Monday, October 26, 2009
I have been a busy girl this weekend. I had a special "lunch" with my best friend even though I am on clear liquids. She gave me a beautiful gift--something of hers that means the world to me, a lovely cross pendant. It is dainty but elegant in a simple way, and brings my faith right to the surface. We had a beautiful service today, Reformation Sunday. Our music director is so talented and besides the hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is our Lord" that was after the opening prayer, she played 3 different versions on the piano and organ throughout the service. Her music is so beautiful and her talent seems endless. It is interesting that the closing hymn is one of my favorites that has been going through my head all weekend as well. The message was about what we do after we have let ourself be welcomed into God's house and ways to do His work. It is always helpful for me to come back to the idea that I am doing His work everytime I work with a child, and the power that I give to children who I turn into readers. That is why I love my work, it is a win-win for all of us and a way to use the talents I have been blessed with. These ridiculous, stressful sidetrips lately have been destructive to who I am--and I need to realize that they are not important even though they hurt. I have a stronger power who will protect me as I do the work He has given me.
I worked at school both weekend days, but not nearly as hard as I did last weekend. I think things are close to being as orderly as I can make them given the situation I am dealing with. I need to focus on spending tomorrow and Tuesday for making things as easy as they can be for my son who will sub and as productive for my students. I have given him a lot of information in a short time and I want to get it down for him to be able to refer to. I need to make him some lists of activities for guided reading that will help him to help the children as much as possible. I have a couple of children who I need to do a bit of homework on yet this week. I also have a board meeting for our "PTA" type group on Tuesday.
I have a number of home and personal things to do as well. My 17 year old stayed out way past his curfew last night and he has to have some punishment--I have to step back and let Dad do it because for the first time he is very upset by some of his antics. He is a great kid, but pushes the envelope from time to time. He works hard, gets okay grades, sings like an angel, is responsible and helpful. He is also far more charming than any human should be and he uses that to get out of trouble with his father. I am so glad that it didn't work this time and am looking forward to him getting grounded or something that didn't originate with me. This is the important and the down-side to parenting. There are plenty of chores he can do around here and I will point them out to him.
Tomorrow evening, my husband and I are attending a meeting sponsored by the bariatric support group. They have a guest speaker--a sports nutritionist who will be talking about the need for protein in the diet and ways to get it in. I am looking forward to this--this gentleman has a great reputation. I also need to pack my suitcase and read through my information again. I hope to get to go to the pool on Tuesday for the last time for at least six weeks. It is hard to believe after the long time it has taken for this to become a reality that it is almost here.
It is also hard to believe that I am excited about what is sure to begin as a fairly unpleasant time. I am fortunate to have my pain doc to be my anesthesiologist. I am on the prayer chain at church and there will be people to keep my husband company during the wait--our parish nurse is an awesome lady and she and my pastor have been chatting about the support my family will need so that I can get well. My pastor told me that he will call me Tuesday evening as well. He and I have been friends for some time--from when he started out with us as the assistant. We have done a lot of nice work together. I trust him totally and can share with him easily. My daughter told both of them that I was having surgery, so I didn't get a chance to let them know. I'll fill him in on details Tuesday, he had a meeting after our service today.
My psychologist is another blessing in my life and even though he doesn't have "priveleges" at the hospital I will be in, he will be by to see me. He is also an ordained minister and he does what is called "Christian counseling." He has been better for my issues than the meds they prescribe and he is kind as well as intelligent. I have so many wonderful people in my life, including all of you. I expect a lot of good things to come from the "roux-en-y" procedure, even though I understand that it is still my work and attitude that will make this successful. My back and knees need this--and my family and my work needs this. Mostly, I need to move on and to be able to do the work I have been given the talent to do. His work is waiting and needs to be done as well as possible. This procedure will help me to be even better as a mother, a teacher, and as a child of God.
I am so blessed. I am still anxious and excited, but I have faith in what is to come.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I have been all over SP tonight. This liquid diet is okay, but I have been craving some solid protein. I am surprised it isn't chocolate or dessert type food, but my body seems to recognize what it needs more of. Keeping busy keeps that feeling a bit at bay and although I have a book to read, I have gotten to go by several of my friend's pages.
