zondag 31 oktober 2010

Home is where the Heart is....

Just a quick post... YES, he is coming home tomorrow morning...and we both are so looking forward to it. 8 weeks separation was a long time Just put new sheets on our bed and these wonderful cushion-covers I got as a birthday gift from my dear friend Tiny. She has embroidered this specially for us. I haven't used them till now. This is the perfect moment to start using them...
I want to thank everyone who has supported me and Bram over the last 8 weeks to deal with everything that was happening to us and I will keep you updated of course...Love you all!!!

zondag 24 oktober 2010

One week to go....

I got this card from my FB and knitting friend Marjoleine and this represents in a way my dealing with everything happening over the last weeks...
Last Monday Bram and myself had a talk with the doctor, physiotherapist and head of the department he stays and we came to the conclusion that on the 1th of November he can go home...So very good news. Of course he needs to have treatments to become stronger, so he will go 2 mornings and 1 afternoon to the Rehab centre for as long as it needs. I think after he gave up the feeling that he really didn't liked it there he became stronger and accepted the fact that it was necessary to stay there for a while and make the most of it. But.. the end of staying there is at the horizon.No more living alone for him in a small room and no more living alone for me in our house..Really looking forward to that!
To make this step going well we are doing it step by step. So we made a little trip to a restaurant for coffee, a trip into town to the hairdresser (I wrote on Facebook:has brought his Hubbie this afternoon to the hairdresser.... and from an over aged old Hippy with too long hair he became a sweet little boy...) with a coffee at our favourite place. On Friday (his birthday) we had again coffee with cake of course and than he stayed the whole afternoon at home laying on the couch and I could see he loved it to be home.Yesterday was more or less the same with the exception that he phoned me in the morning if I could come and pick him up. The reason for that was that he didn't feel at ease due to the fact that a dear friend of us who also stayed in the centre passed away on Friday and he had seen the big black car driving. We are both very sad but relieved for him because the state he was in was very sad. So I changed my plan, picked him up and he had a lovely afternoon at home. I made some soup, we had tea...and it felt as a Saturday as we used to have. Today will be more or less the same I think.
I am doing fine with ups and downs and with the help of my psychotherapist I will do steps to come over it and to deal with the fact that things will be different. Together with her and with time I will feel better. Now there are still so much tears when I am with her...still don't feel confident about everything deep inside.
On Wednesday I had a meeting at the after-care poli in the hospital to hear more about the operation and the consequences. One of the things that touched me was that after such an operation you will never be the old person you were before but you will be a kind of new, different person: a "new-old-one". You will also consider your life again and the way you deal with it. I feel that is really true. This whole experience has to bring something to our life. Not sure yet what that will be.. but the future will tell and learn.
After the autumn-break (this week) I will start working half a day a week which feels good.Do some tasks and not teaching yet. And than I am sure I can pick my life up again with working more when the time is ripe for it. In a way I miss my work, my colleagues, my students but on the other-hand I can't force it to feel 100% better and to work 100% right now.
