Well, there will be no hill walking for me this weekend. I’ve been absolutely bushed since our fun trek up and down the Royal Mile. My leg has been stiff and plagued with cramp and my arm is being very annoying – floating around in mid air and refusing to behave – which is what it likes to do when I am very tired. On Monday, I swapped around my summer and winter wardrobes. I generally enjoy this: it is always good to put away the grey things and to see brightly coloured cotton and linen again. The folding and packing, washing and hanging would usually be accomplished in a couple of hours, but on Monday it took me more than nine. I had to first ask Tom to retrieve the giant vacuum-packed packages because I couldn’t climb the ladder or lift the damn things, and I then spent the entire day struggling with, and cursing at the clothes, the wardrobe, the washing machine, and the coat hangers. Because of the vertigo, I am not good at bending down; because my arm is weak, I am not good at hanging things up; because I tire quickly, nothing is easy. I had to keep taking breaks and lying down among mountains of unsorted clothes. (Believe me, I have a lot of clothes. All my own fault . . . ) It was horribly frustrating. By the time Tom came home, I had turned into a sort of frazzled zombie. But I had sorted out the clothes.

Now, I think I am doing a good job of pacing myself – breaking up tasks and exercise with frequent rest, going to bed very early etc – but clearly this isn’t good enough. Today my limbs were so stiff and tired that I couldn’t do my exercises. My physio then told me that I had to do less, and suggested that I keep off the hills for the time being. I agreed, but I can’t tell you how hard this is going to be for me. Having physical goals to focus on and aim for really helps to keep me going, but apparently, at this stage, my goals are just far too ambitious. The real problem is that I was very, very happy to be walking up and down the Royal Mile on Saturday, just as I was overjoyed to walk the four miles to Lytham Windmill. Walking is such a pleasure because it makes me feel like me again. When I am moving about outside, I really feel that being mobile is a goal almost within reach. But I suppose it is no good being incredibly happy for an hour or so if it means that I’m going to be miserable and frustrated for several days afterward. And this is, unfortunately, what happens every time I’m out on my feet for a while: in the Botanical Gardens, on the Royal Mile, in Blackpool. After each walk, I pay for my pleasure with days of crazy fatigue and painful cramp. My physio cautions little and often, and I know that she is right, but I am just eager to get well and it is so incredibly hard to stop oneself from walking when one can.

So today I am feeling annoyed because, at the moment, the stroke is denying me so many things that I love; that make me happy; and that make me me. I can’t walk to and from the allotment, and even if I could, clearing and planting involve bending, kneeling, and moving things around – activities that are difficult and unpleasant for me right now. Tom has no time for gardening because he is too busy performing all the household tasks we used to share. So the allotment is just left to the weeds. I can hardly bear to think about our poor neglected plot, and can’t even bring myself to look in the direction of the allotments when I pass them in a taxi on the way to physio because I know it will upset me. Meanwhile, Spring is ticking by. At this lovely time of year, we would usually be spending our free days in the hills, and our evenings in a tent, but I know there will be no wild camping and walking for a very long time. I can knit or embroider (hurrah!) but only for short periods. It isn’t easy, and my left arm and hand just turn wonky if I make them stick at it for too long. It’s the same with reading, typing, or even taking a few pictures. I tire so damn quickly that I can only do things for slots of time that are frustratingly short. I haven’t even had a single tasty home brewed beer since February. (I was told that booze is bad for brain injuries, and to stop drinking it, which seems sensible ). I am very motivated and happily not depressed: I can potter freely about my own space, and, unlike many of my friends in the Astley Ainslie, am now mobile and capable enough to continue my recovery in my own home. I have a supportive partner, family, and lots of friends and see recovery as a positive process. It also always helps to think and write about it here. But sometimes all there seems to be is my stroke, my rehabilitation , my fatigue and I am finding this frustrating.

So the seven hills will have to wait, and my new project is unfortunately going to have to be the tedious but necessary one of pacing myself. Processing the entries in the correspondence archive is very enjoyable, however, and something I can do during short snatches of time, so I can continue to focus on that project at least.* I can also dash off maudlin, ranty posts like this one and vent my spleen. Three months ago I was entirely paralysed on one side: I know I am recovering well, and that I am just being foolishly impatient when I feel as I do today. But then that is just me. In any case perhaps next time I will try to write about something knitting or textile related to remind myself that I can, and to take my mind off things.

