Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Knitting Everywhere: At the Hospital

It's Nanay's 5th day at the hospital. In 3 hours she will have her gall bladder removed because of a pesky gall stone. As the unmarried daughter, I've been her appointed company and attendant. I brought my ASUS eeePC with me to the hospital so I could finish working on an ad for a November conference, but apart from that I haven't been online much, because... I've been knitting.

Nothing beats what I'd call "captive" knitting -- the knitting you do when you are compelled to stay in one place for a certain period of time. I mean, there's cable tv at the hospital, but one can't just sit and watch all day. One must be productive. (I couldn't surf on the internet all day either; wifi is free at this hospital wing but the signal I'm getting is pretty weak. I've been using my cellphone as a modem for about an hour at a time.)

Good thing I brought my knitting. I had a cone of Monaco 6-ply natural color cotton yarn that's like a thinner version of Lion Brand's Cotton Ease. I'm making a basic vanilla hooded cardigan sized for 3yo Lilo (sized for a 4-6yo, so she'd get more wear out of it). The pattern is from Sharon Turner's Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design. What a wonderful, very precise book! The moment I arrived at the hospital, I started with the back piece. As of today I've completed the back, the left front, the right front, and one sleeve. I've got the other sleeve, the hood, the button plackets and a couple of pockets to go. And assembly of course. Incredible Joie will add the brightly colored crochet appliques and other decorative trim. After this I'm considering making a mommy version for her.

(Second photo taken at night.)

While at the hospital, my dad brought the bamboo knitting needles that I'd ordered a month before from eBay. I'll save that for another blog entry. *happiness*

Nanay and I have been bonding. Incredible Joie brought her a small sketchbook and she's been drawing the (smoggy) view from her hospital window.

Am I apprehensive about my mom's upcoming procedure? Not really. She underwent a gastroscopy like a trouper (fiber optic camera down the esophagus check to rule out ulcer as main cause of abdominal pain). Our family talked about the gall bladder removal and we convinced her that it's better to have it done now than when she's older and heals slower. We opted for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy instead of a standard big incision. The "lap-chole" involves making 3 or 4 small holes through which the surgeon inserts a tiny camera and various robotic surgical tools. At least that's how I imagine it would be; I remember seeing something like this on the Discovery Channel. The small holes ought to heal faster than the big incision, with less post-operative pain. We expect she'll be right as rain after 3 or 4 days. We're not too worried, because this procedure has been done successfully in the Philippines for the past 7 years. The surgeon she's been assigned to has done a prominent local figure or two.

I figure by the time Nanay is fully healed this hooded cardie will be DONE! Will post pix as soon as it's assembled and decorated. This project actually has a few fans among the nurses already. They've been coming in every 3 or 4 hours to check my mom's -- and the project's -- vital signs!


gene said...

Hoping for the fast recovery of your mom. My father was admitted to the hospital this weekend to have his prostate check but preliminary test results showed that there is something wrong with his heart, the doctor suggested to fix the heart first before the prostate. :(

On the brighter side, I envy you because you can knit those lovely socks and wearables! I still have to wait for next year to be enrolled for a knitting class.

The Gravelcat said...

Prayers going out to your dad, Gene :) My mom has hypertension, some arthritis and a fatty liver, but she's indefatigable. I woke up last night at 3am realizing she had maneuvered herself into the toilet along with her heavy dextrose stand because she didn't want to wake me up. That was so sweet. The doctors say we can go home tomorrow.

About knitting, I learned from my grandma, and the rest from books and friends. It's so worth it :)

Jinky said...

glad your mom is now at home and recuperating, I'm sure she will be taken well cared for, andyan ka kasi.

And the cardigan is wow, how was the Monaco yarn? Is is soft it's cotton right? You're doing a great job. Hope to see the mom version of it.

Lol, grabe the book you mention is one of the few(?) I'm hoping to get next year...
I'm still in the process of choosing which books to order and request my kumare if I can make sabit to her yearly purchases...

Mimi said...

I recognized the medical city hospital room, since I confined my son last feb. for dengue.
You're so right, you could accomplish more while you are compelled to remain there. (I finished a crocheted shrug then)
But you are so fast at knitting, its awesome!
My mom had her gall bladder removed many years ago. She would have had less pain and difficulty if she had the option of laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Hope your mom is recovering well.

The Gravelcat said...

Hi Mimi, the knitting was fast because it was mostly stockinette and shaping. It was very comfortable to knit. I've taken a break from it though, because it's very plain. I'll return to it after the Halloween parties, because my niece wants a knitted yellow bikini top to wear with her grass skirt Lilo costume.

Hey Jinky, Sharon Turner's book is worth investing in talaga. I think the better bookstores (Powerbooks, Fully Booked) in Manila can order it for you, although it would take 3-4 weeks. It might be cheaper online from, though, but take a bit longer. However, you CAN have it mailed directly to you in Riyadh! It's a trade size paperback so I'm considering having it rebound some day, as I constantly open and read it for ideas.

Thanks so much for the good wishes about my mom's recovery :) I still have to knit her birthday top, and will have to give it a month late, but it's never too late as long as she loves it.