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newpioneer's quilt, with lots of fireflies

This is an unusual quilt diary because it is for one of us, the community quilters.  We won't be making this quilt -- instead, Pam from Calif has kindly stepped in to do this for us.  But the donations will come to us to help us keep afloat.

It may not be too widely known yet but my sister, Ann (who blogs here as winglion), had a serious brush with death in June -- and she has not bounced back yet.  This has been a source of great anguish for me because I just hate seeing my beloved sister suffer.  And we still don't know exactly what happened.

Let me tell you the story from the beginning.  As background, know that Ann has a part time job at a big box pet store where she takes care of the small animals, cleaning their cages, feeding them, and giving them medication when they are sick.  Reptiles, fish, birds, small rodents -- she's exposed to a lot of critters at work, some of whom are not healthy.

In early June, we went to a lunch for Phil N DeBlanc who was here in Portland to scatter the ashes of his beloved wife and to hold a wake for her with her family.  While we were at the pub, Ann began to shake so hard she hurt.  She told me she was freezing -- I felt her head and found she was burning up.  We went home and I took her temperature -- 103.1 -- tucked her into bed and came back 15 minutes later to check it again.  It had gone up to 103.6.  Her skin was bright red as if she were badly sunburned.  She also wasn't making a lot of sense.  Thankfully, she agreed to go to the ER.  I called watercarrier4diogenes and that darling man took us and stayed with us for a long night.  

At 12:30 in the morning, after many, many tests, including many blood draws, chest x-ray and spinal tap, it was determined that she had a blood borne infection of some unknown type.  Ann was admitted to the hospital where she received three heavy duty antibiotics simultaneously through an IV.  No one could go into her room without a mask.  The ER doctor told us that if we had delayed even one night in getting her to the ER, she would have died or suffered serious organ failure.  It took three days to get her white count down to normal and she was able to come home.  The best guess of the doctors was that she had got this infection from a bite or scratch at work -- because they had ruled out everything else.  Her blood is still being cultured for antibodies in the hope of identifying the pathogen.  It wasn't parrot fever (that has been checked) and now we are waiting on tests for antibodies to rat bite.

In the meantime, Ann is still extremely fatigued.  She has had weird allergic reactions to things that never bothered her before.  She gets hives and turns bright red after short exposure to the sun.  In fact, I came home early from NN14 because she had had to call an ambulance in the night because of a bad reaction.  I could not bear to leave her alone.  Her system was rocked by this illness and she is still in a rather vulnerable state.

So that is where we are...  Counting our blessings, we are grateful that she survived and that she got such excellent care at the Providence Hospital, and that, because of ACA, her care was covered.  This horrible illness truly came out of the blue and we are still stunned that it happened.  Messages of love and support in a quilt would be very uplifting to Ann.  She's been through a lot and it isn't really over her ordeal yet.

newpioneer's quilt, showing the back

What is a community quilt?  It is a quilt containing words of love and support from you, transcribed on muslin in archival ink.  The message patches are then sewn into a colorful quilt that resonates with love and healing.  They really are remarkable thing -- community support in a blanket.  Ann will love being wrapped up in your good wishes.

Dusty inspects triciawyse's quilt

Pam is kindly doing the work on this quilt while asking that the funds for it come to us.  It is our living to make these community quilts -- the proceeds pay for our household bills and our food.  $15/message is suggested although some people give more to cover for messages from those who cannot afford to donate.  Here is a PayPal link for Ann's quilt or message me for an address if you prefer a check.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support.  And Pam, we thank you for doing this for us!

Unit Zero's quilt, detail

Right now, we are working on high uintas' quilt and are still collecting messages and donations for edgery's quilt.

This was a quilt Ann was working on for the Detroit VA, part of the DK VA Hospital Support Project.  She was too ill to finish it in time so it will go to the Portland VA next year.

These are the community quilts completed to date:

1. othniel (cellulitis and ensuing complications, RIP)
2. exmearden (cancer of heart and lung, RIP)
3. MsSpentyouth (brain tumor)
4. Moe99 (lung cancer, RIP)
5. Michelle Caudle (ovarian cancer, RIP)
6. BFSkinner (lupus)
7. Kitsap River (long wait for kidney donor that ended 2/18/11)
8. Frederick Clarkson (blood clots)
9. Dreaming of Better Days (lymphoma)
10. one bite at a time (lost house and belongings to fire)
11. Timroff (cellulitis)
12. Sol Fed Joe (multiple cancers and health problems)
13. Brubs (AIDS, immune reconstitution syndrome)
14. rserven (gall bladder infection with dangerous complications)
15. grndrush (brain tumor, RIP)
16. ImpeachKingBushII (needs liver transplant)
17. andsarahtoo (lupus)
18. Frank Cocozzelli (muscular dystrophy)
19. luvsathoroughbred (breast cancer)
20. Predictor (stroke and HIV)
21. Austex54 (caretaker to othniel)
22. Theodore Olbermann, RIP
23. cskendrick (antibiotic resistant infection)
24. Keith Olbermann (caregiver to father)
25. Juan (cancer, RIP)
26. Ana (a young horse belonging to Juan, hit by truck)
27. MA Liberal’s mother (Alzheimer’s)
28. Charles CurtisStanley (caretaker to Kitsap River)
29. Lorikeet (cervical cancer)
30. Dr. Lori (metastatic cancer)
31. ulookarmless (cancer, heart condition, stroke, RIP)
32. riverlover (caregiver to husband suffering from liver failure, now widowed)
33. Melody Townsel (caregiver to dying father, now deceased)
34. dadanation (AIDS)
35. Dr. William F. Harrison (leukemia, RIP)
36. Larry Bailey (sudden loss of partner to heart attack)
37. ramara (adopted son with fetal alcohol syndrome)
38. Noor B (herniated disk from car accident)
39. Louisiana 1976 (fibromyalgia, severe arthritis, depression)
40. stumpy (MS, stroke, RIP)
41. bleeding heart's niece (cancer, RIP)
42. escapee (failure of corneal surgery)
43. SarahLee (lymphoma, Lyme Disease)
44. Bustergirl (ovarian cancer)
45. mimi's niece (cancer, RIP)
46. ZenTrainer (breast cancer)
47. Miss Blue (severe injury to shoulder, anxiety over coverage for surgery)
48. Granny Doc (bladder cancer, RIP)
49. mango (heart attack)
50. nudger (ovarian cancer, RIP)
51. DaNang65 (heart condition)
52. Lt. Choi (exhaustion)
53. Nurse Kelley (spinal stenosis)
54. Ben Masel (lung cancer, RIP)
55. Otterary Scribe (caregiver, grieving grandfather, grieving widower)
56. Aji (autoimmune diseases incl. fibromyalgia, inflammatory arthritis, & Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus Syndrome)
57. JaxDem (suddenly widowed)
58. DavidW (AIDS and other undiagnosed illness)
59. Jester the Marine (facing amputation of leg)
60. peregrine kate (endometrial cancer)
61. mimi (grief due to family illnesses)
62. alliedoc (endometrial cancer, RIP)
63. labwitchy (diffuse scleroderma)
64. Daily Kos (celebrating community)
65. belinda ridgewood (sudden loss of her mother)
66. princesspat (blood clots, deep vein thrombosis)
67. Scott Olsen (severe head injury)
68. SensibleShoes (caring for sister with brain cancer)
69. Joanna (cancer)
70. cany (grieving caretaker of mother with dementia)
71. Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (breast cancer)
72. Scottie Thomaston (intense chronic pain from spine, kidney stones)
73. paradise50 (throat cancer)
74. woodtick (caregiver to mother with Alzheimer's)
75. BeninSC (mulitple fractures from bicycle accident)
76. Adrian (colon cancer)
77. Smoh (breast cancer, stroke, depression)
78. slksfca (sudden onset of arthritis requiring hip replacement)
79. arizonablue (grief and exhaustion)
80. Lorikeet (grieving widow - this quilt was a gift from the Rescue Rangers)
81. remembrance (breast cancer) and Glen the Plumber (her caregiver)
82. MassHarry (colon cancer, RIP)
83. Regina in a Sears Kit House (severe immune problems from Lyme Disease)
84. nannyboz (grief for father, crippling back pain requiring surgery)
85. raina (grief)
86. earicicle (breast cancer)
87. AntKat (cancers of the throat, RIP)
88. Alma (breast cancer)
89. DarkHawk98 (lung cancer)
90. llbear (brittle diabetic)
91. michelewin (grief and trauma)
92. Dave in Northridge (grieving widower)
93. racheltracks (complications from knee surgery)
94. Ebby (grief and stress)
95. Leaves on the Current (cancer)
96. Carol in San Antonio (cancer)
97. commonmass (grieving widower)
98. Clytemnestra (DES daughter, debilitating abdominal pain and bleeding)
99. Oke (survived life threatening pulmonary infection, COPD, depression)
100. shanikka (diverticulitis, intestinal abscess and life threatening infection)
101. Serpents Choice (grief)
102. smarx (caregiver to mother who has dementia)
103. FloridaSNMOM (COPD, chronic pain, anxiety over access to health care)
104. Timaeus (enormous hernia requiring major surgery)
105. paradox (cyclic vomiting syndrome, PTSD, depression)
106. UnaSpenser (Lyme Disease)
107. LoreleiHI (reversals of fortune, homelessness, hearing loss, PTSD)
108. Vetwife (caregiver to husband and other family members)
109. namvetkato (PTSD, Agent Orange related illnesses including heart disease, spinal stenosis, and intense chronic pain)
110. Annalize5 (lung cancer, diabetes and other chronic ailments)
111. The Packhorse (heart disease and diabetes) and irishwitch (caregiver)
112. Phil N DeBlanc (grieving widower)
113. hopeful (breast cancer)
114. 2thanks (caregiver to wife)
115. Unit Zero (throat cancer)
116. triciawyse (childhood abuse survivor, seizure disorder, sadness, reversal of fortunes)
117. newpioneer (grieving the passing of his husband, Juan)

See also these three posts about the community quilt project:

KosAbility: A Virtual Quilt for Sara and Ann, from Community Quilt recipients

We Have Something to Say to YOU, Sara R and winglion!

Community Quilt FlashMob Brightens up NN13

Community Quilt Testimonial Videos

Dave in Northridge

Triciawyse's quilt, showing the backing

These quilts are planned:

PerfectStormer (needs kidney transplant)
Mrs. badger (grieving widow)
TrueBlueMajority (abiding grief)
MA Liberal (caretaker to her mother who has dementia)
Ellinorianne (rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia)
MsGrin (life long heart problems requiring multiple surgeries)

2thanks' quilt


Boots says, "Thanks for supporting community quilts - and my human!"


Originally posted to Sara R on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 05:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Quilt Project, Kitchen Table Kibitzing, Kossacks helping each other, PWB Peeps, Positive Intention and Lovingkindness, DKOMA, Community Fundraisers, DK Quilt Guild, Koscadia, PDX Metro, Itzl Alert Network, KosAbility, and Street Prophets .

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