* the fine knitted fellow who illustrates this post is the latest addition to the archive. He was made by my sister and looks how I feel.

69 thoughts on “pace

  1. I had another thought, about pacing, an analogy I’ve used, mainly to myself, about what it means for my life is that it’s like trying to run in life’s race alongside everyone else but with your shoelaces tied together. So that while you can make progress if you try to go too fast or take too ambitious a stride you end up flat on your face. No idea if that helps or not.

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  2. It get the impression from reading what you write that you have this sense of separation from your ‘old self’ both physically and perhaps sometimes mentally. It must be so hard – especially to see your own arm drifting outside your control, not even in a purposeful act of betrayal, but just aimlessly meandering through the air. I suppose we (well, I) tend to think of ourselves as dwelling within our body, using it and controlling it but not really determined by it. We think that we are our mental faculties, and of course we are. But I guess that when something like this happens you realise (well, I am realising, anyway, from reading what you’ve written) that your sense of self is not merely the ghost within the machine, so to speak, but that our physical abilities are a part of who we are, what we enjoy, what we do on a day to day level. But it’s clear from reading what you write that the Kate we all know and love is still alive and well, even if she is pissed off and exhausted and frustrated. Recovery is never a straight line, and it’s not even the case (as I’ve heard it told) that some days there are physical improvements whilst other days are more about the mental progress… some days, there’s no progress at all, and other days there’s regression. But the ebb and flow of things *is* all part of forward movement in general.
    And the little stripey chap is great. Here’s hoping you’re feeling a little less bamboozled soon.

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  3. Just wanted to say hello. All I did was break a leg, I can imagine your frustrations must be ten times more than mine. It put things into a better perspective for me and I have immense respect for your courage and strength.

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  4. I have just discovered your website (via Tangled Yarns – my local knitting shop). I just wanted to wave and say hello. Edinburgh has a special place in my heart having spent the first few years of my early youth there (aged 2-4)and returning to Australia with a Scottish brogue. We went back when I was 10 and then again when I was 17. I haven’t been back since….am now 48. I almost cried when I saw your beautiful photos of the Edinburgh Mile. Your photos and designs are fabulous – I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve been told. Lots of good wishes from down under…

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  5. Gah! Pacing myself – that is my biggest challenge at the mo. Although my SAH didn’t leave me with any paralysis, the fatigue after any kind of brain trauma is crippling in itself. Sitting at home I think “I’m fine” and so I got out and push myself beyond what I really should be doing, and the punishment is the next day (or two) in bed… I just did a whole blog post about the changes I was experiencing when Google Chrome crashed. I can and will not retype it all now. And then I think, does anyone really care? Is anyone really reading this? And if they are, aren’t they bored by now? I know I am LOL!
    But you, you have such a way with words I never tire of reading your blog, even when you are having a (well deserved) rant.
    Take care!

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  6. Rant and vent away. As someone who has recently suffered a life altering injury (much more minor than you – just a broken leg) I know that one of the most difficult things in recovery is trying to adjust to the new limits that the ‘altered’ body sets.
    Slowing down sucks.
    So although it is easier to say than do, stay strong and keep your desire to move at the forefront. Your drive is impressive and those hills will be waiting for you to conquer.

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  7. It is so hard to slow down when you are used to a faster pace!!! I love reading your blog, you have been very inspiring to me. Thank you for your honesty. Many of us know someone who has experienced a stroke, yet never put the experience into words as you have. These words help us all understand and become more empathetic. <<>>

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  8. Hi Kate,
    I was going through my Favorites on Ravelry and noticing how your designs keep ending up there. How is it possible this woman has not published a book? I wondered. Then I checked out your blog. I myself am recovering from a hematoma induced by endocarditis which happened about a year ago. I rememeber trying desperately to knit again shortly after surgery and realizing I could not remember how to cast on (I have been knitting for 30+ years.) I love your work: good luck and stay strong! Regards, C.

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  9. Have just had a thought – might Landshare be able to help? The group Hugh Fearneley-Whittingstall helped to set up? I know a temporary plot of land wouldn’t be quite what they have in mind usually, but they might be able to help regardless.

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  10. Is there a community group near you which would do the garden work and then splits the proceeds with the person with the land? In Toronto I believe this is called Yes In My Backyard, and was meant to give new immigrants who live in apartment buildings the chance to do gardening for themselves, while helping someone who can’t maintain the land themselves.
    I agree with the other posters – vent away! We can take it and it may make you feel a bit better.

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  11. I sympathise about the pacing, as others have said, it’s so hard to learn, even 10 years on I’m still rubbish at it at times. However, it is so important, pushing yourself and pushing yourself will only lead to making yourself more ill (ask me how I know…).

    The upside is that although it can be boring when it works and you’re getting the balance right it can feel so nice not to feel so rubbish.

    Is there an address to which we could send you snail mail? I was meaning to send something earlier but it never quite happened, sorry.

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  12. I can really sympathise with your feelings about your allotment. I had some back trouble that sent me to the chiropractor 2 years ago, and was told after my first visit I couldn’t pull weeds! I went to my plot anyhow and stood there staring at the ground…..The upside to gardening is that every season is a chance to start over. :)

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  13. I always have a little ironic laugh to myself, when I am yet again told by the Doctor to pace myself – how the **** am I supposed to do anything else! I share your frustration at not being able to get on with things. I can see the weeds growing in my garden, the dust piling up, the DIY waiting to be done, but I prioritise the things that make me feel good – seeing friends, taking walks when I can, drawing when I can. It really focusses your thoughts as to what really matters. We will get well soon – it’s a marvelous exercise in patience. Keep yer chin up.

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  14. I totally understand your frustration. I have only ever been “laid up” in a minor way, but even then I have kicked against the limitations it imposed.

    I wish we lived nearer to Edinburgh & could offer help with the allotment, but it sounds as though there may be people ready to do that. Fingers crossed!

    Oh, & BTW, I don’t know about where you are, but here my quick shuffle of clothing to bring the summer stuff to the top has worked its usual magic. It is now raining & chilling rapidly…

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  15. Thanks heavens you are grumbling and lucidly at that. I’ve learned so much from your realistic outlook on the recovery process, Kate, that if I were there I would pin a medal on you for courage and your very special form of optimism.

    Yes, there are the hills waiting for you, but in the meantime you conquered more than a few hearts. Please keep tuning us in.

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  16. Hello Kate! I’m a fellow Edinburgh knitter, allotmenteer, academic and hillwalker, and I’m just about to cast on your lovely owl sweater – while in bed with a cold. Once I’ve recovered, I’d love to join you in an allotment working party – that’s if you have the spare energy to arrange one on top of everything else in your life.
    So if you’d like to meet more folk nearby who share your interests and know a thing or two about being suddenly disabled, send me a message. I for one would love to meet the famous Kate. :)

    Get-better-soon-vibes from Newington,

    Sarah

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  17. Rant away Kate. Dealing with fatigue and learning to pace oneself is so, so difficult. I understand how sad you must feel about not being able to tackle the hills at the moment, but as others have said, they will still be there when you are ready – and you will be. Accept as much help as there is on offer. You mentioned Tom not being able to garden because of household tasks, how about getting help around the house so that he’s free from that? I live with a chronic illness and last year decided to get help with cleaning the house and doing the ironing. The difference this has made not only to me but also my partner and has given us more time to spend together sharing things we wish to do.

    Rest is good and give your body the opportunity to heal. Stay strong, be kind to yourself.

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  18. What can I add? A working party for the allotment sounds a great idea so you could still go and visit. Potatoes would make good cover for you and would need very little attention when earthed up. You could be the Beach Admiral directing business and get some rest or shuteye. (I know a man who is very good at digging and weeding…)

    PS The delectable knitted fellow reminds me somehow of an Everton Mint.

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  19. Hi Kate,

    A couple of thoughts about how to do things with the possibility of minimizing the fatigue. As far as the typing goes, have you tried voice-activated software? Dragon Naturally Speaking allows you to speak, and then it types for you. This site was recommended for one-handed knitting: http://www.dynamic-living.com/product/clampit-hobby-vise#clear. I have no idea if this critter is any good, but finding ways to ease a problem by using different tool – even if it is a temporary fix – may help you out. The gardening, though, is a tough one, as are the hikes and camping as those experiences are so much more demanding.

