Saturday, March 22, 2014

Back On The Couch

- Napoleon Bonaparte

I've been home since last Sunday. The surgeries went well: the surgeon removed my left kidney and transplanted it into my mother on March 6th. Since then, we've both been recovering and slowly adapting to having one healthy kidney each. Two weeks on, I feel comfortable, and my energy is returning.

I must say: I am fed up with people saying, "I hear it's harder for the donor." I guess it depends on what your definition of "hard" is. I am not able to do all the activity I used to do... not yet. But I will. I didn't need any narcotics, not because I toughed it out, but I was lucky enough not to require them. I took Extra Strength Tylenol regularly for about a week, and now I don't need any. I nap a lot. But I can go out for walks with Rascal and the hubby at my normal pace, and even uphill. And I have great faith that, with time and rest, I'll be back to my old self soon. Sleep is an amazing thing.

My mother goes to the hospital every other day to have blood drawn, dressings changed, blood pressure checked, blood sugar measured, and is taking a boatload of medications. We are lucky enough that the program at the hospital includes such close monitoring, and also includes regular education for her to manage her medication. Her new kidney is doing a great job of flushing out the water and toxins that have been building up inside of her for the past few years. She told me she is losing about 1.5 pounds of water a day. A day! It is still a difficult job to keep her body chemistry at normal levels, but she is able to walk further and further each day. I'm hopeful that, with the ability to exercise, her body chemistry will achieve some kind of homeostasis.

Anyway, I'm home for the time being. Sitting still is hard for me, but I keep myself occupied. Earlier this week, I made homemade marshmallows for the first time. I used this recipe from The Clever Carrot, that uses evaporated milk instead of eggs or corn syrup. The bowl below is only a small sample of what I made. It was an exciting, miraculous process, watching the sugar turn into a fluffy pile of marshmallow. If it weren't for my stitches, I would have been jumping up and down in the kitchen:

The next day, I made these Welsh Cakes from Eating For England, a blog that my friend, Lisa, shared with me. Welsh Cakes are like extremely rich scones... and they are swear-out-loud good. I made mine a bit too thick, and they burned a bit on the outside, but holy lardcakes, they are amazing. And yes, if you decide to make these, use the lard. This is not the time for substitutions:

We got a bunch of strawberries yesterday, which will likely become some kind of experiment in the kitchen. I washed and hulled them and couldn't resist taking a photo. That little pink thingy is a strawberry huller I got as a gift. I'm not one for a lot of kitchen gadgets, but that one is a winner:

But the yarn, it has been calling me. With all this extra time on my hands, I managed to finish the crochet top I was modifying from this Russian crochet site, but I didn't feel like modelling it today. Once my distended belly recedes, I'll do a proper photo shoot with it, but here's a preview:

I've been prodded by one of my Google+ friends to get on some crochet projects for National Crochet Month. Rascal also kind of gave me a nudge when I found him lying on one of my crochet books:

So, my daytime yarn project has been the scarf that's on the front cover of that book. It's a book of Irish Crochet projects written in Japanese. Yes, it's in Japanese. No, I don't read Japanese, but it's mostly charted, and with a bit of studying, I've been working through the motifs with relative ease. I'm using a DK weight cotton yarn from Sidar called Flirt, which is thicker than what the project calls for, but so far, it's been turning out to be quite pretty. With all the ends still sticking out, each motif looks a bit like its own pondwater creature under a microscope:

And I haven't forgotten about knitting. My evening project is a knitting experiment with my own hand dyed sock yarn, which I'd love to share with you, but Rascal is busy with it at the moment:

So, in all, it's been kind of a busy few weeks, kidney and marshmallows and cakes and crochet and knitting and all. And before you say it: yes, this is what resting looks like for me. If there's one thing I've taken to heart, it's the advice that, if it takes a few more weeks to get back to "normal," then I'll take it. I'm excited to see what I am capable of doing once I've fully recovered, but it's been nice to step back a bit from my normal busy routine, a real blessing, in fact. And it's been nice to return to my blog: kind of like coming home.

Nothing like life back on The Couch:


YarnKettle said...

Oh I'm so happy you're back! I'll check out that blog too.
Keep healing.

AdrieneJ said...

It feels good to be back and finding my voice again!