Saturday 6th August 2011

Well, the back is much better. Only three days this time, two walking-sticks for one day, one walking-stick for one day, and on day four didn’t have to think about every movement. Hurrah!
That’s the good news. Bad news – have had a nasty, but short-lived virus. No vomiting or anything, thank the lord, but felt as if my very bones ached, couldn’t think or talk, or read, or anything but lie in bed feeling miserable and sorry for myself for two whole days. Couldn’t go to knitting group even – that’s four weeks now. But am hoping to go next week.
Yesterday felt much much better and was able to finish off a little tunic top I’ve made. Just needs ironing today. Am also in the throes of planning the salwar kameez outfit. Finally, finally found a pattern. It’s Burda 7701, and here’s a photo. It’s taken me a few days to work out that the pattern is actually instructions on how to make a sari into a salwar kameez. So it doesn’t tell you how much fabric to buy. I couldn’t understand why that was, until a light bulb went on in my head. I had wondered why there were pictures of a model wearing a sari. I was taught to wind a sari many years ago, and it’s just a very long piece of material with a border that you wind and fold in particular ways, so no sewing is needed.
However, the tunic pattern has a zip, and that opens a whole other can of worms. It’s so easy to make a pig’s ear of a zip, and this outfit is intended for evenings, parties, theatre, etc. So I’m going to use the pattern to make the trousers, and this New Look pattern (no. 6086 – the one with the rounded neck) for the tunic (because there’s no zip involved), although I’m going to make it much longer, like in the salwar kameez pattern.

I’m very excited about it. Next step is to make the New Look tunic in the shorter length in some fabric I already have to see how it turns out, and if it’s ok, then go to Fancy Silks in Birmingham, next to the Rag Market, and get some suitable material. I may line the tunic, particularly in view of the slit sides, so that it looks nice from both sides. But shan’t with the trousers. I’m thinking light or medium weight cotton, and then I’ll have to buy the border to sew on, as I’m really not into embroidery, particularly with the wonky hands.

Had a lovely email from my French friend, really lovely. She’s so kind and thoughtful – she reads this blog and had read about my back. Bless her heart.
I originally did my back in when I was 22 or 23. I slipped a disc when I was putting on tights. Ended up in hospital on traction, and for the next 17 years struggled with steel-boned corsets, physio, osteopathy, chiropractic, and every year, without fail, I would be bed-bound for at least 2 weeks, sometimes more, the worst was 6 weeks (not all in bed, but off work), fainting if I tried to get up, unable to shower or bathe by myself. It was a nightmare when the children were little and my first husband just couldn’t cope with it all.
Eventually, in 1994, they surgically removed the disc, and it was like having a new life. That feeling lasted about 12 years, but for the last 5 years or so it’s gradually got worse. I think this episode was caused by having to rest with my feet higher than my hips after my steroid injections in the old feet, because I hadn’t done anything stupid, like gardening. Anyway, immediately after the operation any episodes would only last a day maximum, and I’d be up and about within that day. This one lasted a good three days. But Tramadol painkillers help a lot, and usually after 48 hours on those I’m a bit woozy, yes, but able to move about at least.

I have various aids. Two walking sticks, one upstairs, one downstairs. A collapsible seat for the shower. A sort of bench thing for over the bath (though the shower is better). Two wheat and lavender bags which I keep in the freezer, ready to use as ice packs. I’ve had six injections in the facet joints, about two years ago. Not fun, but helped a bit. A heroic husband who lifts me onto the loo and fetches me drinks etc. An osteopath who sorts me out on a regular basis. And I try not to get too upset about it because I know it will pass.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The new cat bedding is a roaring success. She absolutely loves it.  Luxuriates, in fact.
night time bedding
radiator bed newly covered
So that was well worth doing.
Two of the grandchildren came to stay on Monday, and went home on Wednesday. Delightful. They are so lovely. One is nearly 10, the other 7, and we had a wonderful time. Just wonderful.
Well, I think that’s about all for now.
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