Thursday, September 16, 2021

Reliance



You might have asked your Local Government Units (LGU) or doctor if they are providing any Covid-19 treatment for outpatient individuals, and they answered "no". When I asked the LGU here they said all they gave was paracetamol. I thought this was insane. They just wait for people to get worse. This is the reason why when people have covid-19 symptoms, they will never tell the authorities, not even their doctors. Because apart from not getting treatment, you get punished: you are taken away into isolation for 14 days.

Physicians and local government authorities are following the Philippines unified algorithm and guidelines on Covid-19. This algorithm focuses on testing, contact tracing and isolation, and recommends only management of symptoms for outpatients, with no antibiotics or prophylaxis. Any investigational drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 are given only in the hospital setting. This means, you will have to be admitted to hospital to actually be treated for the disease. Understandably, this was the general case particularly in the early months of the pandemic because there were no known drugs or interventions for the treatment of of Covid-19 and all drugs and interventions considered may only be given in clinical trial settings.

The algorithm described above is probably what accounts for Covid-19 surge in hospitals and Covid-19 deaths. Consequently, under the algorithm, (1) you may need to be hospitalised if you cannot get early treatment at home; and (2) if you don't get early treatment at home you may get worse and receive treatment in hospital only when the disease is already in an advanced stage; and (3) hospitals are full due to (1) and (2), so patients are sent home without treatment.

To date, all drugs and interventions (including vaccines, with exception of Comirnaty by Pfizer recently approved by the FDA) remain investigational, approved for emergency use, allowed under compassionate use permits or experimental. In the meantime, a number of pharmaceutical companies are engaged in intensive research and testing to make available new drugs and interventions specifically made for the treatment of Covid-19. Some early known candidates are the oral Covid-19 drug PF-07321332 by Pfizer, molnupiravir for the prevention of Covid-19 by Merck, oral antiviral AT-527 by Roche and Atea Phrama, a DNA vaccine by Institut Pasteur, and ZyCoV-D a 3-dose needle-free DNA Vaccine from Zydus Cadila in India. At the same time, clinical trials are being undertaken to assess the efficacy of already existing drugs and interventions that may be repurposed for Covid-19 treatment.

With regard to FDA approved agents, there are no pre-exposure prophylaxis for Covid-19 at the moment. However, clinical trials are investigating several agents, including emtricitabine plus tenofovir alafenamide or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, and supplements such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Studies of monoclonal antibodies that target SARS-CoV-2 are in development.

You might ask, why not just get vaccinated? And I have been told many times, "the best way to get protected is to be vaccinated." The problem is there are individuals who cannot mount adequate responses to the vaccine. These include people who have immunocompromising conditions and those taking immunosuppressive medications. Also considered at risk for progression to severe Covid-19 infection are those who received the second vaccine dose in a two-dose series or a single-dose vaccine less than 2 weeks prior to Covid-19 exposure as well as those who may be fully vaccinated but the efficacy has waned over time. Pregnant and lactating individuals were not included in the initial vaccine trials, and clinical trials for some vaccines in younger age groups and clinical trials for other SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates are still currently ongoing. These circumstances exclude certain groups of individuals from vaccination. Vaccine availability in many developing countries is also very poor, and the long-term effects of new vaccines are yet unknown. Indeed, in Science, often the best answer is "I don't know."

Below is a small list of Covid-19 Treatment Guidelines and Protocols. It amazes me how little is known about these, particularly the fact that early outpatient treatment for Covid-19, despite their investigational status, are already allowed by pertinent official institutions. You will just need to find a compassionate and courageous physician to help administer the treatments.


