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Everything posted by Schmetterling

  1. Your encouragement is appreciated, I am sure! Thanks for any help you are able to give. I can also be reached at daswunderkind at cox dot net. Just for a reminder if anybody is up for it, I am always in great need of assistance locating hospitals around the U.S. that have neurosurgery/ology departments that would like to receive hats to give to their patients. I have a letter ready to go. All a person needs to do is go to the website of their local hospital(s), get the email address to volunteer department, and email the letter I have ready. If anyone is willing to do this please let me know and I will send the letter to you. I would love to add some hospitals to the list for all of you wonderful volunteers!
  2. Stacey, thank you so much for the kind words. My prayers are with you that you will that you will never have to go through another neurosurgery. The project is near and dear to my heart, as I'm sure you can understand. I get to talk to so many people going through the same thing when they write to ask for a hat, and to help when they ask for advice on how to get through the difficult times ahead. It is an honor to see them through, to hear they're getting stronger all the time. And it is a privilege to be a friend to the family when on occasion things do not go well, such as recently when a 2 year old hat recipient passed away shortly after her surgery. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I appreciate the encouragement for my project. At times it's discouraging because of the progressive nature of my disorder but I know I've got to try to just keep swimming (some Finding Nemo wisdom) no matter how hard. Best wishes and prayers to you! :2hug
  3. alibra, thank you so much for the terrific hats you send for the brain surgery hat project. I know that the patients who receive them will really appreciate your kindness, and I am grateful for your help. You did a beautiful job! Thank you, all of you, who have been so kind in helping to make hats whether it was one time or whether you are still sending hats to hospitals. You are making a huge difference in the lives of my fellow brain surgery patients.
  4. Thank you so much to all the wonderful people that help me with my project. We have touched the lives of more than 1,000 brain surgery patients. Having had many myself, I can tell you the kindness you show during such a traumatic and frightening time will never be forgotten. I am still searching for more hospitals with neurosurgery departments who would like to receive hats for their brain surgery patients. I have a letter that I send to hospitals; the problem I encounter is that of course I can't know of hospitals everywhere. If anyone can help with this that would be fantastic! Either A) send me the websites of hospitals in your area and I'll contact them, or B) contact me for the letter I use, and you can send it to the Volunteer or Neurosurgery Dept at the hospitals where you live; every time a response is received let me know and I'll note it in my file. Again, thank you for your kindness. You have made this project come alive and it brings confidence and smiles to men, women, and children who really need it.
  5. Thank you very much for sending these wonderful hats! I was gone when they arrived, so I am sorry for the delayed apology. I was in Oregon with my children, spending a couple weeks with my mom and taking care of a lot of things having to do with the recent death of my grandmother. It's been a rough time but my mom really needed this time together. She hadn't spoken to her mom in several years, and it hit her hard. Then the Oregon trip went a little crazy for me on my 2nd flight to get to OR. I found a way to really tick off 300 people by making them just sit on an airplane after landing...trust me though, I would have given anything for this to NOT have happened! I spent nearly the entire 2 1/2 hours getting violently sick and having horrible abdominal pain on that 2nd flight. The flight attendants were worried and knew there was a dr on board and had her come check me out, and they had the pilot have an ambulance meet the plane when we landed. When we got there, he told everyone to stay in their seats until paramedics could take a passenger off the flight. In came EMTs, who loaded me up, carried my bags and 2 children off the plane. Right outside the gate, they got me started with IVs, pain meds, while police brought my parents up from the baggage claim--to claim my children instead. They gurney gave me a ride through the airport, outside to the ambulance, and to the hospital, where I learned I had several marble-sized kidney stones just like I had surgery for in September, but there was one bigger than those, the size of two marbles put together. Now it makes sense why I was in so much pain, worse than when my appendix ruptured a couple years back. I've been back home a few days now but it's been filled with appointments with my urologist, scheduling more tests, etc. Anyway, when I got back to AZ and saw your package, it was such a nice thing to come back to. You did such a beautiful job. I already sent some to a young woman scheduled for surgery soon. I know she will appreciate them tremendously! Is it too much trouble if I ask where the patterns are from? They are lovely! Thank you again! It was very kind of you to send hats for patients.
