Back in the land of the living…

or how I almost gave up quilting (and everything else). I live with chronic inflammation and pain from rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Basically everything I do hurts my back, but I was in excruciating, almost constant hip pain for four months. Then one day after pretty much overstretching trying to relieve a spasming piriformis muscle (near the sciatic nerve), I got up and my hip gave a loud pop–and relief. I started doing these exercises which I had found in the Parade insert of the Sunday paper, Move Away Your Pain by Mary Sauer. Go to the links below and remember to consult your doctor before bending at the waist (thank you, Rita Rudner).

Speaking of doctors, I asked to be referred to the rheumatologist who originally diagnosed me in 2008 (he moved away and returned, but after three years, you’re a new patient). I thought perhaps the AS was progressing. My primary care sent two referrals–they didn’t get them. I hand carried the referral myself–still no response. Since I had no response after leaving messages, I decided I will just fix this myself. About the only thing I can do to help myself at this point is lose weight. Four months of being sedentary and eating Lays Wave Potato Chips, Swalty Popcorn and drinking cokes put on another ten pounds. My blood pressure was up. Now I am on a quest to lose 60 pounds. Most people who know me here have never seen me at my normal weight. I was underweight or normal weight until age 45. An underactive thyroid, total hysterectomy and being misdiagnosed started the weight gain. I still cannot walk without my hip going into spasm, but hopefully that will improve. I am going to stick with this South Beach diet until people start asking if I am sick. Right now, as far as I am concerned, you cannot be too thin. I have one pair of zip up pants that I can wear. I don’t eat much bread but I love white potatoes. The first week has not been hard except that I really don’t get enough to eat some days. If I have a headache or feel lightheaded I have carrots (sugar/starch). I have added tortilla chips (carbs) to my salads. I do not feel guilty. Results after one week: lost 2.5 pounds and 1.75-inches. My blood pressure is back down to 117/70 (I also put my sea salt away). It’s a start. And the quilting? I finished quilting my current project, wove in all the ends, and have to decide whether I need to block it. I didn’t get Less is More finished for my local quilt show but I’m going to enter it in the Modern Quilt Showcase at Houston International. Deadline for entry is June 22. I can do that. I am back to #doonething. This week: finish/recycle reading pile and get rid of the last dregs of paperwork. It’s all good.

P.S. I had a large post in draft and last edited it on March 3. Two days ago, I tried to edit it again and it was all over the place so I decided to just start over. I. Never. Give. Up. Next time, I’ll post all about Less is More–back to quilting posts. In the meantime, have a great weekend–it is finally spring here and supposed to quit raining, so I’ll leave you with a new dogwood photo.



Hi—I’m Candy P. I live in beautiful Northwest Arkansas and write this blog about quilting. I love the entire process of quilting from design to piecing and appliqué, to free-motion quilting on my Janome. I have been sewing since I was five and started quilting in 1991 with a group in NE Minnesota. We used cardboard templates and scissors and did everything by hand. I have since made traditional quilts, donation quilts and Quilts of Valor; I’ve done paper piecing and foundation quilting but now really enjoy improvisational piecing using scraps from my stash or my hand dyed fabrics as well as making art quilts. I am also currently trying to finish any and all unfinished projects. I am so far behind I can never die. I have always been a maker, a sewist and needleworker, running the gamut from hand embroidery to macramé, knitting, crocheting, crafts, book binding and mixed media projects. I have taught a lot of classes including fabric painting, origami, and calligraphy, Dancercise (who remembers that) and my own exercise classes. When I’m not in the garage dyeing fabric or in my studio, I’m at Zumba or walking on local trails and photographing art or whatever catches my eye. I currently belong to Crystal Bridges, AQS, The Quilt Show, NWA Modern Quilt Guild and the Van Go-Go Girls (a local art quilt group). I occasionally make it to the piano and the golf course and enjoy cooking with my husband and generally wreaking some kind of havoc with my daughter. You can read my previous blog at and here (previously but you cannot read my blog as northwind at The Quilt Show, apparently lost forever. I write about my current projects, mistakes and all, and often tell you what products I use (with no compensation). I am open to suggestions about blog posts and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about my projects or posts. Comment or email me.

Posted on May 4, 2018, in Chronic Disease, Miscellaneous and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: