A most unusual thing has happened: I have been home by myself for a couple of days! It’s the first time in 20 years that I’ve been home on my own without at least one child to look after, although I do have the rats and Tilly to care for. Michael has taken the Dafter off for the weekend, and they have been having a great time! It’s the sort of thing that I would find really stressful and wouldn’t manage, physically, because it takes a lot of strength to push the wheelchair, nevermind with a suitcase as well. So I am very happy for them, and I’ve enjoyed my time here. I have done quite a lot of cleaning – things best done while the others are away, such as the fridge and the Dafter’s curtains. But I also went visiting (I was able to use the car on Sunday, so drove to a friend’s house in the countryside for lunch – another first, as usually if I have time off, Michael has to have the car to help the Dafter). One thing I haven’t done is attempt to patch the rat sling:
I was very glad we had planned for me to be here, because Tilly has needed a lot of reassurance and help:
We managed to give her all 10 days’ worth of antibiotic tablets (despite the vets hospital not thinking that was possible given her fiery temperment). She was very cooperative about having her wound cleaned twice a day. But to my surprise it was difficult for her to adjust to having her cone collar off. She would get very upset and start running around anxiously, washing and twitching. Then she would calm down when the collar was back on. So I did it in stages, over several days.
I took the collar off when she was relaxed. What I realised was that she would then begin washing herself, and would become upset when she was able to reach her shaved tummy, her shaved elbow and her shaved ruff. I think she just became horrified at what had happened to her body! Over time she got used to it, and is now without the collar at all. She will go for the second and final operation in a few days, to get all the cancer out that they have identified. I have pondered the wisdom of taking this step, but in the past few days she has been playful and frisky again, and I feel that she will manage one more operation okay, with plenty of love and care afterwards. I feel pretty certain that it’s her best chance of living to see this time next year. And I don’t think we are doing this primarily so that we will have the pleasure of her company, but because she does want to live and enjoy life as long as she can.
In other news, I am very relieved to tell you that my mother is continuing to do well. She recently was able to have one of her two planned cataract operations, which was very successful, so she is thrilled to be able to see a little bit again. The other more fundamental problems are being well-monitored and she is enjoying life just now.
I’ve been working on my Oregon cardigan. For those who are interested, here’s what I’ve done since my last post. I knitted the ribbed buttonband, and began casting off as per the instructions. But I didn’t like the look of the cast-off:
So I took that out, knit a row of dark blue, and then cast off in dark blue. For similar projects, I have preferred to do a double buttonband, with a row of purl as a foldline. But for a V-neck, I don’t feel certain of what would happen to two layers at the point where the V angles off. So I’m hoping I will be happy with this.
Tilly came right over to help me photograph the jacket once all the knitting was done:
The sun came out, and I thought I would show you how I discovered a dropped stitch on the back:
I will darn that in from the back. Here is the buttonband (without buttons yet):
The next step will be to trim and stitch down the steeks, which are now lying nicely folded back on the wrong side:
Some people sew ribbon over the steek stitches, which looks beautiful. But I can’t find any ribbon that seems right. I will just do as I have done in the past, and stitch them loosely down. I’ll take photos of the process to show any of you who are curious about steeking.
The Dafter and her father are due back in a few hours. This coming week is the October Break. I know she will need some days to recuperate – I hope she won’t have too steep a price to pay. But, although with ME/CFS pacing is essential, we have also discovered that sometimes overdoing it a bit in order to have a joyful time is just as critical to good health.
I wish you all a great October and a good week!