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Why I love Spark Teams and Spark Pages

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I took a risk several months ago and volunteered to lead a Spark Class team--and lo and behold, a few months later, I received a request from Coach Jen to co-lead a team. I was co-leader on another team and it was simply a fun time for me--and doing more of what I was already doing. I figured it was going to be more of the same and that I would have fun with it.

Then another thing happened...I was asked to be a co-leader on another of my favorite teams. I saw no problem with this either and got myself going, doing a lot here and there. I am so glad that I agreed to do these things because they have put me in a unique position to get to know some wonderful people at every stage of their Spark program. The only down side to any of this is that now that I am back to work, I don't have as much time to do all of the things I love to do here at SP. Oh wow, again, I have to prioritize... I am beginning to be a little irritated at this fairly inoculous concept.

Spark Teams are a place of fun, support and information. I really love chat threads and I love celebrating things with other team members. It is so much fun to recognize somebody for an accomplishment and to write responses on those threads and fill them with fun emoticons and colors: emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon It is kind of thought provoking to figure out how to fit some of those little pictures into the words I want to share with others.

However, Spark Teams have led me to Spark Pages--which are people who I share either a team in common with or a common issue or concern in our lives. I really love going to other people's pages. I make sure that I am one of their friends so I can start with their "feed" and check out all of the cool things that person has been doing in the past few days. That feed lets me know how many exercise minutes, spark points, and other information the person wanted to share. I get to click on the "I like this" space and even add a comment to their daily activities. That leads me to the rest of their page--where I can leave a comment of any kind. I can also leave the person a goodie with points I've accumulated doing various SP activities--and along with that goodie, I tend to leave long messages that welcome, congratulate, comfort, support or simply say "hi." The other part of the person's Spark Page I can respond to is their blog section. I love to find happy things to say about blog my friends have written. I also am able to support them, welcome them, commiserate with them, congratulate them, learn from them, ask questions... the list goes on. It is a great way to meet other people on "my schedule." there are so many awesome, thoughtful and creative people here.

Now I know that you all know these things, but I wanted to talk about them because I really love these opportunities--yet I don't get to do them nearly as much as I did, like when I was off work for vacation or when I was on sick leave and not working full time. That doesn't mean I don't get to go to my team pages or my Spark Friend's pages, it just means that I don't get to go so often. I feel as if that isn't really very healthy for me because I get so much from each of you and that is the real reason I am writing this.

I learn so much from my friends here. I have read the information that says we get quality information when we are active in a weight loss community like SP. It is so wonderful to find out another way to do something--or an easier way to do it. I have learned a lot of ways to deal with my back issues from my Spark team and friends. I have learned some recipes that I use and I have learned some ways to plan my meals. Now, I know that I can learn some of these same things here at SP in several other ways, but it is so nice to have a friend help me with the tricky things I need. It also is gratifying to help my friends with something I know as well. Support is a treasure whether I am getting it or giving it. Anything that I can help someone else with reinforces the good things that I can do for myself as well. I love win-win situations!!

Recently, I have had the experience to meet up with another of my Spark Friends. This is the second time I have done so--both have been for special reasons and both times, it has been wonderful. Our online communications move right into verbal ones. We talked and shared a meal and met each others' families...It was fun and I totally recommend working out some opportunity to meet up with a Spark Friend one way or another if you can do so. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

The only down side with all of this has been my recent schedule (as I have mentioned a few times here...) I was so happy to have gotten caught up on my team pages and some of my friends' blogs over the holiday weekend between all of the activities we had. The rest of my week has been like this: Go to work, Medical appointment after work, Get home late and connect with my children and family with their activities, our errands and chores, and dinner, go to the fitness center to get my exercise time at the pool in, get home and go online until I fall asleep. (The laptop and I sleep together most nights--this blog was started when it was still Friday and the phone woke me up with it this morning...) I don't get as much "free time" or "me time" to visit everybody the way that I'd like. I have talked about this before here, because it is so frustrating to me--I love visiting with everyone so much--but time is a finite resource and that is everyone's reality.
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Back to my new Spark class... I need to thank Coach Jen for the opportunity. Yesterday, I made it to one of the newer member's pages and met another really great sparker who is doing quite well. I had the opportunity to share some of the same type of things I have written here with this SP member and that's what got me to thinking about all of this. So much good can come out of reaching out to someone else--that is a big plus here at SP and we are blessed to take part in such a wonderful community.

