Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Vileness That Wasn't

I had been planning that I'd next post about a cardigan sweater that I'm knitting (cause it's so nifty!), but I've had a bit of a hiccup. Or cough, really. Yes, in the grand tradition of Fall, I have managed to develop bronchitis.

But I'm really fighting back this time. I'm doing all my normal bronchitis stuff, but I've added in Oil of Oregano (horrid, but it seems like it helps me breathe for a few hours after I take it), eucalyptus essential oil (the inhalation of which also helps me breathe) and a concoction that I have dubbed The Tea of Vileness.

The Tea of Vileness

Basically, I've combined a few different home remedy teas that are supposed to be good for loosening chest congestion. And it seems to work! Last night I had two cups and my voice was practically back to normal.

½ teaspoon ginger
a pinch of ground cloves
a pinch of cinnamon
½ teaspoon savory
¼ to ½ teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon honey

Steep it in a cup of boiling water for five minutes and ta-da! You have your own personal cup of lake water!

Though honestly, it isn't really that bad. It smells a bit like mulled cider and tastes a bit like it too, but with a strong oregano-ish note added in. Of course, it isn't actually good, but I was expecting it to be vile so I'm pleasantly surprised. Mind you, it does look a bit like I've scooped up a cupful of muddy swamp (it even settles to help bring back those childhood memories of camping at Kerr lake, though there's no sparkle in the mud of my tea), but it's not like it has to be chewed or anything.

More importantly though, it seems to help with my bronchitis symptoms, so that pleases me. Maybe I'll get over this thing before next spring!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Good News, Bad News

Some mixed news on the health front lately. First, the good news: I've finally found an herbal anti-inflamatory that works really well! I haven't found a corn-free OTC NSAID, so what should be my biggest help in the fight against bursitis has been something I've not been able to utilize. But last week, I got some boswellia serrata and curcumin (turmeric extract) and the change has been massive! Six days after I started taking them and suddenly I could move my shoulder with almost no pain! Today, day nine, I have no pain and only a slight bit of weakness and tightness. It's kind of amazing!

I'm still being really cautious because I've re-injured myself way too many times so I'm a bit nervous, but I'm really hopeful that I'm well on my way to normal shoulder use! Yay! This is especially good because the week before last, I had to break out the sling again. Boo! But the sling-needing made me search for more alternatives to NSAIDs, which resulted in the boswellia and turmeric, so I suppose the sling wasn't all bad.

Something that is kind of bad, though: Gidget is still having mouth-pawing issues. We went back to the doctor again on Thursday and got a prescription for amitriptyline. The dentist said something about using it to reset her pain pathways. It will take a couple of days to see the full effect, but already she seems willing to spend a bit longer at the food bowl than before and that's usually a good indicator of pain level so I'm hopeful.

We had to get the medicine compounded since it is a small dose but that small dose comes in big capsules. I've been putting them in the much-loved Pill Pockets and that's working so far. Gidget has to chew it some which breaks open the capsule in the treat so there is some drooling and icky kitty faces involved in taking the meds, but so far she hasn't wised up that Pill Pocket = bitterness and drooling and she keeps eagerly eating them. Perhaps she only remembers the math of Pill Pocket = yummy salmon.

Other bad health news: Dan's gout is flaring again. If it wasn't so obviously painful for him, I might find it funny that someone so young, normal-weighted and relatively healthy had "the disease of kings", but the poor guy can barely walk when it is this bad so instead I am just sad. Apparently it is genetic and runs in his family. His outbreaks don't seem to be diet related - we don't much of the typical gout-causing food at all - except potentially beer, and even that he doesn't drink to a level that could be considered indulgence, much less overindulgence.

He's doing all sorts of stuff that have helped in the past plus added in the boswellia serrata and curcumin (since they are supposed to be good for inflammation and arthritis, both headings which gout falls under) so fingers crossed he's better soon.

Ironically, it seems that I'm currently the healthiest one in the house right now. That's fairly shocking.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Surprise! No Dental News! (Well, Okay. A Little.)

I thought I'd do an update-y type post and lump together some recent happenings that aren't awesome enough to get their own blog post.

