I’ve been sick for a month. First a cold. Then “allergies”. Finally, last week, a throat infection arrived that.. well, grabbed me by the throat. And kicked me around the house for good measure. I haven’t been this ill in ten years. Maybe fifteen. I was truly, horribly, pathetically ill, and not in my usual manflu, “I have a cold, I am certain I must be dying!” drama queen way. No, I have been I-L-L. Too ill to get out of bed. Too ill to check email. To ill to knit. Too ill to even feed myself, which was fine, as I couldn’t swallow much anyway.
Tonia stayed home and took care of me. She made me broth and brought me red Popsicles. When it came to making the broth, I am sorry to say, Mrs Beeton’s Guide to Household Management utterly failed us in our hour of need. Under Care and Feeding of the Invalid all the recipes begin with “Boil one cow.” We briefly considered whether the farmer next door would miss one of his (they’re black and white, and all look alike to us) and then gave up the idea as impractical, owing to the inadequacy of our largest stock pot.
It’s taken a while to sort out the reason for this really unusual spate of illness in my life, and I think it’s come down to the neti pot. It’s the only new thing in my life this month, other than mucus. My friend Cathy told me about these things, she said Oprah was using one, they’re all the rage, and people who use them never ever get sick. Also, if you have a stuffy nose, perhaps maybe from allergies, a neti pot will clear the problem right up. No drugs, just a little saline water up your nose, no kidding.
And what’s a neti pot? Well, if you have to ask, you maybe want to watch this video. Or maybe… you really just don’t. Seriously.
I bought a neti pot after we returned home from Alaska, and it was weird to use, but once you get beyond the feeling that you’re drowning, it’s not unpleasant. So I used it while I had the manflu. And it helped. And then I got over the manflu, but had those lingering “allergies”, remember? I used the neti pot then too, and it helped. And then I got a sore throat. And it got worse and worse. And then I had a fever of 102.2 for a while and so I stopped using the neti pot, and called a doctor. And she came to my house, and peered into me, and said I that had a very bad throat infection, and needed antibiotics immediately. And she also said you really can’t tell if it’s a viral infection or a bacterial infection, unless you do a culture, and the treatment is the same either way. Antibiotics.
And she wrote me a script and she left, but when she said “bacterial” the little light bulb went on, and I suddenly realized that maybe the bacteria, which I have been dutifully flushing out of my nasal passages, ended up somewhere it shouldn’t. And this might explain why I have been so ill. I did some checking on the interweb and, sure enough, despite the fact that neti pots bring great relief when you are stuffed up, apparently you’re not supposed to use one when you’re sick. Because all the bacteria from your nose swilling around in saline could wind up anywhere. Anywhere. Like your throat. Which is gross, if you think about it, so let’s not. All I’m saying is they might have included a cautionary paragraph in the instructions that came with the neti pot, and that I’m never using mine again. I have found a far better use for it.
I’ve moved from the bed to the sofa, and I’m knitting, working on a little pair of slippers; a sure sign of returning health. My toes have been cold for a month with this damned illness, and the old felted clogs are really beyond repair now. Time for something new. Something not felted. Something I can knit, weave in the ends of, and slip on my feet.
I went looking for slipper patterns, and then I remembered that Erika Knight has a very simple pattern for something she calls Yoga Slippers in her book, Classic Knits at Home. They’re darling little slippers, and I love the little circles of leather sewn on the soles. Very Zen. And I really like how decreases are worked along both sides of the upper, and the way the increases near the back of the heel shape the back of the slipper. I wouldn’t have thought to do that. Very clever.
Wow. Will you look at that. I am blogging my knitting. Something else I don’t usually think to do.
So I’m onto something, Erika’s slippers are close to what I want, but still not quite there. It’s the single layer of knit fabric for the sole that lets the pattern down for me. I want house slippers. I need thicker soles. So I decided to double knit the sole, so there are two layers of fabric, instead of one. I’m not actually using Erika’s pattern, so much as looking at the picture of her clever little slippers, and channeling Erika as I knit. The first sole is complete, the second I had to fiddle with because did I WRITE ANYTHING DOWN while I was knitting the first one? No. I did not. Blame the illness. I was too ill to know what I was doing. No pictures as I haven’t started the uppers yet, but maybe tomorrow.
Amy will make a knitting blogger of me yet.
***On glacier watching day in Alaska the nature guy on the cruise used the loudspeaker to read inspirational nature quotes, reflecting the GRANDEUR and the MAJESTY of what we were looking at. Because we city folk don’t know quite how to appreciate a glacier unassisted. So he read quotes from John Muir and Jack London and, occasionally, himself, prefaced with “As I wrote in my kayak journal…” which kind of became a thing. I won’t use his name, because he’s a really nice guy, and very knowledgeable about things like the different ways that bears shit in the woods. And is even willing to demonstrate them for you. Seriously.