Monday, January 15, 2007

Pass me a joint...preferably a hip

I’ve been doing a little mourning lately.

Nothing too horrific or heartrending,

Well, yes to the heartrending.

It’s just that I am suspecting that I might be coming to the end of my knitting/spinning activities as my hands are no longer cooperating with the rest of me.

I’ve had issues since I gave birth with my joints. If you’ve ever had kids, you know that your joints loosen up when you’re pregnant. Well, mine got really loose and then never tightened up after I gave birth.

This is something that runs in the women in my family and over the years I’ve had a myriad of reactions from doctors. They have ranged from understanding to complete contempt. I don’t usually go to the emergency room or even to the doctor’s office when I dislocate a joint because it happens so much and I have gotten used to either popping things back into place or having loved ones help me to pop things back into place. Doctor’s don’t think that a “civilian” would have the know how or the stamina to pop their hip back into place, or their shoulder, or their elbow. Having been a paramedic, I know a dislocated joint when I see one. Also, having been a paramedic, I’ll be damned if I’ll let me husband call 911 when I pop my hip out while getting out of our claw tub. A little meditative breathing and occasional screaming and voila! Your joint is back in place!

I only go into the doctor’s when I have gone for a week and the joint is still incredibly painful. Of course, I have immobilizers for every joint stuffed in my closet and the “800 mg of Ibuprofen three times a day” dosage rolls of my tongue, just like the doctor’s. I used to be a little less stubborn about staying away from the doctor’s when it came to dislocation but after four straight MRI’s one year within about five or six months, I said “Enough!” (Oh, and so did my insurance).

But recently I’ve been having trouble with “trigger finger”. It started when I woke up with a dislocated thumb. I went to the orthopedist and got a cortisone shot and it got better. Then, two fingers on the other hand started “catching” and I couldn’t move them without help from my other hand. The doc said that people with carpal tunnel often have this problem and it’s true, I was diagnosed with it many moons ago but it’s never been too bad.

Now, the light is dawning. I don’t think it’s being caused by carpal tunnel, I think my fingers are starting to suffer with the same issues the rest of my body has had for the last decade or so. My reason for thinking this? My fingers are now starting to dislocate at the slightest provocation. When I have a joint dislocate for the first time, it hurts like double hell. After that, it only hurts like single hell but I start to get kinda pissed about it. As I was grating cheese last week, I felt an awful pain and when I looked down, one of my fingers looked like I had developed a sudden case of rheumatoid arthritis. Looking at it, it’s almost like it isn’t even a part of my body. Until, that is, I grab it, pull, and snap it back into place. That’s when I realize it is indeed a part of my body.

So, I’ve been parceling out my knitting lately. Not too much at any one time. There have been a couple of occasions when I almost popped a finger out as I was knitting and I know that once I do that, I’ll probably put the knitting down for quite awhile.

Since I have two spinning wheels and it hurts to use even one, I’ve been trying to sell one of them. I had a lady come and look at it and she acted like I was trying to put something over on her when I said that I was having trouble spinning because my hands hurt. I really wish I could have leaned over and totally popped about three fingers out of joint in her face and calmly explained “I’m not kidding lady”.

I have community ed classes coming up that I need to teach but I think they will be my last for awhile. I have the fiber retreat coming up but thankfully there are three wonderful teachers lined up and I won’t HAVE to do anything.

It all comes down to the question, what do I do next? I liked making my own soap but unlike my belief that you can never have enough knitted items, I believe a pantry full of homemade soap is sufficient. Plus, making soap is neat, but it doesn’t do “it” for me.

My hands actually got worse when I spent a couple days cutting squares for quilting. Maybe I’ll try to sew for awhile? Not a lot of quilting, just sewing. Perhaps I’ll start here

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