I know for many people that knitting conjures up images of old biddies sitting around making afghans that are somehow already dusty. But I’m a huge fan – it’s a relaxing and creative art form that is not only fun and functional, but connects us to literally thousands of years of history in craft. Plus, if I didn’t knit I swear I’d hurt someone, because it really does chill me out.
It’s so popular (one well-known blogger/author Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has said that there are twice as many knitters in North America as golfers) that there’s even a social media tool devoted to it, Ravelry – with more than 600,000 users and counting. I won’t go on about how cool knitting is – though if you want to hear more, my essay is on NPR.org.
I guess I am thinking about knitting right now because I’m one week and one day from my next Remicade treatment, and because of my flaming joints I just can’t knit. Seems that lately, the further I get from my most recent treatment, the more my body starts to revolt. The joint in my right thumb is achy, like a pulled muscle. Same for my right knee and left shoulder. Last night while putting the baby down, the pain in my shoulder made me gasp and grit my teeth, but I tried to smile through it so I wouldn’t scare her or my husband. So, knitting is definitely out. It makes me sad that one great tool for stress relief, which helps my Crohn’s, is unavailable to me when my Crohn’s is at its worst.
So I’m adapting. I can’t knit, but I can read, and I love to read. I’m going to treat myself to a new book to take on my business trip later this week. I’m disappointed that I can’t use that airplane time to work on a new sweater, but I’m learning that adaptation is what dealing with Crohn’s is all about. Can’t do this? Then do that. Can’t eat this? Then eat that. It’s very, very easy to sink down into a mental depth. It’s easy to feel bad for myself. I have to deal with hard things that others don’t. But I have to adapt, because if I don’t, I won’t get out of that depth, that deep hole.
Deeeeeep breath. I can do yoga. I can talk to friends on the phone. I can read. I can blog 🙂 I can play with my gorgeous daughter and – let’s be honest – hunky husband. I have a good life – no, a great life. So I’m taking a deep breath (and a Tylenol) and I will not feel sorry for myself.