A Few Days Off

I woke up so much in pain today – still getting over my flight(s) from Harrisburg, my teaching (lots of fun, but LOTS of students) and just – life.

Burrito Kitty

Farewell Shiloh

As I was laying in bed, feeling rather sorry for myself (oh, poor me…) the phone rang.  A kind woman had found our cat, Shiloh, laying in the grass by the sidewalk at Lexington and Lincoln, panting and in bad shape.  He wasn’t visibly hurt, he just seemed – odd.

So she read his tag and called us.  By the time we ran there, he was gone.  Hit by a car?  We don’t know.  RIP, Shiloh.

We haven’t let Nitro (our newest cat) outside since we got her last year, and we won’t be letting any other cats out until we move away from Lexington. It’s just too busy of a street.

Shiloh was, however, the type of cat who would rip out any screen to GET outside if we didn’t let him go. It’s that perpetual dilemma – a long boring life, or a shorter life filled with cat fun.

So I’m going to take a few days off before October.  I’m in tremendous pain (the recent trip really did me in – the teaching was good, but HARD, and the travel portion was even HARDER) and I just need to readjust my brain a bit.  And grieve for poor shiloh.

My Weekend

Knitters Day Out was filled with many, many enthusiastic knitters!

I was up at 5 am on Friday to fly to Harrisburg, arrived in time to drive to the hotel, take a short dip in the warm indoor pool, and teach that evening.

There was a heat wave in the area (91 degrees!), and the classroom was rather warm.  That always makes a class a little slow moving, and the fact it was a Friday evening just added to some of the brain fuzz we ALL feel by week’s end.

I taught all day on Saturday (36 people in my morning class, 17 in my afternoon) and was WIPED OUT by 5pm.

The 36 person class had been a mistake – the limit was supposed to be 15, but unfortunately something had happened and before anyone knew it there were 36 women in my Twisted Float Shrug class.

I do have some classes that I can teach to larger groups, and this class went pretty well all things considered, but it’s also one of my harder classes.

Midpoint through the class I realized there was NO way that everyone was going to get what they paid for – an understanding of how to make the Cocoon Shrug – so I offered the folks in the class an opportunity to take my Self Guided Twisted Float Shrug Class online.

I was glad to have that option – it allowed everyone to breathe a little easier, and allowed me to take some questions in class and spend more time on some of the hands-on techniques in the class.

After my classes I had dinner with some very kind knitters who treated me to wonderful food at a great Italian restaurant.  I feel like I must have been the WORST company in the world – I was so tired I could barely hold my fork, let alone keep up a conversation!

And, perhaps because I was tired, I ordered the wrong thing.

I’d looked up the restaurant menu and selected a chicken dish that was prepared with no gluten.  When the waitress arrived I ordered – the wrong thing.  And didn’t even realize it until I got back to my hotel room (feeling a bit achey and flu-ish) and reread the online menu.  I’d ordered the Chicken Picata, and yes, it does have flour.  Oy.  My own fault.  Next time I’ll tattoo the correct dish only my thumb.

I was just glad the next day wasn’t a teaching day – Sunday was only a travel day.  Yes, that “only” is a little bit sarcastic.

Originally the KDO folks wanted me to fly home on Saturday evening after my last class, but the timing and flights just didn’t work out (9 hour layover in Chicago, anyone?) AND the flight was $200 cheaper if I stayed over on Saturday.

Even though it was only 8:00pm when I got back to the hotel, I was tired and knew if I didn’t take advantage of the coming “sleep wave” I would be up all night with the pain  So I crawled into bed and immediately fell asleep.

Until the phone rang.

It was the KDO payment person, she needed my social security number.  I’d emailed my invoice earlier in the day, and my SS number was on my invoice, but apparently it was necessary that she have my SS number right at that minute, at 9pm on Saturday night.

It was probably because I was awakened from sleep and in pain, but the woman’s tone was so brusque – I’m sure it was because I was in an over sensitive place.  Damn you, delicious chicken and sauce dish.

Not Lonely in Mechanicsburg!

