Solaris Shawl: The Blue Lips Special

I’ve really been dragging lately. I’m out of breath, my arms and legs just don’t want to go, and every now and then my chest hurts. This has been going on since around the first of the year, and so far my pulmonologist and rheumatologist haven’t located a definitive cause. It’s a scleroderma thing, they tell me. I’m on oxygen overnight now, my immunosuppressive drugs have been increased, and I’m just maintaining.

That was until I noticed that my lips were blue one morning while combing my hair. Blue lips? That can’t be good. I did some google searches, scared myself silly and then began to check the mirror more frequently during the day. Two weeks later it was pretty clear that I was rocking the blue lip look every time I came up the stairs. I bought a pulse oximeter, and began to record my blood pressure and oxygen levels throughout the day. Finally, admitting to myself that this was a true phenomenon, I called the doctor.

Of course everything went out of control as soon as I made the call. Now I’m in the middle of testing and doctor appointments. Monday was an especially ugly day; I flunked the 6 minute walk test in 2 minutes flat and was put on oxygen in the hallway. Darn!! It’s a sure thing that I will be lugging an oxygen tank around in a backpack in the near future as soon as I finish the current round of doctor visits and testing. My next doctor appointment is Tuesday, and I think I won’t be able to put off the oxygen trolls any longer after that.

So how have I been handling all of this? Well, when everything is falling apart around you, it is best to just knit, knit, knit! Seriously, knitting is positive, productive, meditative, never talks back and consumes very little oxygen. Perfect! I’ve been just cranking out my Solaris shawl over the last week and the end is now in sight. It is going to be beautiful. Check it out!

I’m in the final edging; I just have a few more rows of color to go.
Edging Detail
Check out the stitch detail of the edging.
Yarn Detail
The colors that I am using all come from one ball of Crazy Zauberball. You can see how the colors change in the ball in this section of the shawl. I just pull off yarn from the ball until another nice color emerges for my next strip of edging. The project details are here on Ravelry.

So, next week should be a big one for little ol’ me. I’ll be seeing my primary doctor for a breathing needs evaluation, hopefully I’ll be saying goodbye to the blue lips, and my Solaris shawl will get finished up.

I’m not sure how this is all going to turn out, but I’ve got a big shawl queue all ready to go.

It is good to be a knitter!



Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled kittens. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

25 thoughts on “Solaris Shawl: The Blue Lips Special”

    1. It’s more like grief; I didn’t want to start using daytime oxygen so soon. Hey, I should feel better! I just need to get over myself and be grateful that the help exists. 🙂

      1. I can understand that. I mean, yes, it’s good that the help is there, but it still sucks that you need it, and it’s okay to be upset/sad/disappointed that you need it. *hugs*

  1. “Seriously, knitting is positive, productive, meditative, never talks back and consumes very little oxygen. Perfect!” Hahaha!!! I love this! It IS good to be a knitter. This is such a wonderful post to include such scary information about your health. I’m worried for you but glad you’re posting and knitting. I’ll be sending all my good energy your way!

    1. Thank you for being so positive and caring. I wasn’t sure if I should share, but decided to put it out there before the doctor appointment. The concerns that are being voiced is that this is pulmonary hypertension or my heart. I guess my rate rate was really wonky in the stress test. 😦

      Scary, huh. Back to knitting!!

      1. It is definitely scary, but I’m so glad you did decide to tell us what’s going on. That’s another good thing about knitting is that the best people come with it. I know that when I read someone’s blog regularly, I start to feel like I know them a little bit, and I certainly care about what their life is like. By telling us some of what you’re going through, you’ve made it where we can think of you and wish for a good outcome and cheer you on no matter what the outcome. Surely, all that positive energy coming your way can’t hurt. 😉

  2. You are so right about knitting! It provides so much. I love it because I can quiet my spirit and my mind.

    I am sorry that you are struggling. I love Knit Potion’s comment! You blog about the serious health issues you face, yet, you manage to bring some levity to the situation. Your attitude is amazing! It is an example for everyone. Sending lots of prayers!

    1. It’s hard to share because I don’t want to worry people, but in the end the blog is an important part of my support system so I finally write the post. You know, the time I spend mulling over what to put online gives me an opportunity to recenter myself; it is easier to be happy than sad, and it really doesn’t help to worry. Thank heavens for the knitting and good friends. 🙂

      1. Isn’t funny how when you are struggling with health issues, you are concerned about worrying the people in your life? I had a spate of health issues and it made me so aware of how the people around me were processing the stress and emotion of it all.

        Blogging is such a healthy way to work through what you are dealing with. I applaud you for the courage it takes to put it all down and the greater challenge of mulling it over and recentering yourself.

        I agree with you that it is much better to be happy. My approach has been to get armed with all the facts, find a way to accept the worse case scenario and then let it go because worrying isn’t going to change anything but a good attitude can.

        You should feel good in knowing your blog touches people’s lives and in your example, we all gain something.

      2. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do. Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean so much to me. Okay, let’s be honest, you just made me cry. 🙂

      3. Okay…now you made me cry. I have made the painful decision to end a 14 year relationship with someone I love. Reading your blog post has reminded me to be strong, to have courage and to be positive. So, thank you for your words!

  3. Yes! Knitting is my meditation. When people ask what my plans are, I just say knitting!
    Don’t know about you, but after our Wednesday outing, I was exhausted Thursday. Sending good vibes your way for Tuesday ‘s doctor appointment. Hope to see you on Wednesday.
    Please call if I can do something to help.
    Lots of hugs! X X XX
    Almost forgot. Lot the shawl!

    1. Oh Deb, I never got out of bed on Thursday, but the trip was totally worth it! Friday I kitted all the yarns to make the shawls. Wait till you see all the colors in the next post: the happiest shawls ever are queued up waiting to go.

      I’ll call for sure if things get too extreme after the doctor appt. I plan to be there Wednesday for sure because I totally will need my knitting/friends fix. 🙂

      Thanks for the hugs! XXX

  4. I am glad you have such gorgeous knitting to get you through this period of uncertainty. I get (I think) how starting daytime O2 is a sort of line in the sand, and how that can be a difficult thing to accept. I hope, though, that using it helps you feel better and that that helps with the transition. It’s just a tool, at the end of the day.

    Thanks for sharing, and your shawl is beautiful!

    1. Thanks. You said it exactly, it is a line I didn’t want to cross yet. The good (and bad) thing about scleroderma is that I don’t look sick. Daytime oxygen will break the illusion for sure.

      The shawl is looking good. 🙂 I just love Melanie Berg’s designs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: