Friday, January 10, 2014

Here's Where I Draw the Line...

Just in case anyone had any confusion about where I stand, let me explain this clearly. 

Women are human, sentient beings. They are not incubators. Test tubes. Hatcheries. Fertilization pods.

We are actually quite capable of making our own decisions. And I get so tired of Republican agendas being all about the uterus. Especially when those drawing up that agenda are white males... Why would any woman be Republican in 2014??

Brain dead...

Dr. Cory Franklin wrote a very compelling opinion piece in today's Chicago Tribune. It's called "When are you officially dead?" and it discusses the very tragic case of 13 year old Jahi McMath, who went into relatively routine surgery and something went horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. She's brain dead. No hope for recovery.

According to Dr. Franklin, the accepted standard of "death" is "brain dead." In other words, you have no functioning brain activity. Oh, you can be kept "alive" on a machine, but you have, for all intents and purposes, flat-lined. Jahi has no brain activity. No electrical activity in the brain. No blood flow to the brain. She's unable to breathe on her own.

Yet her parents sued (and won) to keep her on a ventilator and moved to a facility "...that accepts responsibility for a patient declared dead."

OK. It's horrible to lose a child. She's been declared dead by three neurologists, and the coroner of Alameda County, CA. Yet her parents saw something. I don't know what. And now, the LA Times says her body is "deteriorating." The family maintains that as long as her heart is beating, she's alive. However, a professor of law and ethics says that "once cessation of all brain activity is confirmed, there is no recovery." 

For God's sake. Is there a compassionate physician or nurse or clergy who can explain that the only reason this poor child's heart continues to beat is because of the machinery?  

Speaking of which...

In North Texas, there's a woman who is brain dead but being kept alive against her family's wishes. Because there's this quirk in Texas law (when isn't there a quirk, especially if it screws women?) that says you can't disconnect a pregnant woman from life support. 

The usual pregnancy, all things going well, is 32 weeks. The baby is "technically" viable, though still in extreme danger, at 24 weeks at the soonest. This woman was 14 weeks pregnant when she had what they assume was a pulmonary embolism. That's TEN WEEKS on life support. And that's a big freakin' deal. Because if she's in a brain-dead state, there's no activity. There's no life. She's an incubator, and frankly - not a very good one, because the body will start to deteriorate. And technically, if she's brain-dead, she has no "condition" medically speaking. Dead is dead. 

The family wants her disconnected. The hospital interprets Texas law to say they can't do that. However, medical ethics experts say they can - they just lose immunity for a lawsuit. Seems to me, Texas is once again in the uterus. Where it has no business being.


What would a knitter do? I need a hat. So instead of trucking to my local Target, I cruised around and found a pattern. Found some lovely Kauri yarn in my stash, and I'm knitting a hat. So far, it's going well, and I should have a hat by Sunday. 

Here's the scoop:  The yarn is a yummy Kauri, from Zealana, and it's worsted weight. It's a blend of New Zealand merino, possum and silk. This teal color is lovely, and it's a nice warm beanie. The link goes to Jimmy Beans, but I got this at a lovely shop in Indianapolis, IN. The shop is called Knit Stop and if you click on their name, you can see what they're about. It was a charming shop and was a nice side trip during our visit to the Knit and Crochet Guild event this past summer. 

The pattern is Strawberry Fields Hat, which is looking to be a "mock cable" kind of thing. I'm doing it on DPNs and my only wish was that I had longer DPNs because of the bulk of the yarn. I don't have a 16" size 7 circular...

It's about a 2" band, then about 6" of body and then you start the decreases. I'm really liking this yarn, but I have to say that in the worsted weight, I'd only do hat, mittens, scarf or mitts. Anything else seems like it would be super-duper warm. Way to warm for me with hot flashes!! 

The pattern description says "easy lace" -- which is true: the pattern is quite easy and quickly memorized. With the right beginning knitter, I could teach them this pattern. But lace? I'm not sure yet. I mean, yeah, there are holes, deliberately placed, but the yarn overs and psso technique kind of leaves me feeling "cable" rather than "lace."

What do you think?

Random Picture...

The snow people from my office. Well, actually, they lived in my basement for years. They were a gift from a friend who somehow thought we had (a) a larger house; and (b) a fireplace... We don't. Either of them.

So for a while, we put them in the house, but with the dogs, and just feeling "cramped," they lived in the basement for a long time, and then when I got to the place I work now, I was able to put them out.

First, they lived in the vestibule. But then I thought that the little niche in the front of the reception desk was cool. And they fit! They'll stay there through February. Yes, there's a teensy bit of holly in their hats, but when outside looks arctic, snowmen are cool. 

See? A pun. 

Weak, but a pun. 

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