Friday, December 18, 2009
Hello, my friends!!
I have been better this week in many ways. As it snows now, I am sitting here wondering if I might even venture out of the house tonight or tomorrow. There are so many things to do and I should get to be part of things. My daughters and I will make a baking list and our family will have a discussion about Christmas meals. Sometimes our family decides on a traditional holiday dinner, like Thanksgiving and sometimes they prefer family favorites or nitritious appetizers and finger food. I never thought that Tex-Mex might be a wonderful Christmas dinner, yet we did that once and it was excellent. It is nice to let everybody have say in the decisions. That is part of our family tradition now.
Today has been a day of many important, yet "small" tasks. We did a bit of wrapping. I sent a couple of the older kids on some errands. I have tried to focus on my kids since they came home from school early because I want the holiday break to be full of love and each other, but they started bickering and I finally had to get upset and shout to get their attention. Great way to prove my point, grr-rr but they came in the house arguing and made no attempt to act like they had any manners. Things have calmed down and they are fine now, but I feel guilty at having lost my patience so easily.
I had cheerios for breakfast today. It was the best meal that I have had since my surgery. I cannot have a lot of milk on it and I bumped up my own diet--but it was so gentle on my stomach. I enjoyed it so much, the only thing missing was some fresh fruit that I can't have yet because my system isn't ready. Anyway, I enjoyed my food so much today that it may have helped my mood. I haven't had lunch yet because it is so important for me to plan what I eat when and I do not know what our family is doing tonight. One of my sons will be gone for the weekend to visit his girlfriend's family for the holiday and my daughter will be going to Chicago with a few of her friends tomorrow. I don't know who may be working tonight and when some of the guys will be home from work--I expected them well over an hour ago. One thing about my new lifestyle is the need for me to plan and do things thoughtfully.
I am starting to feel more comfortable in some of the confusion I have had lately. I am so unsure about my career for one of the first times since that first year of teaching. I know there is a relationship to the focus of decision-makers around me. Finances and budget are at crisis level, yet I am so disheartened to see them act as if the way to care for students is to not focus on giving them the power of quality reading instruction. I know that kids who are taught to read and think...and think about thinking are the kids who easily move to higher levels and have greater success. The idea that we may be eliminating my entire department (Reading support and instruction) has infiltrated my thoughts and focus as far as my career is concerned. It seems so without values that it hurts in many ways. I have to work on this and how I want to deal with it. It does seem that this is too much for someone recuperating from a big surgery to deal with a week before Christmas. I need to manage my worrying and stress better because the way to handle this is to wipe it out of my brain for today.
By the way, you are all wonderful. The notes, emails, goodies, comments I have gotten this week have been awesome. I have really pushed myself to be involved here and you have helped me greatly. I had forgotten--blame it on anesthesia or something--that I have so much here. I have support and friends and encouragement and security and information here. If I could have pulled myself together sooner, I would have felt stronger emotionally during this. I am so glad that I finally "got it." Thank you, Thank you, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don't know if I can ever repay you all, but I have to let you know that you give the best gifts of all.
Hugs to you all!!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I have changed in many ways and truly do not understand things. I have been trying to handle this depression that runs from a bit to a lot, and I do not understand why I have it at such a level. I am having a hard time even caring about my usual things. I haven't been out of the house in a long time except to go to the doctor--and 3 of the times that I had a chance, I became too sick to go. I am not myself.
I think that I am recovering from my surgery more now than ever. Eating is not so tricky, although it is still something that I care little about, inless I know I need to eat. I am struggling to get fluids in and sip more than ever before. I have a great urge to chug a large glass of something to quench my thirst, but I know that I will not like the outcome from that behavior. I haven't gotten back on my meds, but have a doctor's appointment to deal with this in the next week or two. There is a lot here to eplain how I feel, I just don't like feeling so off.
We are here in the best season of the year, and I haven't been to one holiday or Christmas program. I haven't heard or sang one Christmas carol. We finally got my wheelchair up and running and then we got this weather mess to keep me indoors. Now the truck has lost its starter, so unless the guys can fix the truck today, I don't know where I stand. Tomorrow is the kids' program at church, followed by a pot luck and holiday craft time. I really want to go, so I am hoping it can easily be fixed. My husband has been a lucky guy and has gotten to go to several programs--many that included our children with solos and special parts. I really hate missing the music and kids, they are also beautiful Christmas gifts for all.
