If anyone reviewed this care giver's life, they might come to the conclusion that she experiences a measure of isolation. Now, according to the experts, isolation is a care giving "no, no". Isolation breeds resentment, fatigue, and a whole host of other unhealthy things. I agree with the experts. Feeling as if I'm on a precipice has not served me well, but it has not been a lasting condition.
As you may or may not be aware, I love the art of knitting. Well, I have to own up and say I love some aspects of knitting. There are various forms that I have avoided like the plague, for example, entrelac (a textured knitting technique involving diamonds), stranded knitting (knitting with many colors), and lace (well, that's the fabric with the holes in it). Over the years, I overcame the stranded phobia and had small forays into lace making, but nothing serious.
In caring for my parents small blocks of time allow me to do other things: clean the house, read, write, and knit. Last month, I decided that I had avoided this lace thing long enough. Christmas would be here before I knew it, so I'd better get on it. A visit to Ravelry (a knitter's haven and information central) led me to a group aptly called "Beginner's Lace". After joining, the group I discovered they did something called a shawl knit-along and discovered a technique I thought beyond me - a lifeline.
Knitters use lifelines as a line of fibre defense. A piece of waste yarn inserted between the needles and the live stitches secures the project from mishaps, such as a dropped stitch or a major unravel. Truth be told, I felt I didn't need to use a lifeline. Who? Me? Are you kidding? Such mental
hubris led to the failure of my first project. I lost stitches, gained them, discovered huge chasms open below the needles, aka "a hot mess."
The second shawl project cruised along with a better outcome. I have to attribute its success to those lifelines. Oh, sure I dropped a stitch or two, but the lifeline caught them. I noticed an error after I finished the project and, luckily, a lifeline rested just under the faux pas. I frogged (knitting term for undoing) the knitting and am currently reknitting. Yay, lifelines.
It's funny how knitting and care giving go hand-in-hand in my life. As with the members of the lace group, as in life I rely on lifelines in the form of nurses, nurses aides, doctors, pharmacists, friends, and the volunteers to answer questions, offer guidance, and help keep me sane as we strive to make comfort the fabric of the day. We do miss stitches here and there in the form of communication or try to go too fast, that's when I unravel. If my lifeline are in place calling up past training and wellness guidelines, those lifelines keeps me from becoming an abandoned hot mess...
And for that I am very grateful.
Links to the Outside World
- ▼ July (10)