Wednesday, March 13, 2013
This week has started with my back in a flare--I suspect that the work I did on my hallway display coupled with two nights in the red chairs at my church may have started it and it just blossomed from there. I called my pain doc this afternoon and they gave me a voice message to talk to. If I don't hear from them by tomorrow, I will call him at home tomorrow evening. This kind of thing makes me feel pretty irritated because I am feeling ignored--the last part of the message says that "if you cannot wait 24 hours then you should go to the nearest ER." I told them my breakthrough pain medicine wasn't doing its job, and I feel as if I should be able to talk to a living person rather than a machine.
This has been a pretty fast paced week so far, filled with a lot of appointments and activity. I had an appointment with the urologist and the neurologist yesterday. Both of them became aware of the pain in my back as they tried to do exams. It is hard to lie on a table when your back is inflamed. I was miserable and the spasms were out of control. I finally got through the bladder scan and the EMG was canceled until today. My back wasn't much better, but the neurologist used a different room and extra pillows to do what he needed to do.
The neurologist's exams were a bit different. He had me close my eyes and ran a Q-tip over parts of my foot, telling him when I felt it. He was a bit surprised when I was there for my left arm and I told him that my left arm had been giving me a lot of pain with numbness and the like. I also told him that I had had trouble with my right hand as well, but because my left shoulder was causing me so much trouble, my PCP ordered the EMG. He will analyze the tests and I have a follow-up appointment in a couple of weeks.
I am doing a bit more exercise in the pool, and I have found I can do a bit of real swimming again until my back went nuts. I am hoping that my pain doc actually gets my message because he will know how to give me some peace. Grr-rr, I am having too many issues at the same time right now. It will be 3 more weeks before we can do an x-ray and see if my pneumonia is gone. I am still in PT for treatment on my shoulder and hip.
On a different note, I have cleaned out my closet and am working on my dresser now. I am about halfway finished with my afghan. We got Marissa sent off yesterday. Things that I wanted to accomplish are happening steadily and I am not overdoing anything. I have been to the pool with extra time for both the hot tub and the sauna each day. It is nice to be off work while I am not recuperating so that I can do something.
I saw my first robin today!! Spring is coming, snow or not!!
That's about it for today--take care of yourselves!
Monday, March 11, 2013
It is amazing how different things can be in a week. After the drudgery of trying to function after being sick for 12 days in a row and trying to reclaim my life and world. I was so physically and emotionally down while my energy was zapped that I didn't recognize anything, starting with me. Friday was the most decent day I had in a long time. The kids had a field trip bowling at school, so I didn't have all of my kids, but I did get a lot of "things" such as sorting out my posters and graphic organizers, printing up kids' work and pictures to create and hang my fourth quarter hallway display based on Covey's 7 habits. By the time I left work, my back was pretty achy--but it was more like how I USUALLY feel than I have felt in a long time.
I saw my ortho after school and found out that there is a calcium deposit on the rotator cuff on my left shoulder. It was there when it was x-rayed in September and as he did in September, he gave me another cortisone injection that is supposed to "break it up." It didn't occur to me to ask him how, if it didn't break it up in September, how it would do that in March--but I wish I would have asked. The alternative will be surgery and he looked at me and said that he didn't think I wanted another surgery. He told me that I should feel relief within a week, so I guess i will wait that long and find out what is next. It still hurts for me to use my arm and lift things up, but the week isn't up yet.
Our church had a trivia night Friday. Those are always fun--lots of easy-going stuff for a nice change of pace. I did okay with eating until I had a piece of cheesecake. I do think we need a treat once in a while. It took me a long time to eat it, it was so rich that it really surprised my senses. I think that is what happens when you eat as healthy as possible and treats become special and something infrequent in your diet. Anyway, we took 6th out of 13 teams, so we did--well, uh, average (ha ha.) It was a good night.
I got to talk to a dear friend of mine after I slept in until 8 on Saturday. We had a lot of fun comparing our teaching situations and thoughts about teaching. Then, I had lunch with my best friend, which is a highlight to every month. After that, I went to the pool for an extended time and that was pure heaven. I enjoyed the pool more than I think I ever have--the water temp was perfect. I visited and exercised and found out that I can now do some swimming--kicking in the water. I couldn't do anything like that a couple of weeks ago, so I know that my hip is getting back to normal. It is so much better than it was before I had my surgery.
We had a great service at church on Sunday. Our new pastor has some interesting thoughts on familiar stories. I enjoyed her take on the story of the Prodigal Son. After that, I was able to get my husband and youngest son to go along with me to the pool. We spent a long time there and I even enjoyed the hot tub with my husband for a while. We stopped at school so I could grab a handful of baskets and when I got home, I started work on some of the decluttering/ reorganizing that i want to get done during break. Things are in a bit of disarray right now, but I am not stressed over that because I have 2 weeks and the help of anyone I ask to help me to get this done.
The other thing that we spent time doing this weekend was getting Marissa's stuff ready for her trip to Dallas. She leaves tomorrow afternoon for the National Choir and all we have are a few details here and there to help her out. I need to call the bank because my delightful daughter has forgotten the PIN for her bank card. I need to get her some money and deposit some in her account (if we can get the PIN before she leaves.) We found her a pair of gold flats to go with the dress we gave her for Christmas for this trip--it never occurred to me how tricky it might be to select shoes to go with a gold dress when I bought it. The school is giving her a "send-off" tomorrow, but I have to miss that because I have two doctor appointments tomorrow afternoon, with the urologist and the neurosurgeon. One of those is a reschedule after one of our three high volume snow days.
Anyway, it is nice to start talking about anything besides being sick and post-op for a change. I am getting my life back and I sure am glad. It seems as if I have been "gone" for a long time. I am ready for my world to be back and for me to be in control again.
Have a wonderful week!
Thursday, March 07, 2013
I am coming back, indeed. It is still hard to breathe and my sleep wasn't the best last night, but I am getting to be and feel more like myself after being intensely sick for 12 days straight. I ate yesterday without it bothering me a lot. It was popsicles in the morning and at lunch, but I had dinner at church and it was okay. I ate Tuesday and it put me back into misery and I had a bit of a relapse, but I am better. I will stick to popsicles for my early meals and add in some gentle fruit (not citrus right now), but I should be able to have dinner tonight. Whew, what a lousy ride I have been on.
We had our first snow day in five years on Tuesday and now everyone at school is shuffling to meet the paperwork demands for the end of the quarter on Friday. I am so glad that mine was all done when I walked out of the door on Friday. I need data from 2 teachers on 4 of my new students, but my work is coming together nicely. I have the basic part of my lesson plans about finished for the week after break. I only have one thing to do during break and my son will come to school and help me to remove all of my snow and snowflake decorations. It is definitely going to be time for spring colors and cheerfulness. We go back on Monday for an inservice day and then we are off on Friday of the same week for Good Friday.
My two week break is going to be about anything but my job. I need that and my body and brain needs that. I spent a good deal of time once again defending my selection choices to a teacher and it has really gotten to me. They never notice what I do or the fact that I do far more than most teachers, but they can complain about things that they shouldn't complain about--and when you get down to it, those complaints are typically based on them wanting me to do something that they prefer not to do. I wasn't happy yesterday but maybe getting my blood boiling a bit helped me out in the big picture.
We are having a book study for Lent that follows a nice meal each Wednesday evening. I haven't been at church for a while and it felt good to be back--a lot of people were missing me and it was nice to be wanted that much. Sometimes it is easy to over look that special family that we share there.
