Jul 152014
 

and also why I haven’t posted anything.

It all started when we weregoing to Crete on Pentecost. The days before were a little stressful what with the usual things, and a friend staying overnight, and all the packing and preparing for a week away.

On the flight to Crete I was somewhat cold, and regretted not taking a scarf. The next day my throat was sore, and I felt the beginning of a sinus infection. So I spent the first day of vacation in bed, didn’t go to the beach, and hoped to be better the next day.

Which I was.The next day we walked six kilometers along the beach to Rethymnon which is beautiful, and went sightseeing there, and had fabulous lunch, and then walked all the way back with our son protesting loudly, and in the evening my left ear hurt. I took some ibuprofen, and hoped I would be better the next day.

The next day we had booked a guided tour to Knossos and Iraklion and such. My ear hurt very much during the night, it reminded me uncomfortably of all the middle ear infections I had as a child but otherwise I was feeling alright. No fever. Although it was a little hard to tell with all the heat and sweating because not only was Crete a little warmer than I had hoped, our hotel room also didn’t have airconditioning, and tended to get hotter and hotter during the day until we ad a choice of sleeping in an oven at night, or be woken up every few minutes by dogs barking, and goats and sheep baaing in a field right next to the hotel.

The guided tour was very nice, only we went from the really chilly airconditioned bus to the really hot Knosses site to the bus to the hot town center, back and forth. Because my ear hurt so badly, and it was windy all the time I had put a piece of tissue in my left ear by then. When I pulled it out some time during the dayt looked rather gross, a little bloody and by now it was really clear that there was some kind of infection raging in my ear.

When I googled my symptoms back at the hotel I found that yes, this was a middle ear infection, yes, my ear drum had ruptured, and also that there wasn’t much I could do. I was not keen on finding a doctor and trying to talk to someone who probably could speak Greek and not much more, so I kept taking ibuprofen, and also some of the nose spray my husband takes, and on top of that the antibiotic that we had happened to have lying around at home, and had taken on vacation as a silly precaution.

At that time I couldn’t hear properly with that ear as well but I thought that would become better once the infection would be gone.

So after that it was clear I was really sick, and we spend the rest of the week at the hotel with short walks to the supermarket, and while my husband and son went to the beach swimming I spent my days in the shade reading, away from the wind and sun, or in our hotel room sitting in bed and reading. I did try knitting and spinning but mostly it was just too hot.

I did stay deaf in that ear for the rest of the week which was rather disconcerting and inconvenient.

We came back after a week, and were very happy to be home again, I unpacked all the things, spent one night in my own bed (without goats blearing, and much cooler), and since I was still sick, and since I still couldn’t hear much I went to my ENT on Monday morning.

He told me that yes, I was almost deaf in that ear, that I had a toxic inner ear which sounded rather ominous, that the antibiotic I was taking would not help against ear infections even though it said so on the package, and also that I needed a tube in my ear drum, and infusions, and that I would go home, pack a bag, and go to the hospital over night.

So I went home, told my husband who was desperately wrangling laundry at home, and dealing with a week of neglect in the garden that I would go to the hospital now, and stay over night, and then I went to get my toothbrush and pajamas and such, and repacked a bag.

The doctor had told me I only had to stay one night but I would have packed fresh clothes anyway, only I didn’t have any fresh clothes. Laundry hadn’t happened just before we went away, and therefore I was wearing my last set of clean underwear.

I went to the hospital, got admitted, got my tube put in by a really nice young doctor, and it only took four or five tries, and that one time when he almost didn’t get it out again, and then I got a nice bed, and my own TV, and prednisone and antibiotics via IV, and the doctors told me that I could surely go hometwo days later.

My hearing got somewhat better with the tube because there wasn’t all that fluid clogging up my ear but there were still quite a few frequencies I couldn’t hear properly, everything sounded as if I was sitting in a tin drum sloshing with water but I pretended to be patient.I also called my husband and asked him to bring me fresh clothes, and all the chargers for all my electronics.

And then I spent the next three days sitting in bed, reading until the battery of my ebook reader gave out, and knitting awkwardlybecause I had an IV in my left hand. (I have really bad veins, and at first the nurses had wanted to put the IV in the back of my right hand which would have meant I coudn’t have done much of anything.)

Fortunately I had a room to myself for most of the time because otherwise I would have gone crazy. Also nobody told me that prednisone makes you unable to sleep, and rather hungry, I only wondered why I was so restless.

