The Up Side

Unless you’ve done it, I don’t think that I can adequately describe to you what it is like to fly with a head cold. I had two flights yesterday, Toronto to Vancouver, then Vancouver to Portland, and right at the beginning of the first flight, when the air pressure rendered me really painfully deaf in both ears – and it stayed that way until about seven hours after I landed… I started to try and think of what it was like and how I would explain it. All descriptions failed me. It was awful. Horrendous. Anyone who’s ever flown with a sealed bag of chips and watched it puff up as you gained altitude.. or anyone who’s watched their sealed half-drunk bottle of water caved in on itself as you landed now has a pretty good idea of the impact of pressure on stuff. Now imagine that your head is full of stuff, and that the sealed containers are your sinuses and ears and let your imagination go wild. Enough said. It’s a painful and unattractive interval that I’m trying to leave behind me. In fact, the only good thing about the flight yesterday, was that it was hours of knitting time, and when I wasn’t trying to sleep (I was high as a kite on decongestants) I did knit. Just enough to finish a pretty pair of socks, and that was totally the only up side.


These are the very, very pretty Niagara socks from The Eclectic Sole, knit in C*eye*ber Fiber sock yarn in “Maybelle”. I only made one modification, which was to change the heel to my standard one. (I’m a little stuck in my ways.)


Sock pictures courtesy of Tina, which is awesome, because my camera is still broken and also it is very hard to take pictures of your own feet. Tina and I are holed up in a hotel, doing the final testing on the registration system for Sock Summit, since registration goes live tomorrow morning at 10am PDT. We’re trying hard to stay focused, when we’re really pretty scared. It’s really hard to have your fate rest in the hands of a computer server and a whack of code. We’ve tried to think of everything. We’ve impressed upon the tech people involved that there are more knitters than they think (no matter what they think) but when push comes to shove it’s still a server that you’re relying on, not something reliable or loyal – like a person. It’s a new server. It’s a big server. It’s a well tested server and we are tormenting it in lots of ways to make sure it works well tomorrow, but… well. Tomorrow is tomorrow, and servers are servers, and that’s really stressful. A little while ago when there was a wee glitch, I actually started compiling a small pile of items that I thought the server would like (a pair of handknit socks, a USB key, a data cd…) that I could burn in a small sacrificial fire to try and appease it. (It didn’t come to that, but I was willing to take it that far.) It doesn’t help at all that the only things two knitters can do if a server glitches is sit around trying not to say really unforgivably terrible things to the tech people, while alternately hysterically laughing and wondering if that numbness in their right arms is stress or an actual heart attack.

Cross your needles for us.. will ya? We’ve made such a good plan.

(ps. My cold is much better today.)

148 thoughts on “The Up Side

  1. I’ve flown with a head cold several times, (I have cranky sinuses and what most doctors I’ve seen have told me are the smallest ear canals they’ve ever seen on an adult) so I totally feel your pain, and I know exactly how frustrating the few hours afterward are when you wonder if your ears will permanently be like that. Glad you’re feeling better! And those are some seriously pretty socks!

  2. I hope the server works for you without horrible trouble tomorrow. I must admit that I don’t believe I will be in the initial onslaught due to a previously scheduled appointment with the vet. (Kitty needs new flea script for flea and tick meds.)I hope I can be in the afternoon loll though. I should say that if the serve does misbehave we knitters will attempt to control our panic and send the server good thoughts and positive energy.
    Good luck and say calm,

  3. Glad you’re feeling better. I’d gladly volunteer now (at this minute) to be a guinea-pig registrant to further test the system … if you help calm your nerves … I know it would definitely calm mine.

  4. My sympathies on flying with a head cold. Lovely socks, truly.
    (PS: I’m still holding onto those two books for you to give away re: Knitters Without Borders.)

  5. It’s going to be great!
    I’m a little stuck in my ways, too, but that’s why I’m going to Sock Summit. Going to learn some fun new tricks, and hang out with knitters! Looking forward to it.

  6. Ahh! I know your pain. I woke up from a my nap on the plane to searing eye pain, I thought my eye was going to explode! My ever sympathetic sister laughed at me and went back to sleep.
    Oh, nice socks by the way.

  7. Sorry to hear that your flight was painful. I’m looking forward to testing those servers tomorrow though! Thanks for all your hard work!!

  8. I’ve never flown with a cold, but once I had to fly soon after having sinus surgery. I was fine taking off from Vancouver, but something happened inside my head as we started our descent into Toronto. The pain was something I never wish to experience again. Luckily it was gone by the time we reached the ground. A friend of mine flew to Scotland the day after having breast reduction surgery. Big mistake. Her “girls” were in agony the whole time. Oh yes, the socks are lovely. I can’t decide which I like better, the colour or the lacey legs.

  9. I feel your pain. The last flight I took was a trip to Arizona with the high school band, caught the worst head and chest cold of my life. Ended up having the kids look after me more than I them the entire flight home. Love the socks!

