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August 22--Gearing up for big changes

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hello Everyone--welcome to my ongoing journal. Life events are much more dramatic these days and overpower my focus on losing weight. That is what makes it interesting when I tell you that when I weighed in last week, I had lost another 9.9 pounds over the past 4 weeks. I don't weigh in frequently because it can easily move into obsessive behavior with me with multiple weigh ins a day. That doesn't help me.

I am getting my kids back into school right now. My 4 school aged kids had a half day today and will be in school all day tomorrow. I have a fifth grade son who is already terrified of his teacher and if he knew the background of my quarrels with her when she had his older brother, I'm sure he would be panic stricken. My little guy has autism, so this is a fragile time for him. My daughter is an 8th grader, I have sons that are in 11th and 12th grade right now as well--and it is my 12th grader who had the issues with the other teacher. My oldest daughter (20 years) leaves to return to college on Sunday. My 19 year old son is taking a semester off of college to work, rest, and save money--he needs this right now. My son who will be 24 is getting ready to substitute teach since he hasn't found a teaching position yet. My oldest son (26) is working on independence--he has 2 jobs and an apartment but his disabilities (CP, AD/HD, Asperger's, seizure disorder) have kept him staying at home at least 6 nights a week. He has a new agency helping him to work on housekeeping, budgeting, personal needs, etc...so that he will feel confident and safe. Things don't come easy for him, but he is the most honest and good-hearted person ever. He works hard and is so loyal to the people he works for--even when they are taking advantage of him, he doesn't complain (but it gets his mother very irritated.)

I'm going to miss my daughter when she leaves for school--she is a junior this year, because she helps me without my asking and as I am healing from my back surgery right now, that is nice. But, she has to work on her life and future. I plan to go back to work half days next week and am really concerned about how things work for me. I am feeling less anxious than before because I believe this entire ordeal I have been put through has had some healing time for all involved. I have avoided talking to my friends at the other school for a while because it is too fresh for me to deal with it again. I need to have things in place and am hoping this will all work for me quickly.

Tomorrow, it will be me and my 3 oldest home all day. This may be a really nice break for a change--time to rest and catch our breath from everything that has went on collectively. I have a great family and need to keep that as my major life focus. It is an easy thing to do.

Hugs to all, Sylvia

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTEMPLE 9/4/2008 9:14PM

    Hi Sylvia very glad everything is going smoothly. How's the pain?

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LOULOUBELLE2 9/4/2008 11:01AM

Hi Sylvia......I sent you a long response a week ago and haven't heard from you so think that maybe I forgot to hit the "submit" button. Your story below is from a Mom of a loving family and I applaud you and also your resolve to loose weight.

We have 5 kids. Ages 55-40. 2 girls, 3 boys, 4 are married and one divorced, who hopefully has found a true love. His 1st marriage wasn't that way. We have 7 Grand Sons, 1 Grand Daughter and 1 Great Grand Daughter. We lost a Grandson at 3, days of age, due to over enlarged heart. He's our angel in Heaven, a beautiful baby that 3 surgeries couldn't keep him with us. A Grand Daughter that died at the age of 11 from complications of sever Cerebral Palsy. Another angel looking over us. 2 daughters and a son live near us in Colorado, 1 Son near us when we go to AZ, and our baby in the UP of MI soon to move to Wisconsin.

We are recovering from our sons loss of his home in Windsor CO from the horrific tornado that struck that town. He and family have been living in temporary housing provided by insurance, but it's taking a toll on them. Their home was almost completely destroyed and just yesterday the contractors were finally there to start the rebuild. I just Thank God that they are all alive.

We are also fighting to keep our beautiful mountain home and land from the US Forest Service that says we are encroaching on the Roosevelt National Forest. We built that home 34 years ago, NOW they want the land back a little bit more than 2 acres. We even have a bill in congress to save it, time will tell.

That's it for now, hope to keep in touch with you and keep on with that wonderful weight loss.
Back at you soon.
PS: You asked me if I had a Sparks Page, I do.

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JEANELLEN59 8/22/2008 7:33AM

  Wow - you definitely have a house full!!! Congratulations on losing almost 10 pounds. That is awesome. It must be hard with so many around to find time to take care of yourself.

