Thursday, February 28, 2013
Today may have been the surprise of all surprises. I have been dealing with the upheaval in schedules that ISAT testing has given us all week long--and it will continue for the rest of the week. It has made things difficult to do my job, especially in tandem with how lousy I have felt. Anyway, Wednesday is the one day that I have a bit of planning time because we have early dismissal scheduled for every Wednesday so that we can collaborate and work together. (The kids go to school an extra hour on the other four days of the week, then on Wednesday, they get dismissed about an hour and a half earlier than on the other days. This allows the time for meetings and the like and protects student learning time.)
Today, I had a meeting with the principal to go over my IGP (Individual Growth Plan=evaluation system) and we talked for about 3 minutes before she had to leave for a meeting. This has been the norm with her, even for a scheduled appointment like today. I left her an email and left early to see my PCP to follow up on my ER visit.
He didn't seem to be himself today. He wasn't quite focused and kept talking to himself and repeating what he had said. The bottom line is that I am "doing better" and need to keep it up, get back to the pool, and have another chest x-ray in 6 more weeks to see if the pneumonia is gone. He asked a lot of questions about pain, my pain, my shoulder, and how I was managing my pain. He wanted to know if the PT was helping my shoulder and I tried to explain to him that I hadn't been treated for my shoulder pain yet. I had a long conversation with him about how I had lost over ten pounds in less than two weeks. I couldn't quite explain being sick to him at all.
That is until today--they have me on a very light set of exercises for my shoulder, intense exercises for my hip and an ultrasound to try and heal my shoulder's damage. I left there for another doctor's appointment that helped me somewhat before going home and skipping the book study we were working on at church for the Lenten season. In spite of being told that I am better, I am tired, in significant pain and need to rest. I may go to the pool tomorrow for a little while and see how I hold up.
That is my news from today. I hope that I really am getting better. Maybe when I awaken in the morning, I will feel that way!
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
It was a long, long rough day. Nothing can say it better than that. I did what I needed to do, avoided people the best I could, and I have come home to rest the best I can with this body. Eating has been tricky because everything tastes like meds and yuck. I have minimal energy and the aches just keep at me from the top of my head to my thick, heavy chest all of the way to the tips of my toes. My neck hurts a great deal at this moment, but if it lets up--something else will take its place.
I have napped off and on in 1-2 hour periods all evening. I wake up coughing and choking and my voice is pretty much gone. I canceled physical therapy on Monday and couldn't reschedule on Tuesday because I have an appointment for a bladder scan after school. My Tuesday is wrapping up badly from the beginning--I have to be there at 7:15 for another early morning meeting followed by my day at door duty. Then my schedule was disrupted by changes in the PE and music times for the older kids to have an uninterrupted block of time to take the ISAT, our state;s big standardized test this week. The deal is that nobody gave me the schedule so I get to just guess at which students will be available for me to teach or not.
All I want is to feel better and I don't know how long that is supposed to take. If I don't have a sense of that by Wednesday after the antibiotics are completed, it will be time to call my doctor again. I may do that tomorrow anyway because I found a message on the phone from his nurse that seemed to be dated Saturday. He doesn't work on Saturdays, so I want to find out if they called and what they may have wanted--especially since I called them on Friday and they were the ones who sent me to the ER. I am not sure when he would have gotten that report. He diagnosed me with pneumonia last year around this time and called me day after day for about a week, begging me to go to the hospital. I am wondering if this is more of that kind of thing. I don't know what they can do for me that I am not doing--I know that not being in the hospital allows me to take my pain meds as I need them instead of on somebody else's schedule. It is important to remember that my usual issues still exist and this may big, but it hasn't eliminated my arthritis pain nor my shoulder issues or the stiffness and pain in my right knee.
Life could be better, but I am trying hard to manage. I'd like to feel happier right now. That would be glorious, but oddly enough at 2:43, I am feeling a bit hungry. I think I'll go look for something with vitamin C and/or protein. If I am hungry, I believe I need some important nutrients.
Have a good day--I am praying for something better to happen for myself today. I want to be me--taste like me, feel like me, walk like me, and just be me.
That is my revised goal for the present. I'll be back to normal sometime and I will be that way without a body full of meds.
Gentle hugs from me to you--as we wait for the next blizzard due to start here around 6 AM!
Sunday, February 24, 2013
I'm awake right now. That's about it. I started feeling yucky Thursday afternoon. The principal came to get me to sub in the kindergarten class and I told her that I couldn't physically do that job. The room is too crowded for my walker in that room and kindergarten children need a lot of face to face help that requires bending over, including tying shoes and fastening zippers. (I taught both preschool and kindergarten, I haven't forgotten. I loved that work, but it isn't right for me.)
Feeling yucky may have made the results of my shoulder evaluation look even worse than it should have--the PT found a lot of problem areas in my left shoulder complete with two places she suspected were torn or damaged. She did an ultrasound and told me it was too early for me to try any exercises on it due to how sore it was.
I went home from PT and my hip workout and felt miserable for most of the night--head and body aches, some fever/ chill things. I muddled around most of the evening, had some chicken soup and kept thinking that I might have been coming down with the flu. I had my pneumonia shot a few years ago, good for ten years and I had my flu shot in October, so I thought I was protected from those nasty illnesses. I tried to do my sparking but was not able to stay focused on much and I think I might have gotten 13 points.
I woke up early Friday morning--we were predicted to have 12 inches of snow, but we had 3 or 4. I took meds and I think they gave me a false sense of security, that I was going to be okay. I got to school and started doing my work when I was told that I had to go teach first/second grade. OK, I have never subbed and don't want to. Following someone else's plans doesn't seem like anything I want to do. It was also picture day and I had to keep the kids calm and collected while we were in one line or the other for 35 minutes. By the end of the morning, moving and holding up my head were taking all of my energy. Th principal came to me and told me that she found someone who could come in at 12:40 and then I could get back to my regular work. I rested my head during the 40 minute lunch and recess break the kids had and brought them back to the room. There's a lot of walking in our school and I had to make a couple of stops, not for my hip and knee, but to get myself functioning.
The sub came and I went to my room and called my doctor. When I described how I felt, they told me to go straight to the ER. I canceled therapy and he took me to the hospital. Of course, my husband was giving the boys rides to work and he didn't show up to school until after 3:30. By the time he showed up, I had started wheezing and had used my inhaler. We got to the hospital and I hjad to fill out their blue paper telling why I was there--I wrote "sick" because I didn't have the energy or strength to do any more. (They weren't amused.) They did their usual round of tests, swabbed my nose (big yuck!) and took me to a room--although, way not that fast. I got to the room and they told me that I had tested positive for influenza type B. When the doctor listened to my lungs, he heard "rails" (?) on both sides and sent me for an x-ray. It came back that I had pneumonia, particularly affecting the right side.
I got my first dose of Levaquin before I left the hospital. They gave me a prescription for the costly Tamiflu, Levaquin, Ondansetron, and Cheratussin AC Syrup--delightful tasting, helps the cough a bit. I have so many symptoms that I cannot keep track of what is going on and the meds have different times schedules, so this has been my work of the weekend. Chills and fever switch off and on, coughing and wheezing come and go--both causing pain in my back. I feel all drugged up and numb with an achy body and a painful head. I have to get up and move around--an arthritic requirement for any of you who don't know, and I forget to be careful with my tender parts because I am a mess, so my shoulder gets a jerk, my knee gets moved the wrong way or I pull on my new hip in a way that it hasn't gotten used to. That gives me a jolt and an awakening.
The doctor told me that the elderly were having issues with flu after the flu shot failed to do its job. I reminded him that I was 57 and he said that people with chronic health issues and suppressed immune systems were in the same category--and that I certainly qualified under those rules. The article in our paper and the one on Health News here at SP both neglected to mention that. It's my guess that they came from the same news source.
My family is at church, enjoying a potluck before the Congregational Meeting with our new pastor. I hate missing that, but there is not one person that I would wish this on. I am hoping that I come around by morning because I need to work. I cannot afford to have my pay docked any more than it already is from my surgical leave. I won't go if I am sick, but I am praying that I will be over this. Part of me thinks that this is totally unfair, I finally was getting back into going to the pool. I know better than to think about what is and isn't fair. I guess that changes the question from being "Why me?" to "Why not me?"
My next report should be the one where I am getting better!!
Gentle, gentle hugs,
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I saw my rheumy yesterday and he did as I expected, defining the majority of my pain as being from my fibromyalgia. However, he also noted the issues in my knee and my shoulder and told me getting follow-up diagnoses and treatments on both of them is important. He also gave me an injection of Kenalog, a corticosteroid that is used for overall inflammation and pain. I think it is starting to work because some of my yucky "everywhere" pain is gone. The downside to things is that when he examines me, he checks all of the tender spots for fibro and they hurt for about three days afterwards. It is always a problem for me and unfortunately, all of my sensitive spots are almost always inflamed.