  1. USA, Covid-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Treatment Guidelines. National Institutes of Health. Available at https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/ and https://files.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/guidelines/covid19treatmentguidelines.pdf (Full Guideline)
  2. USA, Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance Prophylaxis & Treatment Protocols for Covid-19 (USA). Available at http://www.flccc.net/ and https://covid19criticalcare.com/covid-19-protocols/
  3. Philippines, Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against Covid-19 (HPAAC) Philippine Covid-19 Living Recommendations. Available at https://www.psmid.org/philippine-Covid-19-living-recommendations/ (Note: This Philippine guideline offers no Prophylaxis or Early Treatment Protocols. The inpatient dosing regimen provided are for Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Dexamethasone, Interferon Beta -1a and Tocilizumab)
  4. Philippines, iProtect version 2 Covid-19 Prophylaxis or Early Treatment Protocols, Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (https://cdcph.org/) available at https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/37e9c191-8ed4-4d2c-a2b2-4e81a5039d79/downloads/I-Protect%20Protocol%20v2.pdf?ver=1629182479152 (Note: This updated protocol includes contraindications for Ivermectin. Regimen includes Doxycycline, Inhaled Budesonide, Ivermectin, oral steroids Methylprednisolone or Dexamethasone depending on severity).
  5. Philippines, Dr. Allan Landrito (https://drlandrito.com/) Prophylaxis, Early Treatment, Post Covid Exposure and Late Treatment Protocols available at https://drlandrito.com/dosing-of-ivermectin/ (Updated August 2021)
  6. China, "Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia" https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/pdf/2020/1.Clinical.Protocols.for.the.Diagnosis.and.Treatment.of.Covid-19.V7.pdf (Trial Version 7 March 2020) https://covid19.alliancebrh.com/covid19en/c100036/202008/12b9b42813a94755bbf442008fe86f63/files/b0ae9b6c1d9a47bf81d7dc1f5e7ddda5.pdf (Trial Version 8 August 2020) (Note: There is no outpatient Prophylaxis or Early Treatment Protocol. However, the treatment includes a section on Traditional Chinese Medicine which may be done inpatient through all stages of the disease. Since Lianhua has become popular in the Philippines since the pandemic, this document recommends Lianhua Qingwen only for fatigue and fever during medical observation and not for confirmed Covid-19 patients. TCM Protocols are for Mild to Critical.)
  7. India, "Covid-19 Treatment Guidelines for Kerala State version 3 April 2021" Available at https://dhs.kerala.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Guidelines-Treatment-Protocol-April-2021-merged.pdf (Note: Interesting that they base their categories on symptomatology (A-B-C) and Mild-Moderate-Severe for Clinical Severity with the corresponding aforementioned categories, and Respiratory Rate used for severity categories for treatment purposes. This usefully represents the stages/phases of Covid-19 disease alongside treatment. The Kerala protocol for outpatient includes Oseltamivir (Tamiflu, prior to a testing), Ivermectin and Inhalational budesonide. Protocols and guidelines for children and diabetics included).
  8. USA, Multifaceted highly targeted sequential multidrug treatment of early ambulatory high-risk SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) by AAPS - Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Available https://aapsonline.org/stem-the-tide-of-covid-hospitalizations-deaths/
  9. South Africa, Outpatient Alternative Management of COVID-19 - Perspectives from South Africa with Dr Shandara Chetty (Note: The mainstay of Dr Chetty's treatment is promethazine, an antipsychothic alternatively used as antihistamine. Dr Chetty serves a majority rural community with no access to tertiary healthcare, this is a very interesting case of inpatient treatment with very scarce resources). https://web.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=211929946998128

List of Covid-19 Clinical Trials https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?cond=COVID-19


Still, the best prophylaxis is good immune health (and not excessive hygiene; ever wonder why those families living out on the streets of Metro Manila are not dropping like flies from covid-19?) AND - if you believe in God, there's prayer. But still, as the Hadith on Reliance goes: Trust in Allah, but tie your camel!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Self-Care Amidst the Pandemic




It has been nearly 3 months and no crocheting. I thought I was on my way to more crocheting and patterns. But that wasn't the case. Near the end of June, I had a psychiatric emergency and had to be taken to the mental health center on an ambulance. I was very close to realizing my long-term plan: to kill my husband, to burn the houses in our neighborhood and to kill myself.

The backstory is, I was seeing a psychologist from June 2020 to January 2021. I thought I would get better, I was hopeful and positive and always tried to make good of anything. But I was actually getting worse, each week after "therapy", I got worse and worse. So I quit therapy altogether in February and tried to do my own therapy.

That worked well for a while, but I still kept having "breakdowns." The last and most dangerous "breakdown" was in June. When I got to the mental health center, I met a very good and experienced psychologist. Again, I had high hopes and thought I would finally be on the way to recovery. But something terrible happened.

My psychologist and a medical doctor invited me to meet at the town's health center to meet the volunteers working there. It would be a sort of meet and greet. So I went, with such enthusiasm and hope. But when I got there, everything fell apart again.

When I arrived, what I saw was a very dark, depressive place and it wasn't clear if it was open, it looked like it was boarded up and abandoned. I felt like I was in a prison, I felt like I was captured and could not escape. As the minutes passed I felt more and more threatened so I needed to get out, both physically and psychologically. When people started talking all at once, with the sound of motor vehicles outside, it was just too much. The noise was just too much for me. The side of the house facing the sea was closed, and a little opening at the front of the house allowed noise from the highway to come in and not come out through the back. The terrifying noise just stayed inside the interior space. And everything was just very very dark. It was like a nightmare. So I walked away, crying and screaming.

At the moment, I am so much better. It was my desperation (and self-reliance) that helped me find the answers to my problems. For certain now I know I am suffering from Complex Trauma, and not depression as psychiatrists of ten thought (thus the drugs which were useless to me). It's not bi-polar disorder (as the psychologists often thought). It's not borderline personality disorder, it's not intermittent explosive disorder. They were all wrong. At the very root of all my problems for the past 15 years is Complex Trauma.

So I learned as quickly as I could about EMDR (Eye Movement Desenzitation and Reprocessing) and self-administered. I am very proud that I am healing myself. I may have wasted so much time trying to get help but that doesn't matter anymore. Again, I am very proud that I am healing myself. I am very proud that I am able to face more of life's difficulties, even with the pandemic. I live away from family but I am doing well. Some relatives have died from covid-19 illness and I grieve and move on. The biggest challenge was when I was tasked as decision-maker for my elderly aunt who got infected with covid-19, and I saw her through all the difficult stages of the illness until her death. I am able to grieve and become stronger from it. I learned more about covid-19 and the treatments that I never knew about before.

I am making drawings, but still cannot paint or crochet. I will get there.

Friday, June 11, 2021

New Pattern Version for Ayu Smile! Wrap Shorts

 


June 2021, I've just added a new pattern version for the Ayu Smile! Wrap Shorts. In this version, I made a lace trim around the leg of the shorts. This trim consists of 4 rows worked across the last row of the shorts. If you purchased the Ayu Smile! Wrap Shorts crochet pattern on Ravelry, this lace trim pattern is included. You will receive a notification every time a new pattern is added to the original design.




“Ayu Smile!” is Balinese-inspired easy to make wrap shorts. Wear for a stroll or at the beach. It can be crocheted in a weekend. The pattern instructions allow you to make the shorts in any size - for children, teens and adults. You may use any yarn and suitable hook. I recommend Sport, Baby, 3-ply, Light Worsted or DK, using crochet hook size 4mm to 6mm. The sample shown uses Sport-weight acrylic yarn and 4mm crochet hook.

Pattern instructions are in written form with some photographs.

If you purchased this pattern on Ravelry, you will receive a new pattern based on this design every time I make a variation - for life! :)

Thank you so much for supporting my work. I really appreciate it. Be well, keep safe!



Sunday, May 30, 2021

Ayu Smile! Wrap Shorts

New Crochetology Pattern: Balinese-Inspired Shorts!

Did you ever want to make a crocheted pair of shorts but never did it because of complicated shaping? I feel you! :) So I made this design to get around that difficulty. This pattern requires no shaping or complex seaming, making it a suitable wearable beginner weekend project.




“Ayu Smile!” is Balinese-inspired easy to make wrap shorts. Wear for a stroll or at the beach. It can be crocheted in a weekend. The pattern instructions allow you to make the shorts in any size - for children, teens and adults. You may use any yarn and suitable hook. I recommend Sport, Baby, 3-ply, Light Worsted or DK, using crochet hook size 4mm to 6mm. The sample shown uses Sport-weight acrylic yarn and 4mm crochet hook.

PLUS - If you purchase this pattern on Ravelry, you will receive a new pattern based on this design every time I make a variation - for life! :)

AYU SMILE!
Balinese-Style Wrap Shorts Crochet Pattern
US$5.00


Thank you so much for supporting my work. I really appreciate it. Be well, keep safe!



Thursday, April 15, 2021

Featured Free Pattern: Cotton Lovers Wedding Necklace

Here's an old pattern I'd like to bring some attention to. I made this pattern in 2012 when I got my first copies of Duplet and MOD Zhurnal magazines. The inspiration came from those wonderful magazines featuring Russian and Ukrainian crochet and knit designs.
 



To make this necklace, motifs are crocheted separately and then sewn onto the strap. So some sewing skills are necessary to successfully complete this project! How you arrange and sew the motifs onto the strap is important to how the finished necklace will look and sit around the neck.

