Monday, July 30, 2012

Marvelous Monday - Bacitracin

Bacitracin - it's better than Neo or Polysporin.  At least I think it is.

I first discovered Bacitracin last year when I had to have a little out-patient surgery.  The doctor told me not to use Neo or Polysporin on the incision site because many people are actually allergic to their ingredients & any reaction would slow the healing process.  Instead, I was instructed to use Bacitracin.  When I stopped at the drug store to buy it, I was pleasantly surprised that it cost less than half as much as the Neosporin.  It was even cheaper than the store-brand!  I used the Bacitracin as instructed and the incision healed quickly and barely left a scar.

Several months ago, I had a bad Rosacea flare-up.  The prescribed $158.00 topical ointment did absolutely nothing for it.  On a whim, I smeared a little Bacitracin on the affected area and within five or six hours, there was a visible difference.  I used a little more and my face cleared right up.  Since then, I've used Bacitracin on every little skin imperfection and each has cleared right up, and freakishly fast.  I love this stuff!

In knitting news, I've been working on a shawl with Lang Jawoll Magic yarn.  I love the yarn, the color and it's texture, and I love the pattern, but I'm not enjoying the knitting process.  I'm not sure if the yarn is just not right for the pattern or if I'm just knitted out.  I have been doing an awful lot of knitting lately.   Still no pictures, though.  One of these days....

On a comical note, my husband just came stomping into the house cussing.  Apparently, he spent the last 30 minutes stuck in his truck.  The truck has been having some engine problems & had been parked out in the driveway.  He was pulling it into the garage to work on it but the truck cut off as he was pulling in.  Apparently, it rolled to a stop just as he was pulling through the garage doors.  And because the truck has an oversized cab, it's wide.  There's only a 4 or 5 inch clearance on each side between the truck and the garage door.  Anyway, he couldn't open the truck door, he couldn't climb out the window because the door frame was right in the middle of the window, and he didn't have his phone in the truck with him.  Why he didn't start blowing the horn or something to get our attention, I don't know, but he didn't think to do that.  Instead, he sat in the truck cussing until one of the neighbors came over to see about borrowing something.  A little push and the truck moved enough to clear the doorway and he was able to get out.  Anyway, I thought it was kind of funny.  Specially since he didn't have enough sense to blow the horn.  Which is weird, actually.  He's normally very resourceful at problem solving.  Maybe his favorite talk radio show was on.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Marvelous Monday - Yarn Dispenser

It's Marvelous Monday and today I'm talking about, well, I'll call it a yarn dispenser.  Knit & Crochet Now! posted the picture on their Facebook wall, probably as a joke, but it's actually a pretty decent idea.  I haven't asked for permission to use the photo so I'm not posting it, but you can go take a look here.  It's actually pretty brilliant if you like to use a yarn bowl but don't have table space.  If you are one of those people who don't trust links and never click on them, the dispenser is one of those stand alone toilet paper dispensers.  But instead of holding toilet paper, it's holding a skein of yarn that's been wound around an empty toilet paper cardboard tube.  And you know, a toilet paper tube would probably fit just perfectly over the center of my ball winder.  I might actually have to give this a try.

Enjoy your  Monday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


My health is finally making some progress and I'm pretty excited.  It may not sound like much to you, but I was able to sleep laying down last night.  I'm in the third week of this leg/back ordeal and last night was the first time I've been able to sleep laying down.  Up until yesterday, laying prone caused severe pain in my thigh.  And while I haven't been able to lay down, I also can not sit up in a normal chair.    That right angle position between my leg & back also causes severe pain in my thigh.  The only comfortable position I've been able to find is sitting in the lounge chair with the chair clicked back one notch and with three pillows under my legs.  I hate to be such a whiner, but three weeks spent in one position is rather tortuous.  If you don't believe me, try it some time.

But I'm making progress.  Two nights ago, I was able to go to three clicks back in the lounge chair.  And as I said, last night, I slept in a prone position on the couch.  Granted, there was only one prone position I could find that was comfortable, but one prone position is WAY better than none!   I'm also walking much better.  I can go much further and I'm standing up-right.  I was also able to shower yesterday without hyperventilating from pain.  Like I said, HUGE progress!

There's been a bit of progress with the knitting as well as with my health.  I finished the multicolored garter stitch shawl, and it's definitely long enough.  I think my previous approximate measurement of 100 inches was rather conservative.  I haven't accurately measured it yet, but let's just say it's oversized.
Once the shawl was done, I cast on, knit and finished a lacy cowl made with some stashed sock yarn.  And now, I'm back to working on the autumn mitered square table runner.  I should be in good enough shape to take a few photos in the next couple of days.

All I can say is thank God for my ability to knit.  If I didn't have a hobby I could do while I lay one click back in the lounge chair, I'm not sure I'd have survived the last three weeks.  The TV has been on for entertainment most of the time and all I can say is my God!  Based on daytime TV, I'm surprised there aren't a lot more suicides.  Daytime TV is AWFUL!   Our internet service comes with something like 400 TV channels.  At least 100 of those channels are in spanish.  I don't speak spanish.  Fifty or so of the channels are "music" which consist of either mostly naked girls grinding, bare chested guys grabbing themselves, or whiney country singers.  Another 100 or so channels are all showing the same three movies.  There are 50 or so channels where the guide says it's some sort of news, but in reality, it's a bunch of adults arguing with each other like cranky toddlers.  Ninety nine channels are shopping related and the one remaining channel shows NCIS reruns nonstop.  Guess which channel I've been watching.  Don't get me wrong - I like NCIS.  But I think I've now seen every episode from all nine seasons at least six times.

Okay, that's enough whining for one day.  Besides, I have celebrating to do.  I can walk to the bathroom without pain now!  I have knitting to do.  And NCIS is coming on...

Friday, July 13, 2012


I'm still chilling out on the couch and living on pain pills & Flexeril.  I've been like this for almost two weeks now & it's starting to get very old.  Believe it or not, I am sick to death of knitting.  The weight of my laptop on my lap bothers my leg, for that matter, the nerves are so sensitized that a sheet laying over my leg bothers me.  But what ever.  The laptop's weight is irritating, plus our wireless internet service only seems to reach me for 20 second intervals, mostly in the very early morning or late at night.  The point is, I'm not doing much with the computer and I can't focus my eyes enough to read.  That leaves knitting.

I've been doing some serious knitting!  All garter stitch because I can't concentrate or see well enough to follow a chart/pattern.  I didn't have a specific length in mind when I cast the shawl on.  I just cast on stitches until I couldn't stand it anymore, took a nap, then cast on a whole bunch more.  I have no idea how many stitches I have on the needles and I have absolutely no intention of counting them.  I did measure the fabric yesterday and came up with a little over 100 inches.  I'm not sure how accurate that is.  It doesn't look like it will be that long when laid out flat, but.....  maybe.  I did measure twice and both times, I measured out 50 inches twice and still had a few inches more to measure.  What ever.  Let's say it's 100 inches long and so far, the fabric is about 10 inches wide.  That is a LOT of stitches considering I'm using a US #2 needle and fingering weight yarn.  I'm using a huge mixture of stashed & partial skeins.  Basically, if it was fingering weight and I didn't have enough of it to make a pair of socks, it went into the box.  There are also a few colorways that I did have enough for socks but knew for some reason or another, that I would never use the yarn for socks.  Anyway, I started with a large box full of yarns that don't match or even blend with each other.  I reach into the box, grab a skein, knit a row or two, then cut that yarn, put it in the "done" box, and grab a new yarn out of the first box.  When the first box is empty, I switch them.  It's absolutely amazing how two skeins of yarn that look so horrendously awful next to each other, can blend together so nicely when added in with all the other yarns.

So, now I'm left praying that my body will make a sudden recovery and I can get up off this couch and never knit on this garter stitch shawl ever again while I also pray that I can finish the shawl before I heal because I know once I'm off the Flexeril, I will never want to look at it ever again.  The question is, when will I be able to walk again?  I'm starting to wonder.  I was supposed to call yesterday to schedule an xray for today, but yesterday morning, I was feeling much better.  No where near healed, but better. I could walk to the bathroom and back to the couch without crying or stopping to rest.   I could hobble into the kitchen and get my own drink.  Doesn't sound like much, but believe me - it's a huge improvement.  So of course, I got cocky.  I insisted on unloading the dishwasher last night.  I even tried to put a few dirty dishes into the empty washer.  Big mistake apparently.  A few minutes later, I was back to day one, moaning & groaning and unable to get comfortable.  Today, I've tried to behave and have taken it extremely easy.  Today, I've only gotten up to go to the bathroom.  Haven't even gotten my own drink.  And I think I'm starting to get bed sores.

So, exactly how long does a torn quad muscle take to heal?  Do I have a chance of finishing the shawl or not?  Frankly, I'm sort of scared to find out.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Holding Pattern Continues

The knitting continues it's holding pattern.

I finally broke down and went to the doctor about my back/leg on Friday.  Doc claimed it to be a pinched sciatic nerve (which I already knew) and a sprained back, which I believe is a much easier way of saying, "I have a weakened back due to an old windsurfing accident, I'm getting old, and I should have known better than to lift a chair over my head & carry it around the house."  I left the doctor's office with a huge dent in my wallet, prescriptions for pain pills, muscle relaxers and some prednisone and an itchy butt due to the Bandaid they gave me after I got a shot for the pain.  I always forget to mention that my trunk seems to be allergic to adhesive.

