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Knitters wanted to help these cuties!

Wanna help PENGUINS?  Yep, you can knit for penguins!  Here’s the link:

I’m listening to the audio supplied on the link (yep, real Aussie accents) talking about these ADORABLE birds that really will wear those sweaters you knit. Now if your doggie has ripped apart that sweater you knit for her the instant you put it on her after months and months of stitching, restitching, swearing your butt off and a zillion dollars spent on yarn, here’s your way of getting revenge on her and making her plenty jealous: make a two-zillion-dollar sweater for a birdie half her size!

I think she’ll get back atcha plenty. Next time it’s hailing out and it’s walk time, she’ll take 55 minutes circling your neighborhood ten times, dawdling till you’re soaked, twirl around 50 circles right smack in the middle of the nicest, most expensive lawn in the neighborhood, and then, finally poop.  Of course, it’ll be all mushy and require ten baggies. They’ll leak in your pocket and that’ll be the day you’re wearing that one jacket that’s DRY CLEAN ONLY.

What did I tell you about bad luck? Why did the Titanic sink? Bad morals?  It wasn’t trying hard enough?  It wasn’t ready?  It lacked insight?  It refused treatment?  Naw. The Titanic sank for one and one reason only: It hit an iceberg.


Staying warm, photo of Julie and Puzzle in matching outfits

I just finished knitting the hat to match Puzzle's Coat of Many Colors, also designed and knitted by me.

I just finished knitting the hat to match Puzzle’s Coat of Many Colors, also designed and knitted by me.

Knitters, please check out knitted prostheses for breast cancer survivors!

This is an awesome idea.  Check out this Maine-based site:

Scroll down for the pattern to the “tit bits” prosthesis.

I sure could identify with some of what the writer wrote here.  Like thinking everyone notices something about your body, but in reality, nobody notices anything.  Or feeling super self-conscious about your body and feeling devastated over the way it changes.

Knit on!

Julie Greene knows exactly what’s wrong with the world: Dysmorphia…so she taught Jesus to knit: True Story from Inpatient Eating Disorders Treatment

They say God (whoever or whatever that is) fashioned us after whatever was in the bathroom mirror that day, that is, “God’s image,” right?  Let’s say for a minute that this is true.  Those of you who know, or assume that this is hogwash just hold on.

We aren’t all that happy with our bodies.   There is this idea of this “ideal body” and many people see that their body isn’t this ideal, so they strive for this ideal instead.

But in reality, when they got the surveys out, they found that many people who were, say, normal weight, felt that they were overweight.  These people didn’t necessarily have eating disorders.  They were just unsatisfied with their weight.

This is a form of body dysmorphia.  People with anorexia nervosa also have this body dysmorphia, and in this case, it tends to be more pronounced.

There is also a separate illness called body dysmorphia in which the person obsesses on a part or parts of the body and feels extreme dissatisfaction with these parts.  The person does not perceive his or her body correctly.  It is as if the mirror is lying.

Some are dissatisfied to the point of self-destructive acts such as starvation, or a more subtle form may be called “diet” or “meal plan.”  There are other behaviors as well.

Then, there is dissatisfaction with the mind.  Perhaps we have this idea of the “ideal mind.”  There are many people that are clearly great people in history that we might want to be like.  Problem is, we can’t measure these minds with a measuring tape.

So there are a bunch of industries set up that set out to help us figure out how to make our minds more like this ideal toward which we strive.  The first step is to convince us that something is wrong with our minds.  So the mental health industry made up these illnesses.  They made up a few biggies, and captured some people into their net.  When they saw that they hadn’t captured enough people, they made up more illnesses.  So now everyone gets an illness and everyone has something “wrong” with their mind that needs to be fixed.

And the self-help industry does the exact same thing.  Everything is wrong with us and everything, every defect, needs to be fixed.  We need to strive to the ideal.

Probably many people suffer from mind dysmorphia as a result of this craze.

I’m guessing that most people don’t perceive their own minds accurately, anyway.  How can they, with no measuring tape, and limited maturity?  It is easy to be swayed.

If we were made in God’s image, then of course God suffered from both body and mind dysmorphia, just like us.  And if this was the case, this metaphorical mirror may have in fact lied.

Yes, in God’s skewed image.


God should have gone to therapy, but I suppose with all the controversy over whether God even exists, how would God get insurance coverage?  Isn’t God a little too old for this?

