Down Day

I should have seen it coming.  In retrospect, I asked for it. There’s just no way that you can walk around talking about how much you’re going to get done, and how great it’s going to be to get back to an amazing and solid schedule, and not get smacked around a little.  I don’t know why destiny can’t just have my to-do list burst into flames, or maybe make me itchy all over when I start to write it?  What, I ask you, would be wrong with just a simple swarm of termites welling up from nowhere and eating my list, leaving only tatters arranged in the shape of the words "nice try"?

My back has been a little sore for a few weeks.  I had that one terrible episode a few years ago – which was really my first experience with back pain, and I was really eager to not repeat it, so I’ve been stretching, resting…it’s been keeping it at bay, but with the wedding this week (Katie and Carlos are getting hitched tomorrow!) things have gotten a little out of hand, and maybe I overdid it or took down my guard, but day before yesterday it was really hurting, and then yesterday morning I was crippled. Completely crippled.  I thought it was the pain that woke me at 4:30am, but it turns out it was a UTI, and the day- frankly, only got worse.  By about 10am I was a treat to be around. 

By 6pm I was drugged, medicated and resting with a hot pad – and took advantage of my small attention span to knit small things.

A whole pile of tiny little cabbage roses that will go ’round the neckline of Marlowe’s birthday dress.  I’m not done the skirt part yet, but the yarn is so gorgeous that I don’t want to waste an inch, so I’m putting it on hold while I do the roses, then all that’s left will be for the skirt, and I can just go on until there’s not a bit left. 

Rather happily for me, and rather sadly for the mountain of cabbage roses- I feel much better today.  I won’t be going anywhere fast, and I will be renewing my yoga pass first thing next week- and I’m not quite sure if I’ll dance at the wedding, but at least the worst is over. 

Maybe I’ll knit roses today anyway. 

81 thoughts on “Down Day

  1. The dress is going to look adorable Stephanie! The roses look perfect 🙂
    Hope your back is feeling better real soon.

  2. Ice and Aleve!! I have a great deal of experience with back pain (unfortunately) and, although your mind says, “hot pad” you need to force yourself to try ice and a routine of an Aleve in the morning and another in the evening. I promise you will feel MUCH better. (ice pack when going to bed and then a couple of times during the day.

  3. The dress looks beautiful so far. I am sure that Marlowe will love it. I hope there will be pictures?

  4. It looks beautiful Stephanie. Do take care of yourself. Especially if it involves more knitting and possibly wine and chocolate.

  5. In the land of things that might not be helpful:
    I had my first bad episode of back pain when working on my best friend’s wedding. I was making the cake, and my dress, and traveling and I picked up a bag wrong and BAM! Once the cake was made, my back felt wonderful.
    Every time my back has had a resurgence it has been stress related. In case yours is like mine, please take care of yourself. It’s amazing how much effect stress can have the body. Hope you stay better!

  6. Yikes! Glad you’re starting to feel better. UTIs are nothing to mess around with! Take it easy and take care of yourself.

  7. A new mattress took care of my back pain, thankfully. (After 25 years of sleeping in our old bed, we were due!)
    I would second the advice to try icing your back. You don’t have to apply the ice pack directly to your skin. Wearing a t-shirt is fine. You want to cool the area, not suffer from frostbite.
    And … lovely dress.

  8. only our harlot could use a day when she was felled by the twin curses of back pain and a uti to fill the world with roses! they’re beautiful. but still, get better fast!

  9. Been there with the back and on-going to boot. (not so much with the UTIs lately…thank you very much!). Buy stock in heating pads. I’ll keep you rich!

  10. I am dealing w back pain myself right now and agree w naproxen for pain. Rest and heal my friend.

  11. Such a great age to knit for — doesn’t matter if the skirt runs short, she can flash her diaper-cover with impunity.

  12. Glad you are feeling better, can’t wait to see the dress, I am hoping for a pattern!!! I find a 90 minute massage every 2 weeks, does wonders for the back.
    Take care

  13. So sorry about the back pain! You have my empathy and prayers.
    Such a lovely wee dress, and the roses are simply frosting on the cake. My mother sewed me a dress with fabric roses at the neckline for a school dance decades ago. I still have it. Your handiwork will be treasured as well, I’m sure.

  14. UTI’s totally suck the life out of you. Glad you are on the mend tho.The cabbage roses make my womb ache.

  15. Is it getting cold at night? Do you tend to have back pain this time of year when the season is changing?
    Discovering the importance of sleeping warm made all the difference in the world to me. Perhaps it would help you.
    And the little dress is adorable! I love, love, love the little roses.