  10. I’ve had that problem with my sinuses all my adult life, and I know EXACTLY how much it hurts and how incredibly annoying it is to be deaf after. Slow descents are the worst.
    I highly recommend some earplugs called EarPlanes. You can probably find them in the airport shops; they’re a bit pricey – $12+ I expect now – but they are really worth it, and they work nearly all the time. Nothing is 100%, I guess.

  11. If you need testers (who won’t be able to come to the event), ping me – I’m available to assist if needs be today.

  12. Ouch sorry about the head cold and flying. Hope the hyphenated name issue didn’t arise. The socks are beautiful. Socks always look lovely on dainty little feet, but by the time I make them big enough to fit me they lose much of their charm. I’m resigned to probably not getting into the classes that I want due to work. Visions of trying to buy scalped tickets for ungodly prices from shady knitters wearing trench coats keep haunting my plans for Sock Summit. Relax and enjoy your time with Tina. I’m just about across the river from y’all over here in Ridgefield, WA and the weather is perfect.

  13. Lovely socks, sorry to hear about your cold. I feel like I have been fighting one after another for the past 15 months (the time since my daughter entered daycare). You have my sympathy, not that it will do you much good. Hope you are well before your next flight!

  14. Y es, I’ve had earblock. i was an “Air Hostess” (that’s what we were called) for TWA and I had that same experience (but back in the dark ages – when I flew – the cabin pressure wasn’t computerized as it is now. I ended up with quite an ear infection – antibiotics.
    Don’t worry about the registration – as (I think it was Abraham Lincoln said) “you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” You and Tina will be great!

  15. steph the way to deal with server issues if you are not a tech person is to drink and knit heavily and stay out of the tech’s way. which means dont call them every 5 minutes asking when its going to be up :-D. I have a feeling all should go well. but its the mercury fella again he is retrograde until the 30th. and well fairly unstable right now. but just make sure that there is a backup ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Re: flying with a cold
    The EarPlanes are magic, and work great (although they work less great if you have lots of ear wax buildup). Another thing that works great is this trick from a flight attendant: Take a styrofoam cup. Place inside it a warm moist towel. Put the cup over your ear. Something about the steamy cup environment makes your ear feel lots better.

  17. Needles crossed! I know several of my friends are planning to be on there right when registration opens. Me, I’m still hoping for Sock Summit 2…
    Lovely socks!

  18. Best wishes on success of the Summit! You and Tina are just great for getting it all together. That server wouldn’t dare mess up – would it?

  19. Needles crossed (been knitting a bit myself on this week-end stretch). Here is to servantly-servers and smooth registration.

  20. Oh…barley sugar sweets. Suck on some during the flight…but hopefully your cold will be gone by the time you fly home. (Can you even get barley sugar in Portland? You can in Vancouver…maybe you should stick around next time, and see more than YVR…you could stock up…hint, hint. LOL)

  21. Keep in mind that XRX has been doing Stitches for years and on the day of registration for Stitches East the server was down for the first hour.

  22. Glad your cold is better. I’ll cross all my needles for you tomorrow, but try not to worry too much. Sock Summit is gonna rock! Wish I could be there.

  23. EarPlanes – these little ear plugs that equalize air pressure. I NEVER fly without them, but with a cold or a sinus infection, they are mandatory. Love the socks. Don’t fly without EarPlanes again! I’m not kidding.. They make all the difference in the world:

  24. Good luck tomorrow. I so wish I could come to sock summit, but it is entirely the wrong side of the country for me.

  25. I completely sympathize about the head cold and flying thing. Since I’m partially deaf, flying and the pressure associated with it is already more difficult for me than normal. One harrowing trip, I had an 8 hour layover in the Vancouver airport and during those 8 hours got a cold. The subsequent flight to Saskatoon was extremely unpleasant. It still ranks as one of those awful days that you always remember. Hopefully the cold is gone before you fly again.

  26. I’m so sorry- I flew with a head cold once and ended up with punctured eardrum. (I’ve had sinus issues off and on my entire adult life- never had them as a child!)
    I agree with the others that those are pretty socks.

  27. I’m so glad your cold is better and that you made it through such a long trip with it! And all will be well all will be well all will be well. I am forging a 1-woman zen optimism faction which is actually entirely unlike me, but I am doing it nonetheless.
    (PS if i forget to say so in August – Sock Summit was so much fun and boy that registration process sure was a breeze, thanks so much for setting it up).

  28. I wish I could have done the sock summit, but there was no budget for it. Maybe if you do it again next year?
    If I’d have known about the cold and the stop in Vancouver I could have swung by the airport with some hot (not chicken) soup!
    Feel better soon. Your green socks look great, if that’s any consolation…

  29. If things crash and burn (which admittedly they might, as my desire for two particular classes, of which there is only one of each, is very strong, and I suspect there are hundreds of other spinner/knitters who feel the same way), you can always get yourself a hosted system next time. Infinitely scalable. If you have three people register, it’s no big deal. If you have thirty thousand all trying to access the pages at 10am, it’s no big deal. There’s a data center, thousands of servers strong, bearing the load. And it’s designed for it.
    Best of luck, because I really hope I get those two classes I want. lol (Hopefully being in the greater Portland area will give me the few nanoseconds’ lead I need to win. lol)
    Crossing all crossables . . .

  30. P.S.) I’ve flown with sinus congestion. On a flight with a hot-shot pilot who made a precipitous descent, convincing me there was an ice pick through the right side of my face. Sobbing in public has never been one of my favorite pastimes.
    P.P.S.) The socks are lovely. The yarn looks as thought it would float away, it’s so soft and cozy. I’m so glad that, barring the head cold, you didn’t have any trouble with Mercury this time!

  31. Great socks…fingers crossed for tomorrow’s registration…and I think the pain you need to worry about is in the left arm! Yours must just be nerves!

  32. So I take it you won’t be spinning tomorrow, even though it’ll be Tuesday?

  33. I once flew with a head cold and had something pop in my sinus, and I ended up with a ton of blood stuck up there. It was horribly painful and gross and I spent a while in the bathroom after landing and had my ride convinced that I hadn’t actually managed to get on my flight.
    I do not envy your experience, and wish you good health on your return flight.

  34. Pretty socks! And my sympathies on flying with a cold. For future reference, may I recommend Afrin nasal spray? It works wonders on drying out the head just long enough to make it through a flight. It’s saved my head on more than one occasion.
    Good luck on the registration! And I know that knitters will be kind to you even if the server isn’t!

  35. My needles are totally crossed for ya. I can’t come to the Sock Summit, but it sounds very cool and I’m sure everyone that does go will have an awesome time. Glad you’re feeling better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Ummm … pretty sure the pain in your RIGHT arm is not a heart attack. If it was in your left, I’d say it was still an unknown … ๐Ÿ˜‰

  37. Re EarPlanes, I use them whenever I fly, and they’re wonderful. I pay under $7 a pair U.S., and they’re supposed to be good for two flights–although I never use them for more than one, since they can get clogged with ear gunk. Here’s hoping you won’t have to go through that pressure agony again!

  38. I know it’s weird, but I always feel just a little bit better about the world when I know you are visiting my town. Glad to know you are once again in Portland. And I swear I’m not a creepy stalker. =) I’m sure that registration will go reasonably well tomorrow. Just remember that knitters are a generally kind and forgiving group so when glitches arise you’ll be met with the best of humanity. Or at least that’s what I hope from myself and my fellow knitters. Then again, it is the Sock Summit and we are all pretty excited. =)

  39. Tell you what. I’m one of those horrible techie-type people and I’m stuck working today (which of course is why I’m reading your blog). Anyway, I’ve got an idea sure to appease the Bug Gods. You know that they require that a certain number of bugs be experienced each day as proof of their omnipotence. So, I’ll make sure I put OODLES of bugs in the code I’m writing. If I can quench their nearly (but not totally) insatiable thirst for user misery they should let your code and server run flawlessly tomorrow. How’s that for a plan?
    Seems likely that I’ll get fired — but who cares if it means we can register successfully for the Summit!

  40. Good luck and I’m glad you’re feeling better.
    I’m visiting Portland next month but if I had known about SS09 I would have rethought things.

  41. Pain and numbness in your *left* arm are the heart attack warning signs.

  42. Flying with plugged sinuses – my God my head is exploding just to think about it! My sinuses are my weakest link (although I’m now over 50 and several other parts of my body are fighting for the honour) and I drive 10km straight up a mountain – yes, straight up: 10% grade on the hill – everyday to work. A lot of days I’ve just got my equilibrium back in time to do the reverse trip.

  43. Glad to hear you are feeling better (somewhat) and that you survived your flight while convalescing with a head cold. Are you sure it was a cold and not the Hamthrax? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  44. The whole camera breaking thing? This is shaping up to be an annual event (I looked it up, the last one broke June 10, 2008). Dude, there’s gotta be some sort of ritual you can do to break THAT spell.

  45. On my very first flight, when I was seven years old, I couldn’t figure out how to make my ears pop. The trip would have been agony if I hadn’t been given the remedy someone mentioned above — wet, hot paper towels folded inside styrofoam cups. My dad still makes fun of me twenty years later because I looked so silly holding cups over my ears, but boy do I ever remember the pain before I got them on.

  46. two things:
    1-there oughta be a law against colds occuring outside of the allocated months of winter!
    2-what’s it like to have small feet? some of us will never know…c

  47. I have a cold too. The only good thing I can say is that I did not have to fly with it. Love the socks.

  48. Cold-eeze supposedly works well for airplane trips. I’m not saying it does, just that it’s supposed to.

  49. We out here are all pulling for you! WHAT an adventure. We are excited for Sock Summit, but putting myself in your socks for a moment, WOW. I felt I was at the top of the tallest roller coaster, that millisecond between going slowly up up up, and the inevitable, sudden plunge down down down.
    WHEEEEE!!! We are all riding with you guys, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  50. You have done an incredible job and no matter what the Tech Gods have in store for us tomorrow, the Summit will be fabulous.
    Gorgeous socks, get well.

  51. I don’t usually comment, but I just wanted to extend my empathy, to wish you luck with the sock summit, and to admire your purty new socks.

  52. I’m sure you’ve had tons of similar comments, but I have experienced the pain you describe, and I am sorry. My mother in law has chronic sinus issues, and she packed me a whole survival kit after a particularly bad flight out to visit them. The only thing that makes that worse is having toddlers crawling all over you.

  53. You and Tina are doing an awesome job on the sock summit. I’m so happy I live in Portland. I have to decide which great classes I can take and which ones I’ll miss. But there is never too much of a good thing. I have my fingers crossed for tomorrow. But even if something goes wrong with the computers tomorrow, there is plenty of time before August. You are a good person and you deserve a good rest at the beach. All the knitter good vibes are heading your server’s way.

  54. Once we flew when my sister had a cold and was in agony. A flight attendant gave us this tip: take two plastic glasses, put a washcloth wrung out with warm or hot (I think hot) water – not wrung dry, still a wet-ish – at the bottom of each, place over each ear. It helped.
    Good luck tomorrow. Dunno what you’re thinking of doing this during Mercury Retrograde, but… good luck!

  55. Broken camera aside, why IS it so hard to take pictures of our feet? I mean, bend you neck and there they are! Still manages to be somewhat less than a piece of cake. But those socks rock…

  56. OK…no need to fly in such pain. get some Air-Borne–it is great stuff and will not make you drowsy or high. Dissolve two tablets in 3/4 cup of water and drink up. Do this every two hours. Within 6 hours, your congestion should be gone. Honest…it works! Now, to be fair, the vitamin C does do interesting things, and you may visit the loo often—once you have too much of it, but your head will feel better!

  57. One word: Afrin. I don’t care how much a person doesn’t like to take drugs. When your head is stuffed up on a plane, it’s a life saver. My germophobe husband once used a total stranger’s used Afrin nose spray on a trans-Atlantic flight when an undiscovered sinus infection made its presence known with a vengeance. Now we always pack it in a carry-on, even if no one is sick.

  58. Oh,Stephanie…I feel for you. I flew with a cold several years ago from San Francisco to New York and it was one of the most intense pains I’ve ever felt. Glad you’re feeling better.

  59. Hoser…um…A sideways way of saying “jerkface”?
    From the Urban Dictionary:
    The literal definition of a hoser, according to Bob and Doug, is “What you call your little brother when your mom’s in the room.”
    ‘Take off, eh? You’re such a hoser.’

  60. I had to take 3 flights in one day when I had a wretched cold and ear infection (both ears). By the third flight it was all I could do not to cry.
    Nice socks.

  61. I don’t know how you can possibly knit such socks while suffering with a cold. I couldn’t knit those socks if my life depended on it, but that’s why your you. Feel lots better.

  62. Good luck with the server tomorrow, I’m sure people will get through just fine.
    I was a chaperone once for a bunch of kids flying to and from Japan: one of my kids had a wicked ear infection. The flight attentdant got a cup of hot water, which the guy held under his ear. It really helped him. I don’t know if that would help you or not. I remember my husband coming home from New Brunswick one time with a horrendous cold. He had four flights to Seattle: by the time he got to SeaTac he could not hear. We sat in the airport for 30 minutes waiting for his ears to clear so he could hear something.
    In the meantime maybe you and Tina should head to 23rd street to JBar for some good food. Dessert at Papa Haydens next door is pretty amazing also.

  63. Can’t believe anyone could knit such beautiful socks with a head cold–I can’t open my eyes or hold my head up.
    Many have told me that using Airbourne and never touching their eyes,mouth or nose keeps them cold free while traveling-Another reason to dislike flying-getting sick from germs you don’t have at home.

  64. Been there, done that (on a flight from Montreal to Sydney, with many stopovers), definitely don’t want the T-shirt

  65. Needles crossed for you! But it is going to be fabulous!! And how awesome that you two can experience this fun stress together!! And no, 10 o’clock is not too early for a beer tomorrow morning if that helps take the edge off ๐Ÿ™‚
    Good luck!! Feel better!! Hugs to Tina!

  66. FWIW, I can tell you based on a long and successful computer dorking career that servers absolutely do respond to ritual sacrifice. Just in case you need to know that. They do, I promise. And IT dorks respond well to actually being appreciated and plied with the goods for the vice of their choice.

  67. Love the socks! They are so pretty.
    I hope you feel better soon. I hate flying with a head cold. I once blew an ear drum and it was unbelieveable how painful it was before and during.
    I am crossing my fingers that the servers work properly!

  68. I flew once after having had a wisdom tooth removed … The dentist forgot to warn against it. Tiny little air bubbles were trapped inside the wound and would expand and contract as the air pressure changed. Terribly painful!

  69. All shall be well. Fear not. Hopefully you have a really big tub and can float in it until you feel all warm and soft and then crawl into bed, wake up at 11:00 tomorrow, minus your cold, and discover that everything has been and is flowing through the server like cashmere on Signature needles.