I suppose someone should send the police and arrange for God to get put away for a good long time.  “Our Father, who art in locked up in Heaven…”

But I suppose if Heaven is anything like the locked eating disorders unit where I was at, there aren’t any mirrors there.  No negative self-talk allowed.  Let’s monitor God’s activity in the bathroom. Let’s check the toilet every time God uses it, before God flushes away our sins.  Hell on Earth Amen.

God would have come out of there pretty fucked up anyway.

I mean, no one even knows what God’s name is.  When I went to Hebrew school, we learned zillions of Hebrew words for God.  And then I found out that a bunch of other people used this name Jesus Christ for God.  I didn’t learn this one in Hebrew school and we weren’t allowed to say this name in my house growing up.

So what would God have written for a name when God signed in to the eating disorders unit?  If he is Jesus, well, then, he’s a guy, and there aren’t too many guys on the unit.  Jesus’ last name wasn’t even Christ, for Christ’s sake.  I wouldn’t have to worry about being the oldest one there.

When I was at Alcott in March 2010, they still allowed knitting there.  They don’t allow knitting on the unit anymore.  I think I’d like to teach Jesus to knit.  You figure, with all that running around preaching and healing, he probably never had the chance to learn.

Undoubtedly they’ve forced a feeding tube into him.  Back then, they had those things running during the daytime as well as at night, so we had to push those poles around with us.  His pole is attached to a wheelchair and the feeding tube pump is affixed to the pole.  The pump clicks at regular intervals.  We all know this click.  It is the sound of this place.  The feeding tube is a narrow filament of tube that comes out of one of his nostrils and bends upward, and is then taped to one cheek, is draped around his ear, and left to hang, where it is after a number of feet attached to the pump.  The tube goes up Jesus’ nostril, into his throat, past his larynx, down his esophagus, all of it, and into his stomach.  Above the pump is a sack.  The nurses control what goes into the sack.

They might have Jesus in a wheelchair because he is really, really old and can’t walk anymore.  On the other hand, his blood pressure might be wicked low and maybe they’re worried that if he tries to stand up, he’ll fall.  Or maybe they’re keeping him in the wheelchair to make sure he doesn’t cause trouble.

Jesus and I exchange a wink.  I am going to teach him knitting.  In exchange, he will teach me how to be a rebel.

It’s a little tough, cuz I found out a while back that Jesus doesn’t speak English.  Of course, the nurses haven’t bothered to respect his rights and even try to find a translator.  They don’t respect Jesus at all.  They don’t respect him cuz he’s old, and to them, old people don’t have real feelings, and don’t matter.  He’s poor, and they’ll probably have to make him a ward of the state.  There was some murmur of a church out there somewhere, but it sounded like the staff were clueless.  That plus being a guy on an eating disorders ward…it’s just plain sad cuz they ignore him and usually he’s been the only guy, no roommate or anything, just Jesus by himself.

I’ve wondered what he’s thinking, in the room all by himself.  I’ve walked by and peeked in.  Most of the time, he lies in bed with the pump clicking, and I guess he’s asleep but it’s a little hard to tell.  I don’t want to be nosy or anything.  The nurses never go in there and never talk to him.  He can’t watch TV cuz it’s all in English and the books are, too.  So my reasoning is that if Jesus could knit, he’d have something to do at least.

So I’ve got the needles.  I have some picked out especially for Jesus.  These are the best ones I could find, and real good yarn, too.  I cast on and knit a few rows myself to get him started, and passed him the needles.

He looks at me, and for the first time, I see his eyes.

They are a lot like my dad’s eyes.  My dad had twinkly eyes, but if you looked real close, there was this yellowness in them.  It wasn’t jaundice.  It was just there, like a reminder, but I don’t know what it was supposed to remind anyone of.  I am Ashkinazi Jew on both sides, from Eastern Europe.  The Jesus of Nazareth in the Bible isn’t Ashkinazi.  He’s Middle Eastern.

This Jesus at Alcott might not even be the same one, and it kind of doesn’t matter.  Eating disorders are cruel to everyone no matter what your race is or national origin.  Famous people get eating disorders.  We are hungry.  We are thirsty.  People view our bodies in wonderment.  Now you see us, now you don’t.

He nods at me.  He holds the needles, and with hesitation, puts the tip of one needle into the stitch on the other needle.  He looks back at me.  I nod.

With his free hand, he loops the hanging yarn around the needle he’s inserted.  And then he stops.

There is commotion in the room.  They are arguing over a TV program.  A girl grabs the remote and flips the station.  A young girl begins to cry and shake.  Another pops up, and then turns her face awkwardly to the side, reaches for the couch arm, and collapses to the floor.  The staff are there soon enough with a wheelchair.  They bring the crying girl out and soon, everyone is gone but Jesus and me and the TV.

I can see the TV, but it has been muted.  This is that bachelor show I saw once.  I never learned the name of the show, because I don’t own a TV.  The handsome young man is choosing his bride and she is crying.  The TV focuses on a gold ring.  I assume it’s gold cuz that’s the kind people use when they get married.  I can’t really tell, though.  The TV is at an angle to Jesus and me.  Mostly, we see light reflected off the TV screen surface.  We see no gold ring.

The radiator clicks.  Above the radiator is the window where the sun rises in the morning.  Across the room is the window where I can see the sun set.  We are on the fifth floor, but it’s hard to remember this sometimes.

Jesus holds the needle in the loop, with the yarn around the tip of the needle.  His lips are dry.  He swallows, looks down, then looks back at me.

I put my hands around his.  I hold them there for a minute.  Then, gently, I guide him.  I show his hands what to do with the needles and yarn.  I show him how to finish the stitch.

I’d like to think that he bent over and whispered to me, “That was pretty cool,” but he didn’t.  The vision ends there, with me and Jesus sitting there, my hands over his, the stitch completed.

Ah, defiance.

I’d like to think that Jesus pulled his feeding tube out, just like I did in the middle of the night in March 2010.  Whether or not it was a dumb idea to pull the tube out way back then really doesn’t matter now.  Jesus was old but you figure he could do whatever the hell he wanted.  And so can I.

I can do whatever the hell I want if I put my mind to it.  If I can make up a fantasy about Jesus in an eating disorder ward, then I must be really, really powerful.  I taught Jesus to knit and he taught me to be a rebel and here I am.

New Zealand Penguins in Need of Sweaters – knitters unite!

Aren’t they cute?

Right now–to interrupt the story

I am knitting.  Working on my new project.  I have a bit of it done, after a frustrating time counting stitches in the beginning.  Why do I always have trouble counting those stupid stitches?  I will photograph my project when I am finished, and post it.

I woke up feeling pretty good.  I had a burst of energy at some point, probably–likely–during Puzzle’s walk.  The positive feelings have continued all day despite the vertigo that followed my first bite of food for the day (yes, I have eaten today).  The vertigo was bad, bad, bad as usual.  There was an accompanying bit of mental confusion along with the vertigo, but I think it was due mostly to fatigue, because the confusion subsided after a 10-minute nap.  The vertigo faded–eventually.  Then, I went on with my day.  I did a bit of food and toiletry shopping.  I had a coupon that I used.  Two dollars off.  Nice.

My knee has almost completely healed.  Surprise, surprise!  A blessing amidst the darkness.

I have a bunch of things to do in the next couple of days.   It’s hard to keep track of it all.  I have priorities.

#1: Puzzle
#2: Puzzle
#3: Puzzle….

We have great walks.

Right now

Rushing off to therapy in about 10 minutes.

Stopping at the Windsor Button Shop for stitch markers.  I’m starting a new knitting project.  Probably a good sign.

Talk soon.

I have taught myself continental knitting…at last…no more need for the “Julie method”….

I don’t know what happened.  I’ve been wanting to learn Continental knitting for a while now.  Suddenly, I can do it!  I’ve been using the “Julie method,” which I invented, for years, because I knew no other way.  The “Julie method” is slow, but I make very few if any errors.  Like Continental, I hold the yarn in my left hand.

About an hour ago, my hands started doing Continental knitting.  Just like that.   I’ve been trying to do this for years.  Right now, I’m working on the ribbing for a hat.  So I’m doing K1P1 in Continental.  I’m using two strands of yarn at the same time.  You’d think this would be really, really challenging for a beginning knitter in Continental.  It is.  But I’m doing it.

I have never been able to do the “conventional” method of knitting that is done in the US, called the “British” or “English” method, I forget which.  It is also called “throwing.”  For this method, you hold the yarn in your right hand.  To me, that seems…well, backwards!  People watch me knit and go cross-eyed.

People look at me cross-eyed, anyway.  I know I look like a freak, zooming around Watertown with Puzzle, who herself looks like a freak right now with her scraggly fur (she needs a groom).  I am just a crazy skinny girl walking a little scruffy white dog a mile a minute around town, blasting the headphones, paying attention to no one (including traffic).  Sometimes, she and the dog wear matching knitted outfits.  Crazy.  You wonder what she is laughing about.  You wonder what she is talking to herself about.  You wonder why tears are in her eyes.  But she keeps on zooming with that crazy dog, that happy little dog, telling her not to pee on the flowers, but that darned dog pees on them anyway, just like a boy dog.

