Tag Archives: discoid lupus

Zen Knits

11 Dec

I’ve been knitting a lot of zen projects before the wedding (it went great, by the way!) and up until now. The stress of planning the wedding left me feeling scattered and forgetful so I needed something to easily knit and find my center with and now that the dust has settled (from the wedding) there have been a lot of stressful things going on and I, yet again, have found myself needing projects to help me find my zen (and keep me calm. Stress doesn’t help my Lupus at all!)

The following are my “go-to” projects for finding my zen:

1 – Meditation Mittens by Mary Keenan

2 – Plain Jane/Vanilla toe up socks

3 – Nightlock by Lisa Mutch

4 – Torrent by Lisa Mutch

5 – Diagonal Comfort Blanket by Lion Brand

6 – Log Cabin Blanket (fingering weight yarn, doubled over, and using only scrap yarn)

 

What are your go to zen knits?

[Not A Knitting Post] I Don’t Look In The Mirror…

6 May

I was surfing the internet this morning when I came across this article. This author of the article talks about how she used to look in the mirror (or windows or anything with a reflection) CONSTANTLY to make sure that her “flaws” weren’t easily seen. The article goes on to talk about how she gave up using a mirror for a year.

Now, my head twisted this article around and I started to get really angry. REALLY angry. Angry to the point where I got maybe halfway through the article before showing the page to KristiLynn (you know, my BFF) and saying I needed to stop reading articles.

I don’t look in the mirror for different reasons.

I have Discoid Lupus, an auto immune disease that attacks my skin, leaving lesions and scars. I can get these lesions from UV light, stress, and heat (amongst other things.) They show up on my face and arms and I’ve got a lovely more specific kind of Lupus (Tumid Lupus) on my back and chest which leaves bumps all over, making it look like I have hundreds of mosquito bites.

I don’t look in the mirror because I feel these scars make me look ugly. I feel like maybe if I don’t look, don’t see them, they don’t exist and that no one else can see them too. I look in the mirror long enough to brush my hair in the mornings. That’s it. Other than that, I don’t look. I maybe look at my hair in the bathroom while I’m at work, but even then, it’s unlikely. If I look for too long, I see them, see all the imperfections. See the pock marks on my face and realize everyone else can see them too. And then I worry that people will stare because of all of these scars (even though “all of these scars” equals maybe five scars on my face.)

I’m not going to hide the fact that even while I type this post, I’m fighting back tears. I’m angry that there are women out there with beautiful scar-free faces that are worried about being “not thin enough” and THAT is why they don’t look in the mirror. You can fix fat. You can’t fix scars.

 

May is Lupus Awareness Month

10 May

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Those of you that follow me on Twitter, may have seen this freak out yesterday. If you don’t, well, there’s my freak out. I have what’s called Discoid Lupus. Most of the time I’m pretty calm about it. I just do what I have to do. I stay inside, wear long sleeves, take my medication… you know, most of the things I’m supposed to be doing. I really don’t like wearing sunscreen because of the way it smells. But today, I reluctantly put it on. Reluctantly smeared it on my face and arms until I stank of it. And as I sit here writing this, I feel kind of defeated.

How does this relate to knitting? Well, if you read my post about Why I Knit you’d know that I knit because it’s something for me to do. I can knit inside and not feel like I’m missing out on much. But I worry now that with this new lesion on my hand that it will impact my knitting ability. Lesions tend to be painful and itchy. Most of the time, discoid lupus sufferers take medication or use topical steroid ointments. And with this lesion on my hands, I’m worried that putting ointment on it and a band aid will be messy and make me clumsy.

I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you were sitting there, reading this, and thinking “What’s the big deal? It’s on her skin. It’s not like she’s in pain. It could be worse.” You’re right, it could be worse. I could have Systemic Lupus which shuts down your organs. My discoid lupus could be much worse than it is. But it’s hard. It’s hard not knowing what’s going to come next. It’s hard not knowing whether I will be unfortunate enough to develop Systemic Lupus or not. It’s hard not being able to enjoy the San Diego weather or knit outside.

I’ve only been aware that I have this disease for two years. My boyfriend thinks by now I should have come to terms with it. He says I won’t lose my hair and that things will be fine. And that makes me angry. If the lupus were staying the same, it’d be a lot easier to come to terms with it. It’d be a lot easier for me to think that things weren’t going to get worse for my skin or my immune system. But he doesn’t know what’s going to happen! He doesn’t know whether I’ll get lesions on my scalp or not. He can’t tell the future! So when he says things like that to me, it makes me angry.

He doesn’t know whether one day I’ll get bad enough that I can’t knit anymore because my hands are too itchy or too bandaged to do anything. And that makes me angry. And sad. And a little bitter.

I’ll admit, within seconds of me posting those tweets, three of my lovely Twitter friends immediately messaged me/emailed me/texted me to make sure I was ok. To try and cheer me up and calm me down. And they are absolutely wonderful. They said exactly what I needed to hear. They didn’t tell me that there was no reason to freak out, didn’t tell me I needed to come to terms with what is going on, didn’t tell me that nothing was going to happen. And they let me cry and be sad and then they attempted to cheer me up. Without those three wonderful women, yesterday probably would have been ten times worse.

Any disease can be crippling in one way or another. And I urge you, if you have a friend who is sick but may not look sick, give them a hug. They have it a lot harder than you may know.

Why I Knit

7 Feb

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I’d like to think I was born to knit, that it was just naturally in my genes and I didn’t have to work hard at it. That statement would be a bold faced lie.

I started knitting when I lived in Virginia, in the late summer/early fall of 2008, with a friend because at the time I was seeing a therapist who suggested that my friend and I needed an activity to do together other than drinking coffee and eating cupcakes (both of which we were really good at.) So out of the blue, we decided to pick up knitting.

My first yarn was one of the Lion Brand chunky yarns in a burgundy color and I was determined to knit a scarf. I knew I could do it. But after getting frustrated and packing up my needles for a cross country move, the knitting kinda stopped. Until I unpacked the work one day in San Diego (where I currently reside.) It was like the knitting bug bit me in the ass. I was obsessed with garter stitch scarves made out of whatever yarn I could find at my local Joann Fabrics. And then I got introduced to the fancy yarns. Ohhhh the fancy yarns. I love them.

Fast forward to now and I knit because I don’t have a social life. My discoid lupus keeps me cooped up inside. I’ve read tons of stories about people with discoid lupus who have an active outdoors life but ever since I was diagnosed, I fear the sun. I fear new lesions on my face and the stares that I feel like I get when I do go out. Knitting gives me a productive activity that makes me feel that my life isn’t being totally wasted by being inside.

I now knit to give gifts to people. I knit lace shawls and get a huge kick when I give them away and the receiver is in awe of what I have done. Damn right I can knit!

So how did you start knitting? Why do you knit now? Let me know!

Also, I have an exciting project that I’ll be introducing in my next post. Be on the lookout for it!

This post was inspired by Erron, one of my Twitter Knitter friends, who writes at her own knitting blog, Knit Love. You can read her original, inspiring post here.