fishy

I am sure you are about as tired of hearing about my health as I am of experiencing it, but it has not been a great few days round here. I had a seizure on Sunday which left me totally exhausted, and scuppered a long-arranged plan to pop over to Glasgow earlier in the week. I have had a few of these seizures recently, and they are becoming increasingly troubling and disruptive. I previously assumed them to be migrainous, but as they are completely unlike any migraine I suffered prior to my stroke, my doctors are now considering the possibility that other neurological issues may be involved. I am glad things are being investigated – as long as I can gain some understanding of what on earth is going on in my stroke-addled grey matter, I will really be much happier.

Amidst all this weird shit, several cheering packages turned up all at once. This is the way of things, sometimes. And, entirely coincidentally, all the packages contained fish.

From Jeanette

(lemon for display purposes only)

From Anne

From Elizabeth

These fish – with their different but equally pleasing fishy shapes – make me very happy indeed. Thankyou so much, Jeanette, Anne, and Elizabeth! Your thoughtful gifts appeared here at just the right time.

Anyway, its not all bad – over a couple of days in bed I managed to knit up a fun new hat, which I’ve designed especially for Shetland wool week. All I’ll say right now is BAAAAAAAA. You’ll see it at the weekend.

70 responses

  1. So sorry to hear about the seizures. There may be something fishy going on, sorry couldn’t resist. Hopefully, it’s not epilespy related, although there are medications available.

  2. I am just glad we are all here to support you. I don’t mind at all, if it makes you feel better to blog about it.

  3. I am sad that you are having seizures – how scary for you – so I am sending you a whole heap of sunny weather from Over Here….

  4. They’re very appropriate, those little fish. Did their senders know, I wonder, that in Japan they represent perseverance in adversity. And how lovely to receive such gifts when you’re laid low :D

  5. I am sorry to hear you’re having a rough time as of late, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you and your doctors can figure it out. Fun factoid (with a healthy dose of chronic illness snark): Migraines are more closely related to seizures than they are headaches. Which I am sure you knew, but it’s one of those things that always gives me a wry smile when I get migraines. Here’s to sending lots of squishy yarn and fishy thoughts your way.

  6. Sorry to hear things haven’t been so good… the seizures must be worrying and I am glad they’re being taken seriously – lots of best wishes from west wales…

    (and if the fun new hat involves what I think it does, I have my needles all ready and waiting… baaaa…)

  7. So sorry to hear of the latest medical issue. As I’m sure you know, any brain injury can cause seizures, even a long time afterwards. For example, my father had meningitis, and years later he developed a seizure disorder that was traced back to it. As others have mentioned, seizures are usually treatable (largely preventable) with medication – the hardest part is diagnosing what is (or is not) causing them, and how to appropriately medicate, if necessary. Side note: “epilepsy” is not a specific disease, but basically means that one has had seizures with no specific other cause attributable.

    Best wishes to you.

  8. Not happy about the seizures, but this too will be overcome. Love all the fishie buttons, love it when life gives us a litte synchronicity!

  9. So sorry to hear you are having seizures and hope that the investigation can quickly find a way of dealing with them successfully.

    Take care.

  10. Oh Kate; I am so sorry you do not feel so good these days. I am not a native English speaker and “seizure” as I understand it has got a full range of seriousness and I do hope you are dealing with the lightest meaning of it. I used to suffer from major brain injuries too, now I am getting OK but I seldom talk about it since I have seldom the opportunity to I must say, I am always afraid it may be understood as condescension on my side or induce dismay on the recipient’s one. Some details of your story are so similar to mine that it keeps on surprising me with déjà-vu. You have been really busy during the past weeks and this may explain that. All I can say is that years after my accident and further to any extra effort or any tiny nervous shock, I still could not help falling asleep during a meal – I mean litterally – to the great surprise of the other guests or I could lay grieving with pain and extreme weakness on my bed for hours (epileptic seizures). Just to let you know that I fully understand what you are going through and the constant effort of adaptation to a hostile environment and I also understand the relief provided by any rational explanation, and I promise that you will be better. You have a loving family and affectionate friends and also all your creative world to accompany you down the way – and help you deal with the patience issue ! Keep us in the loop of your progresses, you can take as certain that a few days without a single post make us start to worry ! I admire you for your honesty too, by the way. I send you all my comprehension and support, always.