  6. Hi there! For anyone without a hospital to donate to, here are some hospitals that responded to my letter and said they would like to receive caps to distribute to their brain surgery patients. Also, I would very much like to add to this list of hospitals. If anyone is willing, I need help, in 1 or 2 ways: you could 1) go to the websites of the hospitals in your area, find the email address of the volunteer department, and email the letter I have ready. I can send it to you, which will save you a lot of time since another won't have to be written. or 2) Send me the name(s) of the hospital(s) and the city it's in. Then I can go ahead and send them the letter I wrote. Between the two of them, hopefully we can get some more hospitals on the list, send hats to lots more patients, and make a difference in the lives in SO many more brain surgery patients! And let me say, that one little pretty thing on my head was the one positive thing in my day, staring at myself months in the hospital, ugly, and alone, knowing I wasn't ever going to be the same. There was knowing too there were more surgeries coming, but that one cap, that one distraction, made all the difference in the world. http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/neuro-caps.html If anyone wants the letter I wrote so you can just send it to the hospitals near you, send me an email please. Give me a couple days to write back. daswunderkind at cox dot net. As for having hats, if anyone wants to send any here instead, I do keep some at my house as well because I get a lot of requests sent to me from patients who are sent to my brain blog. Email for my addy. Thanks so much!
  7. My prayers are with your mom and all of your family. I know it's a huge impact on them as well as the patient. It's certainly molding my children, shaping who they will grow up to be. They were only in pre-school when my surgeries started, and now having had more than 20 it's become the norm for all of us, even the kids (now in elementary school). My household knows though that just because it's become our normal, it doesn't mean that I'm ok with it, that I'm not afraid, or that recovery from any one surgery will anything like another. They know that each is different, and recoveries will always be unique, so my family should find out how they can best help me after each surgery because each is different depending on what part of the body, what part of the brain, how things went, etc. I pray for the surgeries, and that the recoveries go smoothly as well. Hugs, K
  8. Hi everybody! I hope you are doing well. I wanted to stop in and thank you for all the great things you have done, the difference you have made for all the brain surgery patients across the US. They can still be sent to the hospitals at the neuro webpage that was set up, to your local hospital, or to me and I will distribute them locally. I also send them directly to the newly-diagnosed patients who write me through my blog and request caps for their upcoming surgeries, which is quite often. (It's hard to keep up with the demand on top of my own medical issues so I really appreciate receiving a couple hats now and then. It's a huge help!) Things are going ok here. I had minor spine work earlier this month, and will have more 4/28. I took a spill a few weeks ago so a knee repair will soon follow. The kids are doing well. My grandma passed away Sunday unexpectedly and I'm still kind of shocked. I was up most of the night. It's morning now though and the kids are starting to get up so I guess I get off here. Thanks again to everyone, and know that you have made life brighter for so many people! I hope the patterns that I post every couple pages as my favorites have been helpful. If you have a favorite, please share! I'd love to see them, the more the merrier! -K
  9. Yikes! Yep I did the same thing, blogged about it last night. I posted the pic I took at one of the supermarkets, how we kept encountering nothing but empty shelves where the water used to be! Be safe, keep warm! Hopefully we'll have gas for heat by next week! Thanks for your help with the caps!
  10. Hi, thank you for your help with my project! I really appreciate it! I post the following patterns about every two pages in this thread and it seems I am due again! Can't stay long, need to climb back under a pile of blankets with the rest of my family. I'm in Tucson and we awoke yesterday to 19 degrees, -5 wind chill, no water, and a major gas leak so no heat either. Late last night we finally got cold water back, no hot, but it may be days before we get any gas back. We are using camping kettles out on the patio grill to heat water, then pouring it into thermos bottles. Then we use that for hot chocolate to warm ourselves. We drove for over an hour yesterday to find a store that still had any water left to buy. All they had left were the little :water individual 16.9 oz ones but that's better than nothing. We're using that to wash our hands and drink, etc. We closed off all the rooms and all 4 of us (2 young children) slept in our bedroom to keep the body heat in one room. Wearing multiple shirts, pants, a crocheted cap, and two pairs of socks each, we piled up on the bed, dogs too :dog along with every afghan in the house piled on top of us. The school had to shut down b/c of no water or heat, being a safety and health concern, so all four of us are here, still trying desperately to keep warm. Off I go to find another scarf to add on to try to warm up my neck. It's like I can feel every inch of the 5-inch diameter plate in my head, two 18-inch rods in my spine, and the 36 screws holding it all together. I think it's all frozen! It's going to be a long few days. Crochet patterns: http://www.rheatheylia.com/index.php?page=patterns&id=10 http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70732AD.html http://yarnchick.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-guys-hat.html http://www.crochetme.com/belliveau-cove-gulf-shores http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/80752AD.html?noImages= Tons of hats: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/cancercaps.html Go here: http://www.jpfun.com/index.shtml and type in Addison to get the pattern for Addison Hat. Hard to get to but a great pattern. A great site is headhuggers.com. They have patterns for knitters, crocheters, and some for those who sew too!
