Thursday, September 04, 2008

A blogger's break...

I promised to try and get a better photo of the quilt and I think you can see the patchwork better now on this one. If you have not done so yet, read my previous post to hear the last part of the story behind my medallion quilt. Thank you so much for your comments so far and also the enormous amounts of sweet comments about my Autumn Leaves stitching and quilt. I really appreciate your taking a moment to comment and find it all very encouraging to read. Thank you!

I am afraid the quilter's exhaustion was more real than I even realized. I awoke this morning having a very bad flare up and am spending most of the morning resting. We have planned a week's vacation up at Cranberry Cottage as of tomorrow. It could not come at a better time. I really must learn to slow down. I just want to do all I can to welcome people into my home and my quilt group is very special to me. I do all in my power to encourage and inspire this amazing group of ladies. I love them all so much! I felt I had to get this top finished on time and pushed myself too far.

I don't normally talk about my chronic illness on my blog. I have indicated it but only talk about it to people who have emailed me and directly asked about it. You can skip this part of the entry if you would like as I am sure not everyone is interested in reading about my aches and pains. I just decided it was maybe time to explain why I need to slow down.

About 12 years ago, I developed Reflex Symathetic Dystrophy in my foot. I was very fortunate to be in the 50% margain of patients that was helped in time and responded to medication. It is in remission or rest phase but I have been warned to always be careful as simply knocking my foot hard against a door could bring it back. I do have problems now and then but am really pleased that it has gone away. It did however leave me with very bad and painful feet. I now have to wear specially made orthopedic ankle boots which fix my foot's movements and correct them as they are no longer supported by my muscles. These shoes are a Godsend and make it possible for me to walk well. Having discovered these problems led the doctor to look more seriously at some other problems I was having.

I have degenerative disc disease which leaves me to back pain 24/7. Now that would be a livable thing if it just stopped there. I have been taught exercises to help keep my back muscles in shape to avoid surgeries. In Holland, they no longer operate for this condition if possible. I also have progressive Fibromyalgia. This leaves you feeling like you have the flu coming on each day. It is a burning pain in your tendons, ligaments and muscles. It was likely brought on by the disc problmes and complicates my back problems in that I need to strengthen my back but can only do so much due to the FM. I thought Fm was not progressive and was recently told yes it can be and that is why I am developing new symptoms regularly. They have tested me twice for rheumatoid arthritis and I remain just on the edge of it starting to develop. Just recently a physical therapist said I should have my hip looked at again but I must admit, I am not ready to go back for all that. It cannot be stopped and I am sick of the hospital thing, if you know what I mean.

All this being said, I love life. My mind is full of ideas and projects. I enjoy each day and feel my stitching and quilting are a special gift that get me through life. Because of that, I love stimulating others to also live by their needle. A great example of how healthy it is to do any kind of needlework are the two oldest members of my quilt group. They both turned 80 this year. They are sharp as pins and great fun to be around. They are physically not doing so well this year but they have excited and creative spirits.

So I am away to stay up in our cottage for the coming week. Hopefully there will be a stitching finish and some new patchwork blocks to show when I return. I hope you all have a wonderful and creative week ahead. I will be able to have a little online time and visit some blogs while I am there hopefully. It will give me a chance to catch up with some of you.


Anonymous said...

Heidi, I am very impressed with your story. I hope you can enjoy your week off and do some relaxing stitching. And I just LOVE your medaillon quilt, it is gorgeous!!

Karol said...

Your quilt is very pretty. Hope you have a restful week.

Stasia said...

Hi, I've been enjoying your blog very much, and now must write to tell you that I, too, have similar problems (fibromyalgia and an injured disc, half of which was surgically removed).

I can therefore sympathize with your flare so I hope you will take this time to rest and take really good care of yourself! I will be sending you positive, healing energy. Sleep as much as you need/can, and don't feel the least bit guilty about it! You must take care of YOU right now.

Thanks for your inspiration. I look forward to seeing more of your projects when you feel like blogging again.

Barbara said...

Heidi, thank you so much for sharing your health problems. I too have many health issues that I have not shared, so I certainly can understand when you are having bad days. Get lots of rest and do only what you want.

Your quilt is so beautiful, thank you for sharing.


Carolien said...

O dear Heidi, I do hope you will have a good rest at CC the coming week! I will think of you of course, especially on Sunday when we will visit our friend Mr. Goat again. Please take care & have a good time!!! I will catch up with the other entries later.

Groetjes, ook voor Jos, en hugs, Carolien

mainely stitching said...

Oh my goodness, Heidi! You get up there to that little bit of heaven on earth and rest and relax in your cottage. Take care!!!

Suzann said...

Heidi, Enjoy your time away and take the time just to "be".

Heidi said...

I so completely understand your fatigue and the need to rest and recharge. I too have chronic back pain (from heavy spinal surgery) 24/7 and am limited in what I can do. Like you, I do love life and enjoy the things I can do, such as quilting.
My friend, rest, and enjoy Cranberry Cottage!

many hugs,

Solstitches said...

It amazes me how much you manage to accomplish in spite of your health problems.
I hope the coming week away at the cottage will give you some much needed relaxation and rest.
I look forward to seeing whatever small projects you work on while you are away.

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful restful week at the Cottage, Heidi! I hope you feel better soon ... you are amazing with what you do!

Nan said...

Dear one, I knew some of this, but not all. The wonder is your joy that comes through each and every post you write. One would never, ever guess anything was wrong. I think your mom, the other Nancy :<), must have given you the sunshine in your soul. You are an absolute role model for me, and I'm sure for many others, Heidi. That said, I hope you know you may always express the negative as well as the positive.

Teresa said...

Dear Heidi, I am so sorry for your pain. My father had RA and had to wear a back brace. When I was a young child, he was hunched over and had to have his spine fused so he could stand up straight. He has been gone from us for 32 years, but I still remember his pain. Enjoy your time away with your husband.


Ginny said...

Heidi, I've been curious about your health problems and am glad you shared. I am particularly interested in the term "progressive fibromyalgia". I've had fibro for 14 years, and while I believe my symptoms have gotten worse over the years, everything I've read (and I keep up with the research) specifically states that it is not a progressive disease. I'm wondering if the term is something used in countries outside the United States. If you have any insight, I'd love to hear it.

Isn't it great to finish up projects? I have some (lots?) languishing about. Your quilts are always lovely!

Enjoy your time away. I do hope it's restful and that you'll feel better soon.

Ginny said...

Heidi, yes, there's an email link for me on my blog(s). Have a great and restful week!

Anonymous said...

Heidi,veel sterkte de komende tijd,hoop dat de zon weer een beetje voor je mag schijnen en dat je plezier hebt in de dingen die je nu nog wel kan doen...rust maar lekker uit!

Meredith said...

The quilt is as lovely as you are. I am so glad you took the time to share about your health and where you are. I hope it helps you and it helps me. All I can say is I understand and I am blessed like to you to still have a mind that keeps going and going and going. Enjoy your time at the cabin

Elizabethd said...

Heidi, I'm so sorry to hear of the problems you have. Have a good rest and renew your strength now.

Nancy said...

Heidi, I know your health problems, and if I could, I would take them ALLLLLL away from you.
I love you and I am so very proud of you everyday.
Kisses and hugs,
PS: If the bloggers could see, or maybe feel the inside of your shoes, they would wonder how you ever walk on the ping pong wooden ball inside.

Kristen said...

Enjoy your week of relaxation, I know you need and deserve it! I love you!!!

Saskia said...

I'am surrounded by strong great women! Thanks for showing me, how to keep on going even when life gives you a lot to deal with!
I hope you have a relaxing week, and the first signs of the fall. I know you love this time of year, with all the leaves turning in beautiful colors.Its my favorite time of year too! I'am working on those yo-yo's, and on all the other UFO's and WIP's.
Big hug

Anonymous said...

Heidi, I am sorry to hear of your physical problems but I'm glad you know how to nurture yourself and can get away. My 14 year old daughter found your blog and loves it and told me about it and now I do too! Enjoy your break. You have so many friends you do not even know!

Beatrice said...

I hope you have a peaceful and restful week at the cottage...take care.
The quilt is stunning!!

Linda said...

Dear Heidi, thank you for sharing your health problems....I would never have guessed you had any problems. I love my visits and each time I visited I would come away feeling inspired to keep stitching and to finish my quilts. You are so amazing and gifted and I'm happy that your needle work brings you such joy (and to others too).
Have a restful week and see you when you return...hugs, Linda