Thursday, October 10, 2013

Can't Wait To Wear It This Winter

  Hanging up in my closet is a homemade scarf. I made it all by myself in a manner of days. It's made of Texel sheep wool that I spun on my own spinning wheel; turning it into a chunky thick-and-thin single ply (meaning only one strand). I took that freshly spun yarn and washed it, then wound it into a ball and then knitted it up with size 15 needles (yep, huge). All. By. Myself.

  To many people, this is  a perfectly normal thing to do; barely worth mentioning. But to me it is an extraordinary accomplishment at this stage of life. Not because I made the yarn. Not because the wool is from my favorite breed of sheep. Not even because I knit it  by myself.

  It is extraordinary to me because creating this scarf means that I have usage of my left hand once again. I have my life back. It's a special scarf because it shows that the problems of my past are just that: Things of the past. They're gone.

  About a year ago I started having problems with my left hand. After milking the goats or doing anything strenuous, it would either flare up with a fiery pain, or go completely numb. The situation slowly got worse and worse... So slowly that I didn't even realize what was happening until June 2013. The simple act of bending my arm hurt like the dickens and my hand would go uselessly numb at the drop of a hat. I couldn't hold pens or pencils. Couldn't write. Couldn't hold tiny objects because I no longer had the dexterity to do so. Couldn't spin yarn anymore. Couldn't hold knitting needles. Definitely couldn't hand milk animals anymore. Shucks, I couldn't even hold my baby brother for longer than five minutes. It was bad.

  So we did what any logical person would do: We went and saw doctors and specialists about the problem. The diagnosis was never 100% positive, but everyone agreed that all the symptoms were fitting for a combination of carpal and cubital tunnel. Double whammy. The carpal tunnel was in my hand, and the cubital tunnel was in my elbow; both problems were stemming from nerves being trapped in the wrong spots. Cause that triggered all this? Hand milking goats for too many years. Whoop de doo. *note sarcasm*

  The specialists recommended surgery and then warned that I may be on steroids afterwards; and neither one of those were guaranteed to work. To be honest, I was ready and willing to try surgery. I was taking pain killer every day to make things bearable, and I sorely missed doing normal human things that involve two hands. I just wanted the pain to stop...

  Before seriously considering surgery, my parents decided we should try the gentler method of seeing a chiropractor for a few weeks. I had never been to one before and quite frankly, I was suspicious and skeptical. All I had ever heard were stories from folks who said they felt worse instead of better after going. And I had no desire to make matters worse. But I agreed to try it out anyway. Better than surgery, which would have involved needles and an IV (I can do many things in life. Handling needles in a sane and calm manner is not one of them. Seriously, I wake up from nightmares about blood draws more times than I care to admit.). So to the chiropractor I went.

  Weeks and countless appointments later, I find myself at today. I'm typing this post with two hands. And you want to know something? I have no more pain. :) Bless that chiropractor's heart, he knew what he was doing. He was confident that he could resolve my carpal/cubital tunnel problems permanently, and he did just that. It wasn't easy or pain free, but we did it. That kind man even fixed the residual problem in my wrist/hand that happened from a horse accident four years ago. I used to never be able to bend my hand backwards very far, so things like push-ups, or playing volleyball, or even giving someone a high-five was out of the question. But now not only do I no longer have pain or numbness, I can even play volleyball!! Whoohoo! No more sidelines for this girl!!! I'm back to knitting, spinning, hand writing, and I can finally hold my baby brother happily.

  Further more, my chiropractor has given me a project: He wants me to go back to hand milking! He feels that he's fixed what needs to be fixed, and has told me to resume hand milking again. I am so excited about this news that you just can't know. ^_^ You see, the farm that I'm going to in Missouri hand milks their cows. I had told them at the beginning that I would be unable to help them with that chore, which was fine with them. I was secretly dissapointed with myself that I would be missing out on  the day-to-day milking though... But now it turns out that I get to milk those cows after all!!! Yahoo!!!

  As a small, personal celebration that I could finally do all the things I thought I was doomed to never do again, I sat down and knit myself a scarf. Something fast and easy, but still showed that this girl is back 100%.

  I can't wait to wear it this winter.

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Justin Caiss said...

This is wonderful and exciting and awesome all at the same time!! Praise God!! I'm so so SO glad to hear this.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Congrats! I have used chiro extensively with excellent results. I had severe carpal in both hands, with suggestions of surgery. I did accupuncture for 3 weeks, PT and it all stopped on it's own after a couple of months. That was 5 years ago :)

FeyWind said...

Conga Rats! ('Cause they dance-dance-dance!!) I'm so happy to hear that you have found the healing you needed - how wonderful it is. *smiles*

Also, I just wanted to say 'thank you' for sharing some parts of your life with us. I have been really enjoying following your farming adventures - I look forward to reading about your internship as well....