December 31, 2015

Christmas Miracle

I've mentioned that I have a friend staying with me over the holidays. Unfortunately, this friend got a cold starting the second day. Very sad :( But even worse is that I'd just started a new biologic, which greatly increases risk of infection, and I already get sick at the drop of a hat.

But...I didn't catch the cold! It's amazing!!! I wasn't sick for Christmas, I'm not sick for New Year's Eve, I'm not sick and thus have to skip the second Benlysta infusion. None of it. Now that is an excellent way to start 2016!

December 22, 2015

Christmas Came Early

On Sunday my friend Adam came to stay for two weeks! I'm so excited to spend this whole holiday with him :) We met online, through a mutual love of knitting and language nerdery.

And today I started Benlysta infusions. I don't know how well this will work but it's going in a different direction than previous treatments. It's administered via IV, over the course of an hour. Before the medication they give IV Benadryl which made me super dopey--I stopped being able to focus my eyes. I get infusions every two weeks x three, then every four weeks. Injecting myself is a breeze in comparison.

It may seem like I'm always waiting for one treatment to work, or waiting for the next step in treatment, or just waiting for something. And that's not an illusion, that's my life. But this Christmas I got companionship along with more waiting but in a different direction. And those are pretty amazing gifts.

December 18, 2015

Dating Pro Tips

Inspired by my buddy Justine, aka The Snarkaeologist, some dating pro tips:

1) When someone says they don't do drunk texting, don't belabor the point.
2) Don't forget the name of her cat then get jealous of said cat.
3) Don't wake me up. Definitely don't wake me repeatedly.
4) If you disobey these rules, be prepared to become a laughing stock to my friends.

Friday night...

and Saturday night

December 6, 2015

Remembering why I love my neighborhood

With the huge amount of ongoing construction in this city, and the general human resistance to change, I'd started to forget why I love my neighborhood. Plus my health...stuff. Then today I marched to protest skinheads, where I ran into a neighbor friend and was complimented on my "full-Seattle" handknitting skills (I wore my rainbow mittens). Later I headed to a local pub for dinner and a beer, striking up a conversation with someone who has also tried and failed to make Classics of Science Fiction book club meetings that are held down the street. I chatted with the bar manager, finished the first section of my book, and walked a whole two blocks home.

Oh yeah, this is why I love my corner of Seattle! It's because I feel like I belong, and I actually know people in the community. I'm so glad for the reminder!

PS: Peaceful protesting is awesome, even in the rain. I'm going to have to do it again. I had to skip out early, my ankle was starting to give out, but even that was no big deal.

November 24, 2015

Cold Weather Coping for Chronic Illness

Winter is here and these are some ways I stay warm and comfy despite the chill:

Heated mattress pad: I bought one of these last fall and it changed my life.  No more crawling into bed to huddle in a ball for 10-15 minutes while I warm the sheets.  The bed is already warm when I get in!  Bonus, the queen size has two zones so one can be warmer and one cooler for maximum nighttime comfort.

Wool socks: These are a must have in my opinion.  If your feet are still cold, or you can't wear wool, try some silk sock liners.  Also wear sturdy shoes, they help keep the warmth in.

Mittens: Mittens are the only way I can even attempt to keep my hands warm in winter.  Gloves don't let my fingers warm each other so the chill of doom sets in.  Fingerless mitts are nice for cool indoor days as well.

Lap blanket: I spend a good amount of time at home and a blanket keeps me comfortable without having the heat yo-yoing all day.  If you made your lap blanket, so much the better.  A cat in your lap is also an excellent way to stay warm :)

Hot drinks: I recommend a hot mug of tea.  A very large mug is perfect, it stays warm longer and needs refilled less frequently.

Long underwear: I swear by silk long johns.  They make jeans comfy and practical even when the temp dips to freezing.  Leggings or runner's tights would work also but I like how thin and slippery silk is.  I bought mine deeply discounted at Nordstrom Rack.

It's harder to take care of sick bodies but maybe the ideas will help you this winter.