    PS If I remember well, fish is an extremely positive symbol in both Christian and Ancient-Greec culture ! Besides, fish is good food for the brain.

    • Belatedly reading this post, I just wanted to add my sympathy to you, if sympathy doesn’t sound condescending (quite the opposite intended). Cecile’s wonderful comment says much that I would have said too. The weirdness of brain injury and how symptoms appear, fade, flare up…frightening yet fascinating. (Having been a patient in this life, in my next I’d like to be a neurologist!) Don’t apologise for being ill. Chronic conditions are untidy: people assume you just get better and then you’re fine. It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately, but there are many, many of us out here who understand that. Hope the medics can work out what’s going on with your heid at the moment and do something helpful about it. Meanwhile, maybe a fish supper…?!

  11. Hi Kate – I was sorry to read of this latest set back, but knowing you, you will overcome this as you have all the other trials that you have experienced since your stroke (through your sheer stubborn bl**dy-mindedness!!!) Anne x

  12. Not to get all new age-y on you, but it’s interesting that you received 3 packages (three is one of those numbers representing totality, wholeness-also past, present, future, the Holy Trinity ) with 3 fish (again, 3), the yin-yang fish (symbolizing balance, wholeness, completeness), and that last fish, looking as if it’s about to eat its tail, reminds me of, again, wholeness and how we are all so interconnected in ways we rarely think about. What beautiful gifts! It’s hard to imagine that these gifts don’t represent something MUCH LARGER than ourselves at work. Many blessings as you go through this process.

  13. Sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well. But, as most of the above comments, we all know you will prevail! Keep of the good knitting work — love your patterns. And thank you for sharing your life. Your very inspiring to others. Take care of yourself and keep the faith.

    Pat Prahl

  14. Ack, sorry to read that. Don’t want to be alarmist, but be very careful about bathing by yourself- after my seizure almost a year ago the neurologist told me no swimming, no bathing without husband in the same room. It’s all good now, and hopefully will for you, too, but worth thinking about.

  15. Ditto to all of the above – but only you could use the recovery time to design and knit a new hat pattern…………………….kinda says it all really. :-)

    Get well soon. x

  16. how lovely to get those fish and the wonderful comments above — I esp. like the one about persevering through adversity :) stay strong — we all need you here with us! you provide fabulous prose, fabulous patterns, fabulous eye candy photos, and a zest for life — all gifts. thank you!

  17. Actually, I’m very okay with your sharing the ugh (and the FAB) in your days. It’s part of your story and I’m always waiting for the next page, the next design, another tidbit. You’re amazing, Kate. ONWARD!

  18. I admire your incredible strength of character in the face of these challenges and know that the doctors are doing everything to find a cause and cure for you. You have designed some fishy things lately but all these fish arriving at this time can also be seen as a symbol of hope ~

  19. This was scary reading so thank you for sharing the fish with us. I hope – and yes pray – that the doctors figure out what’s happening but knowing your fortitude, you will battle your way through this. Bruce and Tom must be anxious to help out too :)

  20. Kate – I appreciate that you share details of your stroke and recovery because I cannot possibly ever understand the full scope of how such a traumatic injury affects a person and the people around them. While it is limited information, I think I get a fuller sense of who you are and, really, that is why I am here… Your thoughtful insight, your patterns, your tidbits of history, details of your life, pictures of Bruce… I don’t want it to sound weird, but the fact that you do share some of the details of your illness, strengthens our (sort of one sided) relationship. I know I am focusing only on the first sentence of your post, but take the time you need in recovering and I’ll be here waiting for your posts. I enjoy them ever so much.

    p.s. The fishies are awesome!

  21. It is heartbreaking to me to hear of more troubles on your plate. I am so sorry you have been having these new worries. You are in my thoughts and heart, and I am glad you share these ups and downs with all of us that care about you. I am also happy that you have been so creative lately and have had some opportunity to knit! Rest well dear Kate!

  22. Some of the greatest minds have conjured up wonderful things while convalescing in bed. Keep that amazing mind of yours focused and producing. Couldn’t hurt!

  23. Your strength in the face of adversity is amazing. I am sure I speak for others too when I say it encourages me to be a stronger person as I read of your trials. Hang in there. I hope it turns out to be a minor issue. You inspire in other ways too… as I write this, a wee ball of Rowan Fine Tweed has found its way on to my lap where I am busy having fun with it. Such nice yarn!!!! :-) Looking forward to seeing your sheepy hat!