Thank you SP for all you have given us--Every time I look, I find something else. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 9/15/2010 8:14AM

    That is really great you have taken on extra work at Sparks. I was asked to so lead on a team, but knew I wouldn't find the time. I love doing all the things you do too, but do get frustrated when I can't get around and miss friend's important blogs when they have a downer moment. I don't know how you manage it so well. I am way behind right now after a frantic week and just catching up. My slow connection doesn't help but I spend every fee moment trying. I sometimes wonder what it would be like without that bridge club manager job to keep me hopping lol. Probably wouldn't know what to do with myself!
Keep up the fabulous work, but don't take on more than you can handle!
Gentle hugs,

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HOPEFULSNAIL204 9/13/2010 11:13PM

  This is a GREAT blog! I always marvel at how well Sparkpeople was put together. Thank you, Sylvia, and thank you Spark guy and team!

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LOULOUBELLE2 9/12/2010 9:54PM

    OMG You got me with that joke. emoticonNo wonder her hic cups were cured. I'd of had a heart attack.
Keep us posted on your test results.....Pray they are good. You surely don't need a 41st surgery!!!!!!
Gentle Hugs back at you.......

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/11/2010 11:40PM

    Your problem is one I can relate to. The more active the team is the more work and the less time for friends.

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MTNGRL 9/11/2010 10:31PM

    Great post Sylvia. Sparks has become such an important part of our lives. It continues to give us much more then diet and weight loss information. The friendships I've made with last forever. I understand how your schedule must be filled to the brim. Yet you are here to support and encourage us all. Thank you!! Just remember you need some "Me Time"!!!

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LOULOUBELLE2 9/11/2010 5:11PM

    YOU KNOW that "I know" exactly what you mean......I'd love to co-lead another team, but my 10 mins. go by so quickly I can't. Thank you my emoticonfor picking up the pieces that I sometimes don't get to.
emoticonto you and the family,

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CHEFAMANDA 9/11/2010 4:03PM

    Great post, Sylvia! You know I'm perpetually behind, but I have to get my SP fix, even if it's only for a couple of minutes. :-) And lately, it usually is for just a couple of minutes. :-(
I'm trying to rearrange so it will be a little more than that.

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NPA4LOSS 9/11/2010 3:16PM

    I agree whole heartily. I fall so far behind and think about giving up this or that and I find that I need this interaction with my Friends, team mates and SP. Take the time for yourself you need and we will be here waiting. We understand to constrictions of time. emoticon

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9/3 Friday--WooHoo for a holiday weekend!!

Friday, September 03, 2010

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Happy Labor Day weekend to my friends--and if you aren't celebrating this holiday in your country, Happy first weekend in September!!

It has been an interesting week. We have been busy, busy people as always. I am sometimes shocked by the amount of things we accomplish--and that is good because I can be rather saddened by the things that constantly remain unfinished around here. Lots of good things are taking place and I am so proud of that. I have a lot to do around here this weekend. It is time to utilize some more of these zucchinis in a baking project--I found a recipe for zucchini cookies here on SP that I want to try. They have walnuts and raisins in them, so they should be yummy and healthy (If nobody eats a dozen of them in one sitting. Don't forget that I have 6 sons and they are all hard-working and hard-playing big guys.)

I am trying hard to fall into the swing of things at school. I am using a new reading program that I am not too fond of--it is all phonics without any connection to actual text and I just don't believe in this kind of thing. However, I am using it within my lesson in between the kids' independent reading time and my guided reading time. I guess that I am thinking if it is in between important lesson components that involve real books that it will not stick out so much. The kids like it, but I am afraid that the reason for that is that it isn't challenging them. My big boss purchased this and believes it will make a difference, so I am giving it my best shot. I can do things that I don't much like--it just isn't much fun for me.

