Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas is coming, the Goose is getting fat. . .

The Stockings are hung on the mantle with care

Mark Meyer's Christmas Stocking design from his pattern site; and,  Candy Cane from Kaye Judte's recent book:  " 'O Little of this and  'O little of Tat"  (which gives needle instructions, also)   I used Flora red and Lisbeth snowy white, and a scrap of green Valdini thread I had on hand.  I did a very average job of tatting on Mark's fine stocking; and that candy cane!  What a can of worms and it 'seemed' so easy.

Needed a quickie bookmark for The Tatting Forum's November Bookmark and because so much life has been happening and I've been so distracted by negative challenges;  I came upon this 1994 pattern by Bonnie Benilla of her Sassi Serpent.  I used Zarina's HDT (from the garden path series, I forget which one).
Bonnie used those 'googlie eyes' from the craft shop (it was for a child, I guess).  But I don't like beads on bookmarks, so picots will have to do for my Serpent's eyes.

WHY did I pick a serpent when there are so many fall themed bookmarks?  In 1997 after our big flood, I was out at the ranch.  It was a cold,  overcast day, the ceiling was still dripping flood waters, there was an unsettling silence shattered only by DH and his friend, Jim who were trying to salvage what was left of our home.  I had on layers and layers, to ward off a chill, topped by a hood.  As I walked up the driveway I passed under my beloved, huge mulberry tree.

Thud!  Something fell on my head, I thought it was a small tree limb and reached up to brush it off.  Only it slithered down my hood and lay upon my shoulder.  I was so angry at this final insult to my home and being, that I knocked it off my shoulder and yelled, "I need a shovel…get me a shovel".  The guys were alarmed at my yelling at them but by the time they arrived,  I'd retrieved a shovel from the garage and dispatched the snake.  It was over three feet long and apparently was quite cold and had lost its grip on the tree.  Fortunately, it was not a rattler (which abounded after the flood). Jim said dryly, "That may be an endangered specie."  I looked him square in the eye while standing over the chopped up bits of snake, "Well, if it falls upon me, it is definitely endangered."

One thing I love about the Southwest is we do not experience those grey, grey depressing days.  We have rain during sunshine!  At least here on the ridge, I  see low clouds on the nearby mountains, not fog.
Yes, it gets cold and sometimes we have snow; but, all in all there are four gentle seasons.   I've lived here on the ridge for almost six years and have yet to see a snake.  I've seen javalina (peccary family), deer, coyote, fox, bear, wolf, roadrunners, humming birds, quail and once an Ostrich at the side of the road.
Oh okay ~ the Ostrich had escaped his pen, but still. . .

So, here is my Sassy Serpent for November.  A friendly, colorful serpent; nothing like the snake that decorated my shoulder.



I have not spoken of this at large, only a few tatters really know the extent of my health challenge this last year or so.  At that time I was told that I needed to begin dialysis for radiation nephrology; and, that the condition was terminal.    I decided, at that date, to forego such painful treatment and procedures and receive palliative care from my primary physician.

However, this decision was based upon the metaphysical moron who said I was, "To old for a transplant." In point of fact, I am not a candidate because of my prior cancer history and suppressed immune system.
Further this obnoxiously oblivious individual said, "You'll come begging for dialysis, honey," (it was the 'honey' that got me)!  He offered no information regarding renal diet, symptoms and did not answer any direct questions.  And he considers his trips to Silver from Albuquerque as, "My charity work" (at 480.00 an hour)?

 We've been watching the creatin and bun rate climb.  When I had the surgery in California it had gone to 4.9 and my kidneys were functioning at 6 percent. My surgeon and friend Dr. Schwartz was distraught!  I bought two cookbooks for renal failure/diabetes and my granddaughter, bless her heart, has been planning and preparing meals from them since we returned from Tucson.  The meals have been quite good because she introduces various spices and herbs which gives taste to otherwise bland foods.  


I've only returned one un-tasted dessert (a rice dessert); and, broke my own cardinal rule, "Take a no thank you portion."I apologize Rebekah!  Publicly!  It was very rude of her grandmother to just send the dessert back untouched -- it was a un feeling act on my part.

My DH and my Dad love/ed rice puddings.  I have a low tolerance for rice ~ and I can't have fried rice but do like a good white or brown rice with cranberries in it ~ like Rebekah makes.

ANYWAY (I digress) because my friend Bob in Venezuela sent me a lot of urls and did the basic research, with a not so vague threat of coming and "getting in your face," I decided to make an appointment in Tucson with the nephrologist I met while Loyal was having the aortic valve done.   Depending upon how much information I can glean from Dr. O'Brien (he is Irish through and through) I can at least make a semi-intelligent decision.  There IS a dialysis clinic in Silver; and, I've read that being on dialysis does not mean that I can never leave Silver City (a chilling thought).  I'm not interested in being 'tied to a machine' in my 74th year and henceforth.  And there will be two shunts.  Do they show?  Are they horrid to take care of?
Can I travel?   These an other questions will have to be answered before I put myself at the mercy of physicians and technologists.    I would appreciate your prayers.  I have no fear of death, I never have had as it seems a transition in my life journey and I trust God's wisdom and guidance; consequently, how can I not trust Him with eternity?  We all walk on the "edges of His ways"-Amy Carmichael.

