Saturday, March 24, 2007

Incognito. . .sort of.

Yesterday, in quick succession, I encountered three people who did not recognize me.

The first two were acqaintances from other labs in the building, and the exchanges went something like this:

Are you in Dr. ABC's lab?

No, I'm in Dr. XYZ's lab.

Really? Are you new?

No, I've been here for almost 2 years now. [insert big grin here]

Ohhhhhh, it's YOU! You look really different for some reason!

And then came the explanation.

The third encounter was with a colleague/peer in the surgery residency program here, also doing research. She knows me fairly well, compared to the other 2 individuals (I'll cut them a break for not recognizing me). In the five weeks since surgery, this marked the third time I've passed her as we shuffle from one building to another. The first 2 times, I grinned and I might as well have been a brick wall, because it just didn't register that this was me. This time around, I waved, and she finally caught on. She was amazed at the change the surgery has made to my appearance.

And the funniest part of all is that I don't notice a big change in my appearance!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lara, the Specs

I totally forgot this part.

Pattern: Lara, from Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Coll.
Needles: US8s, circs for required # of stitches
Gauge: 18 x 24 = 4 in (same as recommended gauge)
Yarn: substituted with Bernat Super Value in Navy (lest you be jealous). No swatching needed with this stuff. And it really is soft (despite being acrylic)!

Now for the good part. . .

Recall what they did to me and. . .Take a look now.

Perhaps I don't look that different to you (which is kind of the point), but the real difference is on the profile shot. My upper lip is still swollen, a la Marge Simpson, but that will go down. Every day I look a little. . .better? More like me? Call it what you like.

I ended up bleeding enough to win a blood transfusion, and lemme tell ya, it was rough going after that. I'm on loads and loads of iron supplements now, and we just did some bloodwork, so hopefully I'm back in the game as far as hemoglobin goes.

Update: Just got the bloodwork results, which are kind of funny. Retic count (immature red blood cell count)--OK. Hemoglobin--11.9 (12.5 is the minimum normal level). And ferritin, which measures your iron stores (which you can mobilize in cases of hemorrhage like mine)--12 (minimum normal is 50)!!! Obviously, I'm behind the gun and I'll stop taking iron, oh, say, in 10 YEARS.

Most importantly, I seem to be sleeping better (soundless and snoreless) now. We'll see what the next sleep study in a few months shows. But I'm definitely making it through the day now--and on a LOT less caffeine.

I'm hopeful.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No, that's not radioactive waste.
My apartment building is situated along the city's arguably best-known and most beloved waterway. They tinted it green for SPD. And I do mean GREEN. This photo doesn't begin to capture how green it is. It probably glows in the dark.
Speaking of green, Lara is done (for about a month now), and you all should be green with envy! She's wonderful! I will probably wear a hole in this one. Soon.
I made several modifications to the pattern. Lara is supposed to be knit from side to side, starting at the left wrist. That's part of what turned me on to this pattern--the minimal seaming involved. This side-to-side method is also what turned me off--the cast on edge at the L wrist was different from the bind off edge at the R wrist, and the ribbed front edges were also different in this aspect.
R BO edge
L CO edge
See what I mean?
So I knit the sleeves separately and seamed them to the rest of the body (which was knit in one giant piece). I decided I could live with the difference in the ribbed edges, since I could just wrap one side over the other.
Another modification--since it was knit from side to side and therefore the "width" was actually the "length"--I added 26 stitches to each "side" (front bottom and back bottom). And an inch to the arms.
And I knit a little belt, 10 stitches of 2 x 2 rib.
Eat your hearts out, suckas! :o)