  16. I was wondering about how your were going to embellish that beautiful dress. The roses are perfect. I hope you continue to get better for the wedding.

  17. I would be more than happy to send some Reiki healing energy to your back and your UTI – with your permission of course. It’s amazing stuff, and a continent of distance between us is no hindrance. May i?

  18. Have suffered from back pain, and periodic hospitalization for same, since my 20’s. Drugs. Don’t try to be brave, don’t try to go all-natural. Drugs are what you need. I have had Demerol and valium and gosh-knows-what-all, but found that I have an idiosyncratic reaction to Codeine, in that it makes me paranoid, so I don’t take that any more. Nobody needs me snarlier than I am by nature.
    Feel better and rest assured that there are many, many of us out there who can sympathize and empathize.
    Sleeping warm is good – you don’t have to shiver to keep your body warm, so you don’t (often) get muscle spasms. Oddly, I find that bedsocks are a big help. It seems that if the feet are warm, a person sleeps more relaxed.
    Lovely dress. Take it easy, and feel better soon. We all miss you terribly when you’re not around!

  19. Yikes, Harlot! I hate UTI’s having had a bunch of them. Take the drugs (all of them!), hydrate like mad, and consider those cranberry capsules at the health food store as a preventative/early symptom smack down. Expensive but less so than wasting days of your life in bed feeling like something the cat dragged in. And yes- -the dress is flat out gorgeous.

  20. Take care of yourself…you are more than past due for some rest and relaxation that doesn’t involve heavy physical activity.
    You forgot to mention that 600 km ride, sleeping on the ground, and the “auntie” activity part as possible contributing factors!!!
    Yoga rocks! I used it manage pain for back surgery…and to recuperate from it. And to manage pain after my recent fall from a bike…and to recuperate from it (had a knee sprain).

  21. I will be honest. I’m happy that you are getting dedicated dress time because as soon as the pattern is up I will be getting it to make one for my baby girl who is 16 weeks old.
    Knit on and get well soon!

  22. Red Raspberry Leaf. I’ve been told it tastes like black tea (but I’ve not had black tea, so I couldn’t tell you). It’s full of fantastically assimilable calcium, potassium, and iron. You need the potassium and calcium to keep your muscles from spasming, which is what causes the back pain.
    This is 16 years of back trouble speaking here. ;o)
    I’ve been to chiropractors, massage therapy, done stretching, worried about ergonomics, the whole shebang. And honestly, the best and most reliable (and longest-lasting!) remedy is the RRL tea. I combine it as follows to give a more broad-spectrum mineral profile and make it taste more like I like.
    3 parts RRL
    1 part alfalfa leaf (a.k.a. king of vitamins)
    1 part comfrey leaf (if you feel so inclined–it’s nature’s best anti-inflammatory, and is fantastic for healing. The leaf is totally safe, unless you drink several gallons a day, and have severe cirrhosis.)
    1/8 part spearmint (this just makes it taste nice ;o)
    Steep 1 heaping teaspoon of the above mixture per 8oz boiled water for 15 minutes. (I know, it’s a long time for tea, but it’s necessary.) I make a half gallon at a time (with 2 rounded tablespoons of herbs), and drink that much in a day when necessary for back trouble.
    You can also add hibiscus, peppermint, lemon, honey, whatever. I like to use stevia, myself.
    I also stay away from all versions of cane/beet sugars, as those tend to rob the body of calcium, a lack of which encourages/causes muscle spasms. (Fwiw, I never had leg cramps during pregnancy while drinking this tea . . . it was fantastic.)
    I hope you feel better, and have a wonderful weekend!

  23. Definitely take preventative back measures! And if knitting roses happens to fall into that category … well, so be it.
    Have fun at the wedding.

  24. Cabbage roses? lovely! Are those a real thing? looks like they are. I’ve learned a new thing today (sound of me checking “learn something new” off my To Do list).
    Hope you are able to check things off your list again soon! : )

  25. Take it easy with the back…I’m glad the roses are helping take your mind off it.
    When you feel better, consider Pilates. It’s just like knitting but you move muscles with your mind instead of wool.

