Friday, November 19, 2010

The Busy Season and the Bad, Bad Knees

A few minutes ago, I picked up the beret I was knitting and stitched my way about one-fourth of a round. Suddenly I realized that my cables had disappeared. I had turned over the hat and stitched on the wrong side. I took out the errant stitches and decided it was time for a break. I've been knitting furiously for days. Yesterday I finished an earflap cap in organic cotton, then immediately started a bright beret in Noro Silk Garden and Silk Garden Lite. When I finished the beret, I wanted to line up work for today, and I grabbed a ball of Kureyon and began the band for another beret.

That's the pace I've been keeping. This is my busy season and I want to have plenty of beautiful pieces on my table at the Market and in my Etsy store, as well as my custom pieces for Larues. It makes my heart swell to see a piece turn out better than I imagined, and I've vowed to only produce things that I love. Unfortunately, if I keep running my body like a machine, I'll end up with tendinitis and have to take a prolonged rest instead of this morning break.

Last night I struggled with my plans for the remainder of the season. I had hoped to sell at the Market weekly until the middle of December, but the first two weekends wore me down a good bit and pointed out the severe difficulty with my arthritic knees. I've written a good many "doctor notes" advising people to stop activities that are not good for their conditions, but I can't afford to have one for myself right now. I can only pay my bills if I add handiwork to Social Security. I'll have to keep working on opportunities to sell my work that don't involve lugging many pounds of heavy equipment, loading it in and out of my car, setting up and taking down my equipment and products and the long hours in the booth doing customer service (my favorite part of market sales).

With this disease, I find myself compromising at times. Take the knees. For more than a month I've endured the severe pain and difficulty standing and walking. I didn't want them injected with steroids because I know the effect it has on my metabolism and weight. Finally, last week I gave in and started a hefty steroid taper, taking my prednisone up to 40 mg daily and gradually bringing it down over two weeks. If I had been in town I could have gone to my rheumatologist for intraarticular injections, but I was out of town and had to settle for increasing steroids orally. My knees are better and I'm not hollering when I stand up. It makes me much better company. The compromise is in dealing with side effects. Makes me want to growl.

Today is lesson day. The two young girls that I am teaching will be over after school. It's good incentive for me to do some picking up. I can get so focused on work that my home (which is my workplace) is neglected. My Hoover could use a bit of work.

Today I'm writing about such ordinary stuff that I wonder why it should be here. My life is ordinary with the usual hassles that affect everyone. They don't go away because I have lupus or because I'm neck-deep in a new creative venture. Sometimes I'd like to daydream them away. Hah.


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