I haven't had a repeat of the spell that I had at work on Tuesday. I hope that cutting one of my meds in half managed this. The more I think about this, the more I realize that I wasn't asleep. It was something a lot deeper that went on. I am a bit offended that everyone in the entire school and beyond is aware of it. I guess when you are in education, the students are guaranteed privacy, but the staff is not. It was embarrassing to me--as my health issues often are. One of the teachers heard from somebody (and I don't remember telling anyone but the person in charge...)that I was most likely going to have another surgery. That was embarrassing to me as well. I hate trying to explain my arthritis issues to others, unless they are people I am close to and who care about me personally. I haven't had the EMG test scheduled yet, so I don't know what level of surgery that this may be. It is my intention to hold out and have the procedure during an intersession so it won't interfere with my work or the students' programs. our fall break is the first two weeks of October and it isn't likely that the medical folks will move fast enough to act on this then. That would be ideal, but I have to have the test and then it has to be "read" with the results sent tot he doc I saw. She will then refer me to the appropriate orthopedic surgeon to take care of my issues--and that doc will determine if it is carpal tunnel or if my shoulder needs a procedure as well. The third possibility is that this is about my upper spine and it will mean a procedure from my neurosurgeon (and that scares me out of my wits.) The real deal is that I cannot lose sleep night after night because of the intensity of this pain in my shoulder. That does little for the quality of life--and if you check out any of the articles on sleep here at SP, well, not sleeping interferes greatly with weight loss.
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We have a lot of "celebrating" going on this weekend--2 parades, a potluck picnic, a family picnic/end of the year pool visit, a festival, my daughter's solo at church, and all of our regular stuff as well. It should be fun, interesting, exciting, and satisfying. I sure hope that there is something special going on in all of your lives too. This holiday is about all of us working people--and whether you work at home of at a job somewhere else, you are a part of it. I wish you all a wonderful time because you earned it.

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BHLTHY4LIFE 9/10/2010 9:31PM

    The cookies sound really good,the Spark recipe site is awesome.We have our recipe books in storage from a kitchen remodel in summer of 2009 and we have not brought them in yet.We don't need to with the Spark recipes site.I love zucchini bread too! I too hope you do not have another episode like you mentioned,I am unsure of what happened,but I understand about your privacy and I believe we have a right to this. I have to agree with the others it might be helpful for them,in case you need assistance,you have nothing to be embarrassed about,I can understand your feeling about this,though.I am sorry for the shoulder pain and not getting sleep at night,my friend on Spark has this too and I feel so bad for her. Sleep deprived and pain is horrible for anyone.I am happy to hear about your fantastic Labor Day weekend,sounds like you enjoyed yourself and your family, emoticonPrayers to you in healing and pain relief emoticon emoticon emoticonDiana emoticon

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    Glad that you're feeling better. I am jealous of the parades. That's one thing I miss. This area does very little of that. Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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NPA4LOSS 9/4/2010 9:50PM

    I am glad that you have had no repeats of your problem last week. Maybe something good will come of co-workers knowing of the surgery. I also feel that it may help someone to help you. Being independent minded sometimes keeps us from accepting the help offered to us. I am that way. Good thoughts and prayers continue for you. emoticon

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    Please do not worry about people at work knowing about your medical problems. This could help someone who will be blessed by offering the gift of service to others. At times you might need help and those who give it willingly will be blessed. It will make them feel good. I'm sure if the situation were reversed you would do the same.

You have a lot of fun and productive things planned. I hope you enjoy them.

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9/1 Wednesday--Complexities

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

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Hi Everyone,

The computer lost my blog again...You would think I would know enough to copy it before I hit the send button by now.

I have had a lot going on--my plate is overflowing. Yesterday as I was teaching my fifth group of students, something happened. I don't really know what, but I didn't come out of it when they left of when my sixth group came in, until one of the fifth group student's teacher came in and took my shoulder and called out my name. I don't know if I was in a very deep sleep or if I passed out or exactly what. The principals both came in my room and insisted that I go home. I called for my ride and they took me to the nurse for a BP check and the like--it was fine (as it has been even since I went off of my meds in December.) I called my doc when I got home and between us we decided that it was probably the medication I am taking for fibromyalgia and nerve pain issues. When I went back on meds for that, my rheumy prescribed what I used to take, but considering that dose was for me 100+ pounds ago, it is likely what caused the problem. We have cut that in half, so I'll only be taking 300 mg three times a day rather than 600mg and that should take care of the problem. I have a complete physical with all of the labwork coming this month, so if there might be something else going on, we will find it. Anyway, I stayed home last night--I didn't even go to the pool. I thought that I would be able to relax and catch up on SP, but I kept drifting off into a sound sleep for 15-20 minutes at a time, all night long. Something was definitely askew with me.