  70. Once again you were in the Vancouver airport and not in Vancouver where I can see you and show you my very first sock!!!! Vancouver loves you — don’t you love Vancouver?

  71. Having flown in that state, you have my deepest sympathies — I’m glad you’re feeling better! As for tomorrow, just keep chanting: All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of thing will be well. And have a bottle of scotch near to hand, just in case.
    (BTW, I’m totally kidding — I know that I’m so grateful you guys are even putting together this phenomenal shindig that I’m going to be pretty happy whatever happens. Hang in there — you’re doing amazing amazing things.)

  72. Been there. Next time, spray some Afrin in your nose before taking off to open things up. It helps but the best solution is not to fly with a cold. It just seems to spread.

  73. And what time is that in the Central time zone? Hard to figure since all my higher math skills desert me at the most inopportune times.

  74. Sorry about 7 hours of torment, but glad you are feeling better. Hope the server serves well without glitches and sacrifices.

  75. Yep, flown that way–bad deal!!!! I too am scared about the registration tomorrow, having had such poor luck in the past with this sort of register-on-line stuff–and I’m even a computer geek! Gorgeous socks, though…

  76. When my ears plug up and I know I’m going to make some major changes in air pressure, I try my hardest to get seen by a doctor and swallow some antibiotics. I had two punctured ear drums within 3 years ( a few years back — I was till in my 40’s) due to needing to drive from 8,000 ft to sea level with bad congestion/cold because there was no doctor at the ski resort (and I don’t even ski — oh, the things we do for our families). I couldn’t drive, let alone knit, because I was too busy trying to stick my finger through my ear.
    No way could I have knit such a beautiful pair of socks.
    My ears DID feel much better once the eardrum popped. I just was deaf in that ear until it healed (and permanently lost some dynamic range).
    My daughter caught a headcold right before flying to a conference last month. As soon as she called and said she might have an ear infection, I made sure she took a day off and got antibiotics. A day later when she flew back to university, her ears had improved and the pain was considerably less on the return flight.
    Get well soon — and best of luck on the registration process!

  77. I am glad your cold is better and that you are taking decongestants. I have residual swimmer’s ear (from way too much swimming way back) and once landed in Boston in emergency need of a doctor due to problems very similar to flying with a cold. I have tried unsuccessfully to block the memory for decades. So I am REALLY glad you are better now.
    Great socks.
    Holding good thoughts out for the server.

  78. I won’t fly with a head cold, and I fly for my job! I highly recommend that you get some sudafed (or equivalent), even if you don’t regularly take it, and keep it in your taking-on-trips carryon bag. You may never use it, but boy will you be glad if you do need it!

  79. The only time I have ever openly wept on an airplane was due to a bad sinus and ear infection. I had no choice but to fly and for a time, mid-flight, when I finally reached some sort of momentary truce with the pressure in my head, I prayed that we would not ever have to land. We did, however, eventually come down and I wept some more off and on for the next several hours. I feel your pain.

  80. Ugh! I know that pain too well. I’m glad you are feeling better, and hope you are soon healed completely.

  81. Those are gorgeous socks. Somehow medium-green yarn has always seemed to me to be the rarest color to find in any yarn store, and not for lack of looking on my part. That has always been very curious to me. And there you go!
    I so much want to be among the throngs tomorrow first thing who are hoping our enthusiasm isn’t causing a meltdown. The bod, however, is throwing a two-year-old’s mommy-don’t-leave tantrum and I don’t know how long it will last.

  82. So glad you’re feeling better. Bet Sock Summit will be fabulous, if only because you deserve a great experience now, after the flights.

  83. In college, I flew home with a bad case of Mono. It was torture–I can sympathize!
    My needles (and fingers!) are crossed for you as registration opens. I’ll also “hold my thumbs” for you…a good luck tradition taught to me by a Swedish friend!

  84. I have yoga at 10:00 … the classes I want better not be full an hour later or I might have a fit!

  85. Said a little prayer to the server deity for you. All will be fine (although not only because of my positive thoughts….check out all the good vibes from the above posts!!)
    BTW, I love the pattern you did for the Rockin’ Sock Club. I joined a bit late, so I’m about two kits behind everyone else, but these are fun and I’m learning a lot from them. Thanks for the great design.

  86. I’ve only had sinus problems on the ground; I can’t imagine it combined with air travel. Let’s hope I don’t get to experience it when I travel cross-country next week
    Beautiful socks… but it looks like the left one is one repeat longer than the right one?

  87. When I was 16 I had a sinus infection that was so bad, I was admitted to the ICU at Cedars Sinai hospital. The infection had actually filled the sinus cavities, and was causing a lot of trauma to one of my eyes. They had to do emergency surgery to drain it, and I had a whole team of doctors. There was a lot of “I’ve never seen THIS before.”
    6 weeks later I flew Los Angeles to Boston.
    Now, I have an insanely high tolerance for pain. When I was a teenager and suffering horrific migraines, and would rate my pain, the doctors would always ask if I had contemplated suicide. But during that flight I cried the entire flight. Nonstop. And when we were landing, it was all I could do to keep from literally screaming in agony.
    So when I say “I know your pain” this is not an exaggeration. LOL.