    Being frustrated by physical limitations is part of my daily existence, and though it’s been part of my entire life, I still rage occasionally about it all! And then move on. You are too, and moving along with grace, expressing yourself incredibly well.

    Keep it up!

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    1. Terry Pratchett guest edits this month’s (July, #196) SFX Magazine & in his editor’s letter he also recommends Dragon Naturally Speaking, along with “TalkingPoint, a front end that makes it, in my opinion and in the opinion of many, much easier to use.”
      I have no idea what he’s on about (!), but it sounds like it might be worth looking into.

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  20. Oh dear Kate, I hear and understand your frustration. Pacing is SO hard sometimes and illness often feels like a constant shrinking of your world. I’m in a rotten CFS crash at the moment and have been able to do very little for the last three weeks. I am impatient to get through it but all I can do is wait it out. We can be impatient and cross together. :)

    I second the suggestion to call on your local tribe for allotment help – it’ll be one less thing for you to worry and feel sad about. And I’m sure there are local readers and friends who would jump at the chance to do something real and practical to help.

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  21. Dear Kate please, do vent –though why you give so much of your precious time to write lovely, feisty, raging, generous posts for us is always an amazement for me. Just remember how long it takes a baby to lear all the movements you want to do, and how long and often they sleep (though mothers often feel they still do not sleep enough, but that is another story). You are doing very fine, growing up as you learn a little bit more about your limits and what to do with them. I do wish I could come over to help you out — I third the idea of giving the allotment over to flowers and butterflies, so you can enjoy it guilt free. Aren’t some weeds actually edible (nettles, for instance, but many other certainly) ? It did a lot of good to my life to let some areas of it go fallow for one year, though it was hard to learn to do so. How hard is it to find a new balance between your will and your might ? I’m sure you can find quieter ways of enjoying summer so you can enjoy more of it. Cheers to you on that slow tortoise journey.

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  22. Someone else already suggested you “let out” your allotment for the year, and I do think that might be a good idea – there was a long waiting list wasn’t there? As long as the council doesn’t get twitchy about sub-letting or whatever. We are thinking of allowing a neighbour to plough one of our 9 acre fields this year to plant his potatoes, in return for some of the crop. Maybe you could reach a similar arrangement?
    Well done for doing the wardrobe switchover! I haven’t done mine yet – that’s for this weekend!
    And it IS exhausting! That’s allowed!

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  23. Oh goodness, I’d forgotten about your lovely allotment. If distance wasn’t an issue I’d gladly offer to help, under your instruction. Growing things is such a simple pleasure but, as you say, tiring at the best of times.
    I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the gardening fairies will come to your rescue!

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  24. In a few months i’m pretty sure you’ll be able to walk wherever you want… it’s your “turtle” phase… We are all where supporting you! Lots of Love

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  25. Hiya, well, it had to come, didn’t it? We have to find our limits sometimes, and you have stretched and stretched to find yours – For The Time Being. You know the answer – I sent it off to my mum, about Sleep Being an Activity, too. Oh lovey, it will come back, mainly because you are stretching to those limits. Just thank goodness you are Here for the Spring, and you are doing what you are doing. You’ll be here for next Spring, and the next … With much love, x

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  26. wanting to do more than you can do is a good sign in my book…when you don’t want to do what you are capable of doing, then you should fret! take it a little easier and go sit down and enjoy the weeds in your allotment…

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  27. Oh, I can understand impatience! But as you wrote, and a commentator also not too long ago, you are (very obviously) still you. I do like what Nicole wrote — give your body a chance to catch up to your will and drive. I would venture to guess that you are progressing at a record pace. Vent all you like. It’s good for us all to do so :)
    Your sister has a sense of humor!

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  28. When I read the title of your post I read it as the Latin (pachay) for peace. I didn’t connect it with the poor tiger. Funny/ironic in light of your frustration – but maybe I’m supposed to tell you this.
    Anyway, maybe you’ll consider hosting allotment parties for all your correspondents in your area so the land will get tended and flowers will be planted, and soon you’ll be able to walk there to water your flowers even if you can’t yet work the soil yourself.

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  29. Hang in there, slow and steady. Your will and drive are strong, which is good, but you need to give your body a chance to catch up to them.

    And as far as the allotment goes, just think of it as a fallow field for now. The earth will rest, just as you need to. The riches it holds will still be there for you, when you’re ready to reap them.

