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 Knitting as Therapy
 hospitals, anxiety and knitting
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rodgers77@mchsi.com


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Posted - 05/14/2004 :  06:17:48 AM  Show Profile Send rodgers77@mchsi.com a Private Message
Thank God for knitting! I spent 6 hours at the hospital with my father yesterday. Sat in the waiting room and knit the whole time - it was really wonderful. For awhile, there was another woman in the waiting room knitting baby hats and booties for premie babies. The woman told me that she was knitting these things in order to use up her mom's huge stash of bits, pieces and leftover balls of yarn from a life time of knitting.

The situation with my dad is not good, as he is dying from liver failure. The procedure he had done yesterday took 5 hours. But he felt so much better when it was over and I did get to take him back home to my mom, so he didn't have to be admitted to the hospital.

I cannot tell you how wonderful knitting has been for me during these past couple of months. Knitting sure beats chewing my fingernails! And somehow, even though I'm an avid reader, knitting seems to be better for me right now than reading. Guess it takes less concentration that reading and following a story. Something about that rhythmic motion that is so soothing. My sister says when you're creating something with your hands, you're talking to God.

Anyway, just wanted to share this with people who'd understand why I love knitting so much. Thanks for listening.

Cathy

RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2004 :  06:39:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
My prayers are with your father.

We're glad you're here.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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Ditzy Girl
Permanent Resident

USA
4723 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2004 :  06:40:26 AM  Show Profile Send Ditzy Girl a Private Message
Cathy, so sorry to hear about your father, but good to know that he is feeling better after his procedure and got to go home.

Zola, Seattle, Wash.

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pattiw
Chatty Knitter

USA
199 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2004 :  07:02:57 AM  Show Profile Send pattiw a Private Message
Sorry about your father. It must be a very difficult time for you. I have found knitting helps me in those situations. A couple of years ago I spent some time in medical waiting rooms for my husband. The knitting kept my mind off worrying so much and made the time go by a bit less slowly. Last year, my brother was diagnosed with cancer. I don't live close by and felt quite useless while other family members were cooking for him, mowing his lawn, etc. So I decided to knit an afghan for his chemo. It made me feel like I was helping in a situation that was really out of my hands. Maybe your sister's right that creating something with your hands is like talking to God...they're both ok now.
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2004 :  2:09:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
Cathy, I'm sorry to hear about your father. It is a difficult timewhen your parents aren't well. I should know as my mother was diagnosed with cancer late last year. She is still with us but lately has slipped badly. We have been advised that it may not be much longer now. Unlike you, though, I can't seem to settle on knitting except when I was at our local spinning group this week. We moved house last week and so things are still rather chaotic here which doesn't help.
I hope that your dad's improvement lasts a good time and that you will be able to spend some quality time with him while he is well enough.

KathyR
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missivonne
New Pal

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2004 :  04:51:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit missivonne's Homepage Send missivonne a Private Message
I'm so, so sorry, Cathy. My dad was in the hospital in February and my mother was in the hospital the next month. My dad's in the hospital once a year, so knitting is a great solace to me, too. I start working on Christmas in the summer, but I took a rare moment to knit something for myself.
Cheers, Ivonne

Ivonne Rovira
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SweaterGrrrl
Chatty Knitter

USA
334 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2004 :  12:41:43 PM  Show Profile Send SweaterGrrrl a Private Message
So sorry to hear about your father. It's so hard when it's our turn to take care of our parents instead of the other way around, but in a way it feels good to be able to do something when they need us.

When my father-in-law was dying in a nursing home, I sat with my husband and mother-in-law and knitted a blanket for him. I guess in a way it was for me, too, to help me get by.

