Thursday, July 20, 2006


Thank you all for your supportive and helpful comments and emails. They mean more to me than this smart-ass blogger can say.

The new doctor seems pretty sensible. He ordered a round of blood tests: first to screen out non-tick-related medical conditions with similar joint symptoms (a real parade of horribles including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus) -- but hastened to say he doubts any of them will come back positive; and second, to screen for other tick-borne illnesses that commonly accompany Lyme or can be confused with it. He prescribed another, stronger antibiotic to treat what he thinks is obviously Lyme that didn't get knocked out the first time. I also liked that he scheduled a follow-up visit for a month from now (unlike my original internist, who sent me off and clearly didn't want to see me again. Ever.) and recommended acidophilus to compensate for the kill-off of bacteria. So we shall see.

In the meantime, just to torture me even further, it appears that lovely little Grace will need eye surgery within the next month or two. She has a strabismus, which is one of those eyes that lollygags off to the side and she does not have true binocular vision. We have been tracking it for a while, and her regular doctor recommended surgery since the problem has not resolved itself and is, in fact, getting worse. Tom took her for a second opinion today and the doctor unequivocally agreed. I hope they do mother-daughter anesthesia.

And while I'm the voice of doom and gloom, let's pay tribute to one of our own, Barbara Albright, who died earlier this month at the ridiculously young age of 51. Ms. Albright wrote several knitting books (including the recent Oddball Knitting, for using up leftover scraps of yarn) and had an interesting-looking book called The Natural Knitter: How to Choose, Use and Knit Natural Fibers from Alpaca to Yak that is forthcoming. Ms. Albright also wrote books about food, in particular chocolate; anyone who writes a book called 1001 Reasons to Love Chocolate must have been my kind of gal. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor this spring. Yes, sobering, isn't it?

If you haven't already checked out the RosieBlogs series of posts on knitting with handdyed yarns, you really should. Lisa Myers has outdone herself with some really great, substantive discussions of how to use hand-dyed yarns, with lots of photos to illustrate her points.

Finally, here is a new website that bears watching: Stupid Knitted Crap. Whether you enjoy or scoff at the oddball entries, this looks to be a collection-in-progress of the strangest knitted stuff out there.


Charity said...

Chin up, Carol! I'm so glad to hear you found a Dr. who takes you seriously, and you are comfortable with. I'm sure the news of Grace's surgery is more stomach-turning than your own care, and it's always crazy to realize how much better kids seem to handle this stuff than we do.

Jen said...

Hello dear! Gosh, you've got a lot going on. I'm glad you've got a doc who will listen and is active in your treatment. Hope you feel better soon. (If you have a Trader Joe's or Wild Oats they have a decently good acidophilus drink - it's refrigerated in the supplements section and is a little tiny bottle. It doesn't taste too bad and it is good stuff.)

I'm sorry about the surgery for Grace - I know that must be heart-wrenching.

And it turns out I won your prize from the Dye-O-Rama. I have a quick question for you, do you mind emailing me real quick?

Thanks and hope today is a good day.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like this new doc is what you need- glad you went out there and found him. As for Grace, I am so sorry. It will probably be worse for you and Tom. Is this surgery a definite fix? Let us know when its coming up, and we'll all be there for you "cyberly". Lots of hugs!

Anonymous said...

My son has strabismus. He's 11 now, but had surgery on both eyes when he was 8 months old. It was not really all that traumatic, only a couple of hours as an outpatient and when he came home it was amazing! Right off the bat we could see a difference when he got a big smile on his face as I walked into the room. Prior to that he wouldn't notice us until we were quite a bit closer.

His eyes were red and probably sore for a few days, but he's done so incredibly well since then. He had patching and glasses in his younger years, but he hasn't worn glasses for a few years now. He's doing great. It's always better to get the surgery done early so that the brain develops correctly.

Lastly, there is a recent NPR Driveway Moments podcast about a woman who didn't have the surgery until she was 2 and what happened later. It's called Going Binocular: Susan's First Snowfall on July 5. Good luck with everything!

Anonymous said...

Caro, my handsome, funny nephew Luke had the same surgery at an early age.
No trauma, very little suffering, maybe reddish eyes for a while.
Before the surgery, he was teary and clingy and not very talkative.
He soon became a sassy funny readaholic.
He's now a very handsome, very confident 19-year=old scholar.
Go for it and don't look back.

Anonymous said...

Hey Carol,
My friend's daughter had that surgery and came through great. Also, I feel your pain with all the Lyme testing -- chronic fatigue has similar symptoms, so I have the lupus tests and all that! And I can't say enough about "active yogurt cultures"! Miraculous!

Anonymous said...

Carol, it sounds like you found a good dr this time - they are out there, it's just hard to always be lucky. So I hope you'll really be on the mend this time.

As for Grace's surgery, that is just really too bad, but one of my nieces had the same surgery when she was 4, and never had any problems afterwards. She was even noticeably more active and "with it" the next day.

As my mother used to say, it's either an ass or an elbow ...

To everyone at your house, take care!

Anonymous said...

A few years ago I had a blot of blood work done because they thought I either had Lupus, but maybe Lyme. My joints all hurt and were swollen. (I had a few other Lupus symptoms too) Both came out negative and they never really could figure out what was happening. It subsided but flares up now and then.

I think the more troubling idea for me is why I do get mysterious symptoms that are like Lupus...and why they can't figure out what they are.

Anonymous said...

I had the strabismus surgery at age 30. The worst part of it was the minor adjustment they did after the surgery--tugging the stitches to fine tune the alignment. Some kids down the hall really screamed when they did it, but it really wasn't painful, just strange pressure. My doctor said he never had a mother faint on him--fathers fainted, but not mothers!

Diane said...

Can't offer you words of wisdom so I'll just send some virtual chocolate your way ... and maybe a nice cup of hazelnut coffee too.

the hanged man said...

I'm glad you've found a good caring doctor, and I hope Grace's eye surgery goes well.

On a completely different tack: I LOVE the stupid knitted crap, especially the knitted digestive system.