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Sympatico, seaweed and surgery

My internet connection through Sympatico has been down a lot over the past few days. My phone line could be down for a week before I’d even notice, but when the Internet goes down, I know.

So…what to do when you’re pretty much confined to your couch and the internet is down and you don’t have a TV? Read, write, sleep and…

Knit! I’ve cast on a little hat for Bella, the first member of our family’s next generation, who is scheduled to make her debut in November. I bought some luscious Araucania yarn to make a wee shrug for her. I want to make some socks for her tiny little feet too.

(Every time the Internet comes back up, I interrupt my knitting to rush over to for a fix of knitting fantasies and fiber lust.)

I couldn’t sleep last night because of the pain. Usually it’s in my left leg, but last night it was in my right leg too. It hurts worse when you’re just lying there with nothing to do but feel pain, so I got up and checked on my knitting. I’d accidentally started the hat on 4mm needles instead of 3.75mm needles, so I searched my stash for 3.75mm needles. You know what’s worse than not finding any 3.75mm needles? Finding one 3.75mm needle.

I also came across a number of almost-finished projects that I ought to finish before I start anything new. The Central Park Hoodie. The Nashua basketweave vest. The yoga mat bag. GC’s scarf. Not only that, but I’ve got yarn for several projects I haven’t even started yet, including a gorgeous Mission Falls sweater that I’ll probably never make because I’ve sworn off fair isle knitting. It’s the one on the cover of the Mission Falls Decade pattern book.

Cabbage and SeaweedWhat else is new? I cooked and ate some seaweed mixed with onions and cabbage and grated carrots and sunflower seeds. It wasn’t that bad. (It wasn’t that good, either.) I’m trying to bolster my immune system and top up my nutritional reserves before the next phase of treatment, which will probably be chemo.

I had my final appointment with the cancer surgeon yesterday, but there wasn’t much to it since the pathology report hadn’t come in yet. There was nothing for her to do except look at my breast and admire her handiwork.

I tried to get her to use her considerable influence to urge the neurosurgeon to make me a priority, but she said she couldn’t because my back problem was unrelated to the cancer. She did say, however, that it’ll likely be resolved in months, not years, so that was encouraging.

Basically, here’s where things are at on the back front:

1. The neurosurgeon accepted my doctor’s referral, and his office will call me someday to schedule an initial appointment. (“Please be patient,” the letter said, “as wait times vary.”)

2. Eight days ago I emailed my MP, Paul Dewar, and my MPP, Yasir Naqvi, and asked them if they could do anything to help me. No response from Dewar yet. Naqvi’s office asked me for my phone number so he could phone, but he hasn’t yet.

3. A few days ago I contacted the woman who laid me off, who is very well connected in the health field, and asked her if she could help. She said she knows the neurosurgeon and would call his office.

In the meantime, I’m just sitting here eating seaweed and knitting and waiting for the phone to ring. Ho hum.

13 comments to Sympatico, seaweed and surgery

  • I am an idiot as I am working on a blanket which I want to give as a present at the end of August.

    Zoom – how would you feel about some of us, using your real name and making calls/writing letters/blog posts whatever on your behalf?

  • Just finished a 2 hour conversation with Bell in preparation for my upcoming move. So much hassle. And then, my internet went down too.

    And months instead of years is very encouraging. Don’t let things get you down.

  • I got a lot of knitting accomplished when I was down with my back.. right before Christmas which was kind of handy!

  • Tom Sawyer

    Okay, this might sound so simple, perhaps stupid, but it works for me: Aspirin. Yeah, that’s right. Just plain ol’ Aspirin, a.k.a ASA. Any brand will do, the cheaper the better. It’s the only thing that kills pain for me. Tylenol 3s do not work for me. Only Aspirin. Toothache? The kind that feels like a 100,000,000 volts shooting through my jaw. Aspirin. A couple now and then and I’m set. I know it sounds stupid, but you were concerned about becoming addicted to painkillers. Have you tried ASA lately?

