My Health, Your Health, and Knitting One for the KIPper

I am tired.  I’ve been living like a regular person, coming and going when I need to or when I please, not stopping to think if I’m going to run out of energy or hurt too much for an activity.  I’m living like this because the wolf has kept his distance long enough for me to recover some strength and feel normal.  Yes, I have foot pain problems, but overall I’m not having any symptoms of inflammation, and the systemic stuff is as quiet as I can remember in years.  I’ve had to increase the temperature in my house because I no longer walk around feeling feverish most of the time.  I can walk outside even though it is 90+ degrees; today I walked at a brisk pace up the sidewalk from the Village Market to the Post Office, stood at the counter mailing packages, and walked briskly back to the Market to get my groceries.  I didn’t get short-winded or experience severe fatigue, even while having a long discussion in front of the gluten-free products and doing a leisurely perusal of the aisles.  I am living better.  This is what good treatment is about.  It is getting easier to jump on my exercise bike and peddle a while.  I can cook a meal and clean up the kitchen without giving out. 


This phenomenon, this healthy spell, is more than just an absence of lupus flares.  It’s about being healthy for long enough that I can reverse some of the damage done by the flares and their treatments.  You have heard me talk enough about prednisone to know that a high dose for a prolonged period takes its toll.   I can exercise, build endurance, increase some lost muscle mass, lose some weight.  I can pack some calcium into my bones. 


You can see the effects in my house, too.  I’m not keeping things in such a jumble so that I can have everything I might need or want within an arm’s reach.  I put things away, I organize my supplies, I move my work from one area to another.  I move my heavy laptop computer from my bedroom to the couch to the kitchen table.  I can go get what I want if it isn’t right in front of me. 


I’m sure the kids appreciate this.  I’m sending them on fewer errands, and I don’t call for help as often.  I tote my own groceries! 


Hallelujah!  But I didn’t set out to talk about this.  There are more interesting things than my lupus in this world. 

On Saturday (yes, two days from now!) we’ll be celebrating World Wide Knit in Public Day.  You know that one of the reasons for having this event is to show the world who knits.  Somebody has circulated a rumor that all knitters are wizened, timid, old ladies, and it takes us getting out in the world and showing off our diverse selves to debunk that.  I know knitters from age 6 to age 90-something, all races, both/many genders, and they knit for a bunch of different reasons; none fits the stereotype.  Remember, 10:30 a.m. at Niedlov’s Breadworks on Main Street across from the fire station, and 12:30 p.m. at Greenlife Grocery in the eating area adjacent to the deli.  I’ll be the one knitting.

Followup has been done on women who were taken off estrogen and progestin during their participation in the Women’s Health Initiative.  If you remember,

“The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study of daily estrogen…and progestin…therapy was stopped in 2002 after 5.6 years because of a significantly higher risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, thromboembolic disease, and invasive breast cancer in the study subjects, who also had lower risks for osteoporotic fractures and colorectal cancer (Journal Watch Dec 31 2004). Roughly 95% of the original 15,730 participants (age range, 50-79 at enrollment) were available for follow-up 2.5 years after the study was over. 

The big concern now is that “a significant 24% increase in risk for all neoplasms [cancers] was observed in the original hormone group during follow-up”.  Take-home lesson:  if you took estrogen and progestin for menopause symptoms, even after you stop them, you need vigilant checkups to look for evidence of cancer.  Don’t miss those Pap smears, mammograms, and colonoscopies, ladies. 


Oh yeah, I knew I meant to mention something.  You may have noticed my admonition to bring a little extra yarn to the KIP on Saturday.  My idea about us all knitting on the same scarf came from The Panopticon.  If you’re not familiar with him, he’s an awesome knitter who blogs and has a huge project that he’s almost completed.  He has travelled hither and yon to get 1,000 knitters to photograph adding their bit to a scarf that must be the length of the Great Wall of China by now.  It’s a fascinating project, and you can follow his progress (complete with hilarious prose) here:  There are links to his blog in that piece. 


It doesn’t pay for me to miss a day blogging.  I suddenly find that I want to talk about the garden, the weather, Father’s Day, all my knitting, the store (my store, duh!), my fabulous kids, my last three continuing ed topics, Barack O, and the way my fingernails click on the keys when they aren’t trimmed.  And that’s the short list.  I didn’t even get to feelings. 








4 Responses

  1. Congrats on getting to Normal. 🙂

  2. Glad to hear you’re feeling better. I’ll see you Saturday – probably at Niedlov’s. Think you could handle some more tomatoes and juice?

  3. Must be lovely having a healthy spell and I am sure you will enjoy every moment. My mum had similar health problems and we all learned to adapt to the good and the bad times. Enjoy Saturday.

  4. I have tried really hard to stay away from prednisone! I’m glad you are doing better!

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