Your choice of pearl beads and clasp is also very important. Genuine freshwater pearls will be gorgeous, or perhaps Swarovski crystals. Choose a clasp that has weight to keep the necklace in place.







You can find the free pattern on Crochetology at http://www.crochetology.net/2015/05/cotton-lovers-bridal-necklace.html If you make a project using this pattern please share it on Ravelry to inspire others. Enjoy!




Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Featured Free Pattern: The Walkednights


Walkednights is one of my most popular free patterns. It currently has 61 projects on Ravely with very good Average Difficulty Rating. I think this is wonderful because Walkednights is not a typical standard crochet pattern. It is actually a "problem" or a "crocheting exercise" which crocheters need to figure out for themselves in order to complete the project.

The matching pair of intimate apparel (or swimwear) is completed by solving the problem: "Using the square motif and trim patterns given as theme, make a bralette and underwear set."

Why not give it a try? You may find the pattern at Walkednights. If you're on Ravelry, do share your finished project at Walkednights on Ravelry. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Pattern Feature: Summer Evening Vest

 

Crocheted and beaded necklace in natural linen fibre.

Hi there. So I'm finally able to keep blogging. It's Easter Sunday and I hope that you are well. This is my second blog post on a pattern feature, this time, featuring the crocheted vest pattern, "Summer Evening." The vest I made is long, a single button in front and flares open at the bottom so it can be worn with your favorite dress.

Instructions given are for sizes S, (M, L) / Bust 32”-34”, (36”-38”, 40”-42”). Length: 27”(29”,29”)

Summer Evening Vest crochet pattern may be purchased for only US$2 at my Ravelry Store. Feel free to modify the pattern for different styles. Make it longer or shorter or trim with fringes for a boho style. Enjoy!

If you have any comments or questions about this pattern, you can get in touch with me, fats.lasay@gmail.com.





Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Pattern Feature: The Orchid Garden Bolero



The bolero: one of my favorite patterns, one of my favorite garments to wear.

The Orchid Garden Bolero is made up of 3 rectangular motifs. The motifs are then sewn together – at the sides and at the shoulders. The bottom trim is crocheted in rows, followed by the neckline also in rows, and finally the armholes in rounds.

To complete this project you will need:
  • Yarn: Substitute with yarn weight: 3:Light or DK Weight Yarn.
  • Hook: 4mm crochet hook
  • Yarn needle for weaving in ends and sewing side and shoulder seams
  • 1” Button
  • Scissors
Pattern is available in sizes for bust 34”-36” (38”-40”,42”-44”)
Bolero is meant to be worn over a garment and is therefore crocheted to be loose-fitting. Pattern instructions include tips on making the bolero in fitted size, as well as detailed photos of work-in-progress.

You can purchase this crochet pattern for only US$2.00, available at The Orchid Garden on Ravelry.



If you make this project, please let me know or share your finished project on Ravelry. If you have a question about the pattern you can contact me via email fats.lasay@gmail.com. Enjoy!



Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Make a Dreamcatcher with Different Motifs

 


The Dreamcatcher shown above was made by crocheting different motifs and joining them together to fit inside the hoop. Then the joined motifs are attached to the hoop using yarn and a yarn needle. Below I describe how I made this dreamcatcher. You can modify and use different motifs to fit the hoop you are using or to make the size you want.

For this dreamcatcher I used motifs from MOD Zhurnal crochet magazine. I have several of these magazines from http://www.duplet-crochet.com/ and they are an amazing resource.  This is the magazine that I used.

These two pages, I have marked in yellow the motifs that I used for my dreamcatcher. The hoop I am using is 12 inches in diameter and the yarn I use is fingering weight yarn and the hook I used is 3-3.5mm. I used a total of 5 motifs that fit in my hoop.



Here are the motifs arranged inside the hoop. I try to make an arrangement that is interesting to look at, dynamic and not symmetrical. There are some spaces or gaps where it may be possible to add smaller motifs. I decided not to sue smaller motifs and thought that I could fill in some spaces by crocheting inside these spaced. The lay-out also does not have to be completely circular. I think it is more interesting this way.

 

After determining the arrangement, I need to decide where I should start crocheting to join and fill in the gaps between the motifs and in what direction. My goal was to crochet as many of the motifs together in one go. When many of the motifs are joined, the entire arrangement becomes more stabilized and it is easier to work in the rest of the spaces and the rest of the points that need to be joined.