  • Arden

    My world has been turned upside down. Knitnut herself, blogging about KNITTING??? What has the world come to???

    P.S. You are a cruel temptress for getting me addicted to Farm Town!

  • Nat

    Naqvi is well meaning he’s just not the smartest MP on the block. (In my experience, I’m not sure he gets the health care thing.)

    Glad to hear it’s going to be months not years. There was an intake pilot project out of the Riverside as I recall. I’m not sure if it’s only once you get referred… might just be for hips and knees too.

  • Julia

    I feel for you, kid. I wonder if your medical oncologist (whoever that turns out to be) might have more to say about how your back problem will affect your treatment? Sometimes, the “chemo” that you get is “just” tamoxifen and not the stuff I had but it is still drugs and it could have a negative effect on back surgery. Better you should have the surgery now and then go for the treatment. You should be seeing the medical oncologist (as opposed to the radiation oncologist, who you will also see) soon. Write it down and mention it at the first meeting.

  • XUP

    BOTH LEGS??? Weren’t you going to go to Emerg the next time pain kept you up at night? I’m tearing my hair out here. What Julia said…. just go in and be obnoxious until someone does something to shut you up.

  • I’m with XUP! Be a pest. Squeaky wheel and all that. My fingers are crossed for you but it makes it hard to type that way. Or knit!

  • I’ve been lying around in pain too recently between my back and my just recently operated foot. I waited almost a year for a surgeon for my foot and I’m on a 8 month wait list for a hip replacement. Good luck to you with the neurosurgeon. Do finish the CPH, I’m thinking of starting my third one. I did one with a hood and one without a hood. Funny about the needles. My problem is that I’m always needing a circular size or length that I don’t have amongst the zillions I already own. I broke down today and ordered the options needles from Knitpicks. No more excuses for me…ciao

  • lissa

    In response to Tom Sawyer’s comment on aspirin. I have experienced the same ailment as you Zoom, the doctor told me to take as many aspirin as needed or until my ears rang. I did not want to take pain pills and the aspirin did work. I did have the surgery and it was wonderful to be pain free almost immediately. Keep in mind the longer you wait for the surgery the more likely to have nerve damage. You need to start working on your squeaking skills!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hey Zoom, I’ve posted your bio on the Blog Out Loud site…let me know if you’d like any changes :).

  • Laurie, I love that you’d be willing to do that, but I wouldn’t want my real name used. I realize it’s hard to advocate for an anonymous person…

    Chris, yeah, I hope she’s right about months instead of years. She says they wouldn’t do it before my cancer treatments anyway, because as miserable as chronic pain and disability are, cancer is CANCER. I think I may have to remind the doctors at some point that it’s my body, not theirs.

    Valerie, I just started knitting again after a long hiatus, and I’m loving it.

    Tom, maybe in your case it’s the placebo effect? Because aspirin doesn’t come close to touching my pain.

    Arden, I know, it’s weird, blogging about knitting. Soon I’ll be posting pictures and everything. As for Farmtown, I should have some peppers and pineapples for you to harvest soon.

    Nat, I just wish Naqvi would call me back. I’m getting sick of having to hound people to call me back. Doctors offices don’t even return calls these days, it seems, unless you call repeatedly and make a nuisance of yourself.

    Julia, good advice, thank you.

    XUP, I know I know, both legs now and I’m still hemming and hawing about going to emergency. I guess I think of emerg as being for life & death situations rather than just for chronic misery.

    Damselfly, you’re in good company with the squeaky wheel theory, and rationally I agree. I just have a hard time actually behaving that way.

    Rositta, what are the options needles?

    Lissa, aspirin doesn’t even begin to touch this pain for me. In fact, even the anti-inflammatories and heavy duty painkillers I’m on just dull the pain and make it tolerable. If aspirin worked, I probably wouldn’t even bother with surgery.

    Lynn, that’s a super nice bio – thank you very much. I’m probably not going to read out loud myself, but I’ll be there and I’ll have an appointed reader to read my post. I’m impressed by how much work you’ve done for this project. I can’t wait for the event.