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  30. I think we all feel like the little guy at the top of your post at one time or another!

    It’s okay to feel whatever you need to feel, just as long as it doesn’t become the only feeling.

    Hope you’re less frustrated tomorrow and have a lovely sunny day! Is it sunny in Scotland? The Londoners tell me it’s grim!

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  31. You will get better and your endurance will improve. You’ve already proven that you have the tenacity to stick with the rehab/physio and have had much improvement. I remember the frustration after mine of being forbidden activities like white water rafting, skiing and racquetball. The latter especially as my partner was pregnant and it would have been my only chance of ever beating her.:-} The restrictions do go away/get lifted and life does return to something approaching normal again. Oh and I remember asking my dr. if the anti-clot treatment was going to be aspirin, red wine or rat poison (Cumidin)(sp?).

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  32. Hey Kate, it’s been a long day here so I am quite tired myself, but a few thoughts….
    About you- you in a new context, what is the you in the activities you associate with who you are? I guess it’s about that learning to be where you are, present moment awareness (I can’t help myself, I teach yoga for cripes sake) the Be Here Now idea. Hard. Also, when I feel/felt frustrated and cheated and sad (mostly regarding Dan’s cancer or my auto immune disease) I find it’s very helpful to me to focus on gratitude and think of things I am grateful for. Also hard, but a good lesson (I still am working on it a lot). One more random thought, we love the author Annie Dillard, maybe you know her work, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is very good. That’s it, thank you for your post. Much good thought going your way,
    love Virginia

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  33. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Being-Boy-Again-Autobiography-American/dp/0817308660/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272499144&sr=1-1

    this is a genre which goes far to explain the generation which fought WW1 or were born during it. my father was raised on this stuff, including all kinds of RLS romance and piracy and south seas wanderlust. RLS was ill all his life, escaped a dreadful presbytertian tyrant of a parent, and crossed the wild young USA on a train, coughing blood, to chase down the woman who was to become his wife. very tough, very interesting, and his reputation is rising, i b’lieve.

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  34. Think of the Seven Hills as the Seven Wonders of the world. One wouldn’t want to see them all at the same time, or even one right after the other because then one wouldn’t fully appreciate the beauty each has to offer. So difficult as it is, pace yourself. As the hills are climbed in the future the beauty of each walk and everything they represent will have special meaning.

    Some of us may be able to walk hills in succession, but very few of us have the tenacity, skill and insight you bring to us every time you write.

    Just remember your tortoise and hare.

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  35. ..good idea Katherine.I’m not far from Edinburgh and willing to volunteer some hours. All veg growers/allotmenteers have excess plants/seeds.
    I know how frustrating it is when health problems mean you can’t do what you planned with your plot..happened to me last year. I was so unhappy I was going to give up the plot but decided to wait till this spring and things have changed so much I’m delighted that I didn’t…and maybe I’ll get the summer clothes out of the trunk this year.
    But I remember my Granny saying “Dinnae cast a clout till May is out”

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  36. Kate, your post today reminded me of some lines from Emily Dickinson:

    For each ecstatic instant
    We must an anguish pay
    In keen and quivering ratio
    To the ecstasy.

    Pacing and patience are important, but I understand your frustration and wish you well on this journey.

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  37. Rant away, it doesn’t seem any of us mind! A few years ago I took a spill on my bike, it left all my teeth loose, and pushed me to have a seizure-they thought it would make me have seizure regularily. This is small potatoes compared to what you are going though but it sure did make me slow down and come to realize the impact of daily movement, the structure of my body. You are doing well.

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  38. Your words were my words a scant few years ago.

    Crippled by arthritis, multiple surgeries and mind blowing physical therapy I would look out the window at able bodied souls walking/running/hurrying by and cry. I could do none of that without heavy effort and pain. Everything hurt; all things took monumental effort and one step forward seemed to always bring two steps back.

    With perseverance and determination, ever so slowly my life has changed. My body has improved with all the medical intervention. I have sorted my values and physical things, paring down and cleaning out. I do what makes me happiest. I learned that there was so much I used to do that did nothing to truly make my existence worthy and centered. Now I am quite discriminating about my activities, not because of my disabilities, but because of conscious choice.

