Friday, February 13, 2009

On The Needles

... are a pair of cable rib ankle socks, in light blue cotton. This is something I started last December but only managed to knit a couple of rows every now and then. The good thing is that I have finished one sock and am just past the heel on the other.

And then the 40" plastic cable and one bamboo needle decide to separate ways. AAARRRRRGHHHH!!! I will be gluing them back together tomorrow morning. Fortunately I have 32" needles for backup.

Did you know, standard bamboo toothpicks from the supermarket make great cable needles? They're actually a US size 1.

This is actually my second pair, the first one are already with Incredible Joie. Due to a stupid miscounting of stitches (yes, that'll teach me to cast one when I'm sleepy) I end up knitting 2 sets of 2x2 ribbing instead of purling them. Regular folks wouldn't notice, but I do, and I just finished them because I'd already gone and finished one. The one that's on the needles now have the correct number of stitches, knitted according to my handwritten notes.

I brought them with me to Baguio, but when your little niece always wants to be playing there's not much you can accomplish. I went back to them today, until the cable separation occurred.

I gave up and made myself a sandwich of Kiwifruit honey and Brie on wholewheat. THAT always works.

P. S. TDM's socks aren't even past the heel yet! That'll be good for another blog entry. The year started out pretty rough for me, I need to get back into a knitting frame of mind.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Time to Do the Dance of Joy

The cyst is benign! *Shakes mah bootay.*

My doctors are really good. Very reassuring. I went to see my endocrinologist yesterday morning and waited for my turn for three hours. The good news was worth it. The lump decreased in size significantly since the liquid was removed via aspiration. She prescribed some medicine that I have to take daily for three months, after which I go see her again.

Yes, I can eat broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mustasa and pechay again! Apparently new studies report that they do not disrupt iodine absorption needed by the thyroid to produce its hormone. I love my leafy greens, and I need their vitamins too. The doctor just advised me to take my multivitamins at night so as not to conflict with the thyroid medicine in the morning.

Life is good and I want to enjoy it longer by keeping tabs on my health.

("So say we all." - Battlestar Galactica's Bill Adama.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Held at Needlepoint

Pardon the long online silence. I'd meant to write about the Boracay wedding I attended, about meeting with my local fountain pen group for the first time, about my cable knitted socks, about last weekend's trip to Baguio.

It was at Jun and Jangky's December 19 wedding that we discovered that I have a cyst growing on the left lobe of my thyroid. I spent a week not thinking about it (read: traffic, bank holiday, other reasons to procrastinate). Come January I went to my family doctor. He sent me off for blood tests and an ultrasound. I spent some time hunting for an endocrinologist. When I found her, she recommended that I undergo an FNAB (fine needle aspiration biopsy). For someone who has never been hospitalized ever, the word "biopsy" is a bit freaky. (It took a trip to Baguio for me to build up the right attitude and motivation for it. I found myself walking around Burnham Park in a haze of disbelief, leavened by spending time playing with my little niece on the grass.)

The two doctors (family and endocrinologist) both explained in general what would be done. Imagine the cyst is a rubber jackstone ball with fluid in it. The needle will enter the cyst and draw out as much liquid as possible. Sometimes the solids stick together without leaving a gap. Sometimes the liquid accumulation recurs. The liquid is then sent to the lab for tests, including one for the presence or absence of cancer cells. It's just like a blood test, you'll be fine, they said.

Of course I know I'd be fine. There was just that part of me that really could not process the visual of having a needle stuck in my neck. This is despite the fact that I am not a squeamish person and can look at an open wound without fainting. The way I felt about it is hard to describe, but if you've ever been so anxious and stressed about something that you end up uttering gibberish and giggling uncontrollably, that would be close.

Anyway, it's done. Thank goodness. The pathologist stuck me in the neck twice, in an attempt to remove all the liquid. The first time wasn't painful. The second one was a bit painful, because of the attempt to aspirate until no liquid remained. (Well, it doesn't beat having a tooth cavity drilled.) It was mercifully quick. She ended up with 15.5cc of liquid! That is being tested, and I go get the results on Friday. All I have to show for it are two puncture wounds and a bruise worthy of Twilight the movie. On Saturday I let the endocrinologist figure out how to manage the rest of the cyst.

Some of you know me as fearless and practical, keeping my head in emergencies, coming up with reserves of strength when needed. I used to think I was invincible, and that is an attitude of carefree youth. I'm still young, but then again I'm not that young. Or maybe I should say, in my mind I am younger than this body I inhabit. Perhaps that is more accurate. This body feels tired.

I feel relieved that the biopsy is done. I ate enough fried chicken and cream of potato and basil soup fpr lunch to compensate for my early morning stress. (There was no vanilla ice cream, alas.) Thanks to everyone here and in Facebook who put me in their prayer lists and sent me funny thoughts. I had the strangest thoughts going through my head while there was a needle stuck in my neck for the longest ten seconds ever.

All throughout I could not blog. I could only send emails, chat and write in my journal. I put my mind to writing to my snail mail group. During the time I could not blog I got four postcards in the mail from around the world. Lovely surprises in these electronic times! They cheered me up immensely. I've posted three postcards and three letters. There's something so satisfying about using my fountainpens and different colored inks on lovely paper, writing to people who appreciate the same things.

TDM even took me out for breakfast yesterday to cheer me up. (Pancake House's bacon waffles are great for cheering me up. Now if they had Nutella waffles, maybe you could bribe me to have myself stuck with a needle FOUR times!) Thank you, sweetheart.

Hopefully tonight I dream of myself playing with my niece on the Burnham Park grass. It wipes away my cares.