Archive for the ‘Chinese herbal medicine’ Category

Before I get into the WIP, here’s a work completed.

Card case

I made this business card case for my daughter-in-law Carol, using the logo on her card for the design,


Carol is a licensed massage therapist and she creates organic body care products. I use her lavender mist at bedtime, spraying it just above my head and inhaling the lavender fragrance as it descends (for sweet dreams).

After resizing the hummingbird on my computer, I transferred the design to ultrasuede using tissue paper. Except for the brown stem, it is all single-strand cotton floss chain-stitched.

Carol came for tea today and I gave it to her, so I can finally show you.

Back to WIP. Full recovery is still work in progress. As you know, I went to a Chinese herbalist last week and I was given an herbal formulation for sleep. It worsened my insomnia and made me feel sick when I woke up. After four days, I called the clinician and told her about my experience. She spoke with the doctor. When she came back to the phone, she told me to discontinue the herbal formulation (which I had already told her I was doing) and to return to the full dosage of my sleep medications. She said I should talk to my medical doctor about getting off them (which I have already done).

Then she said that my response to the herbs showed that I don’t have the ordinary or usual insomnia. Something else is going on. Well, Western doctors have been telling me that for 30 years. Now an Eastern medical practitioner tells me this. Maybe she can figure out what’s going on, but I’m not going back to Bastyr to give her the chance. I don’t want to risk taking something that makes me feel worse, and I don’t want to spend $50/week plus gas for treatment that may or may not work.

I’m going to continue with my regimen of self-care. I’m feeling much better than I was a few weeks ago.

Evidence of progress– I’m back to stitching.

In July I pieced two 8” square blocks and assembled threads to add to my traveling kit. I was unable to work on those projects until last month, when I finished my needlebook. Here’s one of the blocks, with seam treatments finished, I think. It took me two weeks, able to work only minutes at a time, just to do these seams. But toward the end, I got absorbed and worked more than an hour a couple of days.

Seam treatments 2

Here’s a closer look.

Closer look

Now I’m seeking inspiration for motifs to add to the blocks.

It feels good to be working again, and to be having ideas for things to make. I am a work in progress.

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Last Friday I drove off-island by myself for the first time, into Seattle. I drove on to the ferry, off the ferry, and headed north to Bastyr Center for Natural Health. Coming back, I arrived at the dock just in time to drive on to the ferry, though I was in the wrong lane for Vashon. I excused myself to the staffer, “This is my first time.”

So many firsts in 2010 and 2011.

It felt great to be driving for more than five miles at more than 25 mph, though it was no more than 40 mph most of the way to my destination. I was surprised by how liberating it felt. I wanted to go 70 mph and keep going. Since moving here in September, I’ve just driven the same route to the athletic club, my son’s home, and uptown–the same five miles and rarely anywhere else. I didn’t realize how constraining that has been until I got off-island.

Now, what was I doing at the Bastyr Center? I was consulting with Chinese herbal medicine clinicians about my ongoing insomnia and ADHD. Another first. I’ve not been treated with Chinese herbal medicine before, though I know a little bit about Chinese theory of health. Both my DIL Carol and my granddaughter-in-law Lauryth have been successfully treated at Bastyr’s Chinese herbal medicine clinic, so I decided to try it.

The consultation took an hour with two graduate student practitioners. Their supervising doctor joined us for a while and examined me–my pulses, my tongue, and especially my hands, explaining to the students what she saw there, what to look for. She asked me several questions and she wrote prescriptions for two herbal formulations. I waited while they were prepared at the dispensary.

Sorry about the poor photo quality. My desktop computer is in the shop and I don’t have Photoshop on my laptop. The little spoon measures one gram of the granules, which I dissolve in a few ounces of warm water and gulp down. One formulation is taken in the morning and the other at bedtime. Next Friday I go back to report on my experience with them.

Giving me instructions, the senior student said, “If you feel too sleepy…..” TOO SLEEPY? I haven’t felt sleepy in 20-some years. I take drugs, lie down wide awake, and at some point I go to sleep, without ever feeling drowsy.

I’m still up for new experiences, ready to experiment.

My whole life has been experimental. I have never felt that I failed, because whatever I did was an experiment and whatever the outcome, how else would I know?

So, more experimenting: 1) will Chinese herbal medicine work for me?

And 2) can I get back to regular stitching? I’ve just signed up for TAST 2012. A few days ago I signed up for CQJP–a challenge to create a 6″ crazy quilt block each month in 2012. TAST should help me do that–ideas for seam treatments coming from the weekly stitches.

Can I do it? We’ll see.

You may remember my post about the importance of being organized. Well, I realized that one factor in my stitcher’s block might be my lack of a familiar, organized stitching place. I remedied that on Saturday by making a temporary set-up and moving my threads and other supplies closer to it. I had to move three lamps from their previous locations to get better light for stitching, and it still isn’t good enough. (I’m living in a forest and it’s rainy season.) Have to do something about that. Susan Elliott’s post on lighting for stitching made me super-aware of my need for better lighting. Here’s my temporary stitching post:

I roll my desk chair over to the Table Mate and voila.

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