Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sewing Is My Salvation

I have done most of the work I'm going to do on Joann's Bead Round Robin block but I'm not going to post a picture until I am all done. Had to go out and get beads for the last embellishment I want to do. (oh darn! hehe) I should be stitching on it instead of wasting time at the computer. (I've been doing a lot of blog surfing before landing on my own.) But I am not fully recovered from the exposure I suffered yesterday. Made the mistake of going into a store that I know from past experience is lethal. Idiot! You'd think I'd have learned by now that I am not, in fact, immune with my mask on. Or that "just a quick trip" will not affect me. {sigh} There's no such thing as a "quick trip" in some stores, and even 5 minutes is too long. I know this and I do it anyway! I act like a teenager sometimes, thinking I'm invincible. Some of us never learn. (Or simply refuse to accept reality.)

It generally takes a good 24 hours for me to recover from an exposure. The interesting thing is that in addition to the immediate physical reactions (headache, chills, the need to lay down right now, extreme sensitivity to sound and light) I have emotional reactions. Not just anger that this is happening to me, or depression because I can't go shopping or do things that other people can do. I get cranky and start using language that never used to come out of my mouth. I have no patience whatsoever. It's like I turn into a whole other person. (Can you say "Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde?") Eventually I have to take a nap or go to bed for the night. I have no choice; I fall asleep where I am. When I wake up I am depressed, but it's not the same kind of depressed that you might experience under other circumstances. I've learned to recognize this kind of depression, to differentiate it from the 'normal' depression. I have also learned to talk to myself gently when I'm in this state. If I feel able, I stitch. If I don't feel able I allow myself to veg in front of the TV or a movie. Another odd side effect of exposure is the inability to read. It's too much work; I can't concentrate. If I can find a safe magazine or picture book I can look at pictures but reading words is impossible. (I say "safe" because I'm finding the fumes from full-color printing is affecting me now. Or maybe it always has and I just never made the connection before.) So I'm pretty much useless for a good 24 hours after an exposure. Unless I can find something to stitch and have the energy to actually do it. Sewing is my salvation. It distracts me from my pain, it brings me back to myself when I feel scattered. The one thing I have yet to learn is to allow myself to stitch whatever I want to stitch, to sew whatever I want to sew, whether or not there is a reason for what I am doing.

This photo is one of my practice pictures. It is a pot of ranunculus I bought for myself a couple of weeks ago. I find them very cheerful and uplifting. I can see them as I eat breakfast in the morning, on the back deck of our house. A little bit of sunshine even on cloudy days!


  1. Hi, Sue !
    Nice to "meet" you !
    I was directed to your blog through Finn's one ("Pieces from my Scrapbag"). So, I'll put your name on my "favourite ones" list, and I'll visit you regularly (if you don't mind). I like your quilts and embellishments, and will certainly learn a lot from you... (I'm quilting for 13 years now, and I'm considering to have a try on a crazy quilt).... If you visit my blog, some day, you are heartfully welcome in my Belgian "little corner of the world"!

    Smiles ! Enjoy your quilting !

    (Nice picture of your ranunculus !)

  2. Here via Finn :) I enjoyed reading through youre earlier posts and look fwd to reading more about your quilting and your medical problem, only ONE DR has told my mother that she has this also and her symptoms sound like yours, but she cant find a regualar dr to treat her due to no ins. xoox melzie


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