Wednesday, October 18, 2006


This project has been successful right out of the gate, and I've got friends lining up for a Swatchy. All of a sudden, everyone is travelling to amazing places. One friend is going to the Middle East. Another is going to China.

It seems ironic/poignant/remarkable that these trips came up right as Noricum and I launched the Swatchy project. All of these wonderful friends are going on incredible journeys. If I was healthy, I wouldn't be able to go, of course, because I would be working, etc. But still, my friends are going to places I long to see for myself. All I can do is make another Swatchy.

Is it a coincidence that I find out about these trips when I am immersed in the worst crash I've had in months? CFIDS is not a forgiving master. Stray one toe out of line, push the activity limits slightly, and CFIDS cracks the whip. I have an energy envelope. Above a certain amount of activity - physical or mental - my symptoms begin to increase. First, my pain begins to spike. Then my concentration begins to falter. If I keep pushing past these warning signs, then I have a "crash." Crash is my shorthand word for those times when I am too sick to get out of bed. I cannot stand for more than a few minutes without feeling dizzy. I cannot manage even the simplest of household tasks. I am too tired to eat or read. I cannot talk on the phone for very long without feeling exhausted. I can hardly bear the sound of the television. It's been awhile since I have been so sick. The only way out of a crash is to ride the wave and wait for symptoms to ease. I've been sleeping a lot. And in the middle of this week, when I cannot walk downstairs for a change of scenery, two dear friends begin planning for overseas trips.

I don't think this is a coincidence. The timing of this crash juxtaposed with their travels is the perfect embodiment of the Swatchy project. I can barely walk around my house. But for a few minutes - hopefully - I can pick up yarn and knitting needles. I can knit another Swatchy to go with my friends on their trips. Swatchy can see China and the Middle East for me, and my friends can share the photographs with all of us. For now, it is the only way that I can travel with them.


noricum said...


I hope this project isn't stressing you out!

Knittah said...

Not stressful at all! It's actually very exciting and gives me something fun to think about!

Liz said...

I hope your crash doesn't last too long, and that you still have the energy to knit those Swatchies! Sending good vibes your way.

Mary Anne said...

I just came across your blog and love the Swatchy concept! I too share CFS so know what you mean about a crash or relapse. I hope you feel a little better soon.

Celeste said...


what you said in the last paragraph was all could desperately think as i read your post. it's important for your traveling friends to read this post, because you really are so magnanimous that in the moment of excitement, you simply share it with us... there is no vocal reminder of the pain that this must stir up within you.

the emotions you describe at our trips seems to me most like my inner reaction to friends' pregnancies after my own struggle with infertility.

it has to be a gift that we each have our own struggles so that we can relate, you know?

i'm deeply touched by your post and can only say that carrying Swatchy to China feels like a priveledge and a tangible connection to you.


Eliza said...

I can only echo Celeste's thoughts. You're always so supportive of my travels (well, the trips to safe places :-) and you're even good about it once it's clear I'm going to the not-so-great places). I'll be very happy to have a Swatchy along with me this time, a sort of totem and safety blanket and connection. I think Swatchy and Claus will get along famously.