Overdid it and worth every stitch
Tuesday February 03rd 2009, 8:18 pm
Filed under: Crohn's flare,Knit

Yesterday’s nurse was back again this morning, looking tired, whereas yesterday she had been totally chipper and brightened my day.  I had a two-skein scarf going for whoever it was going to turn out to be for, and it was quickly clearly for her. So that’s what I did today.

No pureed foods after all, meantime. I admitted to the surgical team that the clear liquids had hurt, so they had me stick with them for now (oh joy). Broth and this super-sweet lemon fizz stuff you could use for a glucose tolerance test, and sorry, Nancy, but I despise Jello.  I actually do eat a ritual half square’s worth when they bring it, trying to see if it’s any better this time.  It is not.

So having that yarn to retreat to helped.

But my abdomen was hurting and I kept knitting anyway–I wanted it finished by shift change.

And I managed it. I’ve been resting since I gave it to her, and I’m doing better.

The important thing is, she was thrilled. She was totally blown away. “Now I own a scarf!” as she wrapped it around her. I explained that if she rinsed it and laid it out flat it would come out about a third longer and flatter, but she was perfectly happy.   Thrilled.  “You didn’t have to do that!” (A little medical tape to wrap the yarn label in a circle around the scarf–I thought that was a nice touch.)

I have two more balls of that same yarn left.  Two days to knit a scarf out of it at hospital pace. We’ll see how I do.

The 25 staples come out ten days post-surgery.  I look very Frankensteined down there.

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Now I understand–the words stitches has only really good connotations for you because they stapled you shut! Try not to over do it, but if you must, be sure you’re overdoing it in something that is ultimately healing, as this scarf was for you and for your nurse. And don’t feel bad about not liking jello. It’s nothing like my poor father in law, who is allergic to chocolate. Now that’s a real tragedy.

Comment by LauraN 02.03.09 @ 8:26 pm

There you are, spreading God’s love in the hospital. Remember the hymn that confused my mother when she was a child – “Brighten the Corner Where You Are”? (She thought they were singing “Right in the corner where you are!”)

Have a happy evening and a restful night. Oh, and if you don’t know it’s not bad getting staples out. Just a bit of a tug now and then.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 02.03.09 @ 8:27 pm

Good Heavens! You had the surgery, and you make the nurse feel better! Having been hospitalized a few times myself, I have learned that hospital food is, um, not very good, be it liquid, semi-liquid or solid.

On to today’s humor.
The following is a funny and purported-to-be-true story shared by KC Williams who teaches AP Government at Santa Fe High School.

In one of KC’s classes, they were discussing the qualifications to be president of the United States.
They are pretty simple: The candidate must be a natural born citizen and at least 35 years of age.
One girl in the class immediately started complaining about how unfair the requirement to be a natural born 
citizen was.
In short, her opinion was that this requirement prevented many capable individuals from becoming president.
KC and the class were just taking it in and letting her rant, but everyone’s jaw hit the floor when she wrapped up her argument by stating, “What makes a natural born citizen any more qualified to lead this country than one born by c-section?”

Comment by Don Meyer 02.03.09 @ 8:36 pm

Don, you always make me laugh!

Comment by AlisonH 02.03.09 @ 8:39 pm

Jello — bleech but green jello in particular — ICK ICK ICK BLEECH!!!! And what jello have they tried to get me to eat every single time in the hospital – yep icky green….

Barbara-Kay — you mean is isn’t “Right in the corner where you are” Darn ….. LOL

Comment by rho1640 02.03.09 @ 8:41 pm

oh and love seeing your punny sense of humor back – 😀

Comment by rho1640 02.03.09 @ 8:42 pm

I’m so glad to hear your knitting. You’ve had me worried. You have handled this with unbelivable grace and courage.

Comment by debra 02.03.09 @ 8:43 pm

Good to hear you returning to normal a little bit more in each post. Although perhaps you could slow down a tad? There’s no rush, woman!

I see scars as medals of honour and one that’s 25 staples long is plenty honourable. Got two of ’em myself – shall we start a club? 😉

p.s. with you on the Jell-O. Yech.

