In the middle of all that, and 7 weeks before he was booked in to have his surgery, I injured my back really badly. I do it every winter - it doesn't take much, I never know how I've done it, but I'm out of action for weeks. But this time I decided to ignore all the crap diagnoses that physios and doctors have given me over the years ("it's just hip bursitis!") so I got a CT scan and x-ray done, and the diagnosis was that it was bad. Permanently bad. If-it-had-been-diagnosed-correctly-8-years-ago-it-wouldn't-be-permanent bad. By the time I got the diagnosis I could no longer feel the sides of my legs, couldn't stand for more than 3 minutes without screaming at the boiled eggs that were supposed to peel themselves faster and couldn't actually walk without being bent over in half. I couldn't take time off work because of something huge happening there so I worked from home for a couple of weeks and took a mega load of opiates and muscle relaxants. I had a few months of husband-caring coming up and all I could think was "how on earth am I going to afford a nurse for a few weeks when he comes out of hospital?" because I certainly wasn't able to look after him any longer.
I've been working on my Seven Garden Maze quilt for over a year now - my dear friend Cathy Miller designed it and gave me the pattern on the condition that I actually make it. So I did. I'm using half inch hexagons as per Cathy's pattern, and it's my favourite size to use. Cathy's original used silk dupion, but I'm using homespun (or as the cool kids say - "solids").
Occasionally I think to myself that's it's been a pretty shit year so far in Michelleland. But then I remind myself of the wonderful experiences I've had, the friendships made and built upon, the help provided, the movies seen, quilts made and great food eaten.