I must have been VERY bad

In a past life I must have REALLY pissed off someone – or maybe in this life – because the pain I’ve had the last few days is crazy.  A sore back sent me to bed early on Tues, where the pain became SO bad at 3am that Gerry said we should go to the ER.

Test, test, test.

Test, test, test.

Apparently I had had a kidney stone. Different tests showed that there’d been one, and the fact they couldn’t see it on the scan led the doctor to say that I’d passed it. “The pain should go away now, just rest for a few days and make an appt to see your own GP.”

But the pain didn’t go away, it got worse.

And added to this pain was an incredible skin sensitivity (think of how your skin feels during a bad flu, then add poison ivy pain to that) and I had a lot to talk about with my doc on Thursday. As she was examining the part of my back that hurt the worst, in the general location of my right kidney, I half joked, “It couldn’t be shingles, could it?”

Yes, yes it could.

My constant companion

My constant companion

I’m on the watch for shingles all the time, but for Gerry, not for me. Because of his stem cell transplant and various drugs he’s on, he’s more susceptible to develop shingles. There has been at least one time when I caught the symptoms on him just in the nick of time (earning raised eyebrows and a smile from our oncologist) At the time it was taken care of with a quick course of Valtrex.

But these shingles had a bit of time to settle in, and they are intense.  Everything you’ve heard in those TV ads is true. I have so much pain that I’m nauseous.

The nausea makes it hard to keep the pain meds down. It’s a vicious circle, and I’m in the center of it.  I haven’t had this kind of out-of-control nausea since my first pregnancy.  I can’t wear anything but the loosest cotton dress, anything touching my body is cause for agony.

In other words, I’m not a good date.

In fact, if you asked me what was going on with my body (and if I hadn’t had a hysterectomy and wasn’t 52) I’d say, “Obviously I’m in labor!”

Since Tuesday. This sucks.

Work Continues…

Our newest design, Lanark Plaid Cowl, worked in Bulky Loch Ness, Thistle & A Wee Dram

Lanark Plaid Cowl, worked in Bulky Loch Ness, Thistle & A Wee Dram

The worst part is that I can’t get much work done. I finished up some schematics for my new book and got that out the door, and yesterday I wrote up a simple plaid pattern for a multi colored cowl (in our new Caledonian Colors) but my concentration is poor, and I can only knit for a few minutes before pain causes me to change my position into a non-knitting one.

Thursday evening we had to reshoot three sweaters for my upcoming book, and I KNEW that if we didn’t do it, it would be BIG TROUBLE. Andy goes off to college next Thursday, and I really needed to get front shots of 3 garments.

My photographer (Lara Need of Math4Knitters) is amazing, and she did most of the work. The models (Andy & our friend Lydia) were beautiful with great attitudes, so it was as stress free as a shoot could go.

I consider it a huge success that I was able to wait
until we got home to be sick. We all have different yardsticks.

I haven’t been able to ride my bike (the idea makes me break out in a cold sweat) and that makes the fibro pain grow in unwanted ways.

Well, what doesn’t kill us… right?

I find myself SO hesitant to write about this (I’ve actually been rather hesitant to blog at all these days…) because I know that someone will pop up to say, “Stop whining about your pain, just work through it!”

And they’d be right in a sense. The best thing to do with pain is to find a path through it, and sometimes talking about it isn’t the best path.

But the last 3 days have been overwhelming. I gave birth twice, to two big babies, the last one (11lbs) with no medication. This pain is worse. And it doesn’t seem to want to end.

Having said that, the pain does seem infinitesimally better since yesterday. I think the meds are working, but the nausea is as bad as ever.  But even that small change for good is reason to hope.

The cowl, down Jasper gets around

The cowl in it’s down position.
Jasper gets around

Your Reward

For reading my long tale of woe is that I’d like to gift you with the cowl pattern!

Lanark Plaid Cowl To download click on image of pattern.

Lanark Plaid Cowl
To download click on image of pattern.