Sleep came very slowly, and the pain was so intense, that by midnight that every time I moved or rolled over I was fully awake.  Around 3am I brushed my hand over my shoulder and was totally skeeved out to find a few beetles (I’ve sinced learned they’re stink bugs) having a party on my bed.  Ick.

No more sleep for me.  They were all over the ceiling, the inside of the window and on my bed.  AND they flew.  Ick.

I took a hot shower, watched TV, then went out to find breakfast at 7am. I arrived at the airport very early – I was sort of hoping to get on an earlier flight if I could.

I guess I should have guessed that I’d be pulled out of the security line for special attention, and I was in so much fibro pain by that point that when the very kind female TSA officer began to run her hands [gently] over me in a pat-down, it felt like I were being bruised.

Lonely Harrisburgh International Airport

Lonely Harrisburg Int'l Airport

Folks with fibro know how painful it is to get a hug or handshake from someone during a flare up – any touch on a sensitivity point feels like a punch during ‘normal’ pain levels.

I was in full flare up mode by this time, EVERYTHING hurt.

I explained to the TSA officer that I had fibro, and a good amout of pain.  She kindly asked if I’d rather do the search privately. Yes I would. That way I can cry and NOT scare the children in line.

After that I needed a drink – but the bar wasn’t allowed to serve until 11 am so I waited.  At 11 on the dot the kind server brought me a G&T, and life was good.  With free wifi and a G&T, I was in airport heaven!

Flying Over PA

At the gate, though, I was bumped from the flight and put on the next flight leaving not for Cleveland, but for Newark.

At Newark I took the shuttle to a different terminal, and waited 3 hours for my flight to MN. Moving bags on and off a shuttle bus is highly underrated as a workout, and I personally feel it should be part of the London Olympics.

I feel very sorry for the woman sitting next to me on the last flight – I was so twitchy and squirmy – there was NO way to sit in that seat that wasn’t pure pain.

When the next Inquisition comes around, they will use Continental seat 17C as one of their instruments of torture.  Just sayin’

Okay, here’s how bad it was.  During a flare up my back and shoulders begin to hurt so badly that wearing a bra is insanely painful.  But – let’s face it – bras are usually considered necessary in polite society.

Well, part of my squirming around was that partial disrobing trick that all women are familiar with – the “I’m taking off my bra but you can’t tell, la la la la la, look over there…” dance. 

Did I mention it was a sports bra?  That poor, poor woman in 17B. Yes, I was bra-free in seat 17C.  Make a country song out of that if you dare.

I let just about everyone get off the plane ahead of me – why on EARTH should I hold them up as I hobble down the aisle?  I clutched my Namaste bag to my chest (it doubles as a faux external bra) and hobbled to the baggage claim, where Gerry and Hannah had already grabbed my luggage and we all went home.  I crawled into the back seat and rocked like a baby.

So how was your weekend?

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16 thoughts on “A Few Days Off

  1. Riin

    Wow. What a horrible time. I was cold and a bit achy (euphemism for “in pain, but not as much pain as sometimes”) this weekend, but no flying or stinkbugs, so you win the horrible weekend prize.

  2. Toni

    I am so sorry. My mother has pretty severe fibro so I have seen how much pain she is in at times and I can’t imagine flying in that condition. I hope you are able to completely relax for a few days.

  3. kristi

    Commenting on perhaps the most banal portion of the post, but that is a gorgeous photo! What a gorgeous blanket it would make! Or the center almost looks like a dress. I’d totally wear it.

    1. Annie Post author

      I really liked it, too! I’d forgotten how farms in PA are so constrained by mountains & rivers, we get used to straight, straight lines out here in MN!

  4. Joexnz

    I’m sorry to hear about, I hope the fibro settles down soon.

    My first thought on seeing the aerial pattern, was like the poster above me. Ohhh that looks like a cool knitting pattern!, very Kaffe Fassett (unless thats horribly insulting)

  5. london

    oh, sweetie…. a traveling nightmare! a fibro flareup! and a sweet kitty lost! i am heartbroken. my best to the kids and gerry. i know they were very attatched to shiloh.

