Sunday, January 29, 2006

happiness is...

- peanut butter on rawhide (a treat that keeps the dogs busy for a good half hour)
- sleeping on the couch so the early morning trip to the door is less dangerous. (the combination of the 4:30am wake up from the dogs and attempting steep farmhouse stairs at that hour is not a good one)
- my car being safely parked at the repair place after a tow truck trip yesterday
- having bought a set of sock needles earlier in the day and having sock yarn with me yesterday (the result was a few inches knit while waiting for said truck and while taking the 45 minute drive back to the repair place.)
- the people of this house leaving me the keys to their car "just in case" something happened
- plans to catsit for someone else the entire month of March (I can leave yarn wherever I want during that time)
- a cup of hot English Breakfast Tea and peanut m&m's for breakfast
- hoping that this week will be better then the last one.

All in all, this hasn't been the best week.

I had car problems on Monday (thankfully after returning home safely from the great Boston area!) and after some finagling borrowed one of my parents cars so I could get to the hospital to work on Tuesday while my car was being worked on. What we thought was an alternator problem ($$$$) wound up being a simple "regulator" problem ($$). That fixed I headed on my way without any problems.... until yesterday. After a lovely day on the coast with a friend of mine, my car pulled something that it hasn't done in over a year. It'd start, but not go anywhere because the traction control system was screwed up. The problem came out of the blue and without warning, so I could only call a tow truck and wait and knit. The two fixes are unrelated, and my fingers are crossed that I am lucky and this repair is another of the ($$) sort. My fixed income (student living expenses don't take into account that we're driving 1992 cars) has taken a hit and there's no telling what else might happen...

The dogs I'm taking care of are great animals but they are used to a different (much earlier start in the morning) schedule. One is younger than the other and still has a bit of puppy playfulness. It is great to watch and play with while the older, gentler dog is patient and willing to wait a short bit for his turn to be fed and petted. Together they keep me on my toes. The cats aren't used to having so many knitted things to play with and it seems to me they are more adventurous now - I can't leave things sitting out or they'll be covered with fur and stitches risk being dropped off the needles.

That being said, I'm still knitting. The Rogue sleeve has been ripped and I'm going to take a few hours out of this afternoon to try doing both at the same time again. I had used circular needles before, and my hate for circulars (unless I'm knitting something in the round) is going to have to take the blame for my previous tangles. I'm going to cast on again with some classic metal straights (cringe away - I think you're in good company) and see if I can't get the cabled section done in one sitting. I learned to knit on metal straights and think it could be the key to success.

The housekeeper/student housing "expectations" meeting (last week) was an awful time reminiscent of being hauled into the principals office for something I didn't do. I could go into great detail about the encounter, but doing so would lead my blood pressure to creep into the unhealthy range, so instead let me sum it up by saying that I have no business having yarn and other "craft" things out in the house because it's breaking the contract. (the contract that simply says we will keep the common areas clean....) The woman accusing me of things stood up for the crazy housekeeper and then asked me "when I had time to craft?" if I was such a busy person (inferring that I left yarn out because I was too busy to put it away somewhere) and scoffed at the idea that I could knit and read at the same time. (If only she knew how much yarn I have tucked away in my room...) Being somewhere else for the month of March is going to be a breath of fresh air.

I've also been dabbling on the other side of the medical fence and had to spend some time on the patient side of things this week. I'm going to be intentionally vague and appreciate your understanding - I'm okay, and will be fine. Some results of medical tests came back a bit abnormal and the plan of action for what is next involves more medical appointments and a few more tests.

It's hard to be a patient. It's hard to have access to the medical journals and references that spell out, in great detail, rare diseases and obscure findings. Nothing of that sort is going on, but while waiting for results every possibility ran through my mind. Medical students are notorious for self diagnosing and having whatever it is we're studying at the time, and talking about it with other medical students simply invites even more awful sounding diagnosis. As much as I like and trust my doctor, I, believe it or not, hate being a patient and would much rather avoid seeking out care until I need it. I hate taking medications, and hate dealing with appointment schedulers and the health insurance ($$$) people. It's been a good lesson in what the people I see everyday have to go through and is one that I am not likely to forget anytime soon.

my plan? keep knitting.

