The Saturday Update: Week 4, 2021

It was a crazy, crazy busy week with lots going on. I had medical testing, an online court appearance to give testimony in a neighbor’s custody case, and a nail in one of my car’s tires. My medical status continues unchanged (blue lips, chest pain, shortness of breath), but the machinery to get to the bottom of things is now in motion. The first couple of rounds of testing have generated a referral to cardiology and hopefully that will happen this week. My neighbor won her custody case, and the car tire is now repaired. Whew! I spent the bottom half of the week relaxing with my knitting because I was completely pooped by all of that running around.

The Kitten Mom left me all alone THREE times this week!!


I did make some good progress this week in spite of the trips out of the house.

My Geology socks are done!! I’ve decided to try to make at least one pair of socks each month, so these are January’s pair.

I also buckled down and did the blocking and finishing work on my Secret Life of Cats (and dogz) shawl by Sharon from Security (Casapinka). This is the longer shawl version of the project; there were also options to make a cowl or a scarf. Fun color for gloomy days, huh! I’m actually thinking that I may be giving this one away to someone who loves purple and bright colors and a scarf version made with scrap yarn from the stash may be in my future.

It snowed this week I so gave in to the urge and cast on one of the sweaters that I have been dying to get going on. I have wanted to make Goldwing for a long time, and bought the yarn a couple of weeks ago with my stimulus check. Here it is, finally started:

Look at the absolute quality help that I am getting from Hannah!!

The Scleroderma Chronicles: The Pulmonary Hypertension Edition

I few weeks ago I posted about my systemic sclerosis, Covid-19, and my decision to donate my DNA to the 23andMe Systemic Sclerosis Research Project. My DNA has safely arrived and is in the lab getting sequenced right now. I was motivated to contribute because Covid-19 is creating so many new patients with fibrosis that may benefit from this research in addition to people like myself with autoimmune disease or people with other fibrotic diseases.

Monday I had an urgent echocardiogram done and once again an eerie connection between my disease, systemic sclerosis, and Covid-19 appeared. My test was started a little late so I asked the technician if things were busy. He told me that they were very busy because there were so many Covid-19 long haulers who needed testing. After a while, thinking things over, I asked if these patients were getting heart damage. “Well, not their heart muscle, but they were developing pulmonary hypertension,” he said. Oh, oh. That is the very reason I was there getting an echocardiogram; as a systemic sclerosis patient I am high risk for pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary arterial hypertension, and I know that those are serious and life altering/ending conditions. After thinking a little longer I asked him how many Covid-19 long haulers were getting that diagnosis. “It’s in double digits,” he replied…

Double digits. At this one medical center in the heart of Denver. That means that there are potentially hundreds and hundreds of patients getting that diagnosis across my state.

I wished that I had thought to ask him how old those patients were…

The next day my rheumatologist called to let me know that I was being referred to cardiology as my echocardiogram results suggested pulmonary hypertension and that further testing was required. There is also an issue with fluid around my heart… It was what I expected, but not exactly what I was looking forward to. The only problem right now is getting me into cardiology, because, all of those Covid-19 long haulers…

It has been impressed on me that I need to double mask now each time I go out into public. I have a nice N95 level mask, but I’m also putting a medical grade mask on top of it.

Be careful, people!!

Stay safe and wear your masks!!

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.

16 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 4, 2021”

  1. I don’t know how you keep your spirits up with all the health issues and their complications. Thank goodness for knitting and Hannah! Your socks look very pretty, I thought my latest shawl was long but yours wins the length competition for sure. I hadn’t realised in previous weeks how big it was going to be. You must be a fast knitter. Stay safe. X

    1. Oh, it is totally one day at a time with this autoimmune disease. I also belong to several online support groups where I do my major whining… 🙂 I would be really in trouble if I didn’t have Hannah and the knitting, but I have them, so I am good. There was a scarf option for the shawl, and I am now thinking that I should have totally taken that option. If I do another one of these (with scraps from the stash organized to create the equivalent of an Advent Kit, I will go the smaller scarf route. Stay safe!!

    1. When I took the car into the shop they were all wearing double masks and they brought the car back with the windows open. I think that people are getting a lot better at handling this and the masks that they are wearing are of a better quality. Hannah is the best thing ever to come out of the pandemic!!

  2. I have heard about the long-term effects of the virus. Scary stuff. I am relieved that you are under the care of physicians, but being called in for an emergency ECG is worrisome. Sending prayers! Your knits, as always, are beautiful. Give Hannah lots of pets for me.

    1. I should have said the echocardiogram was an “urgent” one, which is how they got me in the same day. They were concerned about the fluid around my heart, but now that the result is in my pressure in the heart is too high. Sigh. It is a common complication with my form of systemic sclerosis, and I am monitored for it each year, so when the heart pain started I knew I had to call it in, pandemic or no. Hannah says: thanks for the pets!!

    1. Thank you! I’m in the process of getting a diagnosis; eventually it will get better as there are drugs that can help with my symptoms. The knitting and the helper are the best medicine right now!!

  3. I’ve been following some of the long-hauler stories, but it hadn’t occurred to me that this could affect you so adversely. I’m glad you’ve moved up the list. I agree with one of your commenters: you keep an amazingly positive attitude.

    1. Thank you. I had an appointment with my primary doc today (by video… how cool is that?) and told her about the long haulers. I’ve been putting off some routine testing and she agreed that in my case that is exactly what I should do until I get the vaccine. Today I moved another 6,000 places on the virtual wait list. I think that I will get the appointment for the shot in the next week or so. Yay! I’m so grateful that there is more vaccine getting out to the states now.

      I used to shop at a Sam’s Club that had a disabled man with the most amazing attitude working the door checking receipts when you leave. I used to admire him so much and realized that no matter what life hands you there is the choice about how you will handle it. You know, choose you attitude. I’m trying to be like that man. 🙂

      1. Attitude is everything, but it can be a challenge when your’e in pain. I like the mantra “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” It can help when you’re in a funk. I’m so pleased to hear that you’ve moved up on the list. Best of luck. I think you’re amazing.

      2. I would have been a big disappointment to you yesterday! The darn cardiology appointment was just awful; today I’m putting myself back together and readjusting my additude to cheerful and proactive again. 🙂

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