ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Back from Vacation, Wilma is in Print, and Knee News

Last week I spent a week relaxing in Costa Rica with my sister. We spent many afternoons sitting by the infinity pool, gazing out at the Pacific Ocean in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. This was to be a restful holiday, and it was.
The rainy season ended the day we arrived, and we were lucky to experience nothing but beautiful weather, blue skies and warm temperatures the entire week. We spent many afternoons reading by the pool, although I also spent a fair bit of time walking in the pool. It extended a good length of the property, toward the ocean, and was 4 ft deep most of the way. Perfect for water walking sore joints. At 30 and 31 degrees celsius most days, it was also immensely refreshing.

We enjoyed this view from our room.

We took a couple of excursions. One, a riverboat cruise to see wildlife. We sure saw a lot of crocodiles and birds. The other excursion was a shopping trip to the town of Tamarindo, about a 15 minute drive from our resort.

Upon returning home, my Winter issue of the Canadian Quilter was waiting for me. I had been asked by Editor, Marcy Horswill, to submit photos of my studio for a series of Creative Spaces she was planning to feature in this issue. Although my studio is small (10 ft x 10 ft) Marcy was still interested :-) With a new colour of paint on the walls and new bookshelves I was willing to share.

It just so happens that on the day I took photos for the article, I found our cat Wilma sleeping in her favorite corner of my studio, and thus Wilma has made it into print! I'm very proud of her.

On Monday I had my assessment at The Knee Clinic. The good news is there will be no knee replacement YET. And the bad news is there will be no knee replacement yet, meaning I'll have to suffer for a bit longer. However, I agree with their assessment. I saw the X-rays from both knees, and the arthritis in the main knee compartment is mild on both knees, there is still lots of space between the bones so that means the cartilage pad is still relatively thick. However, both knees have severe osteoarthritis of the knee cap, and are bone on bone. In fact, she said the knee caps couldn't really be any worse and both are equally bad. She also said the fact that I am kinda knock kneed contributed to this. Given my age, ability to sleep without pain, etc. they don't recommend bringing out the big guns for knee caps.She recommends I continue with conventional treatment (physio, mild exercise, icing, and give the gel shot a bit more time to work) and of course try to reduce weight on my knees. She is hopeful this inflammation flare will settle down eventually, like the last one, and especially since it was preceded by an injury. She says there are two surgeons at the hospital who do knee cap replacements but she does not recommend it because at some point I'm going to have the whole knee done anyway ... however, she did say it might be soon and might not be for a long time. No one knows how long before the mild arthritis in the main knee compartment turns moderate to severe ... she said it can go fast in some people and slow in others.
So status quo ... keep working with conventional methods and try to get things back under control. Fortunately I have two quiet months coming up. I plan on taking care of myself and strengthening my legs to get me ready for my late winter and early spring teaching. I am also slowly working my way back into studio mode.


  1. When I read the title of this post, I thought "Wilma" was going to be your new fabric line! Glad you had fun in CR. Hope your mild arthritis stays that way.

    1. Gosh, wouldn't that be fun having a "Wilma" fabric line Suzanna ;-) ?? I'd probably have to work on some cat sketches for that one!

  2. Hi Elaine,

    Have you tried Voltaren gel? It is an anit-inflamatory and may help. It helps me. I have tried many things for my knees and I am wishing you the best.

    1. Thank you Anonymous, I wish I knew your name. I have not tried Voltaren, and from googling it, it looks like it is a prescription gel. I will ask my doctor about it, but need to be careful with gels as I am allergic to many scented skin products.


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