Beans the cat knitting pattern

Hello friends, as promised, I have a sweet little cat pattern to share with you today.
His name is Beans and he is a friendly little fellow:)

I have knitted him in the round in the Magic Loop but you can also knit him on dpns in the round or knit him flat and simply sew him up at the back, if you prefer to knit on 2 needles. If this is what you would like to do then just knit the pattern in stocking stitch, flat with 2 needles.

He could also be a cute owl, just give him bigger eyes, a beak and don’t add a tail:)

Oddments of variegated dk wool
4mm circular needle or dpns or 4mm straight needles
Sewing up needle
Fleece for stuffing

kfb: knit into the front and back of the stitch to increase
dpns: double pointed needles
knit 2 tog: knit 2 stitches together

Cast on 10 stitches and join for knitting in the round with the magic loop or on dpns
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: kfb into each stitch (20 stitches)
Round 3: kfb into each stitch (40 stitches)
Rounds 4-15: Knit
Round 16: (Knit 1, knit 2 tog) across the round knit 1 stitch on the end (27 stitches)
Rounds 17-26: Knit
Cast off

Finishing Off:
Hold the top of the cast off edge together flat and sew in and out, closing the top of your cat’s head.Image


MS diagnosis and beyond…

My neurologist wants me to go on a MS therapy, since I started surfing the web, I made up my mind which drug I’d like to try. My first choice is Betaseron. The med is injected subcutaneously, similar to how my sister takes her insulin. She had been dx with type 1 Diabetes, also known as juvenile Diabetes since she was 10.

My neurologist tells me I have a mild course of MS…

Ok, what does that mean???

I have 6th cranial nerve palsy right now, it results in double vision, plus I have some Optic Neuritis… inflammation of the optic nerve. This caused problems with my color vision, and ability to see in dimly lit areas. My doctor has prescribed steroids to get my vision back.

I don’t have insurance at the time, so I opt for prednisone in pill form instead of IV infusions of IV steroids. I knew that IV infusions were expensive and had no idea how I’d pay for them.

My steroids caused me to grow course leg hair… this made me look like a man. I also ended up with a few chest hairs on my breasts.

I’m using an eye patch so I can go about my normal functions, including driving.

My kids decided that they wanted to be pirates for Halloween that year. They were 5 and 7 at the time.

As soon as I was DX wit MS, I ordered the pamphlets for kids regarding a loved one having MS, from the MS Society. This was helpful. There were also coloring books. They knew that Mommy wouldn’t die from MS

September 1998 and more, continued

My dad takes me to the imaging center at the hospital for my MRI. I check in, they ask me all sorts of questions including whether or not I have any tattoos. I have one on my right ankle. I go into the changing room, take off all my clothes, take all my jewelry off and into a hospital gown. Then I swallow one of the Valium pills I had and wait to be put in the MRI machine.

I got lucky… this machine was one of the open kind… not really a tube… I didn’t need the Valium for this, but I didn’t know this at that time.

They finally got me in the machine… it’s really loud, all this knocking and such. I spend half an hour in there, then they take me out to give me an IV injection of the contrast that makes it even easier for the radiologist to read what they are looking for. They put me back in and start the knocking and pinging. I had been offered headphones so I could listen to music while getting my MRI, but it’s so loud, I don’t really know what I’m listening to.

After an hour since the start, they take me out and let me get dressed again.The Valium has made me sleepy and all I can think about is how much I’d like to take a nap. That couldn’t happen while I was in the machine because it’s so loud, but Dad is more than happy to take me back to my duplex and I crawl into bed.

Three days later I have a follow-up appointment with the neurologist… This is 17 September 1998. I sit down on the exam table and the neuro comes in… she says, “I’m sorry, but you have MS”. I will NOT need a lumbar puncture because the MRI shows lesions in corresponding areas for my symptoms. Then she asks me if I know anything about MS. I tell her no, not really. She lets me know that there is a lot of information online if I want to learn more there.

The doctor knows that I have internet at home and know how to use it since my dad owned an ISP at the time and the doctor and her husband were customers of his.

My search about MS lead me to the Massachusetts General Hospital website about neurological disorders. This is where I found my first support group. A place where there were people like me… people with Multiple Sclerosis.

September 1998 and more…

September 1998. The day of my appointment with the neurologist has finally arrived. I have no idea what it is that is causing me to have these troubles. My weird vision problems have progressed, double vision so bad that it makes reading things more difficult. It makes driving a car a challenge. I close one eye and this helps a lot, but it gets tiring. I don’t know of anyone with numb areas on their skin that wasn’t caused by surgeries. My bladder issues continue.

The doctor asks me about  my symptoms, my prior medical history, my family medical history. Does a neuro exam that included the use of the Wartenberg wheel

The doctor gives me a referral for an MRI on the next day.

I’ve never had an MRI before, but have heard horror stories about the “tube”. I tell the neurologist that I’m claustrophobic, so she gives me a prescription for Valium. My dad takes Valium for other reasons and gives me enough to equal what’s on my prescription.