November 20, 2015

Best Thursday Night

I was chilling last night, drinking tea while eating chocolate-covered shortbread, knitting and watching the Sam & Dean sexy hour (aka Supernatural).  A friend called and asked what I was doing, and I told him.  He replied that that sounded amazing and I had to agree.

Sometimes your best life is relaxing and ignoring the negatives, even just for an hour or two.  I've had some pretty fierce jaw pain the last month, and skin issues, but in spite of that life can be pretty good.  Instead of noticing the ways I accommodate chronic health problems, which would be a very long list, I'm choosing to focus on the positives.  I have a safe and warm home.  My power didn't go out even during our recent wind storm.  I have friends.  I have internet to connect with many of those friends.  And I love and am loved.

I'm also making good progress on the wedding blanket: almost halfway done with the edging.  I think it's going to be beautiful.  And warm :)

November 13, 2015


Last week a friend wrote that she'd had 3,000 days of constant pain.  I did some calculations and I've had 8,072 days.  It was the week before my 17th birthday, so needless to say that birthday sucked.

But during those thousands of days there have been bright spots.  Today I mended my leaf quilt, adding embroidery over an insufficient seam allowance.  I really like how it turned out.

Music has definitely been a positive.  I've been listening to Tom Waits today, he is just right for a stormy afternoon.

But love is the main thing.  Love is what life is all about.  May you all have a happy and love filled weekend.

November 3, 2015

No Place on Earth

I recently read a quote:

"I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change.  I'm changing the things I cannot accept."
- Angela Davis, PhD

It made me pause and think, maybe I can change at least one thing.  My apartment's drains have been slow (again) and it took (again) three weeks for maintenance to show up to snake the drain.  The benefits of where I am now: walkability, transit, social options, are not things I can take advantage of any more.  So I've started looking at where else I might live.  The list is...not long.

I am poor.  When I say that I don't mean that I have to choose a home with a roommate in a less ideal neighborhood.  I mean that I fall under the "extremely low" income category of below 30% the median area income.  Ever tried finding subsidized housing?  Not easy.  Ever tried finding it when you're this broke?  Practically impossible.

The real problem is that I don't belong anywhere.  There is no place for me.  I'm single, I don't have kids.  I'm not obliged or able to help a relative with childcare.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I'm not a burden being shuttled between relations.  But not fitting into the fabric of society is painful.

I don't know how I'd find the energy to pack up and move.  But if I could find a place with some real community, I'd just love that.  When you have subsidized housing and talk about moving it's usually in terms of years, not weeks or months.  And I haven't started anything yet.  But this is a place for my thoughts, so here's another one of them.

October 26, 2015

DC in Sept

Back in mid-September I went to Washington, DC for a long weekend.  I was having high fatigue and pretty severe joint pain, so I didn't get to see as much as I'd hoped.  It was still a good trip!
Cooling my feet in the park's stream

The first couple days were spent near Dulles, where I relaxed while my traveling partner worked.  I didn't bring any business clothes so couldn't sneak into happy hour networking even if I'd wanted to.  Instead I hung out in a nearby park :)

Then on to DC proper, where the hotel was next to the convention center.  This was during the Congressional Black Caucus--good vicarious fun.  So many people happy to see each other, talk about issues important to them, and most importantly to party!  At the end of the CBC convention, President Obama spoke at a dinner.  I was able to see him leave the venue!

I very much enjoyed the National Gallery of Art.  My Flickr album has some terrible photos of my favorite paintings.

I highly recommend taking a Capitol tour through your Senator's office.  It started by riding the special Congressional train linking the Congressional office buildings to the Capitol building.  Then a tour around the public areas of the Capitol, along with some history.

Afterward I sat in on a House debate--lo and behold, they were discussing defunding Planned Parenthood.  Let me tell you, being silent was a real challenge!  Debbie Wasserman Schultz earned my respect that day.

On the last day I saw a couple more Smithsonian museums, then walked back to the hotel.  I got lunch takeout in Chinatown and picked up a few kitschy souvenirs.  After that it was time to catch the airport shuttle and head home.