On the fifth day after arriving in the hospital I could finally go home.That day I wondered why I felt so tired, and exhausted, and weak but by now I can tell you that that are the effects you get after you have taken large doses of prednisone because then your body has to make its own again, and that takes a few days.

So I went home, spent the next few days in bed reading, and continued taking antibiotics.And being grateful that it was still Pentecoste break because if your self-employed it is a little hard to spend a week in the hospital. But since I didn’t have to teach anyway I was good.

Then I started teaching again, without most of my hearing in my left ear, and that made students sound rather badly but it couldn’t be helped. The bad thing was that my hearing wasn’t improving. So I went back to my doctor, and he suggested another round of prednisone shots. Which I had to pay for myself. So I went to the doctor three days in a row, on a weekend, and got more prednisone. With the not sleeping on that weekend, and the subsequent crash the next few days.

By then I was growing a little desperate because I still couldn’t hear properly. I didn’t want to go anywhere, and I didn’t listen to music, and I wasn’t playing any music because t all sounded horrible. And all in all I had taken antibiotics for about three weeks in a row because the infection wasn’t going anywhere as well.

So right when I was about to resign myself to stay half-deaf for the rest of my life I went back to the doctor, did my sixth hearing test in two weeks or so, and found that my hearing had actually gotten better. There still was the tinny sound, and I still had a tinnitus but I was almost hearing properly.

So right now I’m hoping to get my hearing back, once that tube is taken out. Which will happen tomorrow. I am not thrilled by the prospect of having someone poke in my ear again, especially since it is really, really loud when someone is working on your eardrum but I hope to get rid of that cheap sound in my ear for sure.

Sorry this is so long but now you probably understand why I wasn’t doing much of anything in the past few weeks.

 

Jun 042014
 
Gestrickt habe ich:
  • Silky Strength sehr wenig weitergestrickt. Als nächstes muss ich den Rest gesponnener Seide verzwirnen.eiki start
  • Ellington Socken, ich bin beim Zwickel des ersten SockensEllington in progress
  • Viajante: ich habe mein Irtfa’a-Tuch aufgezogen und mache aus der Wolle jetzt Viajante. Bin noch ziemlich am Anfang.
  • Ich habe auch einen Hitchhiker gestrickt, den ich vergessen habe, zu erwähnen:Hitchhiker FO
Gehäkelt habe ich:
  • das erste Dreieck für die Jehane-Jacke, was mir gezeigt hat, dass die Kontrastfarbe nicht funktioniertjehane triangle

 

Gewebt habe ich:

  • das dritte Geschirrhandtuch fertig
  • habe den Webrahmen für den zweiten Teil der Sockenwollrestedecke geschärt, aber noch nicht angefangen, zu weben
Gesponnen habe ich:
  • BFL von Dornröschenwolle auf der Tiny Turkish Spindel fertigdornröschen bfl
  • rot/pink/orange Merino vom Wollschaf ist fertigCC Jehane
  • grünes BFL von Knitting Spiro etwas weiter auf der Bosworth Mini
  • mein erstes Silk-Cap angefangen
Gestickt habe ich:
Erwähnt wurde:

 

May 222014
 

It all started back in February. During the winter I hadn’t exercised much, mostly there was one measly 30 minute run a week. That was because I had knee problems, and my doctor had told me to ride a bike instead of running (though he did say I was allowed to run on account of me being not too heavy – which I found rather funny because I am rather fat). So I didn’t quite know what to do exercise-wise, and my knee hurt, and I was looking at my body going downhill over the next few decades.

I felt rather helpless. Yoga hurt, biking hurt, sitting hurt, so I just didn’t exercise. All the time I had the feeling that I should move a little more than I did but it just didn’t happen. And then two people on my favorite ravelry forum decided to help each other exercise more, and they started a new thread about it, and I committed myself to moving at least ten minutes almost every day. That was February. I walked, and did a little yoga, and ran a bit, and all of a sudden I was moving again but not very much. It was a start, though.