The coming week I hope to make some new things for our house. I have brought the sewing-machine home a few weeks ago to make some new curtain in the bedroom and some cushions on the sofa but till now: nothing and no energy to do it. Strange in a way because they are really simple things to do but it seems that my days in the past weeks had no time to do those things. Probably the reason is that I am sometimes so tired and over the last 2 weeks I also had a tooth inflation (still there a little despite the fact that I use antibiotics). But the plan is to do it this week......
As for knitting and what's going on on the knitting front: I did finish my Wisp. Still not sure if I really like Noro yarn. There are always knots in it and than the colour-scheme changes. Really would have had more blue in it...Now I have the Clockwork from Stephen West on the needles in beautiful yarn from Sanguine Gryphon from the USA. Such a special yarn with very unusual colours and names. The yarn itself is a 100% superwash merino and the 2 are named: Hellenexi and Skeptic. It knits up beautiful and the yarn has a fantastic feel.Their site is beautiful and really worth to look at.
And than there was the long awaited book with my first sock pattern in it. I was asked by Madeline Weston (after my holiday last year on Shetland where we stayed in a cottage from Margaret Stuart:a friend of her) to design a pattern for the book with the name: Country Weekend Socks. Her first book was called Country Weekend Knits and that is one of my favourites. So I was very pleased to do this job. Asked my knitting friend Jon from Easyknits to dye a special colours for me in a soft merino bamboo yarn. I struggled a while because I wanted to use 3 colours but at the end I made the decision to use 2 for a stronger look. The pattern came from a pair of gloves I did see in the Shetland museum in Lerwick. For me the socks didn't need to be filled up totally with a pattern so I only did part of it. Don't think it feels always so comfortable to wear double thick socks in your shoes. So out came these and in the book they look really stunning if I dare say so. The styling is great (love the red stockings added to my socks) with garments from Toast and the overall look is very fashionable and "with a twist" to make it modern.
And I get spoiled so much with receiving yarns. There as a lovely hank Evilla yarn from Evelien, a little ball in various blue colours (thanks Hilly and Carla), a beautiful hank Blue Moon sock yarn from my FB friend Amysue ChaseMy Scottish colleagues gave me this big ball Big yarn as a gift.They had bought it in London..and wondered what I could make out of that. So I asked a local shop to make me some big needles and off it went.. Will be a cushion cover at the end!! And there was something really special. One day I discovered that Jared Flood and Debbie Stoller where having their own yarn-line and I wondered on FB when I would get one.. And yes: I got one!!! The very sweet Yvon from "Storm op Zolder" decided to name a new yarn after me. So here is "Jan". It is a very soft Aran weight yarn in a combination of Alpaca, Bamboo and Bluefaced Leicester. She was so nice to send me to hanks and I possibly will dye them. But for now they lay proud in the living-room.
To tell you the truth: I also ordered some yarn from Jared named Shelter in a red colour (called Long Johns) to knit his Wayfarer scarf and that all reminds me of a post I really need to write about my meeting up with him and more famous knitters last summer in the Shetland Museum in Lerwick..Perhaps the coming week I will find time to write this...