October 20, 2015

A Birthday

Last weekend was my birthday, I am a shocking 39yo.  No, I'm not sure how that happened either.  But so far I'm liking it: I have more confidence, plenty of life experience, and can happily ignore bad or annoying advice.  Be grateful I'm not your aunt, I'd be telling you to go talk to that boy: he can't know you like him if you don't talk to him!

It's not a birthday without cake.  I got drinks with a few friends during the week, had a party with family on the day, and saw a couple other friends as well.  A well spent holiday.
Mmmm, cake

"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm." H D Thoreau  (I used to have a copy of Bartlett's, with favorites bookmarked.  This was a more recent acquisition however)

October 12, 2015

World Arthritis Day

It's World Arthritis Day.  Autoimmune disease is huge, and nasty: Type 1 diabetes, Crohn's, RA and psoriasis are all caused by the body's immune system mistakenly attacking itself.   There are at least 80 autoimmune diseases, and they affect at least 23 million Americans--that's more than heart disease, and 2.5 times the incidence of cancer!  That figure only includes statistics from 24 AI diseases.  The true figure may be closer to 50 million, or 15% of the US population (AARDA).

But autoimmune disease is largely invisible.  While it ravages your insides you are left with your soft human shell intact.  And ill people do their best to appear normal.  Think I "don't look sick?"  That's because you don't see me on the days when I can't change out of pjs or leave the house.

There's more that I'd like to say but fatigue and brain fog are making it difficult.  Instead of pushing myself further I'll sign off now.  Maybe that will say enough.

September 28, 2015

New Drug

I saw my rheumatologist today and she started me on Simponi.  It's a TNF-alpha inhibitor, not too dissimilar from Humira.  It's taken in a monthly injection.

Simponi's chemical name is Golimumab, so of course I've decided to call it Gollum.  Whether it is my precious remains to be seen.

Simponi: Smeagol approved

September 23, 2015

Country Music Played Backward

I didn't get my wife back or my job back, but I do have my car!  And it's good as new.  Repairs required repainting the passenger side, so where someone keyed it 5 years ago is also fixed.  I purchased touch up paint but my repair was a little blobby.

What did I do with my newfound automobile freedom?  I came home and took a nap.  But tomorrow I can get to my PT appointment without issue.  And buy more ice cream, I'm running dangerously low ;)

September 21, 2015

Humira disposal odyssey

This post is tangentially related to #RABlog Week.

After taking Humira for 10 months I accumulated quite a few used syringes, which require special disposal.  The specialty pharmacy mailed a sharps container along with my first delivery.  That held about six months' worth.  I requested a second sharps container after the first was filled.  The full fist container I left by my purse and keys, intending to bring it to my next rheumatology appointment for biohazard disposal.  It sat sentinel on the cabinet for some weeks, blending into the background of my home. 

After a couple months I finally brought it to the blood center.  I also have hereditary hemochromatosis, which is much less interesting than its name sounds.  My body absorbs too much iron, iron generally being in short supply in the natural world.  Back when wild beasts were roaming the moors this would have been positive.  For me in the modern western world, not so much.  I had been donating blood, a simple and doubly useful way to solve the problem.  Then my blood became unacceptable, so back to "therapeutic phlebotomy" it was.  It was to one of these appointments that I brought my biohazard box. 

But lo! Biohazard disposal is expensive.  So I left with the used sharps.  Next I brought them to my doctor's office.  But OSHA doesn't allow nurses to touch them, so back home they went.  I restrained myself from stealthing them into the exam room's biohazard container.  It was at this point I started imagining my home slowly filling with full sharps containers. 

In the intervening months I had checked into disposal options.  The city and county offer sharps disposal, targeted to drug users, but none of the locations were particularly convenient.  I had read that the county allows disposal of properly marked used sharps in the garbage.  Not my city, however. 

