April 30, 2023

When the sewing machine becomes a weapon!

Hubby has now been in residential Aged Care for two years. He still knows me on occasions, keeps quite well, has a good appetite, but likes more and more just to stay in bed. He strongly resists efforts to get him to do what he doesn't want to do, but is generally content, and his happy nature is evident much of the time.

One of the issues in aged care is always the residents' clothes. They lose their name tags, disappear, get mixed up with someone else's, and after two years you learn to just take it in your stride and go buy replacements. Clothes don't seem to last very long anyway and I blamed the heavy industrial machines for a lot of the wear and tear that occurs so quickly, compared to when I used to do all his washing.

With hubby in bed more often, I have seen more of his care happen lately and have come to realise why his trousers are always coming away from the waistband. The carers tend to find that steadying, guiding and lifting him by his trousers is often the safest way to get him out of bed and into a chair etc. (Machine-lifting is unadvisable at the moment for him.)

So it was that yet another pair of pyjama pants were ripped away from the waistband. I had repaired them once before and when I looked at them again, I tossed up in my mind whether it was time to just throw them out. The rest of the fabric was in quite good condition, so I decided to repair them just one last time.

Turns out that that was a very bad decision! Somehow, in trying to get the fabric together under the needle while the machine was running, my finger had a battle with the machine and the machine won! I will spare you the gory details of pulling the broken needle out the other side of my finger, with the thread running through from one side of my finger to the other! 

It took a minute for the shock of what had happened to set in. Then the cogs started working - my tetanus shot would still be valid so that is OK; avoid getting it infected - soak it in some antiseptic; not much blood, pain bearable - get on with life. 

While the machine may have won the battle, it didn't come off unscathed. The needle bar is now so out of alignment that the machine is unusable. Unlike myself who didn't need any medical attention, it very definitely needs to go off to the Machine Doctor, (who currently has a 4-week waiting list)!

So my one small wrong decision had quite a big impact in many ways - another life-lesson learned and a realisation that the sewing machine has another side to it as a weapon!

And the relevance of the photos above? ... none, except that I am contemplating doing some felt embroidery soon!

Happy stitching,


Maryanne Patteson said...

Good evening Val, I am very saddened by your husband's deterioration and then a real OUCH for you from your battle with your sewing machine. How horrible it must have been for you and then having to detach your finger from the needle and thread. My stomach turns, just thinking about it. I have had a few near misses and I keep my fingers away from the embroidery stitching. Also to thread my Janome 15000 I have to press a key symbol to lock it. I really hope your finger heals soon and you can get back into your sewing, after your machine is fixed.

Maryanne Patteson

DIGBY said...

I can sympathize completely with you, Val. I also did that many years ago. It was like my nerves shrank back from the injury for a minute or two and then went back in place and boy did it start hurting. I had that hole in my nail for quite some time before the nail had finally grown out past the injury.

My husband's mother is 92 and he visits her a couple times a week. She is not in memory care yet thankfully but he can tell that her little gray cells are not running on full capacity. My parents passed 20+ years ago at 75 and 76 so my family didn't have to go through memory care. We are hoping the same will happen with my mother-in-law.

You are such a wonderful person for how you care for your husband. Thank you for sharing this most personal part of your life.

Val Laird said...

Thanks Digby (and your mum!) for your kind comment. I'm glad I'm not the only one who got a bit too close to the machine!
I am just thankful that there is good care available for my hubby when I can no longer look after him at home.

Warm regards

Nanna Chel said...

Val, dear me! What a shock it must have been for you. I daresay you won’t do that again 😳 It is so sad when our loved ones go downhill as they age. Big hugs! Chel