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August 13--I'm back on medical leave

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good morning,

We finished packing up my classroom on Monday. It only took an extra hour of work on Monday, an extra 3 hours on Friday, an extra half hour on Thursday and Tuesday and an extra hour last Wednesday. I'm going to bill them for that time as well. When I got home on Monday, I called my neurosurgeon and got two weeks off work completely--they faxed the note over to my new/former principal. She got it when I made my second call which was to her and she told me not to worry, just to take the time off and take care of myself. Grr-rr. This was a lot of work with little concern for me in the process. I am physically ill right now with this awful coughing that may be something serious or may be my asthma, but it is not improving any. I am sleeping differently since all of this happened. I fall asleep earlier in the evening, on or before ten and then I wake up at two or shortly after. It is 4 hours, but is really lousy for starting the day after I have been awake since 2, or often 5 hours. I am still tired and need to sleep better, so I may use my sleeping medicine for a few nights to see if it will improve.

The really painful part of all of this is that I will get better when I get to teach real live kids. I always do. Yet, when I get to school, I have some 200 boxes waiting for me that have not been labeled and for the most part, I had no part in packing. I cannot lift and I cannot bend over and I have a lot of difficulty walking in this brace. It is my hope that I will be more strong after this additional 2 weeks off, so that I will be able to make a plan in attacking that mountain of boxes that were moved. I expect that my family will help me to get better as well.

We went to Border's for a half an hour yesterday before I went to see my therapist. I took my two youngest kids along with my other daughter who drove. It was a nice diversion for me, I found an interesting book and a comfy chair there and then, just enjoyed the "different" place and space. My kids had fun and I spent too much money on books for the family. My husband had taken the day off like he promised me if I would be home from work. He got some well-earned rest after doing several chores that he hadn't had time to take care of. It helped that I saw my doctor, we had a quiet talk and I was able to finalize my grief over the job and school that I loved along with the senseless move. I needed that opportunity so that I wouldn't harbor growing anger. Yesterday was peaceful and I needed that.

I will start my school year for real on August 26, the anniversary of my first teaching job. I'll be in a new school and will actually have many belongings to start with. This is a first for me. Hopefully, I will be able to get started with working with children ASAP, and I will get back to full days so that I will travel to the alternative school and start that part of my position as well. I will get to meet new children and new families, and I will get to be the teacher who I am. That's all I need--I know that I will be careful at how I invest in my position so that I can spare myself all of this pain, but I will still be the teacher who I am. Later, Sylvia

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLIESYNYARD 8/19/2008 11:47AM

    Oh Sylvia, I can "hear" the sadness when you write, I wish I could give you some great big emoticon. I really hope things get better for you, you seem like a very strong individual. I can tell teaching is a real passion for you and I hope you get back to it soon. What grade(s) do you teach? Funny, that's what I wanted to be "when I grew up" but financially it didn't work out that way with school. Take care and keep your chin up!

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POODLEEMOM 8/13/2008 11:30AM

    I'm glad that you are able to express your feelings and disappointments. i'm sure that will be part of the healing process too.

Best wishes to you.

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MORGAINEOTM 8/13/2008 9:44AM

    Sylvia - went back and read your SP page and previous blogs. This summer hasn't been easy on you, has it? But it does seem like you are pushing - from the first day of sitting for 1-1/2 hours instead of 15 minutes, to getting all your stuff packed up. I know how important both Church and your work are, but taking care of yourself MUST be #1 priority. Without proper rest, healing, and wellness now, you will cut short your career and your time spent with your family.

From the sounds of the brace, that's exercise in and of itself.

Take care of yourself, Sylvia. We all go through the depression and anxiety of struggle against all the things that go wrong with our bodies. But just like with a car, if you don't maintain it properly, it will fail. And if well maintian, they will give you lots of years (hey, I've got 50 year old cars that give great gas mileage and lots of smiles. If you look at my blog, you'll see me with our 47 year old fun machine!)

Take care of yourself, like eating, its a choice and part of the process. We're all rooting for you

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August 2--Back to school??

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hi there,

This has been quite a week. I ha a full day on Wednesday. I went to my neurosurgeon and had to almost beg, but he is going to let me try to go back to work half days. He told me that if there are any problems, to call his office and he would change the content of my work release note. After that, I went to my home school and met the new principal. I found that anything more than 20 steps wears me out and hurts like all get out. He seemed very nice but stared at my body armor big turtle shell brace and leg attachment like I was an invalid or something. Then, I went to another doctor appt. and he tried to convince me that I was not ready to go back to work. After I left there, I spent over 2 hours with a case manager interviewing my oldest son. We were out for 6 an 1/2 hours an when I got home, I hurt too much to cry--my husband helped me out of my brae and into my nightgown.