Bear in mind, it’s been written by a woman in pain, and the tech edit was pretty quick and dirty. But the pattern is crazy simple [notice I didn’t say EASY, just SIMPLE] and if you want, you can consider it a fun test knit…

And (because I’m not in my right mind) I’ll pick ONE name from the comments of a person to receive a ball of ModeWerk Bulky. This is soft, beautiful yarn – it knits up like a dream – AND it’s super wash. I so hate making a gift for someone, then attaching a “care instructions” card to it.

Just leave a comment below, I don’t care what it’s about, and your name will go in the hopper for the drawing!  I don’t want to restrict this to US folks, so if you want to participate and you’re in a foreign country you’ll have to pony up $10 for shipping (I’ll cover the rest, and all of the shipping costs if the winner’s from the US) Leave your comment by midnight on Sun, Aug 17th (US Central Time) and we’ll pick a winner on Monday.  Good luck!

So go, leave a message, and make me laugh.  Please.

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88 thoughts on “I must have been VERY bad

  1. Ellen M

    Oh Annie. I am so sorry to read about your shingles. Wishing your pain away.

    You’re so sweet to host a giveaway, while you’re not feeling well.
    Love the pattern!

  2. Ally Belser

    Annie I hope you speed your way to being healthy again. I love hearing about all your adventures.

    What do you call a grasshopper with one leg?


    Hope you’re smiling. Mwah!

  3. Sue

    Thanks for the pattern! Don’t ever feel bad about posting. The tough times are just as valid as the good times. Take care.

  4. Dolly

    Your posts may help others decide if the shingles vaccine is an option for them. I will consider. Thanks!

  5. Cate

    I hope you feel better each day and are quickly past the worst pain. I’ve been putting off getting my shingles vaccine (which I know doesn’t guarantee I won’t get them) and you’ve inspired me to get it done today. The cowl looks like a fun knit!

  6. Sheri

    I diagnosed my daughter 2 weeks ago with shingles after she broke out with painful blisters. Thank goodness she did’t listen to me. Her rash turned out to be a staph infection! Hers cleared up after a dose of antibiotics. Wish yours would disappear too! Feel better soon.

  7. Leslie in MA

    Blergh to pain. Darn you have a gorgeous daughter (and dog). And the last photo I saw of Max? He’s turned drop dead gorgeous! Anyhow a joke…

    Did you know molecules are Catholic? No? I didn’t either until I found out they have Mass.

    and that’s all I got 🙂 Feel better! ♥

  8. Betty Maguire

    I adore the cowl and will certainly attempt to do it. I am truly sorry about your shingles, my grandmother used to get them and that was way back when women wore lycra girdles. I think that always irritated the shingles. May the road rise up to meet you…all this will pass. PS I love your designs.

  9. Rona Smith-Coburn

    Not able to ride! I so understand your distress about that the most. Since 2011 riding my three wheeled bicycle has been the only way I have been able to get some exercise. My balance has been off since I had a stoke and the neuropathic pain I’ve had in the right side of my body is seeming similar to the fibro pain you suffer with. Bike riding is one of my ways of decreasing the discomfort. Hold in there, the shingles will fade, but it takes time, like most pain. Such a cliché but still true.

  10. Kristy

    Several years ago, my brother, who almost never missed a day of work, came down with a nasty case of shingles. He and his wife worked at the same place and, knowing he rarely missed work, she had lots of inquiries as to his whereabouts. She told them not to worry. He should be back in action soon. The doctor had given him some medicine that should quickly clear up his case of….syphilis.

  11. Mary Kay

    Oh Annie! Shingkles are the worst! Please know we all care.

    What did the spider do on the computer?
    Made a website.


  12. Lucy

    A am so sorry to hear that you have shingles. Major ouch! I am going to stop procrastinating and get my shingles vaccine ASAP, like this week! Love the cowl. Thanks for the pattern. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  13. kim in oregon

    Feel better soon. You can get the shingles under control–kind of a long road but you can get there.