Yep, that crazy girl has a secret today.  Wow.  Wow wow wow.  She can do CONTINENTAL KNITTING.  What a treat.

My “new life”…without running, without walking….barely eating…depressed….

Well, this is it, I suppose.  My “new life.”  And they expect me to eat?  Eat?????

I got weighed today.  The edema is gone.  Of course.  I starved it away.  The edema is what stopped me from running in the first place, and got me so mad that I walked 14 miles a day and ended up with this injury.  But I am 12 pounds less than what I was the last time I got weighed.  My doctor isn’t pleased.  She said the absence of edema isn’t the only culprit, that my lack of nutrition is the other.  Well, yeah.  I confessed that being injured for a month hasn’t exactly inspired me to chow down.

I came home and took a nap.  When I awoke, I found myself in tears.  Just like that.  Weird.

Not only am I dealing with the inability to walk without a mobility aid (cane or crutches) but I experience pain–just about every day, sometimes for most of the day.  Sometimes, the pain is very bad.  Usually, it isn’t.  I take Aleve daily.  I also took Ibuprofen on top of that, but my doctor told me no to.  So I have stopped.  After another week, I won’t be able to take Aleve anymore at this high dose.  I might still need it. But medically, it won’t be safe to use it, because of potential kidney damage.  Never mind that it could cause stomach bleeding.

The orthopedist with whom I spoke said the pain would clear up in two weeks.  That was a week ago.  I don’t see much improvement….Maybe it will be another two weeks from today….  He also said that riding the exercise bike would be the “best thing for it.”  Well, apparently not.  I am either in pain while riding it, or in really bad pain several hours later.  So I’m not going to ride the damn thing again.  It puts too much pressure on my leg while my knee is in a bent position.  Some of the exercises hurt as well, the ones done with bent knees.  So I’m stopping those as well.  I’m just not ready.

“No pain, no gain” is bullshit.  My therapist says that pain is the body’s stop sign.  There is a difference between the muscle fatigue that you get from a good workout that tells you that you are building strength (and that your muscles need a rest before you go at it again) and joint pain.  I agree with my T about that much.

What I didn’t agree with her about was her statement, “This is a good thing, because it forces you to slow down.”  Well, that is bullshit.  I am only 53 years old, not 85. It is not time to slow down.  It is my body, and my choice when to slow down, not hers.  I am being forced by outside circumstances to stop, not by my own desire, not because I am tired or finished in any way.  After all, I was about to run a race when this whole thing started up!  So I told my T that I was angry about what she said, and she apologized, and acknowledged my opinion.

There is absolutely nothing good about this injury.  Nothing.  Well, one thing: the one upper-body strengthening benefit of using crutches for–yes–it’s been a month now.  Other than that, no, no, nothing good about being injured, being in pain, being unable to get around without a mobility aid, ending my running, long walks with Puzzle, fitness walks, and yes, my laps around the track at sunrise–for good–no, nothing good about this at all, no advantage, no benefit, no money to be won, nada.

It doesn’t even give me more opportunity to write.  I had just as much time to write before.  I am so damned depressed now and writing comes with such difficulty.  It took me hours before I could get up the motivation to write this entry.

I do have one activity that is helping me cope right now.  Knitting.  I have used my knitting to help pass that time that I spend unable to do anything else due to pain or depression.  I find it distracting and it engrosses me.  I am working on a hat for a friend that I e-mail.  I take comfort that I have a few friends left.

Sometimes, I am able to walk the distance to the gym using my cane.  So I walk to the gym, and do mostly strength training for my upper body.  Yesterday, I used the triceps pull, set it at x pounds (just over what I weigh) and pulled up my body, and held myself up off the floor like that, my fists by my ears, elbows by my chest, just hanging there as if I was hanging from the gallows, swinging back and forth a little, and held this pose, just hanging and hanging, then let myself down, and realized that not too many people, even people who work out, can do this.  I couldn’t do that before.  When I came home and it was time to shower, I took off my shirt and examined my shoulder and arm muscles.  Yep, they’re there.

I might be lame, but I am strong.  Just you wait.

The matching “Varsity” hat nearly completed!

Well, I don’t need to get this hat done till the weather’s a bit cooler.  I plan to add a pom-pom.  I’m going up to NH for the day on Wednesday and plan to start LL Greene Dog Sweater #16 at that time, the Coat of Many Colors I think I’ll call it.  Eight colors.

I had a photo of me up here that I took with my webcam, but it photoed me backwards, and the J was backwards, so I took it off.

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