Stanford Radiology
Wednesday July 07th 2010, 8:50 pm
Filed under: Knit,Life,Wildlife

She appeared to be his caretaker. Wife? And honey, she was pretty but she looked tired.

He was maybe in his 40’s, happy as a clam and very extroverted.  He greeted whoever moved and thereby caught his eye: How ya doin’!  He told the woman with him all about the fish in the wall aquarium they were looking at.  I don’t think I ever saw him sit. He was all about being up and lively and chattering away.

It was striking how she seemed patient but resigned. Not upset, more like a mom at the museum stuck with her small child in tow after the babysitter bailed. Because as the minutes went on, watching her watching him, I think I understood–when he turned and saw me looking his way as I reached into my knitting bag to pull another length of yarn, I got a happy, How ya doin’!  too: in the way of a small child, utterly harmless. I got an impression of lack of memory and of a soul distilled to its essence.  Its goodness.

I thought, if you’re going to have a brain injury, a cheerful one seems to me a very good one to have. But I did not ask.

They called his name and he went back for his scan alone while she got a few minutes to herself.

One of the nurses who popped out the door to call off names, the second time I saw her, took a moment to come over and comment on my knitting before disappearing again. Later, she came out again and talked a little more. She mentioned a local yarn store. When I said I’d heard Louise had had a stroke and had sold the shop, she brightened–so I did know the place!– and told me how sweet the new owner was. I confessed to not having been in in awhile; I tend to go to my favorite, Purlescence.

Which was a new one to her. I didn’t think (I was on Benedryl!) to give the context, in case she might be a longtime knitter like me, that it was in the former Carolea’s Knitsche. So I’m writing it here in case she sees this; I gave her my blog addy.

She said something tentatively that–I was sure I heard “Stitches” and it was! Oh yes, I know about Stitches, I signed books there! (Been going since Tess, the namesake of Tess Designer Yarns, was a preschooler, and she’s in her early 20’s now.)

You know what the result of all this is: I couldn’t put down my knitting. I had cast on and done maybe three rows before leaving home, and there I was growing it as fast as possible for showing off.  No reading my Newsweek for a hands break, no way.  Knit knit knit! On this cool idea I’d had a month earlier, when I’d bought the Camelspin at–of course–Purlescence.

I was trying to figure out the details of a new pattern for it while on Benedryl. Dumb, but that’s what motivated me so I did it.  I made it look terribly complicated, counting stitches, running my hands through my hair, tinking back stitch by stitch over and over, wondering why something so easy wasn’t intuitive–DUH! It’s the drug, stupid–making slow progress  anyway.

It’s not finished but it’s a goodly way along and I am very pleased. And very pleased to be nearly done. Post-Pred crash tomorrow and then that is that and it’s a race to see which is completed first.

One other thing: a couple came in and as the woman’s name was called, I looked up as she passed me and I smiled and wished her good luck.  She relaxed at that and smiled too for the first time.  A few minutes later, as she and her sweetheart were leaving, she turned before the doorway and called across the small waiting room to me, “Good luck to you too!”

Totally made my day. And you know? It was that cheerful man before, whom she’d arrived too late to see, who’d set the tone so that I felt comfortable speaking up like that.

Richard left work early to take me home. (To be fair to him, he’d offered to stay with me but hey, he works just up the street anyway.) There was a box waiting at our door.  Who…? The Sibley Guide to Birds and The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, hardback, even, with love from Dad.

My folks had no idea I had been seriously coveting those very books. Those exact ones. I couldn’t justify them, I hadn’t bought them, and now here they are anyway.  Wow.

I tell you. I have the best parents ever. And they have perfect timing.  Speaking of which, and? My friend Debbie, who lives near where my Dad grew up, emailed me pictures yesterday of what she’d seen while birding over the weekend.

Dad? Pelicans in Nevada? You never told me that!

10 Comments so far
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Glad there were some positives in there :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 07.07.10 @ 10:03 pm

Glad you just have Thursday to get through now. I’m glad all went well. I LOVE the colors of the Stanford Project. Is Camelspin as soft as it looks? “Camel” doesn’t sound soft to me… LOL

Comment by Mary 07.08.10 @ 12:17 am

Love this post. The young man was “blooming where he is planted”.

I’ve been reading your blog long enough to know you have wonderful parents and you are so fortunate to have such thoughtful parents.

Tess Designs………..I must get back there. It’s a beautiful yarn shop. Made a great purchase last time I was there.

Comment by Joansie 07.08.10 @ 5:27 am

There’s a full day for you! Smiles, scans and surprises. 🙂

I hope you keep finding joy with your new pattern.

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 07.08.10 @ 5:59 am

What lovely gifts – the books, incredible parents, waiting room joy, connecting with another knitter… I’m glad to see others stepped in to refill your well so you can keep on giving, even when you’re prescriptionally impaired.

Comment by Channon 07.08.10 @ 6:54 am

Ah, my favorite bird book, too. I bought it for my in-laws first. A bird store in Texas told me that I didn’t need a Texas bird book for them, I needed Sibley’s because all North American birds migrate through lower Texas (where the in-laws, themselves, wintered).

Then we bought our lake house, and I found I needed a bird book, too.

Have fun finding new “friends” in Sibley’s!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 07.08.10 @ 8:28 am

those books look wonderful — I know what you mean about not being able to justify buying something — how awesome that your folks just tuned in to what you were wanting

the knitting looks great — love the color!

Comment by Bev 07.08.10 @ 8:55 am

Some parents are just tuned in, you know. Making decisions while drugged just not the easiest way to go, but you already knew that.

Alison, I just couldn’t resist this one bit of humor —

When he received a journal as a gift, the eight year old son was mystified. “Mom, what am I supposed to do with this? The pages are blank.” “You write down interesting stuff that happens to you,” replied his mother. “So it’s like a blog — on paper.”

Comment by Don Meyer 07.08.10 @ 9:52 am

@Mary – yes, camel is VERY soft, even in situ. I have ridden camels, and was surprised that their wool is as soft on the animal as it is in fabric. I am used to sheep where you have to scour out oils and veg matter and whatnot before you get to really feel the fiber.

Comment by Margo Lynn 07.08.10 @ 9:52 am

Margo Lynn, thanks for the info. Very interesting. I never would have thought a camel was soft!

Comment by Mary 07.08.10 @ 10:50 am

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