Comment by Lene 02.03.09 @ 9:12 pm

Glad to hear you can get your hands back on your yarn! I can picture Richard bringing your needles in to you. Hope the second scarf goes as well as the first. Keeping you in my thoughts & prayers. Love ya!

Comment by Amy 02.03.09 @ 10:02 pm

Me two, or is it three on the jello front. Can’t stand the stuff, never have. You continue to amaze me. Please take it easy, and get home soon or the entire hospital staff will be wrapped in scarves. 🙂

Comment by sonya 02.03.09 @ 10:06 pm

You are amazing, truly.

Comment by Renna 02.03.09 @ 10:19 pm


Comment by Mary 02.03.09 @ 10:22 pm

I know what you mean about the staples, too. After my Dad’s kidney transplant, he looked like he’d had a zipper installed. Oh well, you can always tell people you’re starting your own office supply store. And your pain med button? Call it the “Easy Button”…

Rest well. <3

Comment by Linda L. in WI 02.03.09 @ 10:39 pm

Oops! I misread when the staples come out when I answered you. Wishful thinking maybe? :o)

I love Jello, but usually only when I make it myself. I always add a little more water than asked for. I like Jello to be soft and slurpable. Yum! I like orange best. Very refreshing! Green not so much.

Is there a reason why liquids cause abdominal pain? The small intestine objecting to being stretched out maybe? Interesting symptom. Hope it goes away soon!

Like I said, take your time with the knitting. You have plenty of it now, thank you God!

Love & Hugs & Prayers

Comment by Gretchen 02.03.09 @ 10:50 pm

Alison- they can glue the oxygen sensor to your big toe. Leaves the fingers free for knitting. Just saying. Your clear liquids remind me of my time spent in the hospital for a GI bleed. First, I argued that coffee was clear, and it was a liquid, soooo. I got nowhere with that. Second, I was NPO and got a whole pitcher of ice water by mistake. I stood up to pour it down the sink, and…drank the whole thing. SO I went over to the wall, turned up the suction on my NG tube, and sucked it all back out. My nurse yelled at me, anyway, for some reason. (guilty grin). I think I made the nurses kind of tired.

Comment by Laura 02.03.09 @ 11:33 pm

Just a couple of days post op and you’re back to Alison-ing people! That’s the most convicing proof that you’re on your way to recovery. 🙂

Comment by AmyS 02.03.09 @ 11:35 pm

You rock, despite all your pain you knitted something for her.
You’re my hero.

Comment by Mari 02.04.09 @ 12:04 am

Hospital Jello…green and yellow…its alive some say…just disgusting I bray….Red is cherry?…but I prefer berry!

Bad rap.

Wait’ll they put on steri-strips after they take out the staples! Then you’ll be glued shut with personal “strapping tape”. (Something to look forward to! Oh joy!)

Better start drinking them out of cranberry juice. Just ask and they’ll bring some (Sibley did anyway). It is a ‘clear liquid’ and so is apple juice–icky sweet that isn’t as bad as lemon fizz, I think. Fizz can cause bloat and pain just from bubbles. Maybe anti-gas stuff can ease the transition back to non-icky ‘real food’.

Just think of the staples this way: you are so tough they had to use metal to hold you together! And these railroad tracks are better then braces–they are your badge of honor for being so tough.

Keep smiling. 🙂 Just no laughing w/o a pillow to hug. 😀

Comment by Karen 02.04.09 @ 12:15 am

conratualations sweet Alison, you finished the scarf. You gave some joy to someone, now you can rest. Rest now and do more knitting soon.

Comment by Vicki 02.04.09 @ 3:42 am

As a former nurse having patients like you always brightened my day no matter how badly it started out:-)
Also KAren is right, the lemon fizz stuff will cause gas and inturn until your gut is working well will cause some pain so it is def better to stick with apple or cranberry juice. Not only that the cranberry will help to flush out your kidneys and bladder.
It is so womderful to hear your sense of humor coming through once again!!
Continue to heal quickly and feel better 🙂

Comment by Danielle from SW MO 02.04.09 @ 5:04 am

Not only knitting, but knitting as an act of love! You really are on your way back! How utterly wonderful.

Now praying for continued healing!

Comment by Pegi 02.04.09 @ 5:16 am

Making that scarf was part of the healing process…knit on my dear!