The final decision was to securely close the sharps container and hand it off to my mom.  She can throw it in her trash, and my problem is solved.  Any fear of being crushed to death under a toppled mountain of biohazard containers is assuaged!

September 7, 2015

#PainRealityDay Sept 9

The first annual Pain Reality Day is this Wed, Sept 7.  It will show the everyday realities of chronic pain and illness.  "Open up the world to a typical day in a life lived in pain using fave social media apps." (fb event page)

I will be live tweeting my day.  You are welcome to follow along on Twitter @seaquirky.

August 27, 2015

Boring News

I took my car to the shop this morning, and they estimate it will take a week and a half to fix.  Holy moly.  I don't have the official estimate yet, so haven't been able to check when work can start.  The shop didn't look busy, though.  And I figured out how to get a rental car through insurance. I tend to be a "figure it all out at once" person, so doing things in sequential steps throws me off a bit.

I also finished a week of methylprednisolone, a corticosteroid.  Not nearly as interesting as the "meth" makes it sound.  My response is supposed to help narrow down future treatments.  In the meantime, I'm waiting for the hot and cold flashes, pred sweats and generally weirdness to stop.  After one day off I'm already feeling better though.

I did walk up to the park today, and read for a little bit.  It's getting chilly in the evenings so I can tell autumn is on its way.  The Pacific Northwest is having terrible wildfires so rainy cool weather is most welcome.  It is sad to see the days ending so much earlier--it's getting dark by 8pm!  But come December, when it's dark by 4pm, I'll dream of these long days.

August 21, 2015

Good news, bad news

First off, the good news: My appointment yesterday morning went very well!  It really helped having my mom there, for multiple reasons.  And even though I couldn't fall asleep then slept through my alarm and woke at 7:57, we were still early for the 8:30 appt :)

We have a plan, and I love having a plan.  The illness is being taken seriously.  A couple med changes should help direct treatment, and I return in Sept to figure out the next step.  What I really need is a control version of me, that would make this much simpler and faster.  Especially if I could create a mouse mini me--any mad scientists out there interested?

The bad news: I was having a lovely Friday when I heard that someone bashed my car.  It was a neighbor who was drinking and driving, and drove off afterward (but only around the corner).  Thankfully there were witnesses.  The police are involved, I've filed an insurance claim, and next week take it to a shop.  But it's still going to be a bother.  Thankfully no one was hurt.

Seriously: don't drink and drive!

August 20, 2015

Another rheumatology appointment

I have an appointment first thing Thursday to see my rheumy.  My mom's coming with me, to drive home how sick I am and to help talk to the doc.  I get so used to this being my normal that it's hard to get into the mindset of just how unusual my life is.  Then explaining that is almost impossible.

Some positive thoughts my way would be very welcome.  I just so exhausted by this fight.

August 5, 2015

Done with Humira

I saw my rheumatologist last week, and once again we didn't discuss whether Humira was helping.  Instead I'm to make a small tweak to sulfasalazine and wait two more months.  I'm so frustrated with my lack of control: there are so many things I want to do but can't, and too many times someone is gatekeeping my life.

I thought for a couple days and yesterday emailed the doctor to say I'm done with Humira.  It's not helping, it's frustrating, and it's creating a false sense that she's effectively treating me.  I tried it for 10 months.  I'm done taking it, and I'm done pretending that this treatment might be helping.

On the plus side, I finished binding off Tulpenkranz and started a new lace shawl.  Blocking Tulpenkranz is turning out to be a bigger deal than the bind off--I'll have to spend the day at my mom's to accomplish that.  Hopefully before Seattle summer is out I'll have photos to share :)

July 28, 2015

Product Review: Arthritis Compression Gloves

Two challengers enter the ring: Imak arthritis gloves in gray, Isotoner compression gloves in beige.  As our opponents go head to head they reveal their strengths and weaknesses.  Let's get ready to rumble!


Imak's compression gloves, which they call arthritis gloves, are made from a cotton/spandex blend that's comfortable even in summer.  The dark gray color allows them to be worn somewhat incognito.  They have more of a tendency to stretch out between washes than the Isotoner.  My first two pair were size S but recently I tried the XS and prefer them.