    I still forbidden to ride a bike, but I do ride a cool recumbent trike. I can walk those nearby hills pretty well with my walking stick and am going camping by myself next week. My quilting has never been better because I took the time to practice and figure out how to make beautiful things even though my hands don’t work so well. Life will never be what it used to be with my disability, but there is a light and it shines brighter every day.

    Keep it up. You will get there. One way or another. Trust me on this.

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  39. I wish I had something terribly profound to say, but all I can contribute is that I sometimes find it hard to accept the limits of my young healthy body, so I can only imagine that getting used to new, “lower” limits must be incredibly hard. I wish you the best of mental strenght for it (I’m guessing that’s the one area where you don’t have to pace yourself – thinking!).

    I have found you incredibly inspirational, not only in your persistence in the last few months, but ever since I have been reading your blog, which must be at least two years now. Thank you for that!

    p.s. I took advantage of the current project I’m participating in (The Knit and Crochet Blog Week) and today’s topic (“One Great Knitter”) to pay a small tribute to the inspiration you ceaselessly provide. If you get a chance to glance at it, I hope you like it.

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  40. I know this must be really tough. Even when you know you have a lot to be thankful for, you would get sick and tired of being perpetually convalescent. Vent away.

    This has nothing to do with that but might make you laugh. I’m preparing for my move from the US to the UK (I just got notification that my visa was approved!!) and as part of that process am selling off my bits of furniture. This includes the really cool Danish modern teak dining table with the slide-in leaf feature that I adore but would cost too much to ship. (*wrapping my arms around table leg, glaring across the ocean at the UK*) ANYWAY … it has some slight water stains on the surface I would like to remove before selling, so I googled for instructions. I found many recommendations for using a hot iron & a pressing cloth on the stains, including this comment on one website:

    “Following failure with patience, orange juice, mayonnaise, and with great trepidation, the iron and I assailed ‘the stain’ left from a damp butt on a priceless antique coffee table at our nudist home, Viola!!”

    I am happy to say that I don’t need to remove butt stains but I guess that is a pretty expert piece of testimony there!

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    1. Moving! So exciting! I moved from the US (Pittsburgh) to London last year this time. I wish you the best of luck! It’s a great adventure.

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      1. Thank you! I’m looking forward to it. Will have to look you up when I get over there. I promise my home is not a nudist one ;-)

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  41. It’s so difficult when something completely stops us in our tracks…life for EVERYONE else seems to be speeding along nicely whilst we watch from the sidelines. Time ticks on, the sun hots up, well as much as it ever does here in Edinburgh. I had a huge thing happen to me a few years ago and oh my god I struggled to slow down and take it all in. Life will return though, not the same one maybe but there are so so many springs and summers to come on that allotment yet and you will get there x

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  42. Give yourself some time to rest. You will have plenty of time to be at the top of the world.

    And I think the “fellow” needs to lie down too. Looks like vertigo to me.

    Take care

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  43. I’m sorry to hear things are going more slowly than you had hoped.

    Just an idea about the allotment: can someone “borrow” it for the summer? Our allotments do a scheme where if you can’t look after yours temporarily you can get help from other members.

    Hopefully this will cheer you up just a little bit: I’m doing Knitting and Crochet Blog Week this week, and today’s theme was to blog about a knitter you admire, and you were the best candidate I could think of!

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    1. What about if your friends and Edinburgh-based readers each volunteered a bit of time on the allotment? I’d be willing to be ordered about doing some gardening for a few hours, and you’d get to chat to lots of different people. And we could bring cake.

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      1. I think this is a great idea. You could sit in a chair drinking tea, eating cake and ordering your own team of gardeners around.
        My dad used to say that weeds are just under appreciated wild flowers. Seeding the allotment with wild flowers for the butterflies this summer would be lovely.
        Wish I lived closer I would love to help, my sister has a new allotment and I am soooo jealous.

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  44. Rant and rail! You have the right to that! And then try hard to be gentle with yourself. Recovery takes way longer than any of us wants it to! (the angst is good, tho’…keeps you fiesty and yes, on point)

    Like the garden, you, too, need a fallow time!
    (((hugs)))

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  45. It might be two steps forwards and one step back but you’ll get there in the end. I’m so impressed with how you’ve handled this whole experience. Like one of the other readers says, I wish there was a way I could magic myself to Edinburgh and do some weeding for you – about all I’m good for when it comes to gardening!