One of those two people who started that exercise thread recommended a strength training book, and I thought starting strength training again would be an excellent idea. So I ordered the book, and soon enough I was working with dumbbells and such twice a week. And I liked it very much. The program had you add weight each time you were comfortable with the exercises. Soon enough I was looking through the garage for my husband’s 5 kilo dumbbells. But the best thing about the strength training was that I stopped hurting. My back, my knees, my hips, all of that felt better. Did you know that strength training is really, really helpful for joint pain? I didn’t. It was like a miracle. Sweat and grunt for 30 minutes and be free of pain. I also learned that strength training helps against osteoporosis. Did you know that your bones start to get a little brittle (and your muscles a little weak) after forty? That falling and breaking a hip is the one thing that has old women in the hospital the most? That you can see improvement in bone density, and muscle mass from regular strength training even when you start when you’re 80 or older? That strength training improves your balance and flexibility? I didn’t but now I do.

Next thing I start reading “Younger next year” which I found through Neil Gaiman’s journal. (There is a version for women called “Younger next year for women” that I’d recommend, by the way. Buying both books is rather pointless because a lot of the information is the same.) That book tells you that if you exercise six times a week for 45 minutes you will be able to have the body of a fit fifty year-old until you’re 80 or so. There’s more to it than that but that’s the main message. Exercise for 45 minues, six times a week, and be able to do just about anything you want until you’re pretty old. And be able to do all those things without pain.

My husband and I are already seeing the beginning of that downward slope towards death. The joints that hurt, the cricks in our backs, the feeling of “I can’t do that anymore, I’m getting old.” But the great thing is that we now know we can do something against it.

Now 45 minutes is quite a bit of time, and I have to confess I’m not quite there yet. At the moment I do about 45 minutes of cardio three times a week, and only 30 minutes of strength training three times a week. Since I didn’t want to keep buying heavier, and heavier weights I have started a strength training program where you use the weight of your own body as resistance. It’s “Body by you” and I find it fun. Well, not exactly when I’m doing it because it’s really hard but certainly afterwards when I can feel my muscles growing. Me doing all this exercise has also changed something in my husband and son. All of a sudden my husband is running again, two or three times a week, and my son who is as much of a couch potato as I am is doing the strength training with me. Three times a week we meet in the kitchen and do all kinds of silly exercises using chairs, and the counters, and door handles. Right now it is pretty easy to keep going because my body is feeling so much better. And I’m seeing progress. Who knows, one of these days I might even be able to do a set of real pushups. But the best thing is that my knees aren’t hurting anymore, they don’t hurt at all, and I had already resigned myself to live with this nagging pain for the rest of my life. Oh, and all this exercise is making me tremendously happy. Who would have thought that couch potato me would come to this?

May 152014
 

I am painfully aware that I’ve been neglecting this blog (and the podcast) for weeks now. Sorry.
At first I thought it was writer’s block but I wasn’t sure. Then I realized that that was not the point, I just had less time than before.
Since February I’ve been back to exercising again. I started doing ten minutes most days, so that wasn’t a problem, and then I went on to doing 45 minutes six times a week, and while that is not a problem per se it takes quite a chunk of time out of my day.
I also finally managed to do my share of housework again. Which is good but takes time away from other things as well.
One of the exercise things I do is strength training with my son three times a week. Since we’re doing it together we have to do it in the evenings, between my teaching and dinner. And just yesterday did I realize that that used to be one of the time slots that I had used for blogging or recording a podcast in the past. Bummer.

The other thing (apart from time) is that I am still in the middle of revising a novel. Well, what is supposed to become a novel when it grows up some day.Even though I mostly sit around procrastinating it still seems to take most of my creative energy.

But fear not! I have a plan! I think I can manage to blog again, and record podcasts, if I shift my dy around a bit. As evidenced by this.
I have several posts that I’ve been wanting to write for ages, and so I’m pretty hopeful there will be more to read here in the future.

I hope you’re still all there.

Mar 292014
 
Gestrickt habe ich:

 

Gewebt habe ich:

  • das dritte Geschirrhandtuch weiter
Gesponnen habe ich:
  • BFL von Dornröschenwolle auf der Tiny Turkish Spindel ein bisschen mehr
  • grüne Merino vom Wollschaf, die dritte Spule ist fertig, 350 Gramm sind gezwirnt
  • rot/pink/orange Merino vom Wollschaf, das erste Drittel ist gesponnen und ein Teil des zweiten Drittels
Gestickt habe ich:
Erwähnt wurde:

 

Feb 162014
 
Gestrickt habe ich:

Gehäkelt habe ich:

Gewebt habe ich:

  • das zweite Geschirrhandtuch fertig und das dritte angefangen
Gesponnen habe ich:
  • BFL von Dornröschenwolle auf der Tiny Turkish Spindel ein bisschen mehr
  • grüne Merino vom Wollschaf, die zweite Spule fast fertig
Gestickt habe ich:
Erwähnt wurde:

 

Feb 132014
 

and not getting enough messes with your life in a big way.

