Monday, August 02, 2010
Hi there my friends!!
Something has been funny with the computer again tonight--and last night. Mediacom sure gives us trouble--I guess it hasn't happened in just over a month, so I shouldn't fuss, lol
ANYWAY... I lost 3.2 pounds this week and I am now at 198.4. WOW. I wish that I would have done these things a lot earlier. I could have been healthier and had more energy way back then. BUT--I have done them now and I am here. NO LOOKING BACK!!
Two years ago, I rode into school in a wheelchair with the scariest brace on that anyone has ever seen. It looked like a turtle shell and covered my upper torso. There were centimeter sized holes drilled into the back for some air and it was so hot to wear. It had steel bars that extended down the left side to fit a similar attachment around my thigh. I couldn't do much without help. The next day, I had a visit from the guys downtown and they told me that I had to move to another classroom. Yeah, right--and a lot of people who didn't really care about my things or what was coming next tossed my stuff into boxes. I got to the next school (per principal's request) and then somebody else who didn't care much about my stuff or my space unpacked some of my boxes. The rest were placed on the stage, up a flight of stairs that I also couldn't climb and that's where they remained. I struggled to get around and I struggled to do everything. I couldn't even go to the restroom without help because it took at least one person to manage the brace--and two were better. I was supposed to travel and work in another building, but since I couldn't drive or bend over, I stayed in the same place. It went on the entire year. I was stared at constantly and rude things were said to me about my size, my clothing, my smell, and so on.
Last year, I started the school year in turmoil and was told that I had to travel between two school buildings. I had to pack up part of my belongings and move them to another school and even though other teachers had help, I had to get my family to do this work because quite honestly, I couldn't pack, lift or unpack. I was without the brace and with enormous pain. I had a nasty episode that turned out to be congestive heart failure. I was on meds for blood pressure, partially clogged arteries, aspirin, nitroglycerin patch, as well as my arthritis meds and asthma meds and fibromyalgia meds and depression meds. You have the idea. And it wasn't long before I was back in the wheelchair as well. But I started physical therapy in the pool and I worked and worked day after day until I was "too good" to stay in therapy. I walked in on my own power there my last day in March. (It wasn't easy, but I did it.)
Now, it is a new school year and this teacher is confident with my walker. I have lost over 105 pounds and I am below not only 300 pounds, but below 200 pounds as well!! I am going back to school weighing less than I have weighed in so long. It is much easier to eat on my plan when I am working and on a schedule. I am going back with a cute little haircut (or so I've been convinced...I lost a lot of hair after my most recent surgeries--having had over 30 of them in the past 9 years has taken a toll on my body in many ways. I finally had a second trim to make it look better.) I have a new wardrobe so maybe the rude comments about my clothing and appearance won't happen. I couldn't possibly have an odor (not that I believe I ever did) but the worst I could smell like is chlorine since I spend so much time in the pool. I have a new room to go to, and I unpacked things with some help from my children who did things my way. I know what I have where and I am ready to do my very important job as a reading teacher for children who are having some problems as readers.
LISTEN TO THIS WORLD: None of the things that caused me grief, pain or distraction in the past is going to get in my way. I am like Alice and I too am in Onederland. I feel full of energy and I feel confident in appearance and health. I have faith in myself because I know who I am, what I have done, and what I can do. Nothing is going to get in my way. If my pain rears up, I am entitled to take care of myself for the few minutes I'll need and I will be able to get right back on track.
I am on track for myself and my family--and for the students who depend on me. I can certainly do what I need to because I have done this, I am in onederland. I am no longer taking meds for asthma or my heart or depression and my other meds have been cut way back. I have made it--and I will get where I am going before long as well. I am going to need another new wardrobe by the end of the year, if not sooner and I am going to be even more independent. I don't know if I'll be more sassy because that is one area where I may have arrived at my complete destination.
So in the remaining part of 2010, I am going to get to my goal weight. I am going to take care of myself in every way possible. I am going to walk Lady without help. I am going to dance with my husband. I am going to be able to use my cane at least part of the time. I am going to renew my National Board Certification. I am going to go to the pool every night that I can. I am going to have a successful school year. I am going to help children who need me more than anyone else. I am going to start doing more in my home and for my family... and I am going to get a lot in return.
BY THE WAY, I have been so overwhelmed by all of the kindnesses after my recent blog about losing 100 pounds. Thank you all for helping me to feel so good about what I have done. I am going to make each of you proud of me as you see how successful I will be in the other parts of my life as well. I feel good about more now than I have in a long time and I owe it to you and to my SP family.
Gentle hugs to you all,
PS--I'll get a new "in progress" photo up soon that won't be quite as silly as the one of me at the water park giving my husband bunny ears. Wow, I can't believe I let that photo be taken!!
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Good evening everybody,
I just accidentally deleted my entire blog--poof, it was gone. BooHoo and good bye. I will try again.
I spent a lot of hours in the early week moving into my classroom. It was a tricky job as moving is when finally, on Wednesday, our "new" speech therapist found my two missing book cases, safely tucked in his room. Yay--that saved me and then I was able to put all of my author sets onto those shelves--along with some manipulatives and we got the room mostly finished Thursday morning. (The reason I referred to our Speech therapist as "new" is because he is new to our building, taking the place of a good friend who retired last spring. I worked with him back in the 80's when I taught for Head Start, so I don't consider him "new." I am looking forward to working with him again. I often share the majority of my students with the speech and language person, so it is good to have someone to work with who I am comfortable with.
That brings me to Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. I have spent countless hours on these 2 days chasing around with my soon to be 15 year old daughter running errands for her birthday party. That is where I am tonight--at a nice hotel suite with my daughter and several of her friends who are celebrating her birthday. Several of them changed their minds or had things that came up at the last minute so there aren't as many here as she expected, but it has been a fun time for them anyway. I have had the honorable duty of chaperoning which means staying in the room with them while staying out of their business. I'm great as long as I know what is expected of me.
I just read a great blog on humility and it said that (my words) it really isn't right to fuss about our physical condition--but I am going to anyway. I am quite confused as to why my body is so sore and hateful. My arthritis is attacking new sites--my hands, fingers and hips in particular are lousy. My ankles swelled last night and that hasn't happened since I reacted to Celebrex and they took it away from me--they found out I had a heart issue then as well. I haven't needed any of that medication in months, but now I am worried. I wish my body would be have. I am working so hard to give it what it needs. I also know that I spent a lifetime mistreating it and I am guessing that that damage might not be reparable.
The girls are awake and I am going to give them a break and go check out the breakfast here. It has taken me all night to write this since I deleted everything the first time--I hope you realize that this is a labor of love.
I am hoping that each of you continues to focus on your goals each day. If you haven't let yourself be overweight to the point that you damaged the body you were given, hooray. Take care of it--eat wisely, make healthy choices and stay active multiple times every day. If you have damage to that body, you need the same advice, plus a gentle reminder to "Hang in there." I believe that even the soreness and issues with my body will improve. they already have improved greatly and for that I am thankful. I am guilty of wanting more--and I know what I have to do to get it. I will be at the pool today and that will be just what this body ordered. I will take my meds and now that my classroom is within reason, I can take things at a pace that is what my body deserves. Finally, I am considering a doctor's appointment with someone--I just haven't decided which of my docs should see me for all of this. (I have routine checkups coming with my Primary doc and my rheumy in the next few months. I don't know if this is something for one of my orthopedists or my pain doc. I'll give it some thought.)
Take care of yourselves, no matter what. You are important and deserve that much.
It is still summer even if we are returning to school on Monday.
Life is good!!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I DID IT!!
I have lost over 100 pounds now. What is it like to be 100 pounds lighter? (I have seen this in other blogs, but I am willing to bet that my answers are a bit different than others...)
I went to the country's biggest water park last week and wore my bathing suit around everyone without covering up or hiding.