I also saw the ortho yesterday. They are scheduling an EMG for me to determine the source of my shoulder pain. It appears that there are 3 possible culprits and any or all of them could need a surgical procedure. The easiest of the three is carpal tunnel. It could be something in my actual shoulder. It could be my neck and spine. An EMG will give them info so they know which of my friendly orthopedic surgeons I need to see. I hope that it is an easy procedure and that I can do it during an intersession. I am waiting for their call.
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We had an absolutely wonderful weekend. We met up with my SparkFriend, JIMSQUEENIE emoticon at the Amana Colonies on Friday evening. We stayed at a delightful Bed & Breakfast with great hosts. They made some scrumptious breakfasts, that's for sure. When we met up, we just started chatting about everything from soup to nuts. Our husbands hit it off quite well as well--we also brought six of our kids and one of our son's girlfriend along with us. We spent Saturday touring the shops and one of the colonies. I walked a lot and I also did my pool exercises in the big pool that was at the Bed & Breakfast. That should have helped rescue me from a lot of the wine tasting and fudge and chocolate tasting we did, as well as some really good meals. The colonies are about a group of people who create so any things by hand--from woodworking to foods to clothing and so on. It was some great shopping too. On Sunday, we split up and part of our kids went to a nearby waterpark hotel to play and we did more of the same things we did on Saturday. One of the thing that I bought was a beginner's book to learn how to tat along with the tools I need to use. The book has a DVD to help me along and I am hoping that I didn't waste my money. My great grandmother used to tat and I'd really like to try. I won't get started on it until I finish the afghan I am making--it is almost done. (and I will take a picture and put it on my page when I get it finished...) The best part of the wonderful weekend was being with JIMSQUEENIE emoticon emoticonShe is so sweet and caring. She gives a lot of herself to others--she brought me a couple of wonderful gifts emoticonas well as a most enjoyable weekend.

It is time for me to scoot--I am around and I will do my best here, but I think you all know that I lead a pretty hectic life. I miss you all when we aren't chatting frequently though and I hate being MIA. Take care of yourselves!!

Gentle hugs,
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NICOLEET 9/6/2010 1:37PM

    Thanks for the advice re: working out in my apartment. I am not a morning person either and do much better after work in the very early evening, which I think is reasonable :)

The issue of medication and weight is definitely something I will have to keep in mind. Changes in body weight or percentage of body fat I am sure affects a lot of pain management medications. I am sure that was a scare for a moment, but I am so glad everything is okay!

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JRSWHIMSY 9/2/2010 6:13PM

    Oh how scary! I hope that doesn't happen again!!!

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NPA4LOSS 9/2/2010 1:35PM

    I hope that you are better today. I always get sleepy with meds so I understand the frustration. Maybe the reduction will take care of the problem. emoticon

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JHADZHIA 9/1/2010 9:19PM

    Hi Sylvia,
Hope you are back to normal soon with the lower dose of medication. Glad you got some great help to solve the problem of your shoulder. The Docs should be pleased with your next physical with how well you have been doing. Nice to hear you had a great weekend and got to be with a Spark friend!
Rest and sleep well now!
Gentle Hugs,

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    I certainly hope you are okay, Sylvia, and that they can help your shoulder. Your weekend sounded wonderful. I love things like that.

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GGMOM06 9/1/2010 3:52PM

    I know how you feel, i have carpal tunnel in my left hand and Fibro ALL OVER. I think i have had the EMG's before i had my right hand done. They aren't too bad. I have a lot of pain in my shoulder and elbow too. I carry it a lot when i walk or prop it when i sit. What do you take for Fibro.? Nice blog, hope you are back to "normal" asap. emoticon

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Sunday, 8/22 Better "today," and my water therapy exercises

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I took the bull by the horns this weekend and worked on regaining control over many of the things bothering me. I can't seem to get control over my physical pain, but this has been going on for so long that it is not really much of a surprise. However, I have lead my family by the hand to get their help with a number of tasks that were an issue (to me at least.) They did some things I have been waiting for and i solicited promises for a reasonable few other activities as well--and they know they have to be completed before Mitchell returns home with his girlfriend on his birthday on Thursday. The house and yard need attention and some of it is just needed before we have company. It is also needed before we go on our weekend trip to meet up with one of my spark friends in Amana. I am looking forward to that mini-trip and so are they, so they know that Mama should be happy before the fact. I had to postpone from this week because of too many kids' things going on. I might threaten to leave them all behind if they haven't done their part--but I am definitely going to go.