Work has been a bit unusual--no for my work, it has been typical. I let my boss know that I had something urgent to share with her on Mopnday morning and I also added a "PS" with my question about why I could store empty boxes but not boxes with anything in them. She forewarded that to the custodian, who in turn was very angry with me. He expressed that in my classroom in front of several children (Big thanks, grr-rr) To resolve the issue, he brought me a little plastic stand that is about a 16" square and has 6 little drawers about 2" deep. Oh yeah, that will hold the contents of some 21 boxes.
Anyway, I finally got to talk with her on Tuesday at lunch time before I went to the other building. I told her that I would be having surgery. She asked if it was my back again, and I told her no, that that wouldn't help. Then, she asked me if I had been losing weight--(yes!!) She also asked me if I could go on disability. I am 54 years old and have a very capable mind and I am an excellent teacher. I do NOT want to go on disability. I would like to be able to work without all of the extracurricular issues though. She did not know if they would be getting a sub for me--oh my, my children cannot go for up to 8 weeks without reading lessons. I asked if they did, and the sub didn't have to have a reading endorsement, if my son could do it. If he can, I can help him with lesson plans and suggestions on any number of things. I'll also be able to keep up with what is going on. He works on our playground at lunch when he isn't teaching, so he knows a lot of kids in both of my buildings which is a plus too. I have observed him teach and he is a pretty thorough guy with his work. Last week during our break, he got to create and do a program for school-aged students whose families are non-English speaking. He has a lot of great experiences on his resume. I really hope that my kids don't have to go without reading lessons.
My weekend consisted of 30 hours of lifting and unpacking and sorting boxes of trade books and art materials. I fully expected to be finished with them until I came in on Friday and the custodian had moved the things from my shower room storage and the 21 boxes off of the shelves on the stage. I was so upset because I would have finished with all of the other boxes. Now I cannot imagine that I will get everything taken care of. I do not have room at home for that many boxes of books that I bought for school anyway. If I hadn't been given multiple classrooms with no materials to use and the need to have materials to teach reading to children in every grade and level from kindergarten to 6th grade, I wouldn't have needed to spend so much money on these wonderful books. I seem to be in trouble all of the time for going out of my way to do the right thing. That is the clincher.
Anyway--I have better things to talk about. My surgery is a week from today. I have been reading lots and lots of things about what will be happening and I am feeling excited. I know that this is a major deal and the immediate post-op time will be unpleasant, but that will pass. I just read something that talked about the rapid weight loss in the first three months. I will need new sized clothing for winter to start with. I have many things from when I have been at my goal weight with Weight Watchers, not so long ago. I have been trying to decide if it is fair for me to record my weightlosses here or with them (I'm a lifetime member) when I am aware that this is the result of surgery. What do you think? I don't want somebody else to feel badly that I am losing weekly and larger amounts than most people can when they compare their results to mine.
I have many things to do at home, so that my family will be okay while I am unable to do much for them. I now have to figure out what I will need to do at my job depending on several variables that I suspect I won't know about until the last minute. I also am dealing with a very reduced amount of personal energy for doing anything. This is a big problem for me right now. I tend to overplan, so this may not be as big a concern. In any case, it is obvious that I will handle everything.
It is time to share the computer, so I'm going to sign off right now. Thanks in advance for any ideas you have that will help me in these next several days.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Hi to all who choose to read this,
The past few days have been full of infotmation, helping me to sort out my own goals and to get a better picture of where I am heading in the near future. I saw my "land" physical therapist on tuesday and he did some assessments with me. I have doubled the distance that I can walk unassisted to about 20 feet. I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but it took a lot of exercise and persistance to get there. My score on the assessment he gave me dropped from 62 to 57, which is also going in the right direction. He was happy and told me that I am now at the place where I need to keep up with my exercise and get as much in as possible for the next couple of weeks as possible. He gave me a few things that I can still work on at home and in a chair, which will take me through all of the things I will be doing and going through soon.December 6 and beyond into the new year. This is a good thing. I have doubled my distance for unassisted walking in 2 and a half months, YAY.
