Wednesday, December 23, 2009
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Merry Christmas Everyone,
I've found myself having a variety of holiday songs on my mind. When the kids were very young and in our church's pre-kindergarten and nursery programs, they sang a sweet little tune called "Christmas is Jesus' Birthday." I think that little song has helped all of my children to keep that important concept in their hearts and on their minds. We have been busy beavers around her this week, now that everyone is on break from school. My oldest son has taken the two youngest ones with him to run errands, wrap gifts he bought, have lunch, and a variety of things which has helped us to deal with big secrets here. My oldest daughter has been in charge of baking. Most of my drivers have run errands--from the grocery store to the barber shop to the bank. Everyone who was home this morning kicked in with wrapping--so important, yet such a pain. They have done it with a minimum of quarreling which is a big deal when you consider that we have 8 kids and most of them are teenagers. I feel more accomplished because of what they can do.
I haven't been out this week because transportation has been tricky. The kids have jobs nad needed the car and some have traveled to Chicago to see school friends and the like. That's a 3-3 1/2 hour trip from here. One of my sons took the train and was late returning because of a frieght train derailment. He ended riding home on an Amtrac bus whcih wasn't as comfortable as the train, but they were treated well.
It seems like this terrible weather has been influencing my kids' appetites negatively and I am glad that I am focused on nutrition. They want pizza and cheeseburgers for every meal--yet they eat fish and chicken with gusto as well. I found a new recipe here on SP that they really like to liven things up. We had our family meeting and will be having a baked potato bar for Christmas Eve. That will be satisfying and healthy. We will be having a taco bar for Christmas and again, we serve very healthy foods when we do our own tacos. I have made sure that extra vegetables have went into recipes and that any entree we have made has had extra sides of fruits and veggies. I don't think they realize that I have to work so hard at getting decent nutrition in them. I talk about healthy food, so they know what I value and they enjoy what they get, so I hope that I'm leading them the right way. I have one child--make that two, who I cannot get to manage decent portion sizes. I have two others who buy a lot of empty calorie items to supplement what we have for our meals--at least they do it in front of me. My kids are all BIG kids--ranging from a 5'10" eleven year old to 3 of my sons over 6 feet--one at 6'5". They have always broken the charts, since birth, at the pediatrician's office--and knowing what I have dealt with my entire life, it has been a worry. I try to be careful because I know eating disorders are sometimes caused by unhealthy talking and thinking. One of my sons has lost a lot of weight in the past couple of years--mostly since he started working at a fast food restaurant--and I worry about how quickly he has done this. My daughter has asked me if he could have an eating disorder--he got mad when he found out she asked. He won't eat fast food now that he has worked at that place with the golden arches. This is a tough place for a parent to be in--especially this one who has had weight issues forever complete with lots of negative criticism on the topic as I grew up.
We have done a lot in the house in working towards good health recently. As I feel better, we will be getting to the pool and fitness center more regularly in the new year. Family fun in shared activity is the best--and now my daughter works there, so there is even more reason to go. I want to encourage alternatives to the television and other electronic items in the new year. They all have been enjoying our camping trips, so hopefully that will be another positive. I am longing for spring and summer--and the end to snow and ice storms and frigid cold. However, here in IL, in December, we know we have 3 more months of this. We will all need to get out by then.
As for now--no wishing my life away. It is the time of our Dear Savior's birth and this is a special time in our hearts. I am blessed to have this family and the awesome love and goodness that goes along with it. I give thanks for what I have been given.
Merry Christmas to everyone!
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!!
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