  26. Okay, I’m happy you’re feeling better (I have chronic back pain so I, well, I guess I feel your pain) but that first paragraph? I want it tattooed on me. Seriously. Because my to do list is rabid and I’d pay those termites to come have a go at it.
    Hope you do a little grooving at the wedding. 🙂

  27. Ice is generally better than heat. Heat can increase the inflammation causing the pain. Steady doses of ibuprofen (you need to keep taking it to keep it at a constant helpful level).
    Somehow these cabbage roses recall a little dalliance with maple leaves……

  28. Yoga is good for back pain but Pilates is better. I used to have a lot more episodes of back pain before starting Pilates. Now if my back is a little achy it can be gone by the end of a Pilates class. The emphasis on abdominal strength makes all the difference.

  29. Don’t you just hate when life decided to throw that curve?
    Hope the UTI clears up quick and you are able to get back to the things you like.

  30. Two words: Cranberry juice.
    Preferable Just Cranberry. It does something good for bladder and urinary tract. I drink it every morning.

  31. Glad to hear you are feeling better! Just went through a bout of severe back pain myself. Some Yoga and a chiropractor helped me. The little birthday dress is going to be beautiful!

  32. I’m glad you’re feeling better. I hope you keep improving until you can dance at the wedding!

  33. Please don’t use other people’s remedies. Find out what your particular symptom requires. You probably already know that, but I think it bears repeating.
    The dress is breathtaking.

  34. The dress is beautiful! The yarn looks like it would be extra gorgeous with some beads, but those aren’t appropriate for a 1-year-old. Maybe something for you someday?
    Best wishes to Katie and Carlos for a long and happy marriage.
    And do take care of the back and urinary tract. You only have one of each, you know. I’ve never tried the calcium and potassium suggestions when my back has acted up, but I do know a good, quick source of those minerals: a banana and a glass of milk. Add chocolate to either or both as needed for pain relief.

  35. Arghhh, the dreaded UTI. Beer sometimes helps flush things in the short run though cranberry juice is reputed to be a good long term preventive.
    I rejoice in a family physician, who knowing a likelihood of such striking, gives me some meds to have on hand as well as lots of sample bottles to speed up all processes.
    Serious sympathy winging your way.
    Hope to see you (in healthy form) at the KW Knitters fair this weekend.

  36. Chloe at 9:14 is smart to point that out! We get so pleased when we find a treatment that works for us that we want to tell it to others, but someone else’s situation may be different. It is good to hear everyone’s advice, though. You never know what you may need sometime.

  37. Well, the cabbage roses and that little dress are dreamy. They must be so soft, I’m glad you have them on your needles. UTI creating back pain is unhappy kidneys…argh. Funky plumbing system leaves the bad stuff in your body – so glad you have meds to help get rid of it. Rest, rest, rest (powerful word).

  38. I agree with all comments suggesting ice, advil and yoga/pilates. And also with beauty of roses and tiny perfect dress.

  39. Glad you are better. UTIs are not to be trifled with. Found out from my doctor that you can DIE from a UTI!!! So use caution and don’t wait if you have back pain again…it may not be your back, as you have unfortunately found out.
    LOVE the cabbage roses and the little dress! Enjoy the wedding.

  40. please renew your yoga pass and simply refuse to let it expire ever again! you might also consider some sessions with a trained yoga therapist. that way you will practice the postures in a way that supports YOUR body, the on YOU inhabit, not the generic body.
    take it from one who knows….

  41. Love the dress and nothing wrong with taking the day off to knit roses. The body has a way of telling you to take a few days off and if you don’t listen… Yes, UTIs are nothing to mess with. Last time I had one I was traveling and I didn’t get to the doctors till I had gotten sick enough to puke. When I told him that he said “Do that again and we will put you in the hospital.” Only saying this FYI. I never would have put the puking with the UTI, just thought it was a result of the travel, which was international, and having a UTI. May you find the cure that works for you. OBTW, my mom always has cranberry juice on hand should she feel the onset of a UTI. She’s 89 so….

  42. You can’t be too careful about the back. Glad you’re feeling better. Back pain sucks & the UTI is adding insult to injury. Be good to yourself.

  43. I managed to pull a lumbar disc out of place when I was in my 20’s (I’ll be 59 this month!), and have seen various physicians for the resulting degenerated discs (yes, others went blooey too — a chain reaction). All the drs have stressed that it’s a lot easier to prevent the worst pain if medication is taken at the first twinge. Anti-inflammatory pain killers are the ticket; half the pain comes from swelling so get the swelling down ASAP. Feel better soon! Love the little dress, wish one of my nieces was still so tiny so I’d have a reason to knit one for her.