BACK to the Christmas tatting…12 Days of Christmas, here I come.  We will see how this project fares since it is secondary to the rosary that I'm tatting for Luz.   My tatting projects seem very immediate to me now and I find I'm choosing the things I've wanted most to tat.  I really wish someone in my family had REALLY wanted to learn to tat ~ not as a curiosity but as a need to continue this fine art form. I remember how desperately I wanted to learn with not a tatter within my sight around 1994.  It took me another 5 years to begin to find out how to begin!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We two are alone again this Turkey day, but we began as a couple and it is okay to end as such.  I do love turkey breast and cranberry sauce; even though pecan pie is no longer on my plate!  LOL

15 comments:

Josie Passell said...

I am so sorry to hear the extent of your health problems. My prayers are wth you and your family. We will just be two at Christmas, as my son and his wife and our beautiful new grandson will be staying with her famiy this year. We hope to have a relaxing time.
happy tatting
Josie

yarnplayer said...

You are a very brave, inspiring woman with a wonderful sense of humor about the hard knocks of life. Definitely you'll be kept in my prayers. I hope everything will all work out well for you.

BTW, excellent job on the snake!

Gina said...

You are a trooper and I've respected that always. You'll get all your answers and more. My very best wishes go with you!

Fox said...

You and Loyal are so often in my thoughts and have been for a long while, it seems. And there you shall remain! With love. ♥

I hope the two of you have a wonderful turkey repast this Thanksgiving and enjoy many more such holidays together.
Fox : )

Maureen said...

I hope, Bev, that when my own time of challenge arrives, that I will be able to face it with the same fortitude you have shown this year.Watching you meeting your problem with insight, intelligence and deep faith has been truly inspiring.
There's a lovely Candy Cane pattern on the Tatting Goddess home page at the moment - I tatted it years ago, and it is one of those addictive patterns you want to keep making!

Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

I love your Christmas stocking and candy cane! They're so festive! I'm not sure I'll ever tat a bookworm after reading your snake story... snakes and I are not friends!

Why do some doctors choose to be arrogant and/or condescending? I think I'd have reacted the same as you did. Any person's health is nothing to be taken lightly. I hope that whatever treatment you choose works to your benefit.

I wish you and Loyal a very happy Thanksgiving together.

tattabugg said...

You will be in my prayers and have a happy Thanksgiving!!!

Val said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Bev.

I'm glad you are taking things in your stride even as you encounter those health issues. I will keep you and your DH in prayers. I like that you are mentally strong and will not admit defeat with those silly doctors. :)

Val said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Bev.

I'm glad you are taking things in your stride even as you encounter those health issues. I will keep you and your DH in prayers. I like that you are mentally strong and will not admit defeat with those silly doctors. :)

Miranda said...

My mom manages a dialyis clinic, so, while I am definitely no expert, I do have some insight based on things she tells me. Being on dialysis is not fun. It takes several hours, several times a week. After the treatment, people are usually exhausted for the rest of the day.

On the other hand, it can help keep you alive, and many dialysis patients find that they are able to have a good quality of life between treatments. My personal feeling (which admittedly may not be appropriate since I've never face the situation) is that it's worth trying if you have any reason for wanting to prolong your life. You can always stop any time you choose and let nature take its course. Somehow doctors always forget to tell you that starting a treatment does not mean you have to keep doing it forever.

I do think that you would be what is considered a "successful" dialysis patient if you did decide to do it. You're already following the diet and understand its importance, you would take care of your shunt so that it would last as long as possible, you don't use drugs, etc. All of these factors would combine to make dialysis more effective for you, even though it is a lot of work.

You can travel while on dialysis, as long as there is a clinic available in your destination city. The clinics can coordinate to schedule you for the necessary treatments at the clinic where you're going. It's easier if the clinics are owned by the same company, but I think it can work even if they're not (don't quote me on that).

The location of your shunt will depend on where they find good vessels to work with. Therefore, visibility will depend on both the shunt location and what clothes you wear. The online photos of shunts all show dialysis in progress, so that the shunt is very obvious. The rest of the time, while it is definitely noticeable, it is really not such a big honking thing that everyone will stare at.

You might also look into peritoneal dialysis. It is a less invasive form that you can actually do at home, and it doesn't intrude on your life quite as much. You would have to do regular dialysis for a while first, because they would need to evaluate you to see that you're a good candidate for PD.

Some doctors have this attitude that if we can fix it, we must fix it. They seem interested only in prolonging life, not in the quality of life or whether the patient is actually finding it to be an improvement. I have worked with a few of these docs and seen how miserable they can make people. Fortunately, they are in the minority.

I will say this for this type of doctor. In their own minds, they are offering you the most wonderful thing they can think of-- the ability to stay alive-- and I think that they truly can't understand why some people would feel that it's not worth it for what you have to go through. I'm not defending them, because they really are just arrogant and you shouldn't listen to them. But it can help with your own frustration to know that they honestly believe that they are doing what's best.

As you know, the decision must be yours not theirs, so good for you for telling that obnoxious doctor no.

I really admire your good cheer in the face of all of life's challenges. Attitude makes such a difference in all aspects of health, and yours is a fantastic one.

Enjoy your quiet Thanksgiving.

Miranda said...

My mom manages a dialyis clinic, so, while I am definitely no expert, I do have some insight based on things she tells me. Being on dialysis is not fun. It takes several hours, several times a week. After the treatment, people are usually exhausted for the rest of the day.

On the other hand, it can help keep you alive, and many dialysis patients find that they are able to have a good quality of life between treatments. My personal feeling (which admittedly may not be appropriate since I've never face the situation) is that it's worth trying if you have any reason for wanting to prolong your life. You can always stop any time you choose and let nature take its course. Somehow doctors always forget to tell you that starting a treatment does not mean you have to keep doing it forever.

I do think that you would be what is considered a "successful" dialysis patient if you did decide to do it. You're already following the diet and understand its importance, you would take care of your shunt so that it would last as long as possible, you don't use drugs, etc. All of these factors would combine to make dialysis more effective for you, even though it is a lot of work.

You can travel while on dialysis, as long as there is a clinic available in your destination city. The clinics can coordinate to schedule you for the necessary treatments at the clinic where you're going. It's easier if the clinics are owned by the same company, but I think it can work even if they're not (don't quote me on that).

The location of your shunt will depend on where they find good vessels to work with. Therefore, visibility will depend on both the shunt location and what clothes you wear. The online photos of shunts all show dialysis in progress, so that the shunt is very obvious. The rest of the time, while it is definitely noticeable, it is really not such a big honking thing that everyone will stare at.

You might also look into peritoneal dialysis. It is a less invasive form that you can actually do at home, and it doesn't intrude on your life quite as much. You would have to do regular dialysis for a while first, because they would need to evaluate you to see that you're a good candidate for PD.

Some doctors have this attitude that if we can fix it, we must fix it. They seem interested only in prolonging life, not in the quality of life or whether the patient is actually finding it to be an improvement. I have worked with a few of these docs and seen how miserable they can make people. Fortunately, they are in the minority.

I will say this for this type of doctor. In their own minds, they are offering you the most wonderful thing they can think of-- the ability to stay alive-- and I think that they truly can't understand why some people would feel that it's not worth it for what you have to go through. I'm not defending them, because they really are just arrogant and you shouldn't listen to them. But it can help with your own frustration to know that they honestly believe that they are doing what's best.

As you know, the decision must be yours not theirs, so good for you for telling that obnoxious doctor no.

I really admire your good cheer in the face of all of life's challenges. Attitude makes such a difference in all aspects of health, and yours is a fantastic one.

Enjoy your quiet Thanksgiving.

'RainbowRose' Connie Faulconer said...

Very pretty tatting Bev.

I do hope all goes well, I'll be praying for you.

You are a very brave and talented lady :)

Prayers, Connie

Ridgewoman said...

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and input.
I am not brave nor any of those adjectives; when one is in a situation they can't change; there is a choice. Accept it and move on living life as gracefully as possible. Believe me, if you lived with me you would soon learn of my passive-agressive tendencies and my all too human feet of clay.
In addition, I've been told I was terminal at least four times in my life; and, once that I'd be a vegetable all my life (I was 32). All that does is make an angry little person inside say, "What? I'll SHOW YOU." I'm just too stubborn to give up! My Mother said to me when she was dying with uterine cancer, "I'm not afraid to die, I just don't know how to quit! How do you quit? How do you give up?" Zella was a very strong, feisty, auburn-haired woman and I'm glad I inherited some of her personality. She was better at confrontation; I'm not comfortable with conflict resolution She thrived in those situations!
I don't know what I will decide; I'd probably be more apt to go for dialysis if I lived in Tucson because the Doctors would be available as well as hospitals. Here in Silver, if there was real pain or trouble; I'd just be stuck. Most of my family are supportive of what ever decision I make as I'm the one who will have to undergo the treatments; and, they watched me go through the cancer (s) treatments. Frankly, I don't have a lot of tensile strength left and the thought of more pain terrifies me.
Oh DH went to the Renal Diet book and whipped up a 'safe' wonderful Thanksgiving meal with turkey, dressing, cranberry gravy, and steamed cauliflower; unsalted butter and his wonderful Parker House rolls. Yum.
bj

connie said...

I haven't been keeping up lately,so I've just now read your post. I'm trying not to be sad. I will pray for to have peace for however long you remain with us all on earth. I personally believe that to be a much longer time than the doctors have told you. Even though I've never met you in person, I do feel a connection. You are so kind, talented and generous. And baloney about clay feet, none of us are perfect,the fact that you care about being good makes you someone worthwhile.
Your tatting will be carried on by all of us (but I don't think you need to worry about that for sometime) Stay as well as you can and teach those Dr.s some manners will you?

madhur said...

The more I read you, the more I admire you my dearest friend.You have been an amazing daughter and you are an equally amazing wife, mother, grandmother, friend and a person. No words can match the strength, loyalty, sincerity, honestly, large heartedness and the positivity in your personality.Hats off!