The story continues

I’m now 29, I have two sons and am moving to Oregon. I hire a U-haul to move my stuff 450 miles south, from Oak Harbor Washington to Seaside Oregon. I’ve talked my dad into giving me a job as his billing clerk and allowing me to live in half of his rental property.

I had been have lots of strange things happen in my life. My vision kept doing weird things and I had been having bladder problems. It seemed like the “heat waves”, regardless of whether or not it was hot outside, were distorted and I only saw them in my peripheral vision. My bladder was sending strange symptoms like I’d urgently need to void my bladder, but when I tried, couldn’t start the stream.

I had just finished my Sophomore year in college. It had been a challenge for me, I noticed I needed to study for things where I didn’t need to in the past. College wasn’t really any harder than high school had been, but suddenly I needed to study for exams. I used to be able to read something, or hear a lecture and the information would be locked into my memory.

What was happening with me?????

I wasn’t a pot-head, I didn’t take drugs or drink a lot of alcohol. The memory loss was disturbing to me. I used to be able to glean information I had over-heard in casual conversation not directed to me and it would be locked in my memories…. but no longer.

There is something eating my brain internally, or at  least my memories!!! This is June 1998.

Shortly after I get moved, I’m having vertigo and nausea. I know I’m not pregnant, but they test me in the emergency room anyway. They don’t find anything wrong with me and send me home. They tell me to talk to my doctor if the problem doesn’t go away.

2 weeks later, I start noticing that I’m numb to the touch on my ribcage, from my bra band, down to my waist. This is only on my right side. I make an appointment as a new patient with my dad’s primary doctor. She take some notes about my medical history, orders lots of medical tests, then refers me to a neurologist. My appointment with the neurologist is 3 months away, in September.

To be continued….

My rambling…

My rambling in the order I remember it….

I am 15. My back hurts like I have been moving furniture, but I have been doing no such thing. I get my mom to rub the aching, knotted muscles of my back and it helps me feel better at the moment.

This continues for days, weeks. I finally go see a doctor about these pains. It’s the family pediatrician. He pokes and prods, makes me move my arms and body in different positions to see if he can figure out the problem. He tells me to take things like Advil, Tylenol, or aspirin and the pain doesn’t go away.

He suggests I see a chiropractor or an osteopath to see if they can help. My mom and I choose a local osteopath and I go to my appointment. He tells me that my spine needs adjustment and aligns it a few times, but this has no affect on my troubles with my back pains. I go back to the pediatrician. A few months later, he schedules a bone scan for me… I am now 16.

I get the bone scan and the doctor finds nothing wrong with my bones. He tells me my pain must be the result of stress.

My thoughts at the time ran to… Of course I’m stressed, I’m a 16 year old girl who is worried about the things teenage kids usually stress about, but I knew my life was no more stressful than that what most kids my age stress about- pimples, peer pressure, my latest crush. I didn’t have a job, my mom didn’t pressure me to get one.

Time went on… the pain went away and I didn’t worry about it anymore.

Now I’m 18, I have a job scooping ice cream at the local drive-in restaurant and taking food out to the tables, then cleaning up after the customers leave. I start to have twinges in my right arm… aches that I don’t understand, but I ignore them. I have always had spatial issues, where I don’t quite precisely know where my body parts are. I’ve never been able to wear a watch without scratching the crystal face.

When I was 13, I misjudged the distance to a curb and sprained my ankle. Welcome to 8th grade. I was just always slightly clumsy, and a little off balance.

Age 19 rolls around and I have a new job scooping ice cream. I had twinges, numbness, and tingling. I didn’t worry about it too much at first, but then things got worse. I saw a new doctor and was given a tentative diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome.

A few months later I got a different job working in a fabric store.  I loved this job, I loved to sew. I loved my boyfriend… but I didn’t love these occasional pains in my right wrist and arm.

More time passes… my boyfriend asks me to marry him and we move in together. I’m still 19 and 4 months before my 20th birthday, my boyfriend and I get married. We own a double wide mobile home on a fairly large lot in the outskirts of Anacortes, WA. We have a dog and a cat.

My husband is in the Navy and I go see the doctor about the pains I’ve been having in my right arm. I tell them that I had been tentatively diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. They try several different therapies on me, like a half cast and steroid injections, but this doesn’t really help.

A few months later, they send me down to a bigger hospital and I get an EMG- Electomyeogram. That’s there they hook up a bunch of electrodes to the skin  and test the nerves. Mine came back that the nerve wasn’t under any pressure. This means I DON’T have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The testing neurologist tells me NOT to let the surgeon cut me open because there was a less than a 10% chance that it would help.

I tell this to the surgeon and go on my merry way.

A year later I get pregnant. My strange symptoms get better and I am happy. I go on long walks with my dog after I get over the 4 months of morning sickness. I journal through all of this as I had during my years in high school.

I give birth to a baby boy in January, 1991.

I get pregnant again in June 1992, then give birth to another baby boy in March 1993, just 2 days before my 24th birthday.