My main quibble with the Imak is the shortness of the fingers: I don't pull them completely onto my palm in order for the fingers reach to my second PIP joint.  I also had the seaming on one glove's finger start to unravel, but I quickly resewed it with needle and thread.


These are definitely the ugly support hose of compression gloves.  However, these nylon/spandex gloves work very well and are practically indestructible.  They are worn with the seams on the outside, something I now do with all my compression gloves.  I started with a size M but will next try the S.

Isotoner are my glove of choice in winter since they keep my hands warm even on cold nights.  The fingers are a bit longer than the Imak, a big plus.  They are easier to remove, nice when pinching the fingertips off is difficult of a morning.  They also dry quickly, I can wash them mid day and still have them dry to wear that night.

*I hand wash and hang dry all my compression gloves: it's quick, especially if I throw them on the floor of the shower with me.  And they last much longer.

I started out wearing the size recommended by the manufacturer.  As my joint swelling and pain has progressed, however, I prefer one size smaller.  I found that fitting has more to do with the circumference of the fingers and less to do with palm width.  It can be harder to find the smaller sizes but worth a look.

I hope some people find this helpful.  Do you have any experiences with compression gloves you'd like to share?  Please leave a comment :)

June 27, 2015

Working on the chain gang

Knitting needle threaded through crochet chains
I have finished the knitting on Tulpenkatz, aka Giant Lace Thing.  Which is excellent!  Slightly less positive: I still need to work the crocheted edging.  Nothing wrong with crochet except that I'm bad at it.  I slip a few stitches off at a time, crochet a chain, slip off more stitches, chain, and repeat until my arm falls off.

In-progress edging

R) little bit I've accomplished, L) what's left to do
This is going to take a while.  The funny pink thing is my inline crochet hook.  I inherited it from a relative and I love it for chaining with laceweight.  A regular hook kept wanting to split my yarn.

June 22, 2015

Slip-sliding symptoms

When you're chronically ill you get used to a lot.  Pain and disability can sneak up on you, and the more things that go wrong the less energy and desire you have to deal with them all.  One of my best coping mechanisms is to distract myself, which is great until I realize I've managed to not consciously register a whole host of problems.  Generally I keep my own counsel about these things, but I guess that's what blogs are for?

Recently I've realized how many symptoms I have, and how many minor issues would be concerning to someone else.  Like fungus.  This might seem gross, but it's unfortunately common in immunocompromised people.  So I drink my yucky anti fungal every night, apply cream between my fingers, and hope it goes away in another couple weeks.

More bothersome is that I am losing sight of my ankles.  I wouldn't mind for aesthetic reasons, I have bigger fish to fry.  But the swollen tissue around my achilles tendons makes walking and standing stiff and painful.  My feet always have this cold burning pain sensation and much of the time my toes feel half frozen.  Even in summer.  What's worse though is when they feel warm--then they swell with even more blood and feel hot and congested.  Elevating my legs helps, as does physically cooling them down.  Suddenly I love having tile floors.

The minutiae of being chronic are petty and irritating, like a tiny sliver under the skin.  Each new problem adds one more task to my list, as I try and fail to maintain the status quo.  But on I persist.  Maybe I'm a splinter under life's skin.  That would hold a pleasant irony.

May 25, 2015

What I've Been Thinking About (God talk)

I made myself some tasty coffee, the kind my grandma would hate (almost syrupy-thick and black, sweetened with sugar, brewed in a Moka pot), and I felt like catching up.  I haven't written for a while because fatigue has been kicking my ass.  I've taken a couple trips out of town this spring, but day-to-day it's taking care of this sick body, passing time, and not much else.  Being chronically ill takes a stupid amount of time and energy.