I have done most of my shopping online--and that is how I have spent my computer time. I have a couple of gifts left to buy and maybe, I can do that myself. Otherwise, I'll recruit someone to help. One of my children has made traveling plans for during the holiday and that is tough for me. I have never had a holiday without all 8 of our kids being right here. He's a big boy, but this seems so wrong to me that I don't know what to do.
The last thing that has darkened the world around me has come to light the last week. I have received a couple of emails from people I work with and found out how people are doing their best to exclude me from making my own decisions and doing my own job. I will be facing problems when I go back to work. I hate this kind of thing, so I have been praying and asking for help in dealing with things...and to keep the underhanded stuff at bay. I do believe that my Savior will look after me and I trust that whatever happenes will be because my Lord knows what is best for me.
That's my update...and I need to read those of my friends. I hope that I perk up soon and get back with SP like I was before this surgery. You are all in my prayers and with my wishes for a wonderful holiday season.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I am sorry that I have been away and left many of you worrying about me. I cannot seem to feel ok and it is bringing me down emotionally as well as physically. I see my doctor on Monday and hopefully he will give me more than the last answer that it is to be expected because of all of the work that was done inside of me. I know that a big chunk of this is my medications. Some of the pills that I take are so big and are not allowed to be crushed or broken, so I am doing without or they are trying to find alternates, but I am not feeling like myself. I have so little energy that I can barely walk 30 yards and will have to use my wheelchair to go back to work when I go back. I wasn't expecting all of this and I don't want to fuss, especially since I asked for the procedure and expected it to help me to increase my mobility and my general sense of happiness.
I have some pain in my tummy yet and my back is my back. I do expect it to take time for my back to improve. My skin is very dry and I am trying to sip on water around eating as I have been told. To tell the truth, I am not sure I care a lot about eating, but I am following the directions I have been given carefully because I do not want to become ill. This is an extreme lifestyle change and I will work with it.
I will set a new goal to stop by SP at least every 2-3 days to try to get myself back on track. If I owe you an email, please bear with me. I will get back to being myself, walking and swimming and the like and sharing with my friends.
Take care everyone. Thanks for being my friends.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
It seems like it has been forever since I have been here. I have had a special go of things and it hasn't been the most fun, but things are straightening out.
My surgery went fairly straightforward--it turned out that part of my stomach was actually "dead" and the surgeon removed it. My pain doc couldn't give me an epidural because of all of the hardware in my back, so when all was finished, he left me with my pain patch and a morphine drip to use as I needed for breakthrough pain. This arrangement seemed to cause this year's version of "Nurse Nasty" some issues, so unbeknownst to me, she removed them both. Then, she spent a couple of days talking hatefully to me and she called my doc, telling him that I was uncooperative and refused to walk. I didn't know what was going on, all I knew is that it hurt SO-OO much that I couldn't walk. I tried, just couldn't do it. I asked about my pain meds at one point and they told me that it wasn't time for more, but I have been using my pain patch for over 5 years now--and I knew something was wrong. She got angry with me and had me moved to another room--a private room because I had so much junk that I couldn't share a room. (my walker and the commode) When I got to the new room, I got some help and they looked for the physical pain patch--and there wasn't one. At that point, I called for the house doctor and got some pain meds. By then, I also had pneumonia and asthma and was a pretty sick patient. I went to the hospital for surgery on 10/28, was approved for 3 days--and started begging them to go home on 11/3. The pneumonia had started clearing up, so they let me come home on the 4th. I was too sick to do much but my little walks and cough for about 4 more days. The surgeon took out half of my staples last Friday and I expect the rest will go on Friday.
I am not doing much yet, I am very tired and weak. I am following my rules to the letter, except for one medication. My potassium pill is so big that it gives me pain and heartburn and doesn't let up. I'll ask for something different when I see the doc. I am being careful and am eating less than they told me that I could because I don't want to get ill. It seems to be filling and I have been able to add a couple of simple things in that has improved the quality of the food.
I have lots more to share, but I wanted to check in and send my greetings. I am so weak yet and that seems to be my next problem to work through. I'll write more later and read lots and lots to find out how everyone and my teams and buddies are doing.
Hugs to you all!!
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.
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