Sydney (and much of Australia) has been baking in heatwave conditions for weeks now, and it’s starting to affect everyone, not just those like me who wilt like a daisy at the mere thought of summer. I’ve taken to living like a mole, with doors and windows closed tight, blinds drawn to keep out the hot sun and the aircon running day and night, apart from the odd few hours when it’s a bearable temperature and humidity!
I now suspect that my brain capacity has shrunk to that of a mole, as I struggle to deal with the weather as well as the discovery that I may not be able to continue my 30 years love affair with quilt making and, therefor, my decade-long donations to Reach Out Nepal, first of quilts for all the children we support and, more recently, of proceeds from the sale of quilts.
I have recently had three quilts commercially quilted, then did a small one myself — what an unmitigated disaster, no adequate control when free motion quilting, resulting in something I will give to a homeless shelter, as well as a week of extreme pain. The next quilt I have ended up sticking to quilting in straight lines with my trusty walking foot, not the best option for an otherwise lovely quilt. I will be relying on friends to help finish the rest of my quilts, then my life in quilts will most likely come to an end. Although I can piece either by hand or machine, if I’m unable to quilt them, there’s no point. I hope I’ll be able to continue sewing ‘shields’ for Days For Girls, a worldwide organisation that provides sanitary packs for girls in developing countries, thus enabling them to attend school, etc. during menstruation. That will at least help in using up my fabric stash and my time in a worthwhile way!
How come? My body is now calling the shots and machine quilting has had an unacceptable effect on my shoulder, arm and back, since I returned to my machine to quilt the pile of waiting quilts. The total shoulder replacement surgery that I had 11 months ago evidently involved the destruction of my rotator cuff and some tendons/muscles/ligaments (now unsure which) that enable movement and control. The long-lasting pain caused by a session of machine quilting has too big an effect on my ability to function in my everyday life, and there is no physical treatment that will return my arm to its previous level of strength and movement.
Don’t get me wrong, folks, this IS NOT the outcome of the usual shoulder replacement! My left shoulder is brilliant after replacement surgery a few years ago, but this last time I was given a “reverse” joint, where the natural position of the ball and socket are reversed in the replacement, resulting in the probable loss of a substantial range of movements.
I have not gone into all this detail to garner sympathy, but rather as a cautionary tale for those contemplating shoulder replacements! You need to understand the likely results of each type of prosthesis: the conventional one requires long months of exercise but, as mine did, can produce wonderful results, while the use of a “reverse” joint reduces the recovery time but destroys one area of movements (which was not explained to me prior to surgery last year). Make sure you ask exactly what the results are likely to be if you’re ever faced with joint replacement!! I cannot recommend highly enough the benefits of replacing a joint that is cramping your lifestyle, having had two new knees, one hip and two shoulders. Only the reverse shoulder has left me dissatisfied.
LESSON OF THE DAY? Appreciate the good things in your life every single day! You never know what’s ahead…