Comment by Betsy 02.04.09 @ 5:37 am

Alison, you set such a great example for all of us. I would have loved to have seen that nurse’s reaction when you gave her the scarf. What a special gift and I bet you really made her day and then some.
Glad to hear that you seem to be progressing along back to good health. I’m sure the knitting has a soothing, healing effect.

Comment by Joansie 02.04.09 @ 5:51 am

I laughed when I read the Yarn Harlot today. All her 4.5mm are missing … and you confess to having oodles of circulars…. Hmmm. I suppose you have a good alibi.

As for the discussion on Jello, I recall EVERY gathering in childhood had Jello and there was always some one-upmanship involved. Most novel or exotic mix, or bizarre mold. Recently my mother sent me a recipe for meatloaf that called for gelatine. There’s no escape!

Comment by LynnM 02.04.09 @ 6:01 am

I’ve got a “staple” story for you. My friend Corinne delivered her first child by emergency ceasarean section, so her doctor simply scheduled surgery for the second delivery. Corinne told me that she could have the incision closed with staples or stitches. She was leaning toward the staples, which would hurt a lot less, but her husband was insisting on stitches, which would leave less of a scar. I was still trying to imagine her husband being so shallow as to care about the scar (and failing completely) when she added, “He says refuses to spend the rest of his life listening to me complain about how ugly the scar is.” He was a smart guy.

Comment by LauraN 02.04.09 @ 6:01 am

Wow, Alison! There’s nobody like you. Happy to hear that everything is “well”.

Comment by Monica 02.04.09 @ 6:11 am

I am going to put my concerned-for-you friend hat on and tell you outright (yell at me later, when you’re home!) that you need to rest more. PLEASE. Major surgery like that is such a huge thing on the body, pain meds can deceive you into feeling better than you are, and pain while having liquids is trying to give you a message.
Please rest more. Everyone and everything including the long-awaited humira seem to be doing their job, and you have to do your job and let your body heal.

End of admonishment. I’m allowing you one row of knitting per hour.

Comment by karin 02.04.09 @ 6:20 am

You go, Alison! Knittin’ is therapy as they say, but the ultimate is in the giving as YOU well know. 🙂

I know staples yikes. I feel your pain as I’ve been stapled, clamp ringed, taped-n-glued and stitched… good things everyone. 😉

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 02.04.09 @ 6:24 am

I can’t do Jello either, which annoys hospital staff (because I only like chicken broth too), and my inlaws, who believe that a “salad” for a holiday buffet is a gelatin mold thing… Shiver!

I’m so glad you’re recovered enough to get back to knitting and sharing your “wares”!

Comment by Channon 02.04.09 @ 6:49 am

So glad you’re feeling better. So glad you’re back to “gifting to those in need”. Our prayers are still with you.

Comment by Laura 02.04.09 @ 6:55 am

Chuckling. My father-in-law would not eat “nervous pudding” either, when he was in the hospital. Keep on, keeping on.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 02.04.09 @ 7:51 am

Alison, what pattern are you knitting for the scarves/shawl? Is it one in your book, or are you making it up as you go?

We still have Stanford’s staples. I think there are 27 of them. When the doctor took them out, we were commenting on how amazing it is that they can use staples. He told of one girl who had two staples from some laproscopic procedure, only they were covered with sterile dressing, so she didn’t realize they were staples, not stitches. When he went to take them out, she was really shocked and disgusted by the idea of staples in her. The funny thing is, she had eyebrow rings, a tongue stud, a belly button ring, and numerous other piercings.

Comment by Joyce in NH 02.04.09 @ 7:55 am

I check on you every day and am so glad to see posts from you. Hospitals are not a good place to be no matter how nice everyone is. I’ve been spending a lot of time there with my DH during the past year. I don’t know how you choose one person to gift since there are always so many involved. How do you choose?

Please rest and take care of yourself.
Judy from the East coast.

Comment by Judy Foldi 02.04.09 @ 8:33 am

I don’t know what’s better the fact that you are knitting or the fact that you are blogging. Scratch that, I know which one is better for me. :):)

Comment by Michelle 02.04.09 @ 8:43 am

Red Jello is the only kind worth eating! And don’t popsicles fall under the heading of clear liquid? Don’t knit so much that you wear yourself out and have to stay in the hospital longer. Another thank you prayer goes up today.

Comment by shadylady1216 02.04.09 @ 9:10 am

I am hearing that the popular way to ingest jello is in the form of jello shooters. And the vodka in them would help to disinfect all kinds of things. Not likely, though? And jello shooters would make your knitting look all funny.

Comment by Gigi 02.04.09 @ 9:22 am

You are being yourself already… please don’t overdo it, though you must be overjoyed to be back in your swing of things.

Clear liquids, that’s a drag, but it’s better than being as sick as you were a few weeks ago. Too bad about the Jello, but do what they say and you’ll heal well. And that’s the whole point.

Sometimes “food” is medicine and this is one of those times. Been there. It won’t last forever.

That’s a lot of staples. Glad you’re healing.

Love you.

Comment by LynnH 02.04.09 @ 10:15 am

Wow, you’re sounding great! Super! Now, it will be 10 days until they can ‘frog’ you — rip it, rip it, rip it! Please don’t laugh without a pillow on your tummy. It’s so easy to find ‘knitting’ terminology in everyday life and people don’t even know it. Only the ‘knitters’ among know! Love, Nancy W.

Comment by Nancy 02.04.09 @ 10:33 am

Perhaps the medical community should
do a study about the healing powers
of knitting!!! 🙂

Comment by Sue H 02.04.09 @ 10:41 am

You are a dear soul. I’m sure that nurse was touched deeply. I am glad to hear you are progressing slowly and steadily.

Also, can’t they move your pulse ox meter to a toe so you can have your finger free?

Comment by Momo Fali 02.04.09 @ 10:44 am

Wow! You sound great! And you’re knitting! The universe is in synch again. Keep up the good healing work!


Comment by Robin 02.04.09 @ 1:28 pm

You are amazing Alison! Sending virtual hugs (I’m sure real ones hurt about now!).


Comment by Romi 02.04.09 @ 2:00 pm

Alison, I am so glad you’re re-emerging and knitting. I’d say take it easy but that would make me a hypocrite because I know I sort of manically knit when not well, too.

And, btw, jello is sadly lacking in pleasantness for me, too. I was in the hospital lots as a kid and wonder if jello every really stood a chance for me after that LOL. Hugs, and fibery happiness to you. Hang in there!

Comment by farm-witch 02.04.09 @ 2:13 pm

Amazing progress, and just as amazing spirit! I’m so happy you’re able to knit. Knit a row for me while my shoulder rests with impingement. I’m with you on Jello, but clear liquids are good. Keep up the good progress, and we’ll keep up the prayers.

Comment by shellyh 02.04.09 @ 2:14 pm

You are such a magician for smiles! Though I want to shake my head (you really should concentrate on healing), I think that if I was in your situation, some knitting would also be done…

Still saying my thanks for your recovery and praying everything keeps getting better.

Is Richard getting some rest while you knit? 😉

Comment by Suzanne 02.04.09 @ 4:53 pm

Hospitol jello has no taste to it.lol Iam glad to hear you are feeling well enough to knit:) Iam staying off my feet as well and going to let hubby run my errands as yesterday I over did it.How sweet of you to make that young ladies day so special when you are sick in the hospitol you are such a special gal.(((((Alison)))))Darcy

Comment by Darcy 02.04.09 @ 4:58 pm

It’s a good thing you are there to take care of the patients in the hospital. Do the drs and nurses know what’s going on yet???!!! lol
25. ow. honey, take care.
pillowy hug!

Comment by marcy 02.04.09 @ 9:06 pm

OOOooOOO clear diet!

Does that mean you get Picture of Chicken Soup?

A buddy of mine went in for gall bladder complications during her 6th month of pregnancy. They put her on a clear diet of course. She said the soup did not taste like chicken, it tasted like a 6 year old drew a picture of a chicken then the picture was dipped into hot water one or twice and served forth.

(tune- Stars and Stripes Forever)

Be kind to your fair feathered friends
for a duck may be somebody’s brother
be kind to our friends in teh swamp
where the weather is always damp
you may think that this is teh end,
well it is!

Comment by Catherine mad knitter 02.05.09 @ 12:37 pm

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