I actually rode on some of the water rides at the same water park--and I fit in the seats and wasn't embarrassed to be there.
I can borrow some of my daughter's clothing and wear them comfortably.
Today, my newest shorts almost fell off of me when I got in the car after exercising at the pool.
I go to exercise at the pool every day that it is available.
I walk with my walker almost all of the time--my wheel chair sits quietly being unused for the most part.
I can stop after eating 2 chocolate chip cookies, I really don't need to finish the entire package.
I track my food and activity every day--even when we were out of town and I had no computer access.
I sing a lot.
I play sometimes and have fun with what I do.
I always get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in each day.
I always get at least 8 glasses of water in each day.
I no longer take medicine for high blood pressure.
I no longer take medication for my heart, stomach, or depression any more.
I can walk 3 out of 4 of our dogs on my own.
I know that I have a lot to offer my students and I am going to keep working while I am sure of that.
I know that I have a lot to offer my family and friends as well.
I don't have to look at the biggest clothing when I am shopping.
I can wear yellow and red and magenta as well as black and navy.
It's okay for me to laugh and even act silly.
I am sleeping better more and more often.
I wear makeup sometimes and jewelry most of the time.
I have more energy than ever.
I work in the garden, the yard, and at other outside chores.
Now, the DOWN side
What will I do when I lose the next 1.6 pounds and get to onederland?
What will my rowdy basset hound, Lady do when I can handle her?
When I reach my goals of weight loss and activity, will the world be able to stand me?
Is there any end to what I can accomplish as a mother and a teacher and a child of God?
Actually, I'm going to be a bit more serious now...I am so thankful for all of the gifts I have been given. My health had improved in so many ways--which is what brought me here. The arthritis, fibromyalgia, and damage to my back are permanent fixtures, but having less weight for those joints to carry is a major improvement. Getting rid of some 15 prescriptions daily is a blessing that I never imagined, I feel as if a big cloud has been lifted from my brain without all of that stuff. Added energy is such a wonderful thing and allows me pleasure at so many little things. Things like clothing and appearance are a wonderful side item that I am enjoying but weren't my original focus. I have a lot to do yet, but I now know that I CAN do it--that is the biggest gift.
Life is good!!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
What is a mom to do when it is important to stay positive, but she isn't feeling that way? We talked about a number of things last evening and my kids were all "with me" on today being chore day. (Tomorrow, after a big Dixieland Service at church in conjunction with the community "Bix" weekend, we get to fo to a local waterpark to enjoy my daughter's work picnic for families. She, of course, has to work at this.) After I slept in until after 8, I did a bit of this and that and waited--but by 10:30, I knew I had to run errands and get going. All of thos promises went "poof." It was quite frustrating, because as much as I'd like to be independent, I am not there yet. I think this crazy week caught up with me a bit because I am swollen and achy. I read an SP article yesterday, thanks to my dear friends at OA of the Lower Back that mentioned we shouldn't think about our pain so much. Arghhhh, I don't think about it, I can't seem to escape it. Part of my issue is that I try to avoid my meds because they frequently make me sleepy when I on't want to be sleepy, but if I don't take them proactively, I end up suffering. That is the life of someone with chronic pain. When I am pushing myself at the pool to do my warm-up laps and to get started, there is something a bit off.
One week from tomorrow, is the first day back to work. Our first day professional development session is on the second floor of a building without an elevator and I will have to figure out how to drag myself and my walker up a trecherous flight of stairs that I have seen numerous people stumble and fall on. Prior to that, I have to finish preparing my room and I still have a lot to do. It isn't getting done very quickly, bu I know me and if it takes 15 hour work days, I will get it finished. I am like that. I have children who will help me, Mitchell leaves for Chicago and then Alaska at 6 Monday morning and I will miss him, but I am excited for him to get to go on this trip with his friends for his best friend's wedding.