  24. I hope you’re feeling better and am heartened to hear they are investigating. You have been through quite a lot (understatement) the last year and a bit; it would be lovely if you had a break from brain woes…

  25. It’s your blog, dear, you write whatever needs to come out on the page. We will be here reading it and feeling for and with you. I only wish I could give you the careful hug you so richly deserve. Tom, get on that for me would you?

  26. Dear Kate, though we are never happy that you have to struggle so, what you write about your health is always interesting because of the way you go about it. And those fishy pictures are beautiful !
    I thought about you a lot this summer when I saw a program about dogs that had been trained to assist people with different specific health issues, and this post made me think it was time to mention it to you in case no one else has. Here are a couple of links, for instance :

    http://www.dogaid.org.uk/

    http://www.support-dogs.org.uk/

    Maybe Bruce could be trained to help you anticipate those seizures – in some cases it is possible – so at least you would not suffer any additional risk from them, and they would become slightly more manageable. I do wish it wasn’t necessary.
    And, I’m so looking forward to your next pattern. I hope you enjoy Shetland Wool Week a lot.

  27. Kate, I met you in Dublin recently and have been following your blog since. I’m so sorry to hear about your seizures, hopefully the doctors will get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible and get you all sorted out. My husband had a mild stroke 3 years ago so I know how hard it is. Love your blog and patterns – just about to start Warriston. Take care and keep us posted. LOL Deirdre

  28. Take care of yourself. I’m just one of so many who care deeply about you. Tell us anything that it helps you to talk about. We are listening, even when it is not nice news. Or, especially when it is not nice: that is when we are all thinking of you most.

  29. Thanks for letting us know that things are still not as good as they could be chez Kate’s brain. It is brave, and I hope helpful, that you share your ups and downs with us.
    I have had seizures myself and they are no fun. However, as others have said they can be prevented, or at least well-managed, with medication, so it’s good an investigation’s going on.
    looking forward to the sheep hat. meeeh.

  30. Thank you for taking the time to update us. Speaking of fish, I wore your Caller Herrin’ hat to a local wool festival where it was a great conversation starter. Next week I will wear it proudly at the sheep and wool festival in Rhinebeck New York, which is basically Woodstock for knitters, and there will be more conversations about your wonderful designs.

  31. I don’t tire of hearing about your health; and I think everyone in medicine should read your journey. How strange about the fish!

  32. Dearest Kate,
    We subscribe to your posts because we find someone very special writing it. While we certainly appreciate your creativity and talent which you share, more importantly, we appreciate YOU, and who you are, in both sickness and in health. I do not think I am alone in saying that you should never apologize for sharing setback or fear. So, no, we are not “as sick of hearing about…”. We wouldn’t be here if we were. I do hope you are feeling better soon.

  33. Kate, I am saddened to hear that this has happened to you, when you work so hard to move forward and regain your health.
    I was thinking that whilst your doctors search for answers; chiropractors ( I go to one myself) can offer wonderful relief in keeping one balanced and moving freely. The one I go to uses an activator gun type of device which aligns up all the muscles etc and thus allows for the nerve pathways to open up properly so that correct bloodflow can reach the brain, other nerves and muscles etc

    I survived a traumatic car accident, and even with the serious injuries I sustained, I would not be as good as I am without the chiropractor. I guess your specialists will look into every detail, but the different type of training and expertise of a good chiropractor may be of assistance. The Thompson table gentle technique, deep laser for any pain, and various massage may help with blood flow and nerve pathways.
    I just thought I’d mention this, as I want to hear that you are well. Take care.

  34. Dear Kate – I am not tired of hearing about your health. I welcome all of your writing. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for renewed health and recovery. While I comment rarely, I am a regular reader of your blog. I enjoy reading your writing tremendously.
    Re all those fish showing up at your door – well, how about that for synchronicity! I thought you might be interested in info about the fish as a symbol of – fertility, eternity, creativity, femininity, good luck, happiness, knowledge, and transformation.
    All the Best – Peg

  35. Huzzah for buttons! I particularly liked the ones you displayed on the lemon for their colors, which remind me of being at the shore. Best wishes as you get things sorted out!

  36. When I ask people if they are familiar with your blog and web site, I never ask them if they read “that medical report site”; so there! You live and blog a creative life and present the scope and range of that well-lived life. That offers encouragement to all.