The last year or so I've been thinking about God and religion.  I have almost no direct experience with religions other than Christianity, so that's the stake around which my thoughts graze.  I do believe in God and Jesus, and I'm fully aware that this is a choice I've made and others have made different choices.  I've had some bad experiences with churches and people, but since that's not enough reason for me to write off people I also decided not to write off organized religion.  However, getting to church is very difficult for me, as is sitting and paying attention for an hour plus, much less both in one morning.  So I haven't been doing that.

Uh oh, now the caffeine's really kicking in and I'm jittery.

Illness does this interesting thing when it steals your energy: it forces you to distill life down to what's essential.  Part of this simplification means that I don't spend a lot of time thinking about hypotheticals.  If God wanted me to spend my days doing and thinking about all kinds of God-stuff, I'd be not sick and actually have the energy for that (or so goes my reasoning).  Instead I think about my basic needs and ways to cope with pain, fatigue, frustration and loneliness.  But most of what I read about spiritual life focuses on spending so much time thinking about God and what God wants, or what we think God wants, or what we think God might want us to want.  I do almost none of that.  BUT, since everybody else is focused on God as micromanager, I don't get messages of "hey, what you're doing is different but I still think it's just fine."  I'd maybe worry about this more except I don't have energy for that.  So shrug.

I do like angry Jesus, though.  Having seen things from the "widows and orphans" side, I like the Jesus who throws tables over in the temple or eats sabbath bread while giving a "what are you gonna do about it?" look.  At least that's how I imagine him.  He's also the guy who got nailed to a beam and left on a hill, and I can related to that kind of pain and loneliness.

Sometimes I play a mental game where I calculate the total amount of pain in various scenarios.  You take Value of pain (V) x Length of pain (L) = Total pain (T).  Being eaten by a bear would be hideously painful but short, so might actually be preferable to being eaten by cancer over the course of years.  Short illness also doesn't steal parts of who you are the way chronic illness does.  But acute pain has the disadvantage that you're not able to adjust to the pain, unlike chronic pain.  Over the years vast tracts of real estate in my brain have switched from thinking to not thinking about pain.  It has the benefit of keeping me alive and sane, but I'm also dumber than I used to be.  Anyway, that's what I think about during Game of Thrones fight scenes.

I'm not sure where I was going with this, but I'll wrap up anyway.  I try to be the best person I can and listen to that voice that tells me yea or nay (Jiminy Cricket, God, or prefrontal cortex, I don't know).  Part of what makes us human is questioning our thoughts and actions.  If life is building to a final exam I just hope that my best is good enough to pass.

March 7, 2015

Riding Life's Rollercoaster

The last month has been interesting.  I've been attending the UW's Mini Med School, which I really enjoy.  It's two hours of public health-related lectures each Tuesday evening.  I won the gross anatomy lottery this year so was able to visit a gross anatomy lab.  I'm not able to distill that experience into words, though.  It was amazing.  It can be painful to revisit something I'm deeply interested in but completely able to pursue, however.

With the positives also come the negatives.  My energy has been lower this week and I think the recent decrease in fatigue is over.  My body wants to be awake and energetic only at night, which is inconvenient.  And making and keeping friends is always difficult.  I also lost a group of close online friends due to life's inevitable changes.

But I'm still here, and I'm pushing ahead on the Niebling lace project.  I've almost reached row 200 out of 250.  It should be a little faster from here on, the pattern repeats are shorter thus easier to memorize.

It this seems scattered, well it is.  Communication is difficult lately.

February 15, 2015

Ssk-free I-cord edging

I unvented a slightly easier way to apply I-cord edging.  You may read the description and think: pshaw, that's simple, I could have thought of it myself!  But you didn't, I did ;)  I may sound cocky but this is my blog and I get to revel in my own cleverness.

Without further ado the how-to:

1) Cast on your I-cord.  I used 4 stitches to make a more substantial edging but 3 sts is typical.

2) Ready the left side of the piece to be bound off (PtbBo).  This is where we depart from convention and aim for genius.

If PtbBo is worked in garter st, finish with a right side row.  Otherwise the stitches present themselves as purls and create unsightly bumps along your finished I-cord.