On Thursday, we left at about 12:30 and spent over 2 hours packing boxes in the school I served last year that I wont be at this year. I have to pack my things up and am praying that the district will move them, but they haven't returned my call on that. We left there and went to my new school to travel to. They had just waxed the ground floor by the entrance I need to use, so the principal there came out to my car to meet me. He took one look at me in my body armor and told me three times how my health came first and that if I needed more time off or whatever that I should do it. I'm beginning to feel like some kind of invalid and after this 3 hour day, I felt awful from head to toes. Again, I had to have help to rest when I got home.

On Friday, we left around 1:30 and went to my now "former" school again to pack. I talked to the principal there and found out they were in no hurry for my room to be emptied, not to worry. We commiserated over the fact that the district wasn't replacing me and I introduced him to my 2nd oldest son who is looking for a teaching job. The packing is now 98% done and we left a 4:15 so that I could get my prosthetic fixed. He didn't get there until almost 5:30. He asked me how long that I had to wear this thing, and like I've told everyone else, I do not know. I peeked at the insurance papers he had and the thing cost over $3800 so I'm guessing it will be with me for a while. We stopped to pick up pizzas that my daughter ordered--I know, I know, but I hadn't eaten breakfast and I only ate two pieces so it was okay. For the third day in a row, I cried to get out of the brace and ready to relax.

I am definitely worried about the coming week. I missed going to weigh in, but I had a great victory that didn't involve the scale. The man who made my brace noticed that I was having some problems with it and did a couple of adjustments that were necessary because I "had lost a good bit of weight" since it was made. YAY, it is good to have somebody else notice.

On that note, I'm going to get ready for dinner. My husband fixed chicken tacos for supper and I love those. Sylvia

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHILLIWACK 8/11/2008 1:31AM

    Sylvia, thanks so much for the goodie. With all that you are going through, it is a major pain in the keister that you have fibromyalgia, too. One of the things I found out when I had my knee replaced is that the post-op pain for those of us with fibro is much different than for most folks. My ortho surgeon said that is the only reason he can think of that I have a burning pain in the muscles around my knee five years post op. It isn't too troubling, but it is there.

Hope you get well soon. You will be in my prayers. We FMS gals have to stick together; nobody else understands us! I had two sisters with FMS, (one pssed away in April), so we always had somebody to complain to when nobody else would listen. LOL.

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JEANELLEN59 8/3/2008 7:47AM

  I was just "popping" around from blog to blog and telling people to 'hang in there.' Well, after reading your blog I realize how less important some people's problems and complaints are. It sounds as though you are determined to return to work. You must be very strong. Well, hang in there, and GET HEALTHY and FIT both physically and emotionally.


Comment edited on: 8/3/2008 7:45:28 AM

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Last Monday in July

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hi there,

I have been awake since I took a nap Sunday. I have no clue what is up with that, but I'm expecting that a nap is soon coming. I am going to try to hold out until bedtime so that I can get back on schedule with the rest of the world. Maybe, it is because of all of my activity yesterday. I got to go to church for the first time since my surgery and it was awesome. We had a wonderful service with lots of music. Our community has a jazz festival every summer in honor of Bix Biderbecke (spelling may be off!!) and out church music director takes that into our church. We get to sing and hear lots of great music and we had an awesome sermon about the fact that we cannot be perfect, but we need to try our best--and I got to see everybody and talk to my friends. That side of everything was awesome. The down side was trying to sit with that brace in a pew, There was a baptism (aww-ww) but the sermon time was far over the 15 minutes I'm supposed to sit up--more like 1 1/2 hours) I also walked around, including in and out from the parking for about 30 minutes, far longer than I have been on my feet. I think the pains that I'm having have been my payback. I am still glad that I went.

