Saturday, March 02, 2013
Today has been a strange day with so many interruptions that the only consistency in my world has been the thoughts in my own head. I have had a lot of time to think as I accomplished many good things.
First of all, it has been really hard for me to deal with the effects of having pneumonia this past week. Obviously, this is a condition that earned the scary reputation that it has for a reason and I have to come to grips with the fact that it will take time for me to get over this. However, I have gotten over any number of bugs and conditions and germs, and I will get over this as well. It makes me feel far more tired than anything--but that helps me to get a different quality of sleep than I usually have. Maybe that has a positive spin for my own well-being.
Secondly, I am not moving fast between recuperation from the hip and pneumonia and whatever injury is in my shoulder. I do have an appointment with my ortho on Friday and I expect to get to the bottom of it. The ultrasounds bring out some tenderness in it, but it is hopefully the way to get myself better in the long run. I am on the right track with this.
Work had some tricky moments today, but it had a few stellar ones as well. One of them involved a pretty needy little guy who left me with one of the few smiles he has had all week. I am good at what I do and no matter what else is going on around me, I must never lose sight of that. Even the little boy who seemed to resent the fact that I make them figure out how to solve tricky words over telling them answers, seemed pretty happy when he figured out the tricky word "shopping." (He had warned me that his mama said that I "had to tell him words" many times but he found out that that didn't make me tell him!)
I also managed my children tonight in only the way that I manage them after spending the first time really grocery shopping for the first time in over a week and a half. I still didn't have much fun, but we have a nice supply of fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grains again. I feel relieved.
I am back in charge of what I am thinking and doing, even if I am still sick. I can take care of business and do it well.
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!
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