So here I am on Sunday evening, not much better, but no worse.  The pain pills definitely help me sleep and I'm much more comfortable when resting, but I still can't walk properly.  I'm bent way over so that my head is almost at crotch level, and I have "toe drop" which means that sometimes I can't put my heel down on the floor and some times, I can't lift my toes so that my foot just drags when I walk.  It's quite attractive!  Oh, and my entire leg has gone numb to the touch.  It's very strange because today, it keeps itching, but I can't feel it when I scratch.  It's a VERY strange feeling.  Or lack of feeling.

Between the pain pills and the muscle relaxers, I look like a Heroin addict.  My eyes are a bit glazed & unfocused and I nod off constantly.  I've had to put aside all the knitting projects I had going and have been knitting a simple garter stitch scarf with scrap yarn.  It's been interesting because although I can not, for the life of me, knit in a movie theater, I can apparently knit in my sleep.  I'll start a row, feel myself nodding off and wake up at the end of the row.  And 49 out of every 50 stitches are good ones! I'd like to show you a photo, but the camera is upstairs at the end of the hall and I'm down stairs at the opposite end of the house.  Oddly, walking up the stairs is easy (as long as my toes aren't dragging) but the effort to get to the stairs is rather painful.  Every time I stand up, my thigh & butt get massive muscle spasms and just above my knee feels like it's being squeezed to death while at the same time feeling like it's going to explode from the inside out, plus the sensation of being hit by a lightening bolt and a hot iron, all at the same time.  It's definitely not worth the effort of going in search of the camera.

I am excited to say that our recent heat wave has broken.  We've been hitting temperatures of 103 & 104 almost daily for the last several weeks.  I can not tell you how much fun it is to lay on a heating pad when it's 104F.  I'm also excited that, so far, the horrendous storms that brought the cold front to us have not hit our house.  We've heard some thunder and our temperature has dropped into the mid 80's but that's it.  No wind, no floods, no hail, no tornados.  I thank the Heavens for that.  I was NOT looking forward to dealing with muscle spasms while hiding out in the "tornado room" which is actually a 2 foot by 2 foot bathroom.

Hopefully, the drugs and the bed rest will kick in soon and I'll be back on my feet soon.  Meanwhile, please pardon the typos.  I blame them on the drugs.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On Hold

The blog has been on hold recently due to a variety of things.  We had some massive storms blow through last week which knocked out the power for several days.  We've had lots of experience with surviving natural disasters and are pretty self sufficient, but the recent power outage kicked our family's butts!  Mainly because the storms weren't predicted.  Instead of the 3+ days warning we get for hurricanes, we had about 3 minutes warning.  Which means, we were low on groceries, low on gas for the grill, low on gas for the generator and for the cars.  It's not like us to be caught with our pants down like that.  But the worst part was the heat.  We were experiencing 103 degree days while we experienced the thrill of no air conditioning.

Anyway, there were several days when we didn't have power.  Once the power came back on, it was another day before our internet service was working properly.

Next up was July 1st & I spent the morning getting the car inspected.  The inspection that should have been done in June.  And of course, the car failed.  And boy, was that an experience!  Our normal mechanic couldn't do the inspection so I took the car somewhere else.  Somewhere I'll never go again.  Besides the weird, funky, very unpleasant smell in the place, the staff wasn't exactly friendly & at one point, the receptionist, who happened to be wearing fuzzy lime green bedroom slippers, put her head down on her desk and began to snore.

Anyway, the car failed the inspection and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.  And then my back went out.  I'm still not sure what I did.  I did pick up a rocking chair and carry it through the house, but the back problems didn't start until three or four hours later.  Suddenly, I was getting that wonderful twinge in the lower back when ever I twisted or leaned backwards or forwards, then my favorite sciatic nerve started singing.  Except instead of the pain grabbing my butt muscles & running down the back of my leg like normal, it sent the pain more into my hip area and grabbed the entire front of my thigh.  It's like having a massive charlie horse that never goes away.  On top of the thigh muscle spasms, when I stand up, I can't stand up all the way.  I'm bent way over.

I didn't do the Marvelous Monday post because I was busy with my failed car inspection & back pain pity party.  If I'd have gotten around to writing the post, it probably would have been about how much I appreciate our electric co-op and all they did to get our power restored quickly.

Since Monday, I've pretty much spent my time laying on the couch and moaning.  It takes me an hour to find a comfortable position where the muscle spasms can start to relax then about 15 minutes later, I cough, or reach for my drink and shift slightly or worse, I have to get up for some reason.  Then the spasms come back full force, I try not to cry and go through the whole process of trying to get comfortable again.

Needless to say, I haven't gotten much knitting done.  I've tried, but muscle relaxers aren't very conducive to high speed knitting.  Or blogging apparently.