Archive for November, 2007

The Godfather of Viruses

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Maybe it was the comforting and creative turkey recipes you all sent, or perhaps it was five straight days rest (okay, there was that madcap codeine run to Harvard Square yesterday, but that is a nutty story of narcotics hi-jinks for another day), but I am thrilled, thrilled (!) to report that I was able to walk the dog for her usual three miles this morning.

And I am still awake to talk about it!

She, however, is fast asleep.
Don’t wake me, monkey.

You might think I’m kind of making a lot of a case of bronchitis, and I suppose it would appear that way if you didn’t know that seven years ago when I still lived in NYC, I came down with a case of bronchitis at the end of October, but I kept going to work, to the gym, to Halloween parties…I just kept up my usual schedule, albeit while hacking and coughing up alveoli everywhere I went. By November 2nd, I couldn’t walk around the block. From then until early December, I did not leave my apartment.

By this I mean I did not even go down the hall.

Long story short, the virus caused lung inflammation, I lost half my lung capacity, at the worst of it I could not raise my arms above my head because that movement compressed my lungs too much for me to breathe, and a good day was when I could sit up in bed for an hour or two. I didn’t resume anything resembling a normal schedule for six months. As ailments go, the excruciatingly slow progress of this was maddeningly like something out of the 19th century, except that I was not sent to “take the waters” for six months. Which was a shame.

At the time, the pulmonologist gave me a two-year horizon for full recovery and I have minor, but apparently permanent lung damage.

What was my mistake? I didn’t respect the virus. I didn’t understand that I was dealing with the Godfather of Viruses. By the time I got the picture, the Godfather of Viruses was saying, “You come here and ask me to leave you alone, but you don’t show respect, you don’t show friendship.”

That’s when you know you’re gonna get whacked.

I haven’t had bronchitis in the intervening seven years (thanks be to God!) and this virus seems far less virulent than the one I had in 2000, but then again, I know now. I respect the virus, children. I don’t push my luck. I don’t go out in public coughing and hacking and flipping off the virus in a whole variety of ways that makes it very, very angry. Because I know what happens.

You end up as a character in The Magic Mountain.

So that’s why bronchitis is a big, ole, hairy deal Chez Mad Dog. That’s why we’re hunkering down and knitting The Sick Socks and doing crossword puzzles.

I’m also making the Superior Ruffled Pullover, which looks like this so far:
If you don’t knit, this yarn will make you want to learn. 70% cashmere, 30% silk. Superior. Ask for it at your LYS.

And I’m slowly re-entering the world. But this time, I’m showing respect.

Happy birthday, Sarah!

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

Today is Sarah’s birthday, so if you can leave her a birthday greeting in the comments, I’d be much obliged.

I’m feeling more than a little sad because Sarah (and my parents) were supposed to be here today—and earlier this week for Thanksgiving—but low-grade tragedy struck when both Alex and I got a bad case of viral bronchitis and were deemed “unsuited to host and roast” by the medical authorities.
It’s no joke, dudes. There is something powerful wrong with my monkeys.

Even more tragically, our last foray into the outer world involved buying a 16-lb. turkey in anticipation of a feast which never happened. In the event, we actually cooked the bird lest it go bad, producing—since neither of us has any appetite whatsoever—nearly 16 lbs. of leftovers.

If you have any great recipes for leftover turkey, bring ’em on!

In knitting news, I have finished Rogue (remember Rogue, from, oh, a year and a half ago or so?), but I am waiting to model her on the blog until such time as I feel more spry. In spite of our bronchial woes, I am delighted with the sweater, which is all the more special because my sister spun the yarn for it.

This is big bananas, people. Stay tuned for photos.

And did I mention that this sweater fits and is attractive? Unlike, ahem, some creations.

Meanwhile, I have been knitting what we officially refer to as The Sick Socks:
This is about all I can handle right now. Trekking. Stockinette. Watching the colors change. Fun for the feeble-minded.

Oh, and since we’re discussing socks, I also made an elegant pair for Nasser from a lovely charcoal grey skein of Alpaca Sox, but he came and got them before I could snap a photo and whisked them away to London where he is wearing them today to do a reading in a friend’s wedding. I am quite honored to know that one of my creations is a world traveller and the chosen sock for a special occasion.
Here in the Commonwealth, meanwhile, we’ve got bronchitis and a frozen birdbath. So much to be thankful for!

Some of you have expressed concern that the blog posts have been mighty scarce these past few weeks. Thank you for you notes, all of you. There is an explanation for this: Sarah is very involved with some family issues that are consuming of her time and energy and I am increasingly in what I call Dissertation Mole Mode.

What this means is that on all days when my lungs aren’t kicking me to the curb, I get up very early, walk the dog, and then for the next seven to eight hours, I employ the secret strategy used by successful writers everywhere.

I put my butt in a chair.

And I write. This is very satisfying work, but I have to admit that at the end of it, I am not generally inclined to write more. Even about knitting. And life. In fact, at the end of the day, I got nothing left. Nothing left for nothing. Everything else has gotten pared back to get this sucker done—social life, knitting, blogging… I have gone to ground; I am the Dissertation Mole.

So bear with us. We’ll do what we can in the meantime.

For all of our American readers, we hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

And now, about those turkey recipes… Whaddya got for me?