There are many exciting things going on in my life, without a doubt, but I now feel as if my body is defying me and not cooperating when I need it the most. Staying positive is a wonderful thing as is not focusing on pain. Sometimes these special things get away from me and I guess today is the day.
I don't like relying on others. I don't like feeling pain. I don't like having things that seem to be "looming" without an escape route nearby. I know and have learned over and over again that I need to rely upon others at this stage in my life. I know that I will do what needs to be done and that I will do it well. I know and expect arthritis and fibromyalgia flares when I need them the least.
I can do whatever comes my way. I wish it would be easier, at least sometimes. I hate seeing our summer break come to an end so soon. It is nice to know that I'll be able to leave work and still go to the pool and play with my kids and have some fun around the duties that await.
I want to be positive and I can. It is just hard right at this moment. Tomorrow will be better--life is good!!
Friday, July 23, 2010
We are home from Wisconsin Dells. I walked for well over 12 hours on Wednesday, taking time out to climb stairs (which I'm not physically supposed to do) and to ride on some outrageous water rides. You'd have thought I was a teenager with some of my activities. We went to Noah's Ark--and the first thing I did with 3 of my sons was to ride on the Black Anaconda, the world's longest watercoaster. Oh my, once I figured out that I needed to arch my back and keep my bottom off of the bottom (because of the big bumps), it was a pretty impressive ride. I didn't go on any slides because my back needs support, but I did virtually everything else except mini-golf. (We can play that at home and there wasn't enough time...) We did a lot of browsing/shopping and we also went to the always gross and gory "Ripley's Believe It or Not" museum. The kids visited arcades and we did a bit of swimming. We lucked out and found a pretty basic hotel with double queen rooms--2 adjoining rooms for $50 apiece. We took 9 people to the Dells for 2 1/2 days and 2 nights for only $200 for lodging. There was no WiFi, so I didn't get to log in and lost my streak and my perfect attendance for July. It was so worth it. the guys (dumb) left our picnic food at the room when we went to the water park, so except for my blueberries and popcorn, I didn't eat while we were there--my son and I were too busy trying out everything we could and we didn't feel like taking out valuable time for that. We spent more for the water park than for our lodging, of course. Anyway, I'm hoping I burned a few calories. I sure drank a lot of water!!
I just went and worked at school for as long as they would let me--they said we had to leave by 3PM so they could wax the first floor. I'll be working hard there next week--I have a lot yet to do, but everytime I am there, I accomplish a lot. With good luck, a lot of elbow grease and the help of my family, I will make it. I hung up the little gift I got for myself while I was in the Dells, a little apple windchime. Now that I have a room of my own, I am going to hang up my windchimes again--and I collect apples (duh, some teacher...) so it was a nice $4.00 find. I hope that I can show off either my apple collection in my room or my basset hound collection. Kids love to see things that show off who you are and they loved these in other buildings and times. I miss seeing them out for everyone to enjoy.
My body is sore--I have some minor sunburns here and there, like around the base of my swimsuit. I have a couple of sons who have some significant burns. One of them flat out refused to listen to me--he wanted to tan. I wish Marshall would listen to me once in a while. I tried and tried to tell him and now he has an almost dangerous burn. Miles listened, but wouldn't "reslather" the sunblock on his tummy area and his burn is blistering already. The rest of us did okay, with only places with a little pink skin here or there. I am sure glad that they learned that sunburns were dangerous--unlike when I was young and always had them if I had been outdoors for any length of time.
I have virtually no voice and have really been coughing and doing my best to ignore this illness that my sons shared with me. I have been taking ibuprofen round the clock to keep the fever and achiness away. This weekend will be for gating the house in order and going to the pool. I caught up on my SP points for nutrition tracking, fitness and keeping my goals--I thought I'd lost my food journal, but it ended up with the coupons and the pamphlets that came home with us. I missed SP. but I am so glad we went. A different environment that is free from day to day stuff is important. I hope we can go somewhere else soon.
I missed you all and wish you could have been there too--actually with all of the people there, it is unlikely that there wasn't some other SP member around.
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