At the start of 2019, I had one emergency surgery under my belt and was preparing for one more surgery. I picked the word “persist” for the year, knowing that I needed to keep moving forward no matter what the outcomes of my surgery, health, and goals. Little did we know, 2019 would mean not one but three more surgeries, buying a house out of state, losses and gains, and much persistence.
Persisting Through 2019
My excision surgery was in the first week of March and was so much worse than anticipated. Based on the surgery last August, we excepted a mild case of endometriosis. Instead, it was one of the worst cases my excision surgeon had ever seen – including a volleyball-sized cyst. They weren’t able to excise everything, which meant scheduling a second excision surgery with an additional surgeon to assist. Recovery was horrible, but I persisted.
Thanks to my August 2018 surgery, I knew I would need an easy project to occupy my mind during recovery. I started the Ten Stitch Zig Zag blanket the day after surgery (I know, I’m crazy) and it was the perfect combo of easy and interesting. That project renewed my love for knitting, and I’ve completed 16 projects this year.
August 2019 brought my second excision surgery, which was even worse – but thankfully, they kept me over in the hospital. We discovered my body likes to scar over instantly, instead of taking a few days to start forming scars. They would move onto excising another area, just for the last area to form adhesions in minutes. On top of the adhesions, I developed an allergic reaction to every antibiotic they tried and to the dissolvable sutures. For six weeks I had to take Benadryl every few hours, followed by one more (quick) surgery to fix an area where I didn’t heal properly.
Thankfully, after my October surgery, everything improved. According to my pelvic floor physical therapist, I went from a rating of severe to the low end of moderate. Now, I have only a 15% chance of needing another excision surgery or cystectomy.
Building Out of State
We knew for some years that we ultimately wanted to move back to the pacific northwest, but needed to find an area with a low cost of living. In July we picked a general area and I flew up to Coeur d’Alene to meet with our agent. It took me under three days to pick out a builder, floor plan, lot, and alllllll the customizations by myself.
The following months were super stressful, investing that much money to make a huge move while being self-employed. Now, the house is officially ours! I flew up for Christmas with my family and to do the closing inspection. It’s hard to believe we’re finally homeowners and getting out of the polluted valley. We have amazing neighbors and are already making connections with others in the area.
If you’re near CDA/Spokane and either a maker/knitter/etc or person with endometriosis – reach out! There are several fellow makers new to the area who want to start getting together, and a new friend is leading a support group for endometriosis.
Courage in 2020
In 2019 I knew I would have to persist through challenges – and this new year I know I need to have courage to face the unknown. A whole new state and town, new relationships, a different career for Jeff… a lot of new. Being an introvert and INFP, it’s hard for me to put myself out there and I overthink alllllll the things. We’re also moving further away from some of our closest loved ones, which is very daunting.
I do know we’re making the right decision with this move, the climate and pollution are triggering my health problems. I feel amazing when I’m in Idaho, and instantly sick when I fly back. There is a lot of hate towards people moving into Idaho, especially from California, but we hope people can see us for who we are – and not the stereotypes.
Idaho also means new opportunities for new hobbies and activities that I want to try. After a year+ of nothing but surgeries and recovering, my stamina and activity levels took a huge hit. I need the courage to try new things like snowshoeing, and getting back to the activities I once loved – like hiking.
And as a maker, I’d like to publish one knitting pattern this coming year. I don’t know what it will be, and I don’t plan on making it an income source, but a contribution to the community I love. I can’t help but come up with ideas for patterns, but I haven’t had the courage to compile a design and publish.
Make Nine 2020
I didn’t participate in Make Nine for 2019, but I am excited to do it for 2020. You can read more about this “challenge” of sorts over here. In short, I want to at least make a sweater for Jeff, actually complete a pair of socks, Christmas stockings for our new home, and more dog sweaters. Oh, and a wool bralette because Idaho is a whole lot colder than California.
This collage is in no particular order, but starting from top left:
- Cecil – two of these, one for each girl. I’ll be using this yarn from my stash, with hopefully enough leftover for me to make something matching for myself.
- Getting Warmer – I plan to modify this for it to start a little larger to fit me better. Using this yarn.
- The PNW Stocking & Christmas Stockings & Top Down Christmas Stockings – I’m not sure what stockings I’ll make for sure – but definitely one for each of us and the dogs.
- Flax – For Jeff, he doesn’t have nearly enough Idaho-appropriate clothing.
- Framework Bralette – I loved working with KP Gloss on my Camp Wilkerson, so I’ll probably use that again for this unless I can find a good speckled DK yarn locally.
- Bootwalksocks – I haven’t decided on what stash sock yarn I’ll use for this, but I plan to do the two-at-a-time method.
- Snowbell Tree Skirt – I can’t wait to knit all the Christmas things! This tree skirt is a must before our first Christmas in our new home.
- Find Your Fade – It’s no secret that I struggle with fingering weight yarn, and lace, so this will test my limits. I’m using the Artic Lights Fade from KP and knitting this as part of the Impossible KAL.
- Equal Night – I wanted to do something Pi Shawl-like, without having another shawl on my list. This blanket is constructed similarly, and it’s in super bulky yarn – perfect for me.
I’m not worried about not getting all these things done, but I do want to challenge myself to stick to a plan. I’m one of those who gets distracted easily with a new pattern or impulsive yarn sale buy. For 2020, I want to improve my focus and stick to my goals a bit better.
I do eventually want to take up sewing again, but I’m not making plans for that. I need more hours in the day!
Bring on 2020
While I really don’t know what 2020 holds for us, I do hope it’s a year of good changes. Change is scary, but it can be good, and I hope I have the courage to face it. Follow along on my Instagram, because I most likely won’t update this blog for a very long time!