zondag 10 oktober 2010

It's 2 weeks now....

Bram is now 2 weeks in the Rehab centre and there is a certain progress. But it is - of course in the state he is in- little steps forward and sometimes the step he wants to take is too big. It is not easy for him to be there. Hardly any people he feels comfortable with and for a social person as he is that is hard to deal with. Of course I go there everyday and of course there are friends and family who visit him, but I can see and feel sometimes that he really would like to go home.I can understand that of course but on the other-hand he is not capable right now to do this. He looks good (as you can see in picture below)but that doesn't mean he is well and capable to go home. And if he comes home everything must be organized to make life easy for the both of us... Last weekend we did see grandson Jim after more that 3 months of not seeing him and it was touching to see him together with Bram. It has done us both well!!
One of the things why he can't come home is that his condition is still very weak and he is still very tired after a day. It all goes slower than he had hoped but on the other hand: it is only 5 weeks ago he had his myocardial infarction and 4 weeks ago he just had his operation so to be honest I don't think according the state he was in before it all happened he is doing well.
On Friday he got luckily another room to live in. In the room next to him a men stayed who has had a stroke and who screamed loudly during nights and who kept him awake and in another room in the corridor a woman also was very loud during the nights. So I found him Friday in a very sad state cause of the lack of sleep he had for some nights. We had a talk with a nurse and he got offered another room in another corridor. He is more happier now. The room is nicer and the view is nicer and he can see me enter and leaving the building. Quietness and silence is very important for his healing process.
But I now can see the reality of staying in a rehab centre. You have to be very active as a partner to get things done in the way you want them to happen and mustn't be afraid to ask for things. But it all goes slowly and you have to step forward if you want something extra. An example: we have had a talk (Friday before last Friday)with the doctor and he suggested to have a meeting with the speech therapist. Bram sometimes comes in a state of hyperventilation because of a wrong way of breathing. Nothing happens for almost a week.
I asked for it after 3 days....Is that so??....Yes, I will look for it in the papers.....Yes, we will arrange.....Nothing happens.....Ask again....O Yes.....We should have asked....at the end on Friday afternoon the speech therapist suddenly enters his room telling him that he has an appointment now...
I know you really can't blame al the staff for this. It is very busy and demanding job with a low salary. Not many young people want to do this kind of work in such surroundings. Last week I had a talk with some staff members telling them that I really think they were doing their utmost in the best way they could and that I was grateful for the things they were doing for Bram. They told me they hardly ever get such a compliment. They get more complaints than compliments which is really not right.
One of the strange things happening (talking about how to treat patients!!! or better how NOT to treat them) over the last week was a meeting with a man who -it was after all National Animal Day- set up a kind of farm inside the centre. There were chickens, rabbits, a little pony and donkey, little pigs and much more We had sat outside and just came in when almost all people were gone. We had a little chat with this men and he suddenly gave Bram a pig in his arms to hold and told me: yes.. it is so good for them to have these animals in their arms.. they immediately go back to their youth..it's healing when you are in such a state. He must have thought that Bram was demented so we helped him out of his dream!!!!!
Yesterday I took Bram for a little drive to a restaurant for a coffee and to have a little change in the day.He really was looking forward to it and really wanted to try it. Mixed feelings for the both of us afterwards. It was nice: we had a coffee outside in the sun, but on the other hand he and I could see that it was a too big step. He is still very fragile when you see him walking with is stick and was very tired afterwards. But it was in a way good to do this to see were his limits are and today we will stay home and make little walk round the pond.
And for me: up and down in emotions but yesterday afternoon I felt for the first time in all these week slightly depressed and had a hard time to deal with it. Tried everything (talk with a friend on a terrace,some shopping to cheer me up) but nothing really helped. At the end I decided to go for a little nap which more or less did well. I woke up when I heard a friend (who has the key from our house) entering and telling me that she had made some pumpkin-soup for me and she gave me a big Hug. Sleeping is still a bit of a problem so my doctor gave me some sleeping tablets (no, don't be afraid for addiction from my side) which helped for some nights. I try not to take them every night but only when I really need them, when I am really feeling exhausted.
I had a really good talk with the company doctor who invited me to come and tell the reason why I can't work at the moment. She was very emphatic and really could understand my feelings and lack of energy and that working for me now is too much. Next week she will give me a call to hear how am I doing. I started talks with my former psychotherapist with the idea to deal with my emotions and to get everything more into perspective. We had a very good first meeting and in 2 weeks time I will go again. I have to take care of myself too I feel otherwise I can't be there for him.
Knitting is one of the things I can do. Only simple things like scarves and hats. It seems that my mind can't do complicated knits. I did finish a big shawl which I did started when Bram was just in the Hospital. Probably a friend will get it but till than it hangs over a chair in the living room.
In Knitty I found a lovely knitted Heart which I did knit for Bram. A soft and extra heart, just in case he needs it. It was lovely to knit this with him in mind during all the stitches I knitted. When I had finished it I had to cry. Not difficult at all and with the little box I made to it it was a lovely gift to give. We both were touched when he opened the box.
Last night I just started another scarf (Wisp from Knitty) in Noro Silk garden sock yarn from my stash. There is yarn on it's way from the U.S.A. for the Clockwork scarf.
I still take pictures for my Rehab Blues photo project which helps me to deal with it all....
I am absolutely sure that at the end all will be fine, but dealing with it is not easy every now and than. Being positive is the best thing you can do but that also is not always easy. There are days when I come home in the evening when I feel kind of lost from everything. Not lost from friends (I get my attention) but lost from my safety and lost from my living in our house with the person I most love.The best thing than is to make me some tea and rethink and reflect about the day to get everything in the right perspective and to get something positive out of this period..