I had an appointment with the dietician and with the folks at the bariatric clinic yesterday and they were both so helpful. I learned a ton of things and am pretty ready for my procedure. I have some great support rught here, practically under my feet. They both were amazed at how much I knew about food, nutrition and exercise and I gave credit to both Weight Watchers and heavily to Spark People. They took all of these unattractive (ha ha) photos of me and I went through the "rules" at east twice. She was so excited for me. She had talked of me needing a therapist to help me because of all of the changes in my life--emotionally, socially, physically, functionally. It is a time for me to be excited because this is a very positive thing.
This morning, my computer has to go in for some repairs and I am expecting it to only take a few hours. I will be finishing up my boxes at school this weekend as well. I am getting my family prepared for changes that will impact them as well as they will impact me. I am excited, things are definitely going to improve for me in many important ways.
My son wants to use the computer as I get ready to leave, so I am going to sign off. I am so glad that I have this place and all of you as well. I sm going to need you all as I muddle through this liquid diet alone. I do feel inspired, like I can take on everything!
Spark People is awesome!!
Monday, October 12, 2009
Happy October, Everyone,
I hope that the growing chilliness around here is not bothering you as much as it's bothering me/ The cold can really make arthritic jpoints and bones with metal in them ache solidly. Predictions say that is will be like this a bit and other predictions are still talking about IL cold and snow. I wish it would wait until November to do some of this, the kids could use a nice Halloween.
It's been a pretty good week. I had a great deal of fun last week with my book club. We did a lot of great things, the kids had fun both reading and with what I taught. It was a diverse group and that was fun as well. I got to make contacts with parents that I don't usually get to make and it was time well spent. I love my work when there is no interference to giving my students the best that I can. It is just like my summer program at our church and I hope that I get more opportunities. This may be something I can do after I retire, sometime in the very distant future.
We got bad news from our insurance company on Saturday. They suggested that we get a lawyer because it looks as if the cost of our son's accident go over our amount of coverage. They claimed that that boat is worth 70,000 alone and it is "totaled." Again, that didn't count the trailer, truck, car, or power pole. I guess we will need a lawyer who can prove that the guy with the truck and boat hit my son and his own insurance many need to cover those costs as well as the power pole the boat took out. I hope that will work because it is true and it seems as if the boat should not have flown anywhere if it were secured properly. If we end up with some big bill from this accident, well we barely make ends meet right now, it will force us into bankruptcy. Paying a lawyer will be more than we need. Grr-rr. We can only pray and wait, this is such a sue-happy society. We don't think there are any medical bills, nobody required an ambulance. They all walked away.
Here in IL, Columbus Day is still a holiday and my children are home from schoot today. My husband is home also, for a rare day off of work because it is also a federal holiday. I must honestly say that I had never thought much of it until I read an article on AOL yesterday about school children in another state being taught how Columbus was a bad man. It spoke of his meanness in particular, but the part that I had never considered is how PC it now is to take away his credit in discovering America. It mentioned about the way that the indigenous people were already here and how they must have found the Americals and the islands first. I am not sure why I hadn't thought about this more deeply. I always recognized it and remember asking about it in school. I cannot remember how it was explained off to me, but I was okay with the duplicity of all of this. Now, at age 54, I get it and why it is inappropriate to have a columbus day. I wonder if we would do better to have a Lewis and Clark Day or something similar. I remember studeying all of those explorers in school, but couldn't keep them straight right now because I don't teach about it or read about it these days. I am not a history nut like a couple of the guys around here, Lots of things change and get more and more complicated.
I am plannng to change physically nad hope that I couldn't get anything but more sumplified. All I need now is to be more healthy and I know that my weight loss is coming, with some assistance soon. It will still take my effort and may happen at a different pace, but I am ready to make the big changes I need to take my big step. My doctor is having me start an all-liquid diet on Wednesday which will last for two weeks before my surgery...and according to my friend, another two weeks afterwards. This can only be my own effort to start what I need most. I have a lot to accomplish this week because then I will work up until the day of the surgery. I have to get those boxes cleared off the stage so I won't push myself to do something with them and it could hurt me. (I know my own ways of doing things and believe I can do everything if need be. I proved that last evening when I started trying to move big things around my family room with this crazy back.)
