I was born in March, two days after St. Patrick’s Day. And this year I’ll be forty.
I have mixed feelings about this, which I guess doesn’t mean much since it’ll happen regardless of my opinion on the matter. I’m not particularly bummed about getting older per se, but I certainly have moments in which I am curious as to how all this time passed so quickly. Moments in which I feel, at least in some partial way, like I am still the girl I was at 8, or 18. Moments in which I look around and wonder how I acquired this grown up life and grown up things, and it seems like I’m just playing a really sophisticated version of “house.”
As bewildering as that might be at times, the real issue for me is actually aging. So far, I’m not very concerned about my appearance but rather in how my body actually feels. During my 39th year on this planet, I managed to manifest a variety of old person ailments. I tore my rotator cuff from carrying a load of laundry-not too heavy, but too long for my arms; took weeks and weeks to heal and was stupidly painful. I spent a full day bent over my kitchen table making holiday treats, and tore a little tiny bit of an abdominal muscle-just from leaning over. Very ouchy. Took weeks to heal.
My latest trick was really a doozy. I woke up early in the morning to drive the little girl to her first day of English Baroque Opera Camp (I know, it’s like she should have been born into the family of Frasier Crane), and my right big toe joint was terribly painful. Of course I just stuffed my foot into a tight boot and drove the two hours to Seattle….and by lunchtime I was sitting in my car alone, weeping from the pain. I managed to drive back home, stopping at an urgent care clinic where the doctor diagnosed me with a single glance lasting less than 1 second: gout.
Since I am a vegan, and I drink maybe 3x a year, I pretty much told him that he must be wrong but he was convinced. I suggested I might have injured myself spinning. Nope, gout. Maybe he could touch my foot to see about the swelling. Nope, gout. Xrays? Tests? Nope, gout. He assigned me some kind of gout medication, and I spent three days on the couch with icepacks, horrid stomach pains from the medication, and a ridiculous amount of self-pity and depression. Gout! This was something that old, fat, white men get. My sweetie attempted to console me by referring to my condition as “The Disease Of Kings” but I was not to be assuaged.
After three days, I found a real doctor who actually examined and performed real tests. She scoffed at the original diagnosis after learning that I eat the very menu they prescribe to keep from getting gout, and told me to toss out the medication that was making me sick. I got a boot cast, a bunch of ibuprofen, and a diagnosis of tendon damage. I probably did this while spinning pounds and pounds of fiber the previous week—especially as the wheel was sort of scooting for some reason and at times I was using my toes sort of like talons to hold the wheel in place.
Three weeks later, I’m starting to spin again and walking alright, but it is still not totally healed.
This is really the only reason I’m not looking forward to getting older. My thirties were freaking busy! I did SO many things in my thirties! “Busy” is my theme! How the hell am I supposed to keep up my course load if my body falls apart??
Do you know, dear readers, what I did while I was laid up on the couch? I knit. Of course I knit. I decided that I’d write some patterns for sale since I couldn’t make yarn. Do you know what happened to me after knitting for the better part of a week? Tendonitis and bursitis, that’s what. I already have it because basically all I do is repetitive motion, but now everything is all flared up again.
Did you know that there is a specific type of bursitis called “Weaver’s bottom?” True story. It’s the inflammation of bursa (synovial sac) located between your gluteus medius muscle and ischial tuberosity. When you are an old fiber artist, EVEN YOUR ASS CAN FALL APART.
I don’t have it yet, thank the gods.
To end on a more visually soothing note than gout and weaver’s bottom, here are some spring yarns. I also have some new kits available. Perfect for a wingspan or leftie shawl! https://www.etsy.com/listing/178433393/leftie-kit-sock-yarn-shawl-kit?ref=shop_home_active_15 and https://www.etsy.com/listing/181974456/handpainted-sock-yarn-fingerling-yarn?ref=shop_home_active_17 are a couple of examples. I am trying two new sock yarns–a single ply superwash merino very much like Madeline Tosh light, and a high twist Merino-squishy soft and with great stitch definition.