06 September 2010

Baby Cardigan Craze!

Now that both gift recipients have received their gifts, I can safely post this. To be fair, I don't think either of them are regular readers of my blog, but just to be on the safe side, I'd hate to have the surprise spoiled.

Both of these friends were classmates of mine in my master's programme, and I was really happy for them when I found out they were expecting babies this year. I know they'll make excellent parents, and I hope I get the meet the recent additions some day. The chances of meeting Lilliam's daughter are much greater since she lives in Philly, but since Ferdman now lives in Las Vegas where he's hard at work studying to be a doctor, I'm not sure when I'll get to meet his daughter.

The cardigan I did for both baby girls was the same pattern, but I did them in different fibres. Lilliam's girl got a 100% cotton cardigan (Blue Sky Skinny Cotton in pink), while Ferdman's girl got a superwash wool (Lorna's Laces in Douglas Fir). Both yarns were acquired at Loop, as were the buttons for both cardigans.

The pattern is the Peaches and Cream Cardigan by Sandy Scoville, which was.. okay. I made several changes to the pattern as written because I found the pattern cumbersome. It wanted me to pick up stitches from the side and start the sleeve, but I decided to do the sleeves and them just seam the on. There were also several errors in the pattern, such as how many stitches to cast on and which rows to repeat. I also found the wording for the shaping to be unnecessarily clumsy.

Despite all this, I'm quite pleased with the results.

03 September 2010

Health Update (again)

I saw the PM&R specialist again yesterday (aka: the hip doctor). He's the guy who told me over the phone that I had managed to tear some cartilage in my hip joint. Well, in person, apparently, you get MUCH more information. In addition to the torn hip cartilage, I also have a retroverted femoral head. This means that the ball part of the ball-and-socket hip joint is torqued back out of the joint. In my case, it's not completely out of the joint, which is why I can still walk, climb stairs, etc., but it's why I have a lot of pain, I can hear a "click" every time I take a step, and why I have to be careful with how I move (such as getting into/out of cars certain ways).

Based on his physical examination (which consists of him moving my leg in painful ways and then asking "Does that hurt?" Oh, really? You couldn't tell by the way I just grimaced and yelled "Yaaah!!"), he's also not convinced that I might not have a slight hernia or a pulled/strained abdominal muscle. Keep in mind that this is all the same issue that started in early November. Yes, that's right - ten months ago now that I've been in pain and have had limited range of motion (ROM) of my left hip. It's awesome.

So we're going to try four weeks of physiotherapy. He's officially recommending three times a week, but he's mindful of my unemployment situation and said that he feels I'm intelligent enough (ha!) to go in once a week, learn the exercises, and do them at home the rest of the week. And the idea is that every week the exercises will increase my ROM and decrease the pain. If it doesn't, he wants to do another MRI to look for a hernia or abdominal issue. At that time, we'll also consider steroid injections.

My PCP and I discussed this, and we decided to hold off on the second opinion (from an orthopod), which we had been leaning toward since the PM&R doctor had seemed kind of lackadaisical the last time I had spoken to him on the telephone. But now that he seems to have a more specific plan and has given me more information, we feel more confident with him.

My PCP asked me what his plan was in the event that I have a hernia, and I told her that I hadn't asked. She told me that I'm most likely looking at surgery. Awesome. Can't wait.

But the best part of the exam? When I was lying on the table, face up, fully-clothed, he's pressing on me (just above my groin), and says, "Bear down as if you're having a bowel movement, BUT DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE ONE!!!" (Yes, he actually said that last part with urgency in his voice.) And it made me wonder what had happened that made him learn to add that part with such urgency in his voice. I mean, believe me when I tell you that I certainly had no plans on having a bowel movement in his office, in my clothes, with both him and his resident staring at me. But I fully believe that someone else must have in the past, yes?