  44. ugh! back pain and a UTI! Drugs for sure, so that you can dance (if not boogie) at the wedding. Far too few opps in life to dance!

  45. AH! How could you say the worst is over!? YOU’RE PRACTICALLY HANDING FATE A FREE PASS TO FUCK WITH YOU!
    quick throw salt and knock wood and give me yarn.
    it’ll counteract the bad mojo you just called down upon yourself.

  46. Hope your back pain eases soon… I had a scary hip pain episode two years ago which required physio. No signs of it in the last year and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I don’t want to walk like an old lady at 44.
    Congratulations to Katie and Carlos!
    The dress is absolutely adorable Stephanie!

  47. I hope you’re feeling better. My back went out two weeks before my carpal surgery in that time I was not allowed to take anything two weeks prior to the surgery (which was yesterday).
    Hopefully you’ll be well enough to make the fair, just don’t look at my hair cause I can’t do it myself and I have to trust hubs to do it.

  48. Very sorry to hear about your UTI. I am a UTI veteran and if there is good news to be had, it’s that once the antibiotics kick in, you should feel 100% remarkably quickly.

  49. I managed to wrench my back about the same time you did, only mine was getting the canoe onto the top of the SUV. Your lovely cabbage roses are inspiring me to try knitting leaves, from an old kit I have, in order to try to relax.
    The dress is just beautiful, and made a million times more so with those flowers. Just amazing, what you come up with even in the middle of difficult times!

  50. So sorry that you’re feeling bad. I know back pain and the only thing that helps me is to lie down motionless with a heating pad for at least a day. I hope by the time you read this you are on the mend. Your roses look lovely (what a girly-girl idea and perfect for a lucky baby.) Take care.

  51. I wonder if your bad back is a result of your bike ride – especially if you rested for too longer afterwards? Yoga will help – have you tried pilates?

  52. Bike ride backlash (no pun intended) Human spinal colums are strange things. They absorb so much for a time and then….that’s it. Take care of yourself and cabbage rose along.

  53. Dear Yarn Harlot:
    You once said that you cannot believe the power of knitters. I am hoping that is true. I have supported Doctors without Borders monthly because of you.
    I have a favorite non-profit organization as well. It is a Drum and Bugle Corps called the Sacramento Mandarins. They are based on California and teach the Marching and Music to kids between 15-21 who want to be in “Music’s Major League”. What is different about the Mandarins is that they put family and values first and give everyone a chance. My 16 year old son was one of these kids this past summer.
    This year the Sacramento Mandarins were nominated in the Chase Community Giving Contest. Chase will award cash grants to the top non-profits based on the number of votes. But they are very behind in votes becasue of an error with the voting site the first two days. So I am asking a favor. Could you post this and ask your knitters to help? They can go to (see the link below) to vote. It takes about two minutes. The Mandarins are listed as the “Mandarins of Sacramento, Inc. on the site. Each voters gets two votes — they can then choose another of the nominated charities. The contest ends September 19. The Mandarins are not asking for money — only votes. I was hoping maybe knitters could help. Thank you.

  54. (Speaking from 18 years experience and a herniated disc): get to a back dr. and find out what’s going on. Then go to a physical therapist who will give you exercises that will strengthen your “core” muscles – stomach and either side of your spine. They DO WORK. I went from spasms to herniated disc, to a decently strong back (and no spasms). I do my back exercises 4x a week, and not only do I feel I’ve got some control over the situation, I’ve got some strong muscles!
    And yeah, ice is a godsend…20 min. at a time.
    Advice from my PT: “Keep Moving”

  55. Congratulations to Katie and Carlos, best wishes in this new chapter of their relationship!
    I hope you do get to dance.

  56. Check out Dr John Sarno, Healing Back Pain. By the time you finish reading it (not a very big book) your pain will be gone! Ask me how I know.
    the dress is adorable!

  57. Just a little fyi: I had this awful back pain last March. Whined, groaned, self medicated, begged my husband to please just rub it. Lasted about 10 days, on and off. Day 11. A very WIERD rash, under my arm, on my shoulder blade, under my breast, pain. Day 12. Worse. Called Doc. She looked at me for, I kid you not, 5 seconds. “You have the Shingles”. WAS NOT FUN. Took 3 months to feel better. I am 58 and implore you ALL to get a shingles vaccine. Hope you are feeling better Steph. Love your pics.

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