  11. I responded to all my PMs, though it did crash a couple times. If I missed anyone, please do let me know ok? Thanks!
  12. Hi everyone. Just wanted to say hello and thank you to those who are helping with this project! It's making a great difference. BTW apparently there is a nice person at this site who is helping out by providing my snail mail address to people who want to send caps my way so I can distribute them; unfortunately whomever it is didn't see my posts over a year ago about my move, so there have been some difficulties with lost and returned packages, packages that have had to be paid for twice because of redelivery, etc. If caps are being sent to me, please be sure the street address no longer involves that huge long name of a gemstone; the "new" street is a female's name. Thanks!
  13. Help! A kind person in Pennsylvania recently sent a shipment of lovely hats for me to distribute to the hospitals. I don't know whom to thank though, as there was no return address on the package and no note or anything on the inside. If you live in a PA town starting with the letter "Y" (think that's what the blurry postmark says) and sent hats recently, please jot me a note. I just want to send a thanks and cyber hug, and let you know how beautiful your work is!
  14. Personally I prefer fragrance free. You never know if someone may have issues such as multiple chemical sensitivities, eczema, etc. Thanks for your help!
  15. Thanks for the bump! I appreciate everyone who has been so helpful in keeping this project such a success since its humble beginning. For people who are new, please read the story of its start at the beginning of the post to understand why I started it (my story as a multiple brain surgery patient). Here are some great patterns: http://www.yarncat.com/Durango.html http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70732AD.html http://naidascrochet.tripod.com/patterns/myguy.html http://www.yarncat.com/MFH-Muriel.html http://www.crochetme.com/belliveau-cove-gulf-shores http://www.jpfun.com/patterns/free/w...disonhat.shtml http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/cancercaps.html A great site is headhuggers.com Thanks again everyone. Sorry I've not been around but if you are around my blog I know you are aware of the health & home stuff. Hugs to all, best wishes to you and yours, K
  16. Thanks! Much appreciated! If I don't respond to a post please send me a PM. I am seeing here that I am not receiving any alerts that I am getting responses at this thread, and I am not here too often I'm afraid.
  17. I received a response to my letter: Thank you for your interest in our products. We are no longer featuring the free pattern of the day, but you can find lots of free and wonderful patterns at our other sites: Free-Crochet.com, Free-KnitPatterns.com and Free-Quilting.com. We appreciate your interest in all Annie’s Attic has to offer! Stephanie Annie’s Attic (Here is the letter I wrote, if curious: To Whom it May Concern, I am writing in regards to the Free Pattern of the Day. I have been a regular customer and it was because I enjoyed this extra service; it was my desire to show my loyalty and appreciation by being a faithful customer. Please consider bringing back the Free Pattern of the Day. It is of utmost concern at the major international online crafting forums that this has been seemingly discontinued and customers were not involved in nor made aware of the decision. As you are no doubt well aware, there is no shortage of online businesses for fiber artists, and losing a perk such as the Free Pattern of the Day is enough to drive customers to the competition. Thank you for your time and consideration, Schmetterling city, state)
  18. Thank you! Our household is hanging in there. We're adjusting to DH's job at the hardware store, which is sure a big change from his career in law enforcement. The lawsuits are proceeding as expected. The kids are being really understanding, and I'm so grateful they're very responsible young people, having grown up with my situation. It's helping now more than ever. At 8 and almost-7 they fix their own breakfast and lunch every day, and take care of the clean up. Without the ability to run the air most of the time, which isn't comfortable in the Tucson summer shall we say, they spend a lot of time sitting in a shallow plastic tub of water in the backyard to keep cool. However if I fall asleep in the living room (where I spend my days), they know they must be indoors with the house locked until I wake up. Collin & Megs, DH & I take turns feeding the dogs, dividing dinner chores, etc. It's all about team work and family, more than ever. So, we're getting through a day at a time. Not much other choice right? Keep on keepin' on! I was in the hospital earlier this week after having a reaction to a new anti-seizure medication I was put on two weeks ago. The really lousy thing was it was the first med that showed any actual promise in decreasing my seizure activity. I was just getting really sick from day 1 and getting progressively worse, then Monday it hit a peak, I lost my hearing from all the whooshing noise from the pressure from my brain swelling up so badly, my body was covered in bruises, had a fever, was crying in pain, but was still trying to see if my own narcotics would help--they wouldn't of course. Early Tuesday morning enough was enough, when the vomiting hit, in I went. My kids both had to go in to have teeth extracted because adult teeth came in right on top of baby teeth but of course they didn't loosen the baby teeth whatsoever, there went $334 we didn't have right now. So anyway a friend came and took me in b/c I was still home throwing up while the kids were in, waiting on them to get done. So now I'm home, off the new med, back to the usual two dozen seizures a day. I'm really dragging but at least off that med. It's so frustrating I don't know where to start but at least I'm at home.
