Thursday, October 22, 2009

FAQ #5

"Why you?"

Nobody is sure why I had this stroke. We do know that my left carotid artery tore and a clot formed which blocked the blood flowing to my brain. In other words, this wasn't to do with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. My neurologist said from the time of the tear to the time of the stroke was probably not more than a week. I had no trauma the week before my stroke, so it seems to have been a spontaneous rupture.

Everyone laughs when I say this, but being out of commission was really a good break for me. Even now, I am forced to take everything more slowly and be satisfied (thrilled, actually) with what little I can accomplish. Additionally, I had been craving some silent time for a while now. Seriously though: I don't want to speak for them, but I know for sure that some of my nurses and therapists, and my family as well, got something out of this experience beyond what a "normal" stroke patient would give. And that's enough reason for me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

FAQ #4

For real this time . . .

"Do you have all your capabilities back?"

I can

knit like a pro
recite Shakespeare
play simple things on the violin
hop on my right foot if I flap like a chicken
"jog" in a limping way if I lift my knees high
multiply a two-digit number by a one-digit number in my head
press 60 pounds with my right leg
stand unassisted in the shower
say "stand unassisted in the shower" on my first try
use a can opener
flip pancakes
throw a tantrum
type 20 words per minute
play a bit of piano
tie my shoes
make a ponytail
teach violin
read Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss (out loud)
write approximately 10 words per minute of variable legibility
drive an automatic (haven't tried the stick)

This is not an exhaustive list, but you can see that although I don't have my former skill set, it seems to be coming back. It's a long road--longer than I realized at first. But my family is very supportive, and I've already come a long way.


When I first started knitting my brother Jerome suggested I knit myself a pair of tights. No way! I said. That would take forever!

Nine years later, I find the perfect yarn for tights and just can't resist:

I "cleverly" joined a second ball of yarn so the stripes wouldn't get narrower at my Widest Part. My Widest Part is considerably wider than the rest of me, so this was a good move. Here I've knit most of the top part of the tights. Just a couple of inches before I divide for the legs!

I am also designing a Useful Something to give as a gift. I'm just working out ideas here. Yarn is Unique Sheep cotton in Shardenim.

It's not an Exciting Implement, but I think it's beautiful.

In other knitting news, the lace stole for Gwen's dance teacher is done. Was done a long time ago. Boy, are you sorry I didn't post pictures. It's breathtaking. I just . . . forgot. Maybe she'll wear it when it cools off and she'll model for me. IF it ever cools off. . . .

I have to say, though, for once I did a good job of choosing who gets my handknits. After years of going unappreciated I determined to knit only for myself and the kids. Then this woman not only admired my knitting but told me she wears shawls all the time! Needless to say, I fell for the bait. She keeps the stole by her bed, waiting to feel chilly. Her teenage daughter sometimes fingers it longingly. Ah! It's good to be loved.

FAQ #4

"Do you have all your capabilities back?"

Oh, ha, ha, oh ha ha ha, ha ha ha, oh ha!