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  46. Hello
    I found your blog a couple of days ago and have been working my way through your lovely posts about knitting. Then the mention of Ward 31 caught my eye – I spent time there five years ago. And also at the Astley Ainslie.
    I was diagnosed with MS and although different to a stroke, many of the after affects that you talk about are similar. The tiredness, the frustration, arms not doing what they’re told. I can only say that I understand. You seem to have lots of support and a very lovely blog – I will definitely be coming back.
    And thank you for all the lovely pictures of the Royal Mile – I don’t get into Edinburgh too often (one and a bit young children make it too much of adventure!) so it was great to see the photos.
    My very best wishes for your recovery.
    Susie

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  47. The positives I see that you may not:

    The garden is happy to go fallow this season, it is good for the soil, next fall you can till under the nutrients !

    You seem like a new mother with two newborns ! Exhausted, unable to do half of what you could before , but they will grow fast, and you WILL get your life back , perhaps as before, only with miles of depth of appreciation. Everyday waking with your restored limbs will be a prayer answered.

    So be it if all we can discuss here these days is your recovery. I can assume that all others, as myself, are well aware of your capable hands and talent and extreme busy-bodiness, so that we all can see this new aspect of growth for you and support you as we support our own challenges. You and we are one together, one for all, all for one.

    I eagerly await each post of yours, as if it is some personal message that applies to my own life. Thank you Kate, for being wholly Kate, and amazing at that, and we are all here cheering and applauding, as each day you cross a finish line, and we cut the ribbon for a new day as it comes.

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  48. Vent on!
    I wish we (your devoted readers) were all Bewitched and could twitch our noses to arrive in Edinburgh for an hour or two at a time. We could lend a hand with the garden, iron a dress, drive you to physical therapy in our bewitched cars…
    A girl can dream.
    Do give us your address, let’s keep your museum of friendship and support a lively one!
    Love,
    Chesley

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  49. @ JanJan (and Kate) I was thinking of the same Whitman quote and I agree that venting is good and necessary, hence the tea kettle’s whistle!

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  50. Pacing yourself will most likely be your greatest challenge, you are such a high-energy person.

    Just an idea, why not seed the garden for the butterflies this season? We have a very small garden, and this year I’m growing some lettuce in a pot, to see how it works out.

    Here in Ontario we are at that cusp time of year where we have both summer and winter items needed. I’m afraid that if I wash and store our winter coats, we’ll have a terrible May. [As though I alone control the weather!] So the coats fall of the over-burdened hooks and sandals rest beside boots.

    Rant on!

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  51. It took me years to learn to walk before I ran (or more specifically to use my wheelchair even though I could walk), you’re a lot faster than me at grasping the connection between activity and the consequences!!!

    Allotments are associated in my head as having a community spirit. If I am right, do other allotment holders know of your stroke? Could they at least keep the weeds at bay for you even if you do not get a decent harvest of edibles? That way you may be able to face the taxi dropping you off for half an hour of just being at the allotment, before coming back?

    Do you need more tangible post to brighten up your days? I and many others I’m sure, would be very very happy to oblige.

    xx

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  52. I think pacing oneself must be one of the harder things to tackle in recovery. Like you said, when you can walk and want to walk, it would be hard to tell yourself not to (or to turn back earlier than you would normally), especially when you are having a good day. Good luck with the little and often.

    (the frazzled zombie knitted guy is adorable)

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  53. For some reason, this post made me think of Whitman’s line: “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”

    I can go do that for you now, at least over the roofs in Heidelberg.

    Like

  54. My husband and I read your blog and marvel at your tenacious nature.
    Since Ron had a TIA [mini-stroke] at the end of August we have been fighting the battle also. Though he has none of the stroke symtoms remaining we are fighting compression fractures in vertabrea – one right after another.
    So we are marveling at your progress and are sending Positive Thoughts your way every day.
    Love your posts.
    Hugs and Love,
    Gerry and husband Ron

    Like

  55. A good grumble never hurt anyone! It sounds like you have everything in good perspective. Rest up, you’ll soon be back on track.

    Like

  56. Venting is good. Let it out, let it blow away, take a little rest, and try again. The hills will be there in a month and a year, whenever you are ready to try again.

    Like

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