    When I saw the fish, I, as someone else above me thought, “oh, brain food!” “This is good.” The other meanings that have been described bode well, too.

    Peace to you!

  37. My son has epilepsy and I know how exhausted he is after a seizure – one doctor described a seizure as being like doing ten rounds with Mike Tyson – rest up and take it easy! Interestingly, Epilim (my son’s medication) is also used to treat migraine …

  38. Must never be apologetic about what content you share, no matter how upsetting and sad and horrible. I read everything, and absorb your witticisms, wisdom, sadness, disarray, purgings, hopeful new beginnings, delightful outlooks, opinions, and of course (drumroll) … those amazing knits which come from your deep well of creativity. Just as you Share All of yourself with us here, in your blog, so many of us Share All right back at you , via these little boxes. I mean, the things I have said here ! I don’t want to ever opportunize your posts as a way to gush on about my own life, but there are certain windows which I feel beckon me to do so. I have been in perimenopausal depression for several years now, and so to realize that The Whole Thing is every bit connected to my soaring creativity amazes me. Our Neurological Selves are a very special place (fishy as well) where the Creative Force is born, and I see also am witness to this ‘phenomenon’ happening with you. As you are in the depths of despair and all manner of disorientation with yourself and your world, you are also creating the Best Ever artistic expressions. Just saying. (I am going to now post a new blog on my Ravelry page now, which is a little window to what has been happening to me while I’ve been emotionally knackered and despairing in a parallel sort of way, about a butterflyish thing and also a melodic thing. ) THank you Kate, for having the courage to write it all out, and you get a very loud cheering from My End of THe World.

  39. You honor us by sharing your thoughts in bad times as well as good, so write on whatever subject you choose.

    Do the fish buttons and ornaments suggest a Caller Herrin cardigan?

  40. I love the fishes. Am sad about the seizures – had hoped it was horrible migraines but glad they are looking into it. Fingers crossed there be no more before wool week! xxx

  41. Love the buttons. The latter two make me think of netsuke.

    Sorry to hear about these seizures and hope they find out what’s happening. God, you must be fed up with it all.

  42. Dear Kate – I love your writings, and please do not stop. I did not know your were a fellow migraineur (I have had mine around for 43 years (they are quite retractable at this point) so my heart goes out to anyone who suffers from that malady, especially on top of everything else you are dealing with. I am in bed a lot with the migraines which are frequent and debilitating. Your writings give me hope that I too will one day get all this under control, and have a better life, more knitting, and other things. I am so sorry you are having more rather than less neuron firings at the moment, but one thing I do know from experience is that neurons are wonderful things. The work hard at finding new roads in our brains to do what they are supposed to do, it just takes time, and while they do this, they set off a lot of fireworks which we experience as seizures, jerks, odd movements and pain of inordinate strength. They do have their own ways, and if we are patient and work hard, sometimes will have a very very positive outcome. I think you will be one of the ones whose neurons will find a wonderful new path for you. it is only my opinion, but there it is.

  43. Hello Kate,

    I came to your blog via knitting shortly after you had had your stroke and I can remember the total shock I felt and admiration for you as you strived to regain order in your life. Without your blog I’d have known more or less nothing about stroke. My father had a massive one earlier this Spring and I found that I was drawing on your words (though I now know every stroke is different) for encouragement and referencing them to my father as he became less ill and more aware of the nightmare his life has become. I’m afraid I don’t read your blog so often now as I don’t have the time I used to but I do admire you for writing frankly about what you have gone through and continute to go through, good and bad. I often feel like writing about my father and of course how this has affected mine and my sister’s lives but I never do as it feels as though it isn’t my story to tell – maybe I will bring a bit more honesty to my blog soon though too. I also love the knitting – of course! And also your attitude rocks.

    Sending you best wishes.
    Susie

  44. You have such a personal following I think I can speak for others that your health reports are welcome. I am amazed at the progress you have made in a year and understand if you are having a slide backward or a tired day. I wonder if all the stress of getting your beautiful Peerie Floores pattern written out was too much brain work? I do hope you are having some success in controlling these seizures. A favorite musician, Jesse Winchester has just come through Cancer of the esophagus and he allowed fans to keep up with his progress through all the modalities he’s had to endure. He is better every day.

  45. Where on earth does one get those awesome fish buttons!? I feel a bit bad for this utterly selfish question, but I’d really really like to know!

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