First off, remember that whole crunched by a semi thing from January? Well, last month we finally got everything settled with the insurance company. The car had already been fixed (that happened pretty rapidly) but it took a while before all the medical visits were done. Now, though, everything is all signed off on and we got a check covering the medial-related things and a little bit extra. And that little bit extra leads to the next bit of news.

We got a new mattress! We've needed a new one for a bit now - our old one was about eight years old and did no favors to my back (or Dan's neck). But with us being on budgetary lockdown this year to save a nice chunk of change, we weren't quite sure how we'd swing a new mattress anytime soon. So yay for semi-trucks, I suppose? Anyway, we got a Stearns & Foster mattress, which are supposed to be quite the thing (though I had never heard of them, but then, I don't follow mattress fashion) and, naturally, we got it at Costco. It's so fantastic. It's soft and comfy but has fantastic support. My back is so much happier now! (It's this one if you happen to be shopping for a new mattress.)

In other news (warning: here's the dental news), Gidget seems to be doing well. She's on pain meds and is camped out in our guest bathroom where she has constant access to canned food. (We'd let her leave if she wanted, but I think the rest of the house pales in comparison to the food access.) We have a check up in a month so hopefully nothing pops up that we need to make an earlier appointment.

Speaking of kitties, Sam is still doing awesome on his anti-depressant. He's now acting like a real kitty - even purring when pet sometimes! That's pretty big news from him because he could get skittish easily when getting attention. Now we just need to work on getting him below sixteen pounds. (The weight loss challenge has hit a bit of a snag as no one is losing weight anymore!)

A bit of a knitting update: I almost missed it but I realized last week that September was my one year knitting anniversary! Yep, as of a few days ago, I've been knitting for a year now! And coinciding with that anniversary, I made probably my most challenging item to date: slippers!

And Done!

They are done with a technique called twined or two-ended knitting, which is a traditional Scandanavian knitting technique. But the technique wasn't really that challenging (though it was time consuming, mostly because you have to keep untwisting the yarn). The complex part was understanding the pattern!

The pattern is from a book called Knitting Scandinavian Slippers and Socks and it's nice in that it has lots of pretty pictures that show how to do twined knitting, step-by-step. That's awesome and helpful. But the way the book is laid out meant I had to flip back and forth from the pattern I was working on to the basic slipper pattern, back to my pattern, over to the stitch explanations, back to my pattern... and in all that flipping (particularly when going to the basic slipper pattern that is spread over pages and pages because of the step-by-step pictures), I missed some details here and there. Which meant picking up the stitches and making the cuff on these puppies? A lot harder than they should be. Ah well, I'll just count it as a learning experience - learning the right way to do it and learning how to fudge things enough that the wrong way doesn't look wrong!

Anyway, they are a bit loose (though I knew that when I decided to make them since they are for a women's 9/10 and I'm not) but they are super toasty and fit remarkably like a pair of bootie slippers Dan has that I always steal from him. And it seems that the fact that they are 100% wool help my feet not get sweaty. (I know you wanted to know that last bit.)

Of course, finishing off that project meant it was time to start a new one. So what's next? I'm making a sweater! Squee! It's a cardigan actually. I just cast on for it the day before yesterday and currently have something not at all resembling a sweater. It's more like a small belt or something. But that's okay because I knew it will become sweater-like the more I work on it. YAY!

Sadly, I have no picture of it yet (as there's not really much to photograph), but here, have a picture of the yarn I'm using and my gauge swatch.

Ella Rae Lace Merino  Tension Swatch

Hopefully there will soon be enough of it to photograph!

And I think that's about all the news that is news (and probably some that really isn't.)

Oh wait, I take that back - there is one more dash of news! Apparently my whole shoulder issue is contagious because my mom's having problems now. Only she decided to one up my bursitis and actually break her collarbone! What a showoff! (Just kidding! I mean, she did crack her collarbone, but I'm positive that she didn't do it to show me or up for any other reason because OUCH! She's having a non-fun time of it ('cause, hello! Broken bone!) so send her happy wishes and thoughts, k?)

Okay, that's really it this time!