Monday, October 11, 2010

Having a Hobby Can Help You Cope With Migraine or Any Other Illness

Like others in the same situation I'm in, I lose a lot of time to Migraine Disease and chronic illness. I call this my “downtime”. In addition to being unable to do anything, I used to spend much of this time wondering what I “woulda”, “coulda” and “shoulda” been doing. Just thinking about the dishes piled up in the sink or the grocery shopping that needed to be done drove me crazy.

Over time, I've learned how to manage my time better and incorporate simple things (such as online grocery shopping and bill paying) to free up time on my good days – my “uptime”. Because of this freed up time, I now have time for my hobby.

Wikipedia, says a hobby is:
an activity of interest that is undertaken for pleasure or relaxation, typically done during one's leisure time.
On the other hand, Urban Dictionary, says a hobby is:
Something you like enjoy doing until you decide making it your profession...
My definition of a hobby is a combination of both:
“an activity of interest that is undertaken for pleasure or relaxation, typically done during one's leisure time” you enjoy “doing until you decide making it your profession”.
If you're considering a hobby, here's some things to keep in mind...

  • A lot of people will tell you a hobby is a waste of time. IGNORE THEM.
  • A hobby is a good way to learn about something that you didn't know much about before or realize a passion or talent you didn't know you had.
  • A hobby can keep your mind active.
  • A hobby can help you express your creativity
  • Having a hobby is a good way to relax and reduce stress.
  • A hobby is a good networking tool – It's a good way to share common interests with others or learn from others with different interests.
  • Doing something fun can help reduce depression.
  • Some hobbies can reduce the affects of certain physical conditions such as improving strength, dexterity or range of motion.
  • A hobby can help manage your pain. The article Hobbies Help Arthritic Hands suggests you do the  activity "immediately after you take your pain medication or at a time of day when you feel better..."  The article offers other suggestions such as using heat treatment before the activity and taking frequent breaks to stretch.
My hobby just kinda happened. I have always enjoyed crocheting but the thought of myself sitting in a rocking chair, surrounded by balls of yarn, doing the granny thing making doilies and potholders drove me nuts.  Fortunately I kept seeing things that inspired me.  Everywhere I went, everything I did, flipping through magazines, on the internet, whatever, wherever...I'd see something and think, "that would make the most awesome afghan". Eventually I was able to block the rocking chair image out of my mind and dive in...


I make afghans using a technique called “Tunisian Crochet”. Many people consider this to be a cross between knitting and crochet. Unlike traditional crochet, one row of Tunisian is worked in two different passes. Loops are worked on the hook in the first pass and worked off the hook in the second. The work is never turned so the right side is always the facing side.

I prefer making my afghans using a special hook called a flexible afghan hook (Picture on left below). It looks like a regular crochet hook that has a cable on the end so that I can put a lot of loops on the hook. Other people use a very long hook with a stopper on the end . (Top hook in picture on right below.  Bottom hook is a regular one.)

Here are some examples of what I do. My afghans use lots of color changes using a technique similar to Intarsia.

It doesn't matter what your hobby is; paint-by-number, making jewelery, collecting Beanie Babies or bird watching. If it helps you cope with your Headache disorder or other chronic illness, it's worth it.

And finally, to answer the question, “Do you sell those things?” The answer is NO. However I do give them away and I will consider a trade or barter. If you can come up with the idea for my next one, I will make it for you. This is not a joke, game or contest. It's simple, if I like your idea, IT'S YOURS. You can email me, leave me a comment here or contact me on Facebook. If you wish to send me a picture, that's fine too.


FIGHTER said...

Would you be interested in doing one of these for me with my dog on it, if I send you a pic? You do great work. Really enjoyed your post in thsi topic.

Vicky Bell said...

Your work is AMAZING! Just, wow. I am in awe. Thank you for posting, and for your kind comments on my blog. Warmest regards :-)

Pam said...

Hi Fighter,
I may be interested in making an afghan of your dog. Like I said in my post, I'm looking for an idea for my next one and I'll give it to the person who comes up with the idea. I just have to decide what that next one is going to be. I enjoyed reading your post too. I used to scrapbook so I know what a cool hobby it is. And I can see how beautiful your dog is in your scrapbook page.

FIGHTER said...

I want to sent you a pic, I can I go about that?

Pam said...

Thanks, Vicki!

I wrote about the amazing letter you wrote to your daughter about the suicide of the Rutgers student here:
Mom Finds Perfect Way To Communicate With Daughter About Suicide of Rutgers Student
Pam =)

Pam said...

You can email a picture to me by clicking Email Pam

FIGHTER said...

for some reason I am not able to open that tab. can i send it to you on facebook?

Jamie Valendy said...

Oh my goodness. Your work is absolutely beautiful! I'd be honored to come up with an idea for an afghan that you could make... I'm going to give it some thought... it'll be good for me to have something specific and creative to think about, too. :-) By the way, I'm enjoying your site. Blessings.

Pam said...

Maybe copying and pasting my email address might work? Then just attach a picture.

I don't think you can send a picture through FB, I think you can share it or post it.

Pam said...

Thanks, Jamie! I enjoy your blog too and it's included in my blogroll. I have no room in my house for any more afghans but there's no way I can stop making them so I'll just have to give all the ones I make away.

It would be great if you came up with an idea!
Pam =)

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Love the Andy Warhol/Marilyn Monroe trio!!! Didn't know about that type of crochet but you do marvelous work!!!

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