michael Jackson could have started abusing anesthetics in his desperation to chase down a good night’s sleep. Then, in the spirit of experimentation I got up to walk around the house and test out my Brand New Back. What I quickly discovered is that now I had shooting pains not just in my back, but all the way down my behind and into my leg. I limped around the house feeling sorry for myself the rest of the day, groaning mightily every time I had to sit down or stand up, and applying the ice pack way more often than I probably should have. My husband went above and beyond in the sympathy department, bless his heart, considering what I whiner I was.

This morning, however: New Woman! There is still some pain, but nothing like yesterday. And I’d been warned that it would take up to a week for the cortisone to really kick in, so I was prepared to feel no immediate relief. Meanwhile, as you can see, it really is spring here. It is totally disconcerting to see daffodils and crocuses in full bloom in mid-February, but there you have it. Even after nine years in California, it still shocks me to see this happen. It just feels WRONG! Not to mention, the plum tree is in full bloom, as are the flowering quinces, and even the roses are starting to bud out. Time to get busy with the fertilizer!

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