This will be an important week in my health and healing. I must accomplish a lot. I can do this in a healthy, safe way==and that is my plan.
Take care of yourselves and keep in touch. Happy fall, however it feels.
Monday, October 05, 2009
and Hi there and just plain !!!
It has been a nice day, really nice. I had my "book club" today--only had 3 kids show up, but we had fun together. After school, I got my hair cut and permed--it's nice to have some "body" again, lol. It is always a treat to have somebody wash your hair for you--but I had some definite pain when she returned me to a sitting position. Even that didn't take away from the pleasure. It is something I usually do during school breaks.
I had an odd weekend--it was a combination of rest and stress. It was my weekend for lunch with my best friend. That is always another of the pleasures that I have. We go to a friendly, nice restaurant and eat our lunch and visit for 2-3 hours. We generally sit in the same place and we tip the waiter or waitress well, so they keep our glasses fresh and full and are very kind to us both. It is always special to me, away from my kids nad the stress of work. Her husband has Alzheimer's and it gives her some greatly needed time away from difficult responsibility. She has been sonsidering moving to a special home to have help with meeting his needs, but that is a very difficult decision to make. We did a pro/ con list nad the cons outweighed the pros in her making that decision right now. I;m so glad because she really isn't ready to do that in her heart of hearts. Her husband has always been one of them most intelligent, kind, hardworking men ever--he doesn't remember much excet from his childhood--but if possible, jhas become even more kind. They have been married for 49 years and he doesn't remember her. He talks of the "woman who lives in the house" and tells others she is very nice. It is so hard to hear her tell this stuff, but I am so glad to listen--she is the most wonderful friend anyone could have and I love her as much as any family member. I am lucky to have her as a friend and always have been. I knew her daughter from when I returned to college, but I really met her when we taught together for the first 8 or 9 years of my teaching career. She has always been that kind of a friend.
While we were ending up lunch on Saturday, I got a phone call from one of my sons to tell me that my 18 year old son was in a car accident. Yikes, his cell phone skipped when he left the message and I couldn't hear which of my family was in the accident. Nobody was hurt, but it was at the exact place where my husband had had an accident about ten years ago. As a matter of fact, it is the site of many car accidents. There is a mobile home park on the left and then a bit further down the road to the right is a campground on this highway with a 50mph speed limit.. The mobile home park isn't marked well and (I think) that cars coming by miss or almost miss it and they slam on their brakes, much to the chagrin of the person behind them. In my son's accident, he was third in line with the first car slamming on the brakes and making the left turn and he rear-ended the car in front of him who missed the first car that made the abrupt left turn (in front of a truck that was pulling a boat). The end of my son's (new, to him) car fishtailed into the other lane, the truck hit it and so did the trailer. The boat flew off of the trailer and into a power line pole. It took out local cable, phone and internet for about 5 hours until they replaced it. My son was bummed after he got over the accident itself. It set off his airbag--and both bumpers are off of his car. The radiator is pushed up into the engine area. He is buying this car from someone who works at an office in our church and it's his first car. He has bragged so much about how awesome it ishe is so heartbroken. He plans to take it to the collision repair class at the college he is going to. I hope that he can get it repaired.
That about covers the beginning of my break. Things go from very nice to total stress around here. Oh well, again, nobody was hurt and that is what we pay a gazillion dollars for car insurance for. (We have 4 insured vehicles with 8 drivers, 4 of them are males 25 and under--what do you think??) All I can say for sure is that I hope the rest of my break works much more like today did than Saturday did. Maybe I'll go for a manicure or a pedicure or something later this week. I'm hoping to go swimming tonight or tomorrow--but I cannot get my hair wet. That may be tricky, lol.
In any case, I plan to enjoy my time off this next two weeks and I also want to finish up my boxes of books on the stage--to kind of tie up my loose ends before second quarter begins.
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