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Thursday, October 20, 2005


Today is a Gift, that’s why they call it the Present…

I saw this statement on a bumper sticker on the way downtown yesterday and gave it the usual harumph that escapes my lips when I see (but sometimes enjoy) a clever twist of meaning that might leave an annoying mental aftertaste.

You see phrases like this all over the Boonie Towns of the Midwest – usually on church signs. I’m convinced there must be a clearing house somewhere, probably a website, that the member responsible for the sign can go to find these nuggets. I saw one sign in a commercial district where a vacuum cleaner place was next to a religious bookstore and their’s read “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness.” WOOT!

Yesterday was not much of a gift, in my opinion, and when I found myself at 5pm still at the Northwestern Med Facility after getting there at 8-in-the-morning, I was ready to throw in the cryin’ towel. Instead, I pulled out my knitting – Sock #1 from above is going to get a mate! And I pulled out a Secret Weapon, which in combination with same was sure to stun and vanquish the haze of boredom that lingers in any waiting room on the planet.

But especially this one. Knitting alone was just not enough. This was the female waiting room for CAT scans – and some of us were working on drinking a huge quantity of liquid. While you are wrapped in the thinnest of cotton gowns, you are treated like a queen by the kindest of attendants and served not one, but 3 containers that look like the little milk bottles of yore. You drink one every 20 minutes and then you get rayed. Something is wrong with my guts and my doctor needs to know more.

This liquid is beyond description – methinks they probably have tried to improve the texture and taste over the years, but medical people – you aren’t there YET. For someone like me who shudders when even the smell of Pepto Bismal reaches my nose, this was going to be interesting. It was thick; it was chalky; it was insane.

Of course, it had to be done, so I settled in with my Sock, cracked my first bottle open, poured it into the lovely styrofoam glass (why is it that hospital plastic and styro products are always first class?) and then set it down to let it breathe. Now was the time to launch my secret weapon – “the Constant Gardener” by Le Carre – whose paper spine was massaged into limp flexibility and held open with a hair clip flat on my lap.

Now I could Knit, Read, and Honk Down that barium cocktail like nobody’s business. My roomates politely sipping from their bottles either nodded appreciation by raising their drink or just stared, stunned by having to witness this display. (Or maybe, it was just the White Socks and Black Loafers with the Hospital Gown…) But it worked! I made it through the bottles with nary a flinch…

And that was the Gift after all – the Knitting (and Reading) once again rescued me from a Present that was too hard to unwrap by myself…

for Socktoberfest, here’s a little Present that illustrates how I knit my socks, presented by the wonderful Trish…

and, if you want to knit and read, here’s a page from my current at-home selection, from a book published completely online…


32 responses to “Thursday, October 20, 2005”

  1. Marji says:

    Bonnie Marie, hope everything is ok re the CAT scan. Good for you for making the waiting room a little more tolerable.

  2. Theresa says:

    Hey B — I hope it was just a routine test and everything comes out okay. I too have found socks to be helpful in those kinds of situations. See you later tonight!

  3. Karma says:

    I’ll be thinking of you and sending healthy vibes!

  4. Teresa says:

    Hope you are ok and that the test was preventative/routine.

  5. Beth S. says:

    Ack! I hope the news is (or will be) good. Sending happy thoughts in your direction.

  6. Michelle says:

    Hey Bonne Marie, yikes on the test, but good job getting through it. I hope everything comes out (no pun intended…) just fine.

  7. margene says:

    Knitting will get us through the best and worst of times. Sending healthy thoughts your way. Say Hi to Susan! Wish I was there, too.

  8. Sally says:

    Hope all turns out good. I’ll be thinking of you and sending good thought. The socks look lonely without their mates.

  9. Kitty says:

    Good luck – hope it was all for naught.

  10. Nancy J says:

    Ah the unique hospital odiferousness… i’ve been spending entirely too much time in waiting rooms myself for family the last year and three quarters. And I’m known for my knitting in radiology waiting room since the receptionist tells everyone…

  11. Marg says:

    Bonne Marie, I second Marji’s motion. Hope all turns out okay…

    As for knitting and reading: I’m surprised you don’t have a book weight to hold your pages down… :-) I have a lovely brown leather one. It looks rather like Fido’s milkbone, but longer, with (obviously!) weights in each end. I found it at the Canadian version of Amazon: Chapters/Indigo (Big Box) Bookstore.