SweaterGrrrl
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dsassali@aol.com


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Posted - 05/27/2004 :  4:59:13 PM  Show Profile Send dsassali@aol.com a Private Message
Cathy, I am so sorry to hear about your dad - I went through that with my mom - she had had a bad stroke and knitting really helped! After she died I found I had cancer - the morning I had the surgery my husband said he could tell I was nervous- I asked him how he knew that when I thought I had been really calm about it - he said my hands were "flying" while knitting. I don't know what I would have done without knitting! I think knitting when you are going through something sad/hard in your life makes your thoughts clearer and in perspective and lots of praying has been done too. Again, I am sorry.
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rodgers197
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2004 :  6:03:34 PM  Show Profile Send rodgers197 a Private Message
Hi Everyone!

Thanks so much for your words of kindness and comfort. My dad's in great spirits, even though his health continues to decline and he's had to stop driving since the last time I posted here. He's also had to give up his Sunday School class -the effort to bathe, dress, get to church and sit for on hour of sunday school and an hour of church, is just way too much for him to deal with now.

You would not believe the number of new knitting projects I've started during this stressful time!!! And here's how I "justify" the number of projects: Since I don't know how long I'll be with dad at the hospital each time he has a procedure done, I just take a new knitting project to start . . . . it's easier to plan what to take with me this way (instead of taking a project that I'm almost through with AND all the supplies for another project, too)! God forbid that I should have to just sit with NOTHING to do for even a few minutes!

Thanks again for the kind words and prayers.
Cathy
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dsassali@aol.com


Posts

Posted - 05/31/2004 :  2:30:04 PM  Show Profile Send dsassali@aol.com a Private Message
Cathy,
I am glad to hear your dad is home now - I am sure this is helping your mom just knowing he is home and she can look after him herself with help from you. I know my dad was happy when my mom came home after the stroke and months in away. My prayers and thoughts continue to be with you and your mom.
Glad to hear you are getting lots of knitting done - it is a good time to remember and reflex while knitting. The best therapy I know of!
deborah
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Mean Mama
Permanent Resident

USA
1138 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2004 :  10:48:09 AM  Show Profile Send Mean Mama a Private Message
As the rest of you have discovered, knitting while sitting with an ill elderly parent helps everyone--not the least of whom is the lucky recipient of whatever you make!

I am amazed at how many people (usually women) come over to get a better look at the self-patterning yard on five bamboo DPNs that suddenly becomes A SOCK! (One day I was just on the second row of top-down socks when a small boy wandered over to look. He asked what I was making and I told him "a sock." His face creased with confusion . . . "socks are made from wood?" he asked. I had to pull the finished sock of the pair out of my badg to show him I was not putting him on!)

Socks are great to do at the hospital or nursing home, although I have made two baby sweaters during the recent crisis with my 90 yr. old father-in-law.

What doesn't work so well, from a knitting stand point, is Jack Daniels and knitting . . .
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Zack101


Posts

Posted - 06/06/2004 :  8:51:08 PM  Show Profile Send Zack101 a Private Message
Hi All!

Do you find that knitting in the hospital public areas is a great ice breaker for everyone that is typically stressed.

My experience is that if offers a brief and theraputic diversion to refreash the senses. Especially being a guy people are very curious that I can do what I do and they tend to tell me about their wives or time passed when they were active knitters.

Just a thought to share.

Joseph Zachry
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Mean Mama
Permanent Resident

USA
1138 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2004 :  07:22:06 AM  Show Profile Send Mean Mama a Private Message
hi, Joe--

Yes--I agree that people in hospital-type settings are often only-too-happy to have a simple diversion, if only for a moment, from the rest of their concerns.

EVERYONE benefits!

Mean Mama
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jess1626
Chatty Knitter

USA
280 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2004 :  08:35:13 AM  Show Profile Send jess1626 a Private Message
My Grandfather just spent 2 months in the hospital. I would visit him several times a week and always took a long some knitting or yarn that needed balled. He really seemed to enjoy that. He would reach over and touch whatever I was making and comment on it. Then he told me some stories about how my late Grandmother used to knit and crochet, which I honestly didn't remember until he said something!


http://www.ujournal.org/users/cords/
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dsassali@aol.com


Posts

Posted - 06/16/2004 :  4:39:17 PM  Show Profile Send dsassali@aol.com a Private Message
Jess,
What a nice thing to remember
deborah
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