Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Summer Has Passed Me By; What Does This Title Have To Do with Needlepoint?

Here we are, still in the heat of summer, but Labor Day has come and gone and soon there will be autumn's nip in the air.

Summer is my least favorite season. I could say it is the summer weather, too hot and too humid, but that's not the worst of it. The worst of summer is the traffic in and around where I live. The roads are crowded and parking in the places I like to park (as in near the post office) is impossible. And worst of all this summer, I got sick.

Yep, this year I spent my summer, or at least most of it, with a wretched disease called shingles. At first I was quiet about it, just suffered all the itching and pain (it was awful).

Then I decided I should make myself a public example in my world of needlepoint and here's why:

I had had the shingles shot. About 50% of people who have the shingles shot get shingles anyway, and I was one of those. But, said my doctor to me, the vaccine would likely help me: my case of shingles would be lighter and most important, the vaccine would likely protect me from the post-shingles nerve damage. My doctor proved right: my case (although thoroughly miserable) was lighter and I did escape post-shingles nerve damage.

So I set about telling my needlepoint friends of a certain age to ask their health providers if a shingles shot would be appropriate and if the answer was yes, march themselves right in for the shot.

And guess what: they did! Many reported to me that they even took their husbands along.
This was great news as it might help people escape a lot of misery.

As I was recovering and people were writing me their shingles tales, I stitched 'Shingles Ornament'.
No, it isn't all full of red rashes and scabs, although I admit for a short while I was tempted to see if I could make Bargello Rashes and round Rhodes-Stitch scabs. Happily that temptation only lasted a minute or two.

Shingles Ornament as I stitched it looks a bit like a ribbon (rosette) you might win in an needlepoint show. It is intended as a 'Badge of Courage' for stitchers who survived shingles or as a 'Badge of Intelligence' for stitchers who got the shingles shot, or a 'Badge of Love and Friendship' for stitchers who helped a friend or loved one through the dreadful experience.

It is small and takes only a couple of hours to make. I made three in three evenings: one for me because I survived, one for my doctor because she helped me and one for DH because he went to CostCo and got the shingles shot.

Where are Shingles Ornaments now? They are being made into ornaments and I will have them at my Autumn Sale. No, Shingles Ornament isn't sale, it's a gift to anybody who writes me her personal shingles story, be it personal survival or helping a friend or marching yourself in to see your health provider.

If you write to me after October 15, I will send you a link to a downloadable file for the pattern.
Worried about forgetting the date? I'll remind you in another post.


So the summer is past, and I survived, slowly my stamina is returning and I've returned gently to work. Yes, I've returned to preparations for a smaller sale in October and I'm stitching again and life is a whole lot better! I'm happy it's unofficially and almost officially Autumn now.

Gay Ann

1 comment:

Valerie DiDonato said...

Dear Gay Ann, I'll sumerize the pain and suffering that my mother has survived for over thirty years. Mom is now 93 years old with at least five strokes, most brought on while suffering the pain. She no longer gets the rash but the neuralgia attacks with each change of season. I had to move in with her to be her caretaker. We had to change the bathroom to a walk in access for her wheelchair, the shower brings relief. When the pain takes hold she can be seen rising a foot off the bed. Acupuncture helped a great deal, but she is no longer capable of leaving the house. At her last hospitalization we were informed that shingles is one of the underlying causes of death. While my daughter was pregnant she wasn't allowed to visit due to the risk, face time, phone or out the window were only allowed . Even thought my sister and I are at risk health insurance will not allow the shot until you are 60 years old. Morphine patches and love keep her going. I sit with her and needlepoint small projects at her beside, the rhythm keeps us going. Thank you for listening to my story, I believe in the circle of life and try to make her as comfortable as possible but often think of how mush has been taken from her for those thirty years.