A Good Schedule

In Wisconsin we’ve turned cold.  Temps have dipped from the thirties to the teens.  Stepping outside I catch my breath and feel a hitch from the icy temps.  This means I’m starting the hibernating part of the year.

I’ve finished the dish towels for the girls in Georgia.  Now I’m moving on to other projects.  Since it’s so cold outside, it’s a good time to work on the bigger projects.  I’ve a number of projects I want to work through while I’m finishing up a show of which I have about five more episodes.  If I’m responsible, I can watch three or four a night.

I believe I will be working on a new pattern tonight.  I’ll have to see how it goes but Vicki has asked for cat beds from some of the left over fleece she’s left for another blanket.  I’m going to pair it with the jute rope I have and see how the project turns out.

Winter is on us with the colder temps but it’s supposed to warm up a bit today and tomorrow.  It will be interesting to see if it is warm enough to melt the snow again.  I think we may go back to green / brown grass but then colder temps.

The erratic weather makes me want to hunker down and work on inside projects.  It’s time to clear out my work basket and finish off a couple of those projects and then turn to another of Vicki’s baskets so I can keep progressing through her piles of yarn.

At the same time, I would like to go back to writing more.  I may have to schedule a long weekend and devote my time to writing, editing, and working on my marketing plan.  I have a number of crochet patterns to publish.  This is the time people are looking for new ideas and new patterns to try so it would be good to complete the patterns and publish them.

My schedule for the next several weeks is busy enough where getting work like that done is difficult.  I’ll have to see what I can manage for creating a schedule for myself.  It really does come down to good organization and scheduling.

Medications and alternatives

Since my pain med was taken off the market by the FDA, I’ve had a difficult time finding pain meds that work and that doctors are willing to prescribe for me.  My ortho says – pain meds should be maintained by the GP.  My GP says – if you are on delauded then the doctor who prescribed it has to continue prescribing it. 

This is just dandy for me as I’m left with no pain meds but over the counter pain relievers.  Anyone who has regular pain knows that this is frustrating and difficult.  I have no control over the doctors.  I can’t make them prescribe drugs for me.  My only option is to find other ways to manage my pain. 

To this end, I’ve found heat works well for me.  When my knees, ankles, and other joints are screaming with pain, I put a heating pad on them.  I’d love to have a hot tub but that is outside my budget.  The heating pad puts heat right on the joint which eases most of the pain.  I know I’m unusual for this – most people prefer ice packs.  The only time an ice pack helps is when I have a migraine and I put a cold cloth or ice pack on the back of my neck.  Ice or cold (like the sub-zero weather we’ve been having) actually increases my pain.  I avoid it as much as possible.

When the pain is at a tolerable level, I make a point of moving the joint.  For my ankles, I will do flexes and points of my foot as well as circles to keep the joint as limber as possible.  For my knees, this is harder because my one knee almost never stops hurting but I try to do gentle motions that keep it moving.  Too much walking or standing make the knee hurt more.

Slippers help keep my feet warm.  I’m a barefoot girl.  I don’t like stuff on my feet but walking across cold floors and letting my feet get cold is a sure way for my pain level to spike.  Using slippers keeps the cold away from my feet and the pain at bay.

I’ve had so many people tell me “You need to get up and move more”.  In all honesty, I’ve tried this and all it does is aggravate my knees further.  Having my legs at a particular angle makes it so they don’t hurt.  When my pain level is high, this is all I really care about. 

On those mornings when I can’t close my hands, I use hot water to wash away the ache.  Then I also crochet on a nightly basis.  This helps to keep my fingers limber.  One of the hardest things I have to cope with is a cold steering wheel.  Thick gloves go on my hands before I touch anything outside.  Unfortunately my hands still get cold so I’m still looking for something to protect them better.  I may crochet a steering wheel cover but I have a concern about the cover slipping while I’m driving.   

Massaging lotion into my hands helps to limber them up and warm them up.  It also helps other joints like my wrists, elbows and so on.  Getting a professional massage definitely helps with my pain level but the budget isn’t all that happy when I spend money on massages.

With our extreme cold weather, I put a scarf between my knee and anything cold.  I use my long scarf to cover up the knee when I’m on my scooter in the cold.  It gives it another layer of protection. 

Ultimately, I’m going to have to figure out the pain med issue, but in the meanwhile, these little tricks help make life less painful.  I just have to find a doctor I trust – this is no easy feat.

Simple Solutions

Health issues can be a struggle.  Our society has turned to science to “fix” us.  In doing this I think we’ve forgotten some of the best and simplest solutions to some health problems.  Most people are quick to go to their doctors and say “I can’t sleep I need a pill” or “I can’t breathe, give me a pill.”  