We did get enough accomplished today that I also planned some family R&R for this evening--we just returned home from a picnic in the brand new park in Rock Island. (They moved the casino from being a waterbased riverboat to a landbased "boat on a moat" that isn't really a boat at all. That left this beautiful piece of land along the Mississippi River downtown and the city and the park board did a nice job of creating a beautiful family park with a pavilion, a beautiful up-to-date playground area for little kids and bigger kids with a sprayground, a nice picnic area, and access to the riverfront for fishing and just chilling out and enjoying. We took a nice meal of baked chicken, salads, veggies, watermelon and zucchini brownies to enjoy (and I am still stuffed!!) Then we spent time walking around and absorbing all that this new park has to offer. It was relaxing and fun. I can't believe that we have been home almost a half an hour and nobody has turned on a television yet. emoticon

I still have some homework to do--I need to start getting comfortable with the new reading program that I am supposed to use. I will be starting lessons completely on Tuesday and I want to feel comfortable with this new material. I'm going to close this in a bit, but I am also going to include an explanation of my water exercises as a "PS." I had a couple of requests, so I copied one of them and thought I'd put them on my blog for anyone else who needed something similar. Remember that these were from my physical therapist and were designed to help me with my core and to strengthen my knees, shoulders, and back. The other part is that is essential to hold in your tummy as you do all of these. I hope they help somebody... emoticon

Gentle hugs,

POOL EXERCISES (Thanks to Kira and Nettie, my physical therapists)

I start with walking in the pool and I begin with a lap frontwards, a lap backwards and one sidestepping. {*****All of the exercises that I don't mention how many to do, started out as a set of 10 without any resistance adding--the number increased by 5 and I now do 30 of each of them. When I got to 20, they added resistance that I will explain.******}
Next I go to the side of the pool where the water is waist deep (or a bit more) and I do squats using both legs, then one leg, and then the other. Next, I do an exercise in which I stand on my toes and then roll back on my foot to my heel and back--first with both feet, then one leg, and then the other. Next, I do kicks--I use a 1.5 pound weight around my ankles because I couldn't find the winged ankle things they used in therapy for resistance. I do kicks with one leg to the side and then the other. I follow those with "butt kicks" where I kick back towards my bottom at the knee. I then do full leg back kicks without bending my knees and finally I do front kicks where I turn around facing the water with my back against the side of the pool, and I raise my leg at the hip, kick forward, bring my leg back to the raised position and down.

After my kicks, I remove the weights and do "stars" for balance. It is called a star because you stand on one foot and then kick forward, back to center to the side, back to center, and to the back and back to the center. (I started with 5 each on the left leg and then the right--now I do ten of these.) After this, I do two other exercises that involve using a noodle or two. The first is to take the noodle in your hands while keeping your arms at your sides, you push it down into the water and bring it back to the surface. Then, I do the same with my arms still at my side, but I shift it to my right side rather than the center and push it down and up, then, I repeat the same on the left side. (For resistance with this one, tie the noodle into a knot that looks like a pretzel in the center--the extra surface provides resistance.) The other noodle activity I do is to step on the noodle in the center and push it into the water. I raise it by lifting my leg at the hip and then push it back down again. (For resistance with this one, I use two noodles--that is all my foot is big enough to hold down.) Repeat this with the other leg.

After this, I go to the stairs and place my left foot on the second stair and it holds my weight as I use my right leg to "partially climb" from the first stair to that second stair and then go back for 5 reps (I now do 15 reps of this.) Repeat the exercise on the other foot. Finally, I go back to do my arm and shoulder exercises. I do these in water that is shoulder deep, but you could try them at any depth that is comfortable for you. I started these with no resistance and then they gave me these paddles to hold after I was at 25 reps, that I haven't been able to find anywhere. I use webbed swimmers gloves, but I have seen people with these plastic things they wear on their hands that would work as well for adding resistance. I start out by putting my arms out to my sides so my hands and arms are straight out. I move my arms simultaneously to the center and then back to the extended position at my side. The second exercise I do is to put my right hand down into the water and my left hand in front of me. Moving them simultaneously, but in alternating movements, the right arm comes up to the extended position in front and my left arm ends up down at my side, then move them back to the starting position. The third exercise I do involves one arm at a time and is a way to strengthen my shoulders. You simply have your hand extended in front of you and you move it in a way that simulates a figure eight in front of you. After you do one arm, you repeat it with the other. For all three of these, you begin with your hand cupped a bit so that you are pushing water and after you add resistance, you are pushing a greater amount of water.