In the photo below I have started crocheting using yellow yarn. I decided that if I crochet along that leaves motif, I could join 4 motifs in one go. The red lines indicate the points that I think joins can be made. 


Below I continue crocheting along the top edge of the leaves motif, joining the flower motifs as I go. As you can see, 4 out of 5 motifs are already joined together. This stabilizes the piece better and makes it easier to continue working. There is a big gap along the leaves motif between the pink and the white flower motifs. But I don't let that bother me. I can go back and change it or I can continue working and repair areas which don't look good later with a yarn and needle.

Some people crochet motifs together by pinning them first on a surface such as a stiff fabric or a board or wood or styro-board. However, I am too lazy to do that. Instead, I pick up the pieces and crochet as usual, joining the first two motifs, then lay down the piece, see which points need to be joined and how far they are (so I can decide what stitches to use), remember those points and distances, then pick up the motifs and work again. I work faster this way, by just looking at the pieces, deciding where to join, remembering that as I continue crocheting. For some people, it might be easier to pin the motifs first. Try and see what works best for you.


Below, I have started to go around the lower edge of the leaves motif and have now joined the 5th motif to it. All the motifs are now joined together. So it is just a matter of filling in all the gaps.


Notice below that as I progressed with my work, I decided to make the leaves motif into an S curve and not a simple U curve. When crocheting this way, remember that nothing is cast in stone and the fun part is in making various design decisions along the way.

Also, bear in mind that you can cut the yarn and continue working in another area. You don't have to work with the yarn joined all the time! This way, anything is possible with crochet!

Below, all the motifs are joined, stabilized and some gaps filled in. The next step is to fill in more gaps at the sides so I can attach the motifs to the hoop. I want to use a different colour for this.

I selected blue and red for filling in colours. Below are photos showing the areas where I work in these colours. I don't have to fill in completely nor do I need to attach to the hoop right away.



Here is the piece so far, with the red and blue areas filled in. I am happy with this and I don't need to worry about irregular edges because I can stretch edges as needed once I start attaching the piece to the hoop.


Here, below I started attaching the piece to the hoop using two strands of white crochet cotton thread size 10 and a large needle. I don't need to work all around the piece in regular fashion. What matters is that the piece is stretched appropriately so the design looks good and the piece is secure.

The red areas, I decided to attach to the hoop with the same red yarn and leave tassels to decorate. Below is a close view of the red area with tassels attached to the hoop. I used yarn and needle to make this.

And here's the finished dreamcatcher. I am happy with it and it's a great design and mental exercise. I hope you will find some time to try working in this manner. Enjoy crocheting! I hope you are doing well.





Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Crocheted and Beaded Jewelry

I made these several months ago, I can't remember when, could've been a year ago. The white ones are crocheted in cotton and the gray are in natural linen. I got the lovely fabric a week ago from a shop in the city. How are you today? I hope you are doing well.






 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Making Each Day A Pleasant Day

 This is my third blog post, following my Pleasant Activities Scheduling. Did you know that Pleasant Activities Scheduling is shown to reduce depression. The idea is, through Pleasant Activities Scheduling, you begin designing your life in a way that increases everyday positivity and pleasure. Here are some useful information about it: https://www.verywellmind.com/pleasant-activity-scheduling-4779965 and https://positivepsychology.com/cbt-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-techniques-worksheets/

This is my color dreamcatcher and my Pleasant Activities Schedule. I hang a weighing scale there and a protective face mask that I made several weeks ago. It is hand-sewn from scraps of fabric that I cut up to make a skirt and blouse. I still sew and enjoy that activity every week.

Here's another color dreamcatcher that I made recently. I got the wooden hoops from a book and office supplies shop in Bohol Quality Mall in Tagbilaran City. Previously, my dreamcatchers were all in white crochet cotton thread and embroidery hoops I never used.

At the moment, I have a third color dreamcatcher that is in progress. I am making it using crocheted motifs and later, I will be crocheting the motifs together and join to the hoop using some yarn and a yarn needle.

 
Lately, I've been burning incense on thre baclony facing north. I have incense sticks and incense oil. Today I found this plant detached from its mother plant and thought I'd keep it here for a while before putting in the garden.
 

I also got a mirror a couple of months ago. There are not any good quality mirrors in the house for many years. Next week, I will try and blog something about using doily motifs to make dreamcatchers and how to make a dreamcatcher using many small motifs joined together.



How are you today? I hope all is well with you.