Sunday, August 29, 2010

I survived!

Physical Therapy school started last Monday, and I managed to survive the entire first week. For awhile it seemed unlikely, but now there's only 16 more weeks in the semester (yes, we already have a countdown going)! All the PT students take the same classes as a group, so the 50 of us will grow to be a family (hopefully, a happy one). We are all taking 18 credit hours - anatomy, physiology and foundations of PT. I think this is deceptive though, because anatomy is secretly 5 classes - anatomy (lecture, lab and living portions), embryology, and neuroscience. We started right in on our cadaver dissection on Monday and currently have all the skin removed from the back, chest and upper arm - let me tell you that's a lot of muscles, nerves and blood vessels to learn in a week. Because our anatomy and physiology grades are based solely on tests with no assignments, etc. it's a little hard to figure out how, what and how much to study. But I've kinda come up with a plan this weekend and hope to stick with it and see how well it works for the first test (a mere two weeks from tomorrow). In living anatomy (where you have a partner that you essentially feel up to identify landmarks in a living person) on Friday, the professor was walking around observing. We all had our shirts off since we were looking/feeling the back and shoulder region. The professor, who has been teaching anatomy for 55 years, came up and pointed to my stomach and said "what's that?" I realized he was pointing to the healing incisions from my gallbladder surgery and I replied with "gallbladder." He said "why?!" I replied with "gallstones" and he looking aghast said "at your age?!" I said "yes" and explained that I had a long family history of gallstones, but I was still semi-amused at his reaction.

Before classes started I finished Arch-shaped Sock #1. I am of course suffering from second sock syndrome (SSS) and broke my number one rule for preventing SSS by not immediately casting on the second sock after finishing the first. The toe ended up very square which I'm not thrilled about but the pattern was not spectacularly clear and I don't feel like ripping back to try and change it, so it will stay square. I also feel like these socks (because they are made with sport weight yarn) will be boot socks not shoe socks, so I won't have to worry about trying to shove the extra bulk into the toe of a shoe.

While I was school supply shopping at Target, I walked passed the scrap-booking isle (which usually presents no problems for me as I have yet to get into scrap-booking), but they had a small area of clearance jewelry making supplies
that screamed at me. Jewelry was another hobby that I had managed to avoid getting into, but the birdcage pendant caught my eye and then I had to figure out what else they had that I could use to make awesome jewelry cause it was all so cheap and then I got home with all of this and was $25 poorer and couldn't understand how I lost all self-control. But, hopefully, when I have time, (aka three years from now) I can make some pretty awesome jewelry. This same DIY and save money urge came over me while I was looking at big hair accessories (like the one I MacGyver'd for Diana's wedding) at stores and being shocked at the price for how cheaply made they were. So, I now also have a bag of fake flowers, feathers, felt, etc. to make hair accessories, but seeing as I probably won't make them anytime soon they aren't really doing me a whole lot of good :-(.

The most exciting thing, though, is my finished Hyrna Herborgar!!! There's not much I can say about it, that isn't expressed in how beautiful it is, so just admire it and then try to resist spending the $65 on the book. Hard isn't it? Granted the picture is kinda crappy but that's what happens when you take it off the blocking boards at 11:30pm. Hopefully I can get some cool outdoors pictures or something soon. I told Timm he needs to come down and go to a fancy restaurant with me so I have an excuse to wear it, although I'm considering just wearing it to classes tomorrow, just gotta figure out what I can wear it with that will do it justice.

Well, I need to get back to studying; Voodoo keeps assisting me (by laying across my books) Today, he tried to attack and eat the pencil I was using. I keep trying to move him to my lap, but he insist that the books are more comfortable.

Wish me luck on week 2 and the forearm muscles (which there are waaaaaayyyy too many of, I don't care if they help me knit, it's just obnoxious)!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I've Been Thinking 'Bout Something

My surgery went well and I'm officially missing an organ. Timm kept double checking that I wanted to get my gallbladder out, he said "But what if your knitting super powers are in your gallbladder?!" I'm still moving around slow and being careful, but other than that it seems to be healing up pretty well. I have my follow-up appointment on Thursday to check on everything, hopefully he'll tell me I can actually wash my stomach because the scab on my belly button is really gross looking. The nurse who was with me in pre-op said I was being whiny (although I clarified that I wasn't really being whiny just picky). I was very specific about where I wanted my IV put in but I didn't want a bruise or soreness that would interfere with my knitting abilities. I remember when I was waking up in recovery I kept signing to the nurses, but surprisingly they understood my ASL for the most part. I appropriately wore my "It sucks to be me" shirt to the hospital. This picture was taken after Timm had gotten me home and settled in bed. I'm going to credit the facial expression to pain meds. I took in fun bandaids for where they were gonna stick me with needles. Batman for the blood draw and Superman for the IV. We also got a picture of all the band-aids they put on my incisions, which I didn't even think to take fun band-aids for, but considering I was unconscious when they put them on who knows if they would have used my fun bandaids anyway. Timm & I are trying to decide what I can get tattooed over the scars, but I'm sure I have plenty of time to decide.