22 Comments:

Blogger Lorette said...

Hope you're back to healthy soon. I know what you mean about being a patient. I hated it too.
The housekeeper thing sounds like a really bad nightmare. That would be the sort of thing that would drive me over the edge.
And the straight needles? They're good for a lot of things. I have a whole collection that I use (though plastic and wood, not metal). We're in good company, too, the Harlot loves straight needles.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

Yes, Kristen....knit on through all crises. The best of advice. Hope things start to look up soon!

3:22 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Sounds like quite the week.
Hope you and Kennedy feel better soon.
...dreaming of peanut m&m's...

4:37 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

What a week! I hope things are brighter soon.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

When stupid sh*t like that doesn't make sense (housekeeper) it's usually because it doesn't make sense. There is something else going on...power issues, hidden alliances (this one is that one's friend, and is sticking up for her) or their daughters play together and you are the enemy.

I hope both you and your car get better quickly, atraumatically, and inexpensively. On all counts.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

Glad to hear you had your sock knitting with you while stranded with the car. It always makes me feel crazy to wait around for stuff like that if I don't have knitting with me! Makes the whole experience feel more manageable.
And now I, too, am thinking of peanut m&m's...I haven't had any in ages!

5:40 PM  
Blogger Pumpkinmama said...

Arrgh. Rough week. I hope you, your car and your housing are all in better places soon.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous naomi said...

I'm glad you'll be okay and that you have somewhere else to live in March. Re. needles, I hope the metal straights work for you.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

It never rains . . .

As another med student constantly trying to find money for car repairs, I sympathize. I don't know about you, but I am my car. We go way back together. If it's broken, I'm broken. The corollary, of course, is that you'll both be better soon.

I love your plan - keep knitting is exactly right.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Anne-Caroline said...

I hope you're okay!

11:51 PM  
Anonymous jess said...

Hope you get healthy soon! And that the car isn't too expensive either.

That cleaner/yarn episode would drive me up the wall... good that you have an alternative space in the near future.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Tests, waiting, all good things to have knitting around for. Hope everything comes out ok.
Peanut M&M's...yum!

9:58 AM  
Blogger margene said...

Thought of you yesterday when I saw the cinnimon bears in the grocery store;-) Peanut M&M's sound a bit healthier.
Good thoughts on you and the car and other life challenges. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

11:37 AM  
Blogger claudia said...

What Laurie said.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Janine said...

Although most of us would choose, say, winning the lottery and coping with sudden wealth type of life challenge (and I will say, from personal experience, that it would be nice to choose the type and timing of any life challenge), I know you will get through this with grace and strength and greater knowledge of how to be an effective and lovable doctor. And of course you are right--keep on knitting...

12:55 AM  
Blogger Cari said...

Here's to hoping for a MUCH better week.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Definitely keep on knitting -- through all. Hope that your week gets better. Car repairs are just so senseless. And hoping that your time as a patient is brief :-)

9:14 PM  
Anonymous mamacate said...

Keep knitting for sure.

Here's hoping for a better week, and March outside of the stress vortex sounds like a good idea. Ugh.

10:35 PM  
Blogger J. said...

well I hope that you are ok, keep knitting, it makes things better and if you have time I tagged you, details are on my blog. The weeknd is almost here, take care

3:53 PM  
Blogger Stitchingmum said...

Hi Kristen
I love hearing about your student life (I'm a student nurse (at the ripe old age of nearly 30!!), and am loving learning about the medical world), reading how you write, and I esp love your 'happiness is' lists. Like you I'm a terrible patient, to the point where i refuse to get sick and become one, and I've shared your run of car trouble this new year! And if it makes you feel any better, it took me 5 goes to get my first Rogue sleeve right, but it was all good in the end.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Another knitting med student! We need a webring... I see you have collected a few more knitting med students. I'm a first year at UF and a new but passionate knitter up much too late finishing my first sweater when of course I should be sleeping so that I can study tomorrow. ::sigh::

My blog:
http://blogtamarablog.blogspot.com/

~Tamara

5:36 AM  
Anonymous mia said...

Hang in there Kristen! I hope you are feeling better. It is no fun to be a patient and a med student, because you can come up with the most amazing differential diagnoses!

8:28 AM  

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