  14. Annika

    This is my children’s favorite joke. I’m not saying it’s a GOOD joke, but it sure makes them laugh.

    Knock knock.

    (Who’s there?)


    (Annika who?)

    What, you don’t know me? You’re crazy!

  15. Eve

    So sorry to hear about your shingles! Although I know nausea can be a symptom of zoster, I don’t see it much in my patients ( I’m a primary care MD). Have you checked with your MD about it? It may be a response to the pain meds and there could be another med that helps your pain but doesn’t make you nauseated. I hope so.

    And I agree it’s very nice of you to host a giveaway when you’re feeling so ill. Thanks, the cowl is gorgeous!

  16. kayT

    A very strong woman I know had shingles and told me it was the worst pain she had ever had. I immediately went for my shingles shot. I wish you a speedy and full recovery, and second the notion of seeking a different pain medicine that may reduce your nausea. I also recommend soda crackers and 7-up; that was all I could eat when taking pain med. And for my joke:

    Lady opens refrigerator to find a rabbit sitting on the shelf.
    What are you doing? she asked.
    Rabbit says, well, this is a Westinghouse, isn’t it?
    So, I’m just westing.

    Sorry; I found it hilarious when I was 8 (and still do, really).
    Feel better soon.

  17. Jan

    Well, ya know, if you let that roofer nail shingles onto your back, that IS gonna hurt!!!

    I’m so sorry to hear of your pain! I hope my silliness did make you laugh, and that helped!

    We’re out here sending healing vibes and prayers and good thoughts and all, and I hope that helps soon, too.

    Thanks for the contest! That’s a nice thing to do during your pain!

  18. Kris Rasmussen

    I’m so sorry you are in pain. I bet the kidney stone pain brought on the shingles. I’ve had the former (4 times) and if that won’t knock your system into a downward spiral, nothing will. Our son had shingles at 18 months, very rare. It was misdiagnosed as poison ivy (because we didn’t know he’d had chicken pox – apparently while nursing so no pox – just one of those unexplained baby fevers) and they prescribed steroidal cream which amplified it overnight into a horrible mess. It was on his neck, in his hair in back and just under his jaw, so the little scars are barely visible. NOT FUN! Hope you feel better every day.

  19. mary mcmahon

    Annie, I had shingles while going through chemo and I can tell you, you aren’t crazy when describing the pain and ,to boot, the doctor said it couldn’t possibly be shingles!!…makes you feel even crazier.i hope it stays COLD up there. love, Mary in Cincinnati

  20. Carla

    Hi Annie,

    I was listening to a talk about fantasy in literature. He said that we don’t have to look far to find fantasy implied in daily discourse: “I walked down the street and turned into a drugstore.” I hope that soon you’ll walk down the street and turn into a woman who doesn’t hurt.

    Hope that it’s hurting less than when you wrote.

  21. Wendy Anderson

    Joining all the others who wish you a speedy recovery–have suffered shingles myself so know the remarkable pain. This is a reminder to me to get the vaccine–I dread another episode. Cheers.

  22. Corddrymum

    So sorry you have the shingles! I had then at 10 yrs old on my backside & was a teaching moment for dermatologists from all over ME. I was on morphine and still in tremendous pain. So I had my shingles shot. Don’t want that again.
    Thanks for the adorable cowl& feel better soon!

  23. Susie B

    Annie, get well quick! That bike is waiting and so is the knitting. 🙂 I’m sorry you’re in so much pain.

  24. julianna

    Oh Miss Annie, I am so sorry you are going through this! I am sending lots of healing wishes your way. Maybe this will give you a smile: I *just* watched your episode of Knitting Daily off the DVR, and I literally squee~ed with delight at seeing you. You are SUCH a wonderful teacher (the gauntlets from Jane Austen) and so creative/talented! You touch more people in a positive way than you know. Feel better soon!

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