  88. I wave my double pointed needles in your general direction with hopes of smooth sailing and an easy painless day tomorrow with a large and cold beer coming sooner than you think.

  89. Beautiful socks! I have flown with a head cold, but only Denver to LA, and that was pain enough.

  90. I empathise, I’m testing a registration system that should have gone live two and a half weeks ago. The impulse to do unspeakable things to the tech people is almost overwhelming. I want to cry.

  91. I can understand the joys of dealing with tech people. I’m almost like tech people at work (which isn’t as frightening as it sounds).
    I’m glad you are feeling better, because dealing with all of this when you are completely at the mercy of the head cold would be even less fun!

  92. I haven`t tried flying while having a cold, but I guess it is sort of like scuba diving or sky diving with a cold, and I have done both. Now I understand why they recomend NOT scuba diving while having a cold ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hope you a feeling better on the way home ๐Ÿ™‚

  93. I have a friend who flies a lot and has allergies. She says that Wasabi really clears out ones sinuses (sorry it’s gross, but it may be helpful so I’m hoping that I’ll be forgiven.) She eats some Wasabi peas just before her flight and always takes with her to eat on the plane if she needs to. I’m not sure if you like Wasabi, but depending on how miserable you are on your flight, it might be worth trying it. Good luck with the server. Wish I could go to the sock summit. It sounds like so much fun!

  94. If it’s your left arm, head for the ER. If it’s your right, under these circumstances, blame your mousing.
    Have your bribed Murphy?
    I have flown with a cold, and even worse, with one I contracted out of town and had to fly home with – which necessitates a trip to the drugstore since I don’t have access to my home arsenal.
    I recommend stronger decongestants, and even if you don’t think you need it, an antihistamine. It will help, and if not, it will at least put you to sleep. But maybe that’s me – decongestants don’t make me high, but two 25mg diphenhydramine HCl (Benadryl active ingredient) or equivalent will knock me right out.
    I also highly recommend a prescription strength of ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. It doesn’t have to be prescription, and is probably cheaper OTC, but I’ve been given as much as 1200mg (usually 800) of ibuprofen in a single tablet by prescription – read your bottle and know what your stomach can handle.
    Oh, nice socks!

  95. Pretty socks! And so glad the cold is better. Do keep an eye on yourself, though (or beg Tina, and then Joe to do so). I got terribly ill after flying with a cold, right after I thought I was recovering. Decongestants are my friend now, for sure. All will be well for SS09 sign-ups. Spike your tea and enjoy the fun!

  96. I do believe the numbness would be in your left arm (same side as your heart) so you can relax.

  97. OH MY!!!, you two….I’m doing the math on the testing and the twittering and you seem to be staying up all night!!! GO TO SLEEP!…soon… will go well (whose definition?)
    (whine…I want to knit that fast!!…I’m on the eastern side of the States…no Portland for me)

  98. Oh I know just how you were feeling. I had to fly from Seattle to Maine once with a bad head cold. I couldn’t even knit or read I felt so poorly. 6 hours of misery. When we finally landed the pressure was so strong that my eyes were crying and I actually thought my head might explode. The really sad part was it hurt so much that I almost wished one of my ear drums would perforate to relieve some of the pressure. I’m so glad you are feeling better and hope you don’t have to fly again until things have cleared up.

  99. I just got back from a 24+ hour trip home from Singapore with a nasty head cold, so I totally feel your pain. Actually, I found that flying with a cold seemed to make my symptoms last twice as long once I got home. Horrible, simply horrible.
    Lovely socks, btw. I didn’t get much knitting done on my flight because I was so wiped out (and was doing a sock with cables that I kept screwing up because I felt like crap).

  100. For the flying with a cold – decongestant nasal spray, like Afrin. An ENT doc told me to do this, spray a little in each nostril, inhale as best you can with you head held back till you can taste the stuff. It works like a charm and doesn’t make you (or me at least) all weird and speedy like Sudafed.

  101. Its not just pain in your arm to worry about. Worry about tightness across your back, and your chest, or feelings of heavy indigestion. Heart attack symptoms in women are much more subtle.
    On the upside, it probably is just indigestion, the ache across your back is from sitting hunched over your laptop and the cramping in your hand is just from knitting a wee bit too tightly while waiting for your go live.
    Here is hoping all goes well and hoping your sanity holds till you get to Saskatchewan. You can let it all out then.

  102. Oh OW!! Terrible sorry about the ears — only YOU could take all that adversity and emerge with beautiful socks, that’s for sure. Regarding the whole server-tech-IT deal — can you imagine even READING about this in, say, 1948? (Of course you can’t, you probably weren’t even a twinkle in the McPhee eye) but let me tell you, not even Science Fiction could’ve thought of such a thing!!

  103. My sinuses hurt badly enough when I drive over the mountain to State College! Ouch.
    Nice socks for the lebendyhundredth time. Fingers, toes, needles, and eyes crossed – well maybe not fingers and eyes as I need to SEE and TYPE at 1:01 p.m. EDT.