Today was supposed to be the day I exercise (first time in weeks), take a shower, and go grocery shopping. After a rather lazy start into the day I changed my plans to taking a shower, and then cleaning the house because that seemed more important than the groceries. (Cleaning also hasn’t happened for some time, and right now you can really see it, and we still have enough food to get us through the day.)

Then I rested a bit. I was, of course, determined to only lay down for ten minutes, and then to get going. Yeah, not so much. Thirty minutes later I went into the kitchen, found that my husband was late as well, helped him prepare lunch, and emptied all the waste paper baskets. I even dusted the house but then I ate, and then I worked, and then was now.

This sounds like the mid-morning nap was the problem but the problem was – as always – that I had been so sleep deprived that I not only felt the need to retire to bed in the middle of the day but that I also fell soundly asleep on the spot.

The past week has been really bad for getting enough sleep. Some days I’d go to bed too late, so I was tired. Some days I went to bed on time but slept badly. Some days I went to bed almost on time but woke up early, and couldn’t fall asleep again. And then on Tuesday I went to bed really, really late – like three hours too late – woke up one hour before the alarm and couldn’t fall asleep again.

Which brought me to the point where I’m now, sleep is the only thing I can think of. I even contemplated going to bed without eating dinner first. Which just doesn’t happen with me.

And this last week showed me again and again why getting adequate sleep is so super-important. Since I was always tired I haven’t cleaned anything, I haven’t made music, I haven’t worked on my novel, I’m just too tired. I’m a bad listener, everything I do takes ages, I’m sloppy, I make mistakes, it’s a big mess.

So my firm intention is to go to bed before 10 tonight, and tomorrow.

Maybe then I’ll be able to think straight again.

Feb 122014
 

Well, it’s not exactly my blog anniversary today, first the anniversary was yesterday but I was just too busy for writing a post. (Yes, I could have written it before. But I didn’t. Sorry.) And also there was one other post on the blog, a year before that. But that post sat there, lonely and sad for a year without anything else happening which is why I declared February 11, 2006 to be the birthday of this blog.

Back then the blog was called “Diapers and Music”, and was hosted on blogger. My son had just started kindergarten, and there were still diapers and zippy cups in my life. Not for long, though, which is why I changed the name of the blog. And now my son is in 5th grade, and parenting is just a little less energy-consuming, and the blog is still here.

I have been thinking of stopping it at times. Especially since I don’t post here nearly as often as I used to. I do most of my writing on ravelry these days, and anyone who wants to find out what I’m doing day in and day out can go there and post-stalk me. But as much as I like that forum I still love reading blogs as well. So even though this here blog has become mostly a place where I post my podcast (and I know I should record another episode, and I will, soon) I still want it to be blog as well.

Two people who brought home to me what I love about blogs versus twitter or Facebook or things like that were Neil Gaiman and Frau Kaltmamsell. Neil Gaiman is taking a sabbatical from twitter and such at the moment, and has therefore started to post blog entries again. I do like following him on twitter but reading his blog is just so nice. Everything in one place, and it’s a proper read, I like it very much.

And Frau Kaltmamsell is currently writing a daily journal on her blog again. She does this from time to time, and while she feels that her daily life is rather boring I love reading about other people’s days. I’m immensely curious about how people spend their days, or what they put in their bags, or the small ordinary things. I often find those details interesting, and soothing.

So I’m thinking of doing a little daily journal blogging of my own for a bit of time. I’m not quite sure I can do this, and I definitely don’t know for how long. I also am not quite sure what you, my readers, will think of this. I know that I often quit reading blogs when they are updated too often. One post a day, when it is entertaining and interesting, I can handle. Multiple posts? Then the blog better be really, really good and interesting, or mostly pictures.

But I think there should be some kind of celebration for eight years of blogging. So there will be extra posts for a while. It might be that each of them starts with, “I meant to post yesterday but then I didn’t because…” We’ll see.

Anyways, thank you a lot for reading here. Because without readers and listeners the whole blog would be rather futile. I do have a paper journal for that. Thank you for reading, and being curious about my life, and for sharing your lives back with me.