We had sleet and snow yesterday that cut loose big as we returned from the doctor's office. I spent the evening working on some paperwork and getting this and that done. I was a bit productive. We had some unpleasant excitement later in the evening that I am not free to talk about right now, that has increased my stress level about 100-fold. My shoulder has some sort of damage which is far more clear now that some of the more fuzzy pain has let up. I can feel a bone move around in the inner front of my left shoulder. It pops in and out and is quite painful. It will be my job to keep it from giving me sharp and excessive pain until I see my ortho on the second Friday in March.
Today was one of my better days at work after I got there late for a pretty important meeting. Things went well--I am teaching my lessons again and things are almost all organized again. There are lots of darling young children reading books with me at the reign, holding them accountable and keeping them reading. That's a good thing.
I have an appointment to discuss my "IGP" with the principal tomorrow. She wants to know how I am doing on meeting my goals. It should be fun--I am doing fine with my goals, but there are a couple in there that involve her and me attending a conference and visiting a couple of schools around to see how they are handling programs like mine. I went out of my way to design my goals to actually fit my duties rather than to fill in a lot of "popular stuff" or "easy stuff." This is a new evaluation system for our district and it is important to me to do it with integrity. She signed off on it in October, but I could tell that she wasn't really reading it. It should be an interesting meeting.
Marissa and the rest of her Madrigal group are at the local minor league hockey game singing the National Anthem. She is having such a fun senior year with so many performances and recognitions. She leaves for Dallas in less than a month to sing in the National High School Choir Director's Choir. I sure hope that she gets a good report from her ortho on Tuesday so that she can walk without crutches for her trip. We shall see how things play out for her. I know that her pain has let up. That's progress anyway.
Have a great week, one and all!
Saturday, February 16, 2013
I must admit that I am sure glad this is a three day weekend. I am exhausted physically and mentally. It was really nice to get to WW last evening, I lost a pound. I haven't recorded it here and I'm not sure I recorded that big four pound gain from two weeks ago. I should get my records updated. I have noticed that SP doesn't give you recognition for losing weight that was weight you gained recently anyway, but I do like my records to be correct. Somehow they quit showing my earliest weight loss records here anyway. Maybe it's because I have been around for so long.
Our Ash Wednesday Service had some moving readings in it. It included a collection of poetry and short pieces of prose about the life of Christ and there was a litany that started with "Feast" and "Fast." I took it to school with me to have to help me through difficult times, so I cannot share it word for word right now--it was kind of long for that any way. It had phrases like "Fast on complaining. Feast on finding the good around you." There were around 20-25 of these phrases and each one was touching and thought-provoking, dealing with how we treat others and approach life in a positive way. I want to make copies of it and have it around me--I think it might be one of those wonderful "words to live by" quotes that I want in my presence all of the time.
I think the example I gave, which isn't a direct quote, but is certainly the essence of one of the pairs of phrases is on my mind because I have been so whiny and difficult lately. I am sure that the tone of my blogs along with my conversations with my family and friends have been pretty down and I need to get my thoughts in a new place. It will not be easy because constant, chronic pain is difficult. I have lived with it for years and years and years. However, maybe it will help me to try and hold it at bay some. I think it can't hurt to try in any case--if I'm not successful, I can at least feel good about the fact that I gave it my best effort. It also won't be easy when it hurts to keyboard and it hurts to move in almost any direction with most of my body parts, but I think I can let work on this might help me with my other goals. It's my plan as I work on my body and wait for some help with my physical needs.
I think my pain doc had his shoulder surgery and I am going to wait for him to return to work before i go for an appointment. I am going to call on Monday and find out when he will be available. One of the other docs in his office is not so good and once you have had the kind of care my doc gives, it is not right or at least easy to settle for that. I have an appointment with my rheumy on Monday and he certainly may have some insight on my issues. He often finds fibromyalgia to be a big culprit when I hurt all over--I hope that he looks deeper into all of this as well.
It must be time for some rest. I just held my daughter accountable for some things she was saying and an unpleasant confrontation occurred. She always reads that as I am picking on her and nobody else. She doesn't seem to be here or pay attention when I am somebody else's mother around here and have to do the more unpleasant tasks of parenting. I am sorry that she feels that way right now, but I am not going to allow any of my children to engage in unfairly picking on another. That is my job. Great ending to a less than desirable week. The coming week will be new and improved. Starting with a holiday after our first Sunday with our new pastor will get it off on the right foot.
Take care my friends!
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