  6. Amy

    I totally feel your pain – I also have fibro. I can’t imagine all that teaching and traveling in a flare up! I thought it was just me with the “hurty” bra thing! And thank goodness I can easily get by without one a lot of the time (with the bonus of horrifying my teenage daughter) Hope you’re sleeping/resting all you can. It sucks, but the flares always have a mind of their own.
    I love listening to “Playaways” from the library during a flare – a ipod type thing with a book downloaded. All I have to do is curl up, pop in the earbuds and be read to. It really helps get my mind to a happier place.

    Feel well sooner than later – Amy

  7. Donna

    I’m so sorry to hear about your fibro flair-up and all the problems with your stay in Harrisburg (yes, those stink bugs are really pesky this year.) Your class was wonderful though and I appreciate so much your making the long trip to teach us. You are a wonderful instructor, one of the best I’ve had and I really enjoy your teaching method. Thanks again and I hope you feel better soon.

  8. jules

    i hope you enjoyed your time at KDO. i was there too, and really wanted to take your cocoon shrug class but got another class instead. i hope you come back another year – would love to take a class from you! hope you feel better soon.

  9. Catherine

    I just want to tell you how impressed I am by your courage and determination in teaching the class. As someone with CFS/fibro, I know that it takes a great deal of courage to continue to live life with fibro. You are an amazing woman.

  10. Debra

    As I was reading your post, I actually felt relieved when you landed in Minn. and your family was there waiting for you! You have done a whole lot in the last month so it is good you can rest.

  11. Cathy E

    I read this when you first posted, but I checked back hoping to find an update. My hope is you are feeling better. The Harrisburg event is not that far from me, but I had other things scheduled. Maybe next time!

  12. Deborah Robson

    Annie, I’m so sorry to hear about Shiloh. I think “hit by a car” is a good guess. When I was walking the dogs a couple of years ago, I saw a car speed down the street and hit a cat. The cat made it to a lawn on the other side of the street and had no visible damage but was obviously in shock. I lay my sweatshirt over it and ran home (two blocks) with the dogs to get a car and a box, and went back to get the cat to a nearby vet. It died on the way.

    The car that had hit it parked on a nearby street for a number of months afterward; I think it belonged to a renter. Every time we walked by it, I wanted to kick its tires (and actually did a couple of times), even though it was the person’s, not the car’s, fault.

    I also had a cat who was hit at 1.5 years and lost a lot of foot-and-leg parts. He survived, following massive vet care and home-provided intensive care.

    I am so, so sorry you lost your kit this way. BIG hugs to the whole family.
    And kudos to you for having the option of an online class to supplement your in-person teaching. I know what it takes to put together those options, and I’m amazed at what you’ve gotten done. I haven’t had the time or energy to set up online teaching, although I’ve been thinking about it for more than a year.

  13. Allison

    Annie, I’m so sorry to hear that you lost Shiloh. I found your description of his personality very familiar. I had a Shiloh once. He was hit by a car but survived with a badly shattered leg. The vet had to immobilise the leg with what looked like a kid’s erector set attached with pins to his leg.

    Despite this impediment, Shiloh managed to rip the screen AND babygate out of a second floor window and proceeded down the 1st floor roof to jump down another level to the fence below and off to explore.

    While most of my cats are kept inside, sometimes you get one that just has to be free no matter what. Apparently a number of them come with the name — Shiloh.

  14. Melissa

    Annie, you were fine company at dinner on Saturday night. We were all tired, believe me! I’m sorry you didn’t order a no-gluten dish. 🙁

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Twisted Float Shrug class. Put it this way: I enjoyed it so much that when I went back to the market for a last look, I bought a lovely hand-dyed variegated yarn to make one (pastel rainbow colored). On Sunday, I went to FibreSpace, my LYS, and bought a pretty pink wool for the colorwork (I’ll probably use that same pink for the edgings rather than a third yarn). I have an 8-inch-wide disc of shrug knitted already!

    I thought you did a fine job controlling the pace and progress of the class, and having access to the online class is awesome for learning reinforcement. I need to access it tonight, because I keep forgetting!

    My deep condolences on the loss of Shiloh. I lost my kitty Nell about a month ago, and my house seems so quiet and empty. I’m holding out for a puppy early next year, but I so miss having a furry friend around.

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