  104. Once I was on a flight with a horrible cold and a flight attendant told me that I should wear earplugs on takeoff and landing and it would help the whole altitude messing with your ears thing. I didn’t have earplugs with me so I didn’t actually try it, but I guess it’s worth a try….
    Nice socks!

  105. Pretty socks. Love the color. I’ve experienced that pain when flying with a headcold. I’m a whimp so I was in tears. A doctor on the flight told me to never fly with a cold because your ear drum can explode. Good to know.

  106. Good luck with the server.
    If you’re congested on the next flight, buy yourself some Afrin nose spray and use it just before the flight. That’s what many pilots use and it does work.

  107. Has anyone else noticed one sock is longer than the other? Very nice but not even.

  108. I feel so sorry for you about the flying with a head cold. On my trip back from Newfoundland this past Christmas I was on what I thought was my second head cold in as many weeks. Turns out I actually had a sinus infection so I can really feel your pain. I always have problems with my ears when I fly, just because I have sinutis and ENT problems. I somehow managed to design a hat pattern that day though, so apparently a foggy head increases my creativity…
    very nice socks btw.. I wish I could knit as fast as you! I also wish I could come to Sock Summit but it’s just not in the cards this year.

  109. Hi. I’ve never commented before…but i completely identify with what you say about flying with a headcold.
    If you imagine what a windshield looks like when it is hit hard by a rock…the windshield doesn’t fall out of the car…the cracks just spider across it, crackling all the while. It feels like that is happening in your sinuses when you travel with a headcold. Awful. Truly. Awful.
    I feel your pain. I am glad you feel better. You make so many of us feel better on a daily basis.

  110. Ouch, as a teenager I took my first flight with my parents, didn’t even know I was congested, and couldn’t figure why it hurt so much until a flight attendant came and explained. Now I always carry decongestants when I fly.

  111. Personally? I’m praying to the computer gods and goddesses in a really meaningful way this morning…less than two hours to go!
    (I’d burn candles, but I think my boss would finally fire me)

  112. Lovely, lovely socks…and yes, IT problems can be sooo frustrating. Crossing my needles for you, and also hoping your cold goes away for good very soon!

  113. I’ve flown many times with head colds… I feel your pain. Those little thingy’s you stick in your ears help a bit, only thing is you have to put them in one hour before your flight, which basically makes you deaf for one hour before for your flight, which is a pain, and during the flight, which doesn’t really matter. Glad your better, which I could come to sock summit, but not looking promising right now.

  114. Wow. The Sock Summit site is already messed up and it’s not yet 10 am.
    This is going to be a very successful event, but I’m sure many, many people are going to be sad and frustrated and angry.

  115. Beautiful socks, I’ve only flown four times… I’m pretty sure being sick and flying cannot be fun, Feel better soon!!

  116. I always have trouble but find the IPOD helps, don’t know why. I’m waiting to get on the reg. page now looks a little stuck…. oh yeah it’s over loaded I just got the message. Don’t worry you’ve done all you can do.

  117. I flew *once* in ignorance of the law of perpetual decongestant during flight cold or no cold. It became so painful on take off and my eye was squirting liquid so profusely – I thought my eye had exploded and was streaming blood.
    And yes, the Sock Summit registration is giving me server errors. I don’t know whether to yell “HA. They TOLD you.” or just cry if I can’t get into any classes.

  118. It could be worse: having to put your faith in a server beats having to rely on a bank.
    I have flown with a nasty flu, which was actually less horrible than it might have been because I was doped up and slept most of the way. But a few years ago I got a raging sore throat just before boarding a redeye from SF to Boston; the flight was jam-packed and they had pillows and blankets for only about 1/3 of the passengers. I got no pillow, no blanket, no sleep. Blech. My sympathies. Lovely socks.

  119. There *IS* no up side. The server failed me totally. 45 Minutes of trying and anything I even remotely wanted was sold out. In fact, almost everything.
    Don’t bother, guys, it just did not work. ๐Ÿ™ At least I didn’t make any plane reservations yet.
    In the sadly sock-shaped state… no, just in a STATE.

  120. Ouch! When I was working, I occasionally had to spend time in Baltimore & that meant staying the entire time for anything less than a month. One time, I felt a little under the weather when I left & continued to feel worse as the first week passed. I spent most of the weekend, lying in bed with severe congestion & feeling headache. I tried my usual tactic of taking decongestants & drinking hue quantities of water (really – over a gallon a day.) I had to fly home the following Tuesday & felt not a whit better. The pain was unbelievable – I thought my eardrums would rupture. That convinced me it was a sinus infection & I went to the doctor the next day. She confirmed that I did indeed have a sinus infection & was lucky that my eardrums didn’t rupture. Just one of the reasons why I hate to fly (I alwys have ear problems on planes.) Gorgeous socks. I am amazed at your productivity.