My parents got here Monday night and met Timm for the first time (which went pretty well). Then we moved stuff in on Tuesday morning and tried to get stuff arranged and put away. My dad and Timm have decided that my giant desk, which I love, will not leave this apartment without the help of chainsaws or movers other than them. Wednesday morning we did a few things before heading to the hospital (including dropping $250 on textbooks just for one class :-o). Thursday we got a few more things settled in my room and Dad hung up all my pictures while I laid in bed trying to not vomit or die. Then we headed to Sioux City, so Timm could touch up/re-do my dad's 27 year old tattoo and I would have someone to look after me over the weekend. Dad's tattoo looks awesome (see Timm's blog for pictures).

Then Timm drove me to his parent's house where I could hang out with his family and get pampered (his mom kept calling me "Princess"). Timm's dad had surgery 2 days before me so we got to have a pity party and be twins (based on the bunny ears in the picture Steve clearly hasn't lost his sense of humor)! And Timm's brother, sister-in-law, and new baby niece, Cameryn, came into town. I got to meet them all for the first time and give them the adorable baby knits (Patterns: Little Sister's Dress and Seamless Saartje's Booties). Everyone has decided Cameryn is the most adorable thing ever (Timm's mom was calling her "Little Princess"). Her parents have promised me pictures of her wearing the adorable knits when she fits them (hopefully between 6-9 months, which are the cold ones in Colorado so that should be good). All in all it was awesome to be up there. I hadn't seen Timm's parents in too long and I loved holding the new baby (only 8 lbs. so not over my lifting restriction!). I told Timm I wanted babies and he looked as though he might kill me, but really gotta get through PT school before I even think about it.

We drove back to Omaha on Sunday for me to work for 4 hours. Definitely not the most fun I've ever had, but I was working with 2 other people so I didn't have to do a whole lot and it let me gauge how I was doing and if I'd be able to work 6 hours on Wednesday by myself or if I needed to start looking for someone to cover my shift. After work, Timm and I headed downtown to see Hanson perform at the Slowdown!!!! So I know some of you are probably thinking Hanson, as in Mmmbop?! Yes the same Hanson, but really how much have you changed since 1998? I have listened to Hanson since Mmmbop, granted there has been plenty of time when I would deny this in public, but they really are one of the greatest groups out there. They write all their own stuff. They play their instruments. And they refuse to be known only as the guys that looked like girls and sang a song called Mmmbop. They do still perform Mmmbop at their concerts, but it sounds less cheesy when they don't sound like girls. If you haven't listened to Hanson since Mmmbop, go check out their latest single and awesome Blue Brothersesque video here. Timm, who says on his blog that he went to the concert so I'd love him forever, really enjoyed himself and is a closeted Hanson nerd, which really does make me love him forever but also amuses me. Timm scolded me a little that I wouldn't stop moving at the concert and I was gonna make my incisions not heal well. But I sat in a chair in the balcony so I wouldn't be in a mob of people that could bump my stomach, so I think that was sacrifice enough. I did get to see something by sitting in the balcony that the people on the floor probably didn't: Hanson wives and babies sat in a special part of the balcony for part of the show! They had the giant ear protector things on both the kids and that made them super adorable. I couldn't tell for sure which wives and kids it was, but I think it might have been Tay's daughter and one of Ike's sons (yeah, if you haven't heard anything about them since Mmmbop all of them are married and they have 7, soon to be 8, kids between the three of them). They also did my favourite song (A Song to Sing) at the concert. As much as I love it, I had little expectation of it being performed, because it's a slow acoustic song. I have a feeling I turned into a middle schooler at that point, but Timm didn't even try to push me off the balcony.

Since this is a knitting blog I suppose I should tell you that I have indeed been knitting. Since my Icelandic shawl pattern book was taking waaaaayyy too long to get here and I'd finished my Jaywalker socks (pictures soon?). I decided to start the Arched-Shaped Socks. For being colourwork (which is not something I do too often) and socks, they are flying off the needles. I got this far on the first one in less than a week. I'm almost to the toe-shaping. The pattern was super easy to memorize and they made a good project to take to work with me. The socks were originally knit by Elizabeth Zimmerman (who's 100 birthday would have been yesterday). But no pattern was found, so her daughter Meg Swansen created a pattern by looking at the original socks. There's a few spots in the pattern that aren't as clear as I would like. For example, when you start the heel turn it doesn't tell you what you're supposed to do with the colour pattern. But they are awesome socks and I'm happy that I had yarn in my stash that went together so well in the right gauge and was completely free to begin with! My shawl pattern book finally arrived on Saturday, the 31st. I wanted to read through all the history and the pattern before I started. So I didn't start the shawl until Monday while I was at the laundry mat. I then had to keep a small child from trying to steal it out of my purse and destroying it, don't even get me started on why her parents weren't bothering to pay attention to what she was doing. I worked on the shawl most of the time I was at Timm's and have already gotten to the second stitch pattern, which means I'm over halfway on row count (but as the stitches increase every row, I'm sure the second half will not go nearly as fast as the first). The picture is crappy (but everyone knows lace doesn't look great until it's blocked) and the colour is off, it's closer to a burgundy than it looks in the picture. So hopefully, I can make some good progress on both of them soon.

I go back to work tomorrow and orientation for school is the end of next week. I can't believe school starts so soon! I'm all registered and have my books and talked to my PT2 buddy (a second year student that's supposed to help me out with stuff). I'm still nervous about anatomy lab, but hopefully I'll handle it better than I'm imagining.

Happy Knitting!