A friend and I were just discussing how physical activity can lead to sore muscles and other aches and pains.  I believe that we are so used to our non-physical lifestyle that our bodies have forgotten what it is like to lift and work hard all day.  In the old days, people spent most of their days doing physically taxing chores.  Their bodies were used to the demands put on it.  Now though we spend more time on our computers than physically working. 

There are several things we can do to ease some of the aches and pains.  Massage, meditation, essential oils, water therapy, heat, ice are just some of the easy solutions.  I have headaches and migraines.  Often it is due to stress.  All of my stress sits in the muscle in my right shoulder blade.  If I can get someone to work out the knot I get, the headaches go away or at the very least ease enough to begin the healing process.  Massage is also good for aching joints and a variety of other things.  It is amazing how putting your hands on someone to move their muscles can help them heal.  They have the touch of another human which gives them a feeling of being cared for and the massage to help the process.

Meditation can also have the same effect on a person.  It calms, reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.  It relaxes which will help with insomnia and other sleep issues.  Essential oils can help with relaxing or energizing as you need.  One scent may make you relaxed and help you sleep and another may help you wake up. 

A hot bath or shower will ease aching muscles, clear lungs, reduce stress, and more.  Combine it with essential oils and it works twice as hard on the issues.  A heating pad or bag of ice can help focus healing in one area.  If you stop the pain and rest then the body will work on fixing the problem. 

I’m not a health care provider in any way.  I have suffered from pain in one form or another for a long time so I know these things work.  They are simple, easy, and effective.  Please remember though if something is different or doesn’t go away with these simple home remedies to seek out a health care provider.  Most of these solutions have helped me go to the doctor less which means less money out of my pockets.


I know it is December.  I know that I live in Wisconsin and not Hawaii. But when the starting temp for the day is minus five I consider that damn fucking cold.  Brilliant me, I was tired Monday night and just wanted to get home.  I debated about getting gas.  We were at a nearly balmy temp of five degrees so I thought maybe if I’m lucky it will be warmer in the morning and I’ll get gas then.  I didn’t believe myself but I was tired…
Tuesday morning, after getting not a second of sleep all night, I realize I can’t squeak out one more day from the gas in my gas tank.  Well okay I probably could have but what if I got stuck in traffic or a snow bank…
I’m all bundled up but still that sneaky wind finds little cracks and crevices to sneak into and chill me to the bone.  I pumped my gas and swiped down my windshield with a dry piece of paper towel in order to see.  My washer fluid isn’t working because it is DAMN FUCKING COLD.  Plus if I sprayed my windshield washer it would have formed a film of ice even though my car was edging towards warmish…
I don’t mean to complain.  I know we have to endure winter but couldn’t we stay in the damn cold range?  I mean I know it may not seem like a big difference but feeling like each breath is going to make your lungs shatter apart because of the cold is sort of a big step.  In the damn cold range it is the time to consider maybe just zipping up the jacket or adding a scarf.  The DAMN FUCKING COLD level means you are walking around with a comforter duct taped around you to block out the frigid fingers of the winter wind.  Of course you have to have eye holes and maybe a heated tube to be able to breathe but still…
The wicked wind plays tricks on you too because while we might have temperatures in the minus five range the wind chill (trust me it isn’t just a chill) drops the temp to minus twenty.  This of course edges the temp range from damn fucking cold to way too damn fucking cold.
I don’t know about the other walking comforters but I’m ready for the DAMN FUCKING COLD weather to be done and move into a more reasonable range… heck I’d even take fucking cold or damn cold instead… 

Winter Waddle

Winter has definitely come with just having cleaned out from one storm and another on its way.  This one promises to be several inches – they are calling for up to ten inches depending on where you are in Wisconsin and how the storm tracks.  It sounds to me like a good day to stay in the house, sit by the fire and relax. 
Leaving work the other night in the middle of the snow coming down, offered a bit of a challenge.  Most people were doing what I call the winter waddle – widen the stance and shorten the step.  Small steps to make sure when you put your foot down it doesn’t go whoosh out from under you. 
A white cold blanket of snow covers most everything now.  There isn’t any sign of green or brown peeking out to remind us autumn just left.  Old man winter has definitely come for a stay.  Temperatures have dropped to the damn cold range.  Life has to go on though.  I still have to go to work and earn a living. I have to run errands and get around.  It is just a matter of leaving more time and being cautious.  Oh and hoping the other idiots on the road are willing to do that too.