I finish up with 2 laps of walking frontwards, then backwards, then side stepping. Now, I also swim some laps--I'm not a great swimmer and I do mine on my back. I started out struggling to do a couple of laps, but I can do at least ten these days. Depending on how many laps I do, it takes me from 90 to 120 minutes to do all of these exercises. I can do these at a slower pace if I am having a lot of pain or bump them up into cardio-level if I am feeling better.

I hope that that made sense. Like I said, I got these from my physical therapist and she put them on paper and laminated them so they are safe from the water--but her explanations include diagrams. (They make it a bit easier to explain.) If something doesn't quite make sense, please ask me to clarify what I have told you. It is hard for me to give you a good description when I have such a complete picture of them in my mind and I am not sure what I am not explaining well enough. I sure hope that somebody can use these. I find out that at the pool I go to, many of the "older" adults get a pair of exercise bars and go into the deep end and spend their entire afternoon talking out there. I am not sure what they are doing or how that is exercise, but I am not going to judge what I don't understand. I am glad to keep moving and to change activities as I work out--I would be bored crazy spending such a long time doing the same movement.

As I said before...Gentle hugs to you,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Wow! That's quite an exercise routine. I'm really impressed. Thanks for sharing them with us. I use some of them but will be using some of the ones I don't now that you've mentioned them. Love ya, Dawn

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JHADZHIA 8/22/2010 11:48PM

    Hi Sylvia,
Looks like things are going great for you, exercise wise. Those exercises are all familiar to me except I have never done the star in a pool, it was a balancing challenge on land for me (I am so bad with balance). You do a great job in the pool!!
glad you are getting your kids to help out around the house. They are certainly all old enough to do their share.
I am glad you had fun at the park! Sounds wonderful!
Get a good sleep and rest tonight, you have earned it!
Gentle hugs,

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/22/2010 10:23PM

    I'm so glad the kids are helping you get control of things there. It is overwhelming the amount of work that we women have.

Your park visit sounded wonderful. I love to do things like that.

I hope you enjoy your mini trip!!

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Thursday, 8/19 I feel irritable and I hate it!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hi everyone,

What does the title of this blog say to you? I am on edge and although I can give you some reasons why and I can even justify my irritability, I hate feeling this way. I want to be laid back--at least at my regular level of comfort. I want to know how to get myself to that place. (Actually, I'll even toss in a disclaimer that nobody else seems to know that I am anxious and kind of in knots right now.)

OK. my sleep was repeatedly interrupted last night because of my lousy partner, pain. Yet this is nothing new to me and I manage myself better than I am right now. As I mentioned in my update--something really good came of my nighttime wanderings last night. One of our precious little teddy bear hamsters found himself out of the safety of the cage and was cornered on the entertainment center by a cat and 2 of our older kittens. I just love those tiny furballs and it would have broken my heart as well as my youngest son. I don't know how he got out of his cage and I cannot blame the kitties for going after a rodent. that is what kitties do.

School is getting into full swing for me, but today was full of interruptions that prevented me from seeing the majority of my kids. These were scheduled interruptions and some of them left me with a bit of free time. However, I am pretty dedicated to my students and this kind of thing has always bugged me. It is what being part of a school community is about. I have had to rewrite my schedule every day since I finished it--and now I am up to 43 students, which is a pretty big case load. I did give myself time for lunch and some prep as well though.

My two youngest children return to school tomorrow--Marissa is a sophomore and is really looking forward to Driver's Ed--not I, but again, I have dealt with that 6 times before her. Micah is starting junior high tomorrow--this is a new thing, given the fact that he is my baby and it seems like "not so long ago" that he was born and we were leaving the hospital together. (My husband took him to the dotor for me this morning and it turns out that he now has dual ear infections on the tail of that viral pneumonia he recently had, poor guy.) Two of my other kids go back to college in the next week and a half and that is going to take a chunk of change from our budget--that is something that parents of 8 children have to deal with constantly and as much as I hate thinking about money, I know this, too will work out just fine. I have 2 sons still looking for jobs--and one who would really like to make a shift from being a substitute teacher to having a regular teaching position. I sure wish I could make that happen for him, he is a natural teacher and does a wonderful job. (And it is so even with my bias!) Anyway, none of these things are new--they are stressful, but not horribly so.)

