Posts Tagged ‘hospitals’

To paraphrase John Lennon: Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. And so it has been this way for me these last two weeks. While everyone came through the latest hospital stint okay, I nevertheless feel like I am on the Titanic knowing the iceberg is coming. One of these times it’s going to be full on disaster.

Dad was the sick one this time. Four hours in the emergency room sans knitting was a little rough on my nerves. Dad is stoic. Mom is high maintenance. My role is to portray calm, patience and acceptance in order to keep her from spinning out of control. The more anxious she becomes, the more calm I need to be.

Knitting helps me get to those states and stay there for long periods of time when things are unsettled and people around me are wired up. It is a meditative craft. Repetitive motions, recurring mantras of knit 2, yo, slip, slip knit. Easy words that become comforting sounds inside my head. Knitting is a powerful soothing process.

So when I realized I had left my knitting back at the house, the hair on the back of my neck rose briefly and I almost felt panic. Instantly I decided to knit in my mind. My fingers made small knitting motions while I recited the movements in my head. My heart rate lowered, my breath moved in and out calmly. I was able to carry on normal conversation with my parents, doctors and nurses, gathering the medical information I needed as we steered by the passing iceberg.

Another plus for mind knitting? No ripping back.

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I’ve been a bit quiet lately. It’s not that I haven’t been knitting. I’ve been knitting so much over the last 6 days that I could have completed a nice sweater for a T Rex. If it looked like yarn and it didn’t move it turned to knitting on my needles. This is what I do when the stress level in my life rises far above my comfort zone.

Mom was in the hospital the last 6 days. It was a sudden kind of thing and when I got the call the first thing I did as I ran out the door was grab the knitting bag. Since I know my family well, and I know how things in life can go down hill as fast as a sled on ice, I keep a prepacked knitting bag handy. Inside the bag is everything I need to meet whatever stress level I will achieve while dealing with the emergency. This time the bag held two sock patterns, a shawl pattern, needles, yarns, and crochet hook.

One sock pattern was for low to medium stress. The pattern was moderately challenging, requiring some attention, but not enough where I couldn’t monitor medical equipment, changes in mom’s condition, or repeatedly put it down mid-knit to speak with nurses (nice people), or in that very, very rare instance a doctor, and not be able to pick up the sock again and easily continue on in pattern.

The second sock pattern in the bag was an ICU type knit. It required no mental attention from me, something just to keep my hands busy so I can’t strangle the doctor when and if he ever does appear. I can easily monitor all medical equipment, keep current with the medical charts and closely monitor changes in the patient.

The third project in the bag is a shawl. It too requires no mental attention from me, except to turn the work at the end of each row. This is for the long, arduous trek. The hospital stay that may not end well.

When I got to the hospital and assessed the situation I realized that sock number one was the appropriate project for the situation. After 3 days and no doctor visit, my mother’s condition worsened and sock number one wasn’t quite controlling my desire to seek out her elusive doctor and drag his sorry self to her bedside. The woman hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink (per doctor’s orders) in 72 hours and now both her blood pressure and blood sugar levels were going off. Yes, her doctor had time to deny her food and fluids but not enough time to step in the room and see her and start treatment.

On day 5, I changed to sock number two. I walked through the halls knitting and to the head of the hospital’s office. I know his secretary very well. The hospital head and my friend were horrified at what was going on especially since the remedy was simple. Alas, the head of the hospital said he had “no control” over the doctor’s that worked there. Really? That’s when I paused my knitting and nicely put it in my bag. With the knitting now out of my hands I crossed over into a feral state.

I resembled a mama woodchuck protecting one of her woodchucklets. I believe I might have even bared my teeth. Before I could walk the entire hospital back to my mother’s room (a small hike like the Appalachia Trail), navigate through the mental health patients that are permitted outside their wing and who love to stop people and chat about all kinds of interesting things (why do you walk and knit? How do you tell someone on a mental health wing I walk and knit so I don’t strangle my mother’s doctor and make it sound sane?), the doctor had been “in” and “seen” my mother and ordered treatment.

They released her on day 6. Her release coincided perfectly with the severe thunderstorms and their down pours and damaging winds. Flooded roads, downed trees, and an entire block of electricity poles knocked down like they were toothpicks and still I got her home and myself home safely.

I feel a giant yarn binge coming on as a sort of celebration.

Have a great weekend.

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