I am on my way back--starting with a headache this morning and I may skip some of my meds one more day. One of them in particular is a bit harsh and I don't want to aggravate things so quickly. I need to get ready for work and get the kids in this house up and going. We have a lot to do today. It will be my third PT in a row--the ultrasounds help my shoulder after I get in my exercises. I have weigh-in tonight which should be interesting. I hope that I don't have a gain because I haven't been able to eat. I also don't want a big loss that I won't be able to maintain, but I do want a good meeting topic. Tomorrow is the day I see the doctor and I am hoping he orders an MRI on my shoulder.
I almost forgot--the insurance company from our accident in July hasn't been paying bills and I had a big argument with them on Tuesday. They want our signature to say everything is taken care of and we are all well. Hmm, the argument was good for me because I now remember that the knee and shoulder I hurt in that accident are the same ones I am having trouble with now. I am thinking they may not like being so smart-alecky with me over the ambulance bill in particular. I will be talking to my ortho and PCP about their possible responsibility in these injuries. If they had just taken care of things according to schedule, this wouldn't have come back up--that along with the condescending insurance agent who tried doing this active listening cute stuff with someone who was trained in this process and has used it daily for almost 30 years. Arghh, she needed to get to the point and let me go, but she kept me on the phone for some 20 minutes with that junk. It was her words that reminded me of everything that happened on that delightful day in July and now, we can put the finger on things the way they need to be.
It is definitely time for me to grab the bathroom. Have a great Thursday.
Monday, March 04, 2013
Yes, I have been awake all night--I am not sure why unless it has to do with how sore my tummy is after such a rough weekend and the off and on sleep that I got along with it--or if it is the soup I finally ate to get something into my gastric system with the high amount of sodium that I didn't realize I put into myself until I did my nutrition tracker--who'd have guessed that with just over 500 calories that I'd have went over my daily sodium? Oh well, that's a rare one for me and I needed to eat so my head would quit spinning and that I could get into some normal mode. I think for me that exhausted will do that.
Anyway, as we expect 7 or more inches of snowfall to start around 6 AM, I am thinking spring. I will blame it on Spark People because of one of their new challenges that I noticed. However, I really am weary of snow and ice and frigid temps (and to my friend Linda in Canada--I know, I know--but we get our share here in the Midwest...). I am not a fan of the cold because, as anyone dealing with arthritis or who has had a few surgeries knows--IT HURTS. This has not been my season to date--after surgery and falling, injuries to my knee and shoulder from something to do with recuperating from my new hip has led to more than my fair share of pain. Add in the flu and pneumonia that I am dealing with and my body has earned spring.
I am thinking of daffodils (My favorite spring flower) and crocuses and tulips--lilac bushes in fragrant bloom and ditching my coat, scarf, boots, gloves and so on. I am thinking of green peeking through the branches and ground and I am thinking of that fresh smell as well. I am thinking of being covered with a light sheet and throw and wearing my sleeveless flowered nightgown. I am thinking of putting out my swing seats and enjoying being out in the yard. I am thinking of looking at the clouds and imagining what the clouds might represent.
My thoughts have moved to my goals and what I need to be at the new goal I have set up for myself. I am almost back to my lowest weight again--so that leaves me with another 20 pounds to lose. I wonder if I can be active enough to lose them by June. That's about 7 pounds a month and that should be doable. I know my former routine for eating, exercise and healthy weight loss. I cannot quite get that level of cardio back yet, but I can work towards it. I cannot swim until we get a handle on my shoulder for sure and likely my knee as well. I see my ortho on Friday.
As for the other reason I am thinking of spring...Our school spring break starts after the students leave on Friday. I have two weeks off of work and I did not volunteer to tutor or do any such thing while we are on break. I am not planning to work much--except to take down my snowflake collection and replace it with the colors and fun of spring. Everyone will be ready for that when we return after break. I am going to spend my break at the pool, working on my afghan, and doing some decluttering around the house. It will be fun, slow and productive enough for me to feel some peace.
Oh my--happy spring!! It is nice to know it is in sight--I avoid thinking winter until I must and I'm the first one to want winter to be gone.
Here's to yellow and pink and lavender and pastels--and lots of pretty greens!!
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