  19. Thank you Shannon! Welcome, Pam! I hope you have settled into at the Ville now and are feeling at home. That is fabulous about the stamps! If you want, I can you the address of the person in charge of the entire project, in that way cutting out the middle uh, woman LOL (me). Would that be ok? I hear you about being behind schedule! I'm at home all the time and am still always behind! Now how that is even possible, I don't even know! Take good care!
  20. We've filled out all the paperwork for the state system yesterday--it's long of course. Thank goodness for the Internet. DH will drop it off Monday. Since I've been doing patient advocacy for the last several years I've referred countless patients to it but this is all a shock given the illegality of what has happened. I also got the application online for utilities discounts. It's only a flat discount of $8, which is about a 5% discount where we live, but hey that would cover a few gallons of milk for the kids. We don't have a home phone, our cell is down to the minimum and gets a huge discount already, we keep the a/c at 80 and sweat, use the power company's Time of Use program. I grow our own vegetables. I don't know what else to do. Physically I can't adjust the a/c much more or I'll get sick more than it's already causing, with my brain stem compression I can't control my core body temperature well. I have to make some calls Monday to see if there's any way they can get me back on Medicare earlier than December (I've been on SSDI for several years), maybe through any certain circumstances. It can't hurt to ask. I had Medicare for years. The worst they can say is no. DH has an interview at Staples on Wednesday. I'll update whenever we know anything. Thanks for prayers, thoughts, and info.
  21. Thanks, I really appreciate it. As for the pharmaceutical companies, I definitely have been hitting the websites. I've been making a document to compile all the phone numbers of the manufacturers. Hopefully something will come through for all of them; there are a LOT of meds unfortunately so there's a ton of work to be done, between helping DH apply for jobs and applying for temporary help with food, utilities, medical bills, etc. A friend sent a program last night that could be a blessing. Her kids are all insured but one just found out she needed hearing aids which are not covered, and the doctor referred them to a kids-only insurance program that is regardless of income or insurance. It's disability-based. Both of my children are diagnosed with disabilities, my daughter autistic and my son has a connective tissue disorder. That would at least get them insured so their meds (only one each) would be covered, and my son's orthopedic/orthotic needs could be met. That would be a huge weight off our shoulders, then we'd only have to worry about the two of us for insurance. I used to be on Medicare but went off last year to go on my husband's through work when they switched to a company who would actually cover me for once but can't go back on Medicare until December's enrollment period. Ugh. So much to do, soo much stress. I'm trying to just hand it over and see down the road when it will all be done, the lawsuits finished, all said and done.
  22. Elise, I responded. I apologize it took a couple days to send it. My grandfather passed away this week after 10 days with only oxygen and morphine. My husband was also wrongfully terminated with only 2 days' notice, so the union attorney is filing two lawsuits right now. I've overdone it so my abdomen is yelling at me (I'm less than 3 weeks post-op). I don't know how we're going to stay in our house, eat, afford my necessary-to-live scripts. I'm stressed. Anyway, thank goodness for crocheting and this project or I'd go mad, and bless your heart and all of you for your kindness in supporting helping other patients and making their world a brighter place. Hugs, das Wunderkind
  23. Here is a collection of the hat patterns previously posted in this thread. Thank you so much for your help! http://www.yarncat.com/Durango.html http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70732AD.html http://naidascrochet.tripod.com/patterns/myguy.html http://www.yarncat.com/MFH-Muriel.html http://www.crochetme.com/belliveau-cove-gulf-shores http://www.jpfun.com/patterns/free/wearables/f124001addisonhat.shtml http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/cancercaps.html
  24. This is a page set up by the incredibly kind Bev of Bev's Country Cottage. Everyone is welcome to send caps to me for forwarding to various hospitals around the country and I also physically drop them off at my local facility since I'm there every 2 weeks as a neurosurgical patient but you could also click on the link below, pick one of the hospitals and send your completed caps there. http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/neuro-caps.html Many thanks to Bev for her kindness in creating this page for me at her great website!
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