I-cord on left in blue, PtbBo on right in gray

3) Commence I-cording by slipping the left-most PtbBo st onto the right side of your I-cord needle.

4) Knit together the first two sts (I-cord and PtbBo).  Then knit the remaining I-cord sts as usual.

5) Slide the I-cord back to the right side of your needle (or slip the sts to the right needle if not using dpns).

Repeat steps 3-5 until you have completely bound off PtbBo.

My swatch half bound off with I-cord

So yes, knitting I-cord is still tedious.  But you've eliminated slip, slip, knit in favor of k2tog which always counts as a win in my book.  Happy knitting!

February 12, 2015

Blanket Accompli

My squishy, warm and cozy Mitered Brights blanket is done!  And I love all of its 40x48" or 100x120cm.

It folds up nicely
Whimsy is important--thanks Tom for reminding me--so I added a multicolored I-cord border despite being tedious to knit.  And unvented a slight faster way to work it, which I will post.

The Blanket, posing provocatively on my queen bed
I reknit the border a few times all told to get the tension right, it kept loosening up as I got bored went.  I surprised myself Sun night when the last stitch was truly cast off.  I'd already worked most of the ends in as I went.  Of course then I had a dream that they were still dangling, because my brain is a sadist.  I got the last laugh,  I woke to a fully finished blanket :)

February 3, 2015

Wise words from a friend

Yesterday I read a beautiful blog post by my friend Byrd.  She is also living with chronic illness, and offers her unique and valuable insights.

Here are some observations Byrd has about folks with chronic illness:

"We are wise.  We are funny.  We have marvelous insights.  We see things in a different light.  Because of what we have faced, we value kindness, thoughtfulness and consideration.  We value things that make the world a better place without taking away from others.  In fact, what we value Adds to others.  We are complete."

She is also an artist with work on Flickr.

January 16, 2015

Blanket Border 1.0

The grey blanket yarn finally arrived and I've finished the body and am working on the border.  On the plus side: the blanket is big!  On the minus side, the blanket is big!

The first border scheme I tried looks too much like Mork's suspenders are strangling an otherwise classy blanket.  And the scale is wrong.  I'm all for 70s-tastic, just not this time.  I'd like a wide charcoal border but am running low on charcoal yarn.  But I have plenty of light grey ;)

Nanu nanu
I had a pair of these as a kid, loved them!

Border 1.0 on right
After struggling with perfectionist tendencies for twenty years it can be nice to work on something without a clear plan.  It makes my brain itchy to try to solve problems and make decisions on the fly.  But in a positive way that indicates changes in neuroplasticity.

January 12, 2015

Practically Painless Humira Hack

I've been using Humira for a few months now.  The auto-injector was seriously painful, so much that I started dreading the injections.  It's subcutaneous, this should be no big deal!  I don't know why Abbvie say to use the thigh: it's fibrous, more vascular, and generally lacking in subcutaneous fat.  I dislike injecting in my stomach because it bruises easily and is rubbed by waistbands :(

I started injecting in my "hip", better known as the muffin top, where I have more fat and less connective tissue.  I barely felt the first such injection, and the second was much less painful despite inferior aim.  Plus I could actually see the yellow indicator.

I am not a doctor, this is not medical advice but just my opinion.  I refer you to the NIH patient education sheet for details on subq injections.  And photographic proof that Humira is subq:

January 5, 2015

Welcome 2015, from my happiest place on earth

London's Natural History Museum says hi.
copyright National Geographic

I'm sitting in a warm room, with a cat on my lap (and half on one arm), so things are pretty decent so far.  Having only visited one natural history museum as an adult, it's my happiest place on earth.  I should try virtual tours of the Field Museum and Smithsonian.  Then I can have multiple virtual happiest places :)

Earlier I was browsing my bookshelves and realized that it's like having a bookstore in my home.  Curated by me!  I should start looking at more of my art and knitting books, not just them snooze on my shelves.

Happy New Year to everyone, and Stay Sciencey!
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