  121. Definately done the flying with a head cold thing…Based on the sound and the pain I was pretty sure that something had torn or burst and that I would never hear again. The most recent flight was to a funeral (already no fun), left me sick for two months, and caused a faint buzzing that happens whenever my head is not upright. Dr’s comment after looking at ear two days later was incredulous. I’m sort of wondering how many more flights like that I can stand before the buzzing becomes permanent. Glad to hear you’re recovering!

  122. Oh hun, I feel for you! I have flown with a head cold and it is as horrible as anything I could imagine. You do feel as if your head will explode . . . and my flight was very short. I can’t imagine how it must have felt for several hours or more at a time.

  123. Ok, first things first. No matter how you feel about taking them, if you’re going to fly with a cold or allergies, you MUST TAKE A DECONGESTANT. MUST MUST MUST MUST. You can do permanent damage to yourself otherwise. Really. Either that or don’t fly. If you can get hold of some of the old-type Benadryl, that’s probably the best. So you’ll sleep. You’ll also keep your eardrums.
    Everything will go well, I’m sure. But you know, we all love you, and we know how hard you always strive for excellence, so if anything should go wrong, no one will think less of either of you.
    Have fun.

  124. My second day on the job where I work now, I had to fly to the corporate headquarters and I was so sick! The pressure in my head was terrible and the first impression I made on all the people I was going to work with was not good. I was so stopped up I couldn’t hear very well. It sounded like I had a bucket on my head and it was like trying to hear underwater.

  125. I don’t have time to read all the comments above, so if someone has already mentioned these, just delete this message.
    The best & only thing I’ve ever found for flying with a head cold is ‘Earplanes’ (I think they’re called). You can buy them in travel shops and in those airport shops that sell travel-stuff. They are a kind of super, high-tech earplug made of a very firm latexy-type stuff & have wee little ceramic filters in them, which slow the pressure change down a lot. They REALLY help reduce the discomfort and outright pain during altitude changes. I believe they were developed for pilots.
    They are not, however, as comfortable as regular, soft earplugs, so I usually wear them during takeoff, replace them with the soft ones once we reach cruising altitude, then switch back when we start descending for landing. Trust me. They are great.
    They are expensive, seems like $10-15 USD last trip, but you can re-use them several times. they have totally saved me when I have had to fly with a cold. I also use them when I don’t have a cold, but they are not as vital.

  126. I know you may not even read this in the midst of SS chaos, but please consider not flying with a cold. At the very least get a doctor’s ok. My mother did (against advice) and she now has had tinnitus for several years. She also described the pain as some of the worst she’s ever had at landing (and she doesn’t complain.)
    Honestly, nothing’s worth damaging your hearing over. Take care.

  127. Yeah, that server. It dumped me a couple times as I tried to register. By the time I could finally complete the process, the one class I really wanted was full. Grrrr….. But I signed up for my second choice and the Luminary Panel, and am excited about attending my very first fiber-related class of any kind! I finished my first pair of socks this past weekend, so I feel “official” – now I know you’ll let me in the door! hee!

  128. I flew with a bad cold a few years back. I did okay till they started to descend to land. It was all I could do not to scream, “TAKE IT BACK UP!!! FOR GODDESS SAKE, TAKE THE PLANE BACK UP!!”
    The air marshal probably would have tackled me…

  129. I felt all your pain flying with a cold. Whenever I fly I dread it. Went to Italy one time and ears never unclogged.Had to see the hotel Dr. for some help. Then again when I returned home, never unclogged for 2 days. Had to see my ENT Dr. who prescribed medication. Seems like the higher the altitude the worse the ears clog up. Haven’t flown for awhile—it is a dreadful occasion for me. And most times I don’t even have a cold. Guess I need to have a sinus operation. Ugh!!!

  130. Earplanes. Totally. Never fly without them. I can’t even drive up to the mountains without having ear popping (or rather not popping) problems. So the times I have had to fly before I discovered the earplanes (or after but I wasn’t able to get any in time) especially when I have had a cold and the sinus stuff going on too. Let’s just say, I learn from pain. Nowadays, when I find earplanes I buy three or four sets. When I am down to one trips worth, I start hunting for more.

  131. Oh, Stephanie, I’m having sympathy pains for you! This past Christmas I flew all the way from Minneapolis MN to Melbourne AU with a head cold. It took almost two days for my hearing to return to normal, let alone get rid of the headache. I discovered however, that some OTC cold medications in Australia contain codeine- thanks to the pharmacist that suggested one my once-in-a-lifetime trip was not a total loss!

  132. I’m so glad to hear your cold is better–but you know, it’s hard to dredge up sympathy with quite the gusto I should when I’m looking lovingly at said socks. They’re gorgeous and REALLY distracting. That, and I can’t afford sock summit this year and it’s depressing to think of all that work you’re doing towards it, that I will never get to see…

  133. Stephanie, I am coming back to knitting after 30 yrs and its all your fault. Love your books, and would like to contribute something to Knitters without Borders, can you tell me where I send it?
    Also I would like to get my books autographed, will you be in Northern Ontario/Ottawa any time soon?
    Great socks by the way, I feel your ear pain..I wanted to shove a knitting needle through my head the last time.

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