I have a lot of chores to do around our house. I have tried to get some help with things, but the kids have forgotten or had their own things to do and places to go and so on and so on. this has been like a broken record around here since, well early spring, I am thinking. The garden needs attention--wow is it growing!! The yard needs attention as well. I just cannot seem to get to anything. I still have a lot of school things around the house that need to be stored or moved or something. There never is enough time for all of that stuff--I manage to get grocery shopping done and bills paid, but the rest happens as it will. And again, this isn't new frustration, it is "life as usual" in my world.

I think I have come full circle back to how I feel. I deal with some level of pain all of the time, that is what it is like to be me. My right arm is better with the brace on which makes me figure that I have do have a carpal tunnel issue. My shoulder pain is expanding into my neck now--but maybe, just maybe it will settle down before my appointment with the ortho on the 31st. Fibromyalgia stinks--I read an article yesterday about how they are treating it with a broad range of anti-depressants now because it actually protects people from some more explosive reactions to stress. REALLY?? The article explained how the pain of fibro actually distracts people from their stress. That article really ticked me off because it doesn't match my life or experience. I will even go so far to say that if the fibro would calm down--even a bit--my stress levels would also decrease.

Anyway, I fell asleep writing this and the TV in the other room startled me awake. Now that I am awake--well, maye I'll be back to sleep soon.

I'm not grumpy when I'm sleeping. Maybe it's all in my head.

Enjoy the oming weekend,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NPA4LOSS 8/22/2010 11:05PM

    It sounds like you all accomplished a lot and received a great reward of a Family Fun Night. emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/22/2010 10:25PM

    I am praying for relief for your pain. emoticon

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NPA4LOSS 8/21/2010 10:37PM

    emoticon dear friend. I hope that you were able to get some emoticon Saying a prayer for you and yours emoticon emoticon

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    I am so sorry that you have so many struggles my friend. Just know that I love you and keep you in my prayers daily. Bright blessings to you and your family. Love, Dawn

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JIM*S_QUEENIE 8/20/2010 8:08PM

    Oh, my sweet friend,
I don't wish I could trade places with you as I don't think you would like the pain I go through, throughout my back, neck and other places. But, I do wish the pain would cease for you, even if just for a while or a couple of days. I use Lidocaine patches and they seem to help temporarily for about 9 hours anyway. Ask your dr. to prescribe them for you - about 3 a day for as long as he will - like 3 months worth. That will give you a few extra days of extras.
Well sweetie, it is dinner time and I must go. I did write you other notes, as well.
Peace, love and blessings,

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EMRANA 8/20/2010 9:29AM

  I've been on anti-depressants for years because I have clinical depression. I also have fibro, and it does not help my fibro pain, unfortunately. I hate to contradict the experts, but obviously they don't have fibro.

I was given amitryptiline (sp?) a few years ago in addition to my Celexa and all that did was make me tired and put more weight on me. I actually slept up to 18 hours a day on the weekends with it. I went off it because I couldn't deal with the relentless fatigue during the work weeks and then having no life or time to do anything when I actually had "me time." The weight gain was alarming too. I'd already gained from other meds, so I really didn't need any help from this stuff.

I can relate to wanting to be laid back as usual. I am normally very spiritually balanced but being pushed back to work by my disability insurance carrier has wreaked havoc on me. I'm still on half days, but it's so hard. I read your blog and said YES! That's exactly how I am feeling too. I am sending you some very understanding ~ and gentle since we both hurt ~ emoticon

At least I am the opposite of you sleep-wise. My pain puts me in a coma sleep. My issue is that I sleep too much.

If you can afford help at all, it makes a huge difference to get help around the house. I pay $40 a month to have a local cleaning company come and do my bathroom and kitchen. I finally admitted that my spine is not going to manage to do those things, and my husband is not going to do them consistently either. It's worth squeezing that $40 from our tight budget. It doesn't have to be help with eveyrthing, just with the thing or two that causes you the most pain. That's a huge stress of your shoulders and fibro.

YAY for the hamster rescue! I love those little guys too!

Have a great weekend, my friend!

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