We also had this horrid storm a week ago Monday. It was called a "derecho" and 94 mph winds went through the community as part of its trip from Omaha to Chicago and did mass destruction. These storms give no warning that they exist or are coming. We had 140,000 homes without power. Ours went out shortly after the storm went through around 6AM. We finally got our power back Thursday evening, Considering we live in the country, that made it so we couldn't get water along with no phone, laundry, air, fan, etc... It was fortunate that it cooled off on Wednesday for the sake of peace, lol There were trees everywhere and I do mean everywhere. We had one on our porch, but no real damage. There were people who lost their homes. There was only one family with loss oflife--they were traveling and camping. It was sad because a tree fell on their tent and killed children. That was so awful, yet it was surprising that more people weren't hurt by the activity of all of the trees.

I am fighting with my depression, anticipating a new job this year when school starts up on Friday if the neurosurgeon releases me to return to work when I see him on Wednesday. It is an important job and if my health and energy are up to stuff, I can do well with it. I will be teaching reading to special ed junior high kids at the alternative school for part of my day. Wow, I'm so impress to be asked to help with the district's neediest students, but I'll have to leave my home school for an hour and a half each day and then come back. When you consider that I'm wearing a full brace that includes one of my legs with my complete torso, and that I use a walker, this will interfere with my position from a traveling viewpoint and from the comments that kids that age will have. Quite honestly, I look pretty bizarre weighing 286 pounds, wearing the brace,shorts and tennis shoes, while limping with my walker. I know that I'll do fine with the kids anyway--once they learn that I really care about them, they seem to eat out of my hand. Setting up my room at my home school, packing up the room I traveled to last year, and leveling boxes of books for our primary take-home program. I have two new bosses this year and need data from my former boss to complete my evaluation project from last year. There will be no shortage of work for me whenever I get there.

It has been a few weeks since I weighed in and I know that I haven't journaled my food or cared much about what I have eaten. Chips are an easy food for a house without power. Today, I ate cookies because my daughter baked them--I know how to praise her without actually eating them, I just did it the easy way. I think I'm off plan and out of control. I'm hingry right now and thirsty again too.

I have a lot to think about--I need to do that. Take care to you all, my friends and support. I will try to blog more often in order to hold myself acountable. Take care, Sylvia

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTEMPLE 7/29/2008 6:10AM

    Hi Sylvia, sorry to hear you're feeling low, circumstances don't seem to help.. Keep using SP and it will get better.

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AMHISPRINCESS 7/28/2008 7:10PM

    Sylvia... I am so happy that you were able to go to Church.. Sounds like it was awesome..

You need to listen to Doctors Orders.. It is for your own good you know.

I am sure that you will do just fine with your teaching.

Please take care of your self and do get the rest that your body is telling you.

Keep in touch. Hugs, Carol emoticon

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7/12--I weighed in and lost 5.2!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I decided that I was going to do m ore, even though I haven't quite been given permission yet. I went out yesterday evening and I did a little "good food" shopping. I also weighed ijn for the first time since my surgery. I lost 5.2 pounds and found out my brace weighs 6.2 pounds. This is a lot of good news for me. I belong to Weight Watchers and that is the onlyplace except the doctor's that I will weigh. When I have tried to lose and weighed at home before, I got to where I would weigh myself multiple times a day and it was out of hand. I have to give myself a break, I tend to push myself too hard and try to be perfect. I also tend to take on all of the work and let everyone, be it colleagues or family or anyone, off the hook. I have been learning both the word "no" and to be unavailable to "everybody." This has been like a lot of major rewiring of the way I operate and just like eating, it is easy to slip back into the old ways of doing things.

I am going to try to attend my husband's work picnic this afternoon. I am not worried about the food at this point, but I am totally worried about being able to manage myself at an event that is that long...11-5. The kids will go swimming in the lake, the food and cold beverages will be plentiful, my husband is taking off work early to be there after a bunch of my pushing. I have to be top notch in every way for my family. My hour and a half excursion to WW today took it all out of me and I needed pain meds tonight.

It was fun to change my weight "ticker" and it has given me reason to believe that I am getting more capable right now. Success can help in so many ways. Take care my friends, Sylvia

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTEMPLE 7/12/2008 8:08AM

    Yes. Success is a big thing a helps a lot. I have trouble staying in long social things and I haven't been through all you have. It think it's a feat even thinking of it, you have so much strength!
Hope it all went well.
Cool today and a bit tired. Had to talk to my mum for more than two hours international, a family problem that seems to have no solution and I don't want her to worry about it.
Tomorrow a new day. Congrats on your weight loss!

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