  12. MaureenM says:

    Bonne, I’ve been knitting in some of those same waiting rooms this year and it is great. I especially like the mind game that happens when you get to a tricky bit, or need to untangle a mess and suddenly you are thinking “don’t call my name in the next three minutes, please don’t call me…” LOL.

    I’ve got more waiting on my schedule. Hope all goes well for you.

  13. Leslie says:

    Here is wishing you well!

  14. Lynn says:


    What sock pattern do you use? I love the shape of your socks. Can you point me in the right direction? (Hee hee! Pun intended!)


  15. Teri says:

    I hope you are feeling better soon!

  16. Nik says:

    Your post made me remember what it was like to wait in the Cook County Hospital waiting rooms in Chicago. My mom didn’t have much money, so we had to go to the free hospital. We’d get there early, like at 6am, and not leave until midnight sometimes.

  17. gaile says:

    ugh, hospital waiting rooms are the worst. way to go making it a lot more bearable! I’ll remember that in the next few weeks when my turn comes around!

  18. miriam says:

    this is going to be like pouring gasoline on a fire, but

    have fun

  19. Bonne Marie says:

    Thanks so much everyone, for your kind thoughts – much appreciated :) Med testing is such a double edged sword – first the good news then the bad news etc…

    And Miriam! I knew there had to be something like that! EEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeek! There were 6, count ’em SIX books offered for sale, just in case one would might be internet impaired…

    I wonder if folks do this in Europe or Asia or if this is just another FABULOUS American froid…

  20. Carrie says:

    You are so smart to bring the book and the knitting! Drinking that stuff is definitely NOT pleasant. Hope everything is okay! :)

  21. Leslie says:

    Bottoms up…to health!

  22. lynette says:

    i hope all is well with you! i’m glad you had your comfort items to ease the time and bleh drink.

  23. Stella says:

    Hang in there Bonne Marie! It’s probably nothing but stress-related and they are just ruling out the worst case scenario. Hope you and your tummy get well soon.

  24. Gaile says:

    Good luck with the tests, Bonne Marie. My fingers are crossed for you that it is nothing serious.

  25. Jenifer says:

    Hey there Bonne Marie — good luck to you and your health! My father used to say that “today is a gift” quote a lot … he said it like this: the past is a history, the future a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present. Or how about this one: If you’ve got one leg in the past, one leg in the future, then … you’re po*ping on the present. (another of his favorites — a little less eloquent.) Thanks for the link on your sidebar! Can I have your address and I’ll send a little listening pleasure your way?!

    P.S. — You’re my hero.

  26. Hissyfit says:

    Hey Bonnie – hope you’re feeling better. If it’s any consolation, I’ve been there. Except I had to drink nasty red stuff from something called an “Evacu-kit”. My lower intestines were squeaky-clean by the next morning – only to be replaced by the barium you got to drink (it entered my body through a slighly lower point). And the next day I got to go back and drink LOTS of water so they could do a sonogram, pushing on my over-filled bladder until I wanted to weep. Oh yeah, good times! They never did find anything wrong (which I should be grateful for but after all that torture, it would have been nice of them to find a little something, easily cured by daily doses of chocolate, for instance.) Here’s wishing you health!

  27. Lisa, Mike, Jack, and Della says:

    Most times in those waiting rooms it’s hard to keep your mind free from clutter, negative or positive. We are impressed and proud, though, that you went and waited and drank it and knitted like a big girl through it all. We send admiring and loving WOOFS.

  28. c0c0bean says:

    The worry part is the worst thing, isn’t it? I hope you will get a clean bill of health and your mind is restored.

    Keep knitting; it will keep you sane.

  29. Nancy says:

    Hope you feel better – hang in there!

  30. mrspilkington says:

    hang in there, bonne marie… the socks are gorgeous — thanks for the circular tip in the middle of everything you’ve got going on. sending happy, healthy, barium-free thoughts!

  31. Sonja says:

    The socks are beautiful. I was wondering – have you ever knit any on the machine?

  32. Jan says:

    I’ve been there, done that. It wasn’t good news for me, 19 years ago, but everything turned out fine in the end so if the results are not what you hoped for, know that they’re not the final word. I’ll be thinking of you. Take care.

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