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Working towards better self-care

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hi there,

Wow, what a month. I left the hospital with two of my doctors disagreeing on whether I had a heart attack or not and I have decided to simply make it a wake up call to help me make better decisions. They only kept me off work an additional day, and I returned under everyone's kind scrutiny. Well, almost everyone. I came back on some strong antibiotics, a nitroglycerin patch to join my fentanyl pain patch--and another medication to keep my stomach settled. They explained tome that with my meds and health issues that it was important to look after my stomach as well as everything else. They never really pinpointed the source of my anemia or disappearing blood eithe, but they managed to frighten me a bit on those topics as well.

I went back to work to find out that the young lady who I supervise was using an outdated curriculum that the funding neither the grant t hat funds her nor the district policy approves of. I waited until we had a moment alone the next day to quietly remind her that it wasn't allowed and she shouted at me, accused me of interfering and then ran out in tears. She now isn't speaking to me. She now isn't speaking to me except to be mean, but she managed to get our bosses involved by sending emails for job descriptions a nd passing out research on the program. I tried to warn her when I talked to her, that if they became aware, they would be around asking questions. Our building principal and a couple of the administrators from the district came and held a private meeting with her to tell her that she was wrong and that I was herimmediate supervisor. She was told that she had to work a nd communicate with me and follow the rules. She is very upset and her behavior looks like someone who wants to be relieved of her position. I did find out that our boss had found out the day that I went to the hospital that this was going on and left it for me to deal with. I feel like nobody has heard my wake up call but me and it really hurts my feelings. I have been trying not to think of any of this until I get there on Monday because I have had to cancel all of our students in order to reconfigure our schedules. It will hurt me to lose any of the children who I have built relationships with, in order to straighten out things to meet the needs of the district and to meet my own needs of scaling back my workload.

On a far more loving note, we had an awesome Thanksgiving here. I did not do any cooking or shopping or anything. I helped prepare the shopping list. My second son prepared pies and jello and fruit salads. My daughter and her father did the shopping...and she prepare3d the veggies tray. My husband prepared the turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and gravy. My younger daughter helped with the casseroles and rolls. My 3 younger guys cleared off the buffet, changed the tablecloth and set the table while my oldest son a nd third son got to sleep because they had worked so late the previous night. It was an awesome meal. We always take turns sharing what the year has given us to give thanks for, and then my husband said the prayer. We are such a big group that sitting at the table together doesn't work well, so we sat together in the family room and had a fun time. My kids are great kids--all with a quirk or two, but I don't think we can find any of us without one.

And except for a couple of bites of my daughter's cheesecake, I ate healthy, both in choices and amounts...some turkey breast, a slice of light bread, fresh veggies, a bit of baked mac & cheese for my indulgence, jello and fruit. It was plenty and I didn't feel stuffed after all of that. I give thanks for having the knowledge and the willpower to take care of myself to get my body in order to share the world with my kids as they grow into wonderful adults.

I also gave thanks for my friends--including all of you who have prayed for me and given me the emotional boost I have needed during some very difficult months, starting with mid-June and my back surgery. You are the best, and you help me to help myself. Thanks to you all!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 11/29/2008 11:00AM

    It sounds like you had a lovely Thanksgiving - a 'real family' Thanksgiving - it's awesome that everyone pitched in and made it an even more important celebration.

Too bad about work though - but from reading your post, it sounds like you have a plan to lessen your workload and straighten everything out - all you have to do is get over that last hill? Too bad about working with brats (I like that term, Claudia) - frustrating - but stick to your guns, stay on track and you'll get there - she'll get over it, if she doesn't - too bad for her. Sounds like you love your job too (albiet with the brat).

Take care. Remember, even though you love your job, you are the first priority - time to take care of yourself; the job will always be there.

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CTEMPLE 11/29/2008 3:47AM

    Dear Sylvia
What a lovely Thanksgiving it sounded so happy and harmonic, so much to be grateful for! What a blessing. About the heart episode I don't want to comment because I am in a mean streak against doctors and I don't want to pass it on. Very glad that you managed to get over it.

As for work, it's a struggle with people. Until we made our seachange and decided to work less and live a simpler life with less stress of that kind ( we have others), I never felt so well in that department . I spent my life dealing with problems at work, difficult people and circumstances and doing something that it wasn't my tendency because I wanted to migrate and Engineering was the only sure thing. It gets to a point where we seriously have to consider finding an option that doesn't bring stress, yes I know, all jobs have some stress but there are degrees and kinds of stress that are more worthwhile than others.

I'm so sorry that still at this point in time you have to deal with brats, but that is people for you, especially those that you don't choose meaning people at work. And I also can't believe that they wouldn't lessen your burden and bring this girl into line before you came back.
Just concentrate in making things easier for yourself.
We're all here for you!

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Tuesday, Nov. 18--Heart attack

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hi my friends. Te title says it all--I am in the hospital right now, under observation. I have had a day unlike any other I have had. I was bopping along, doing my regular daily routing and had just gotten to take my 10 minute break to use the restroom. I headed back to my room ad stopped to deal with some sixth graders who thought nobody was watching them act stupidly and I went into my room and sat down with about 4 of my 6 kids already in the room. My chest started to hurt, a piercing or stabbing feeling from the inside with pushing down on the outside. I was trying to ignore it until one of the girls asked me if I was having pain in my chest. I don't know how she knew, but I answered her correctly and then I got up to walk a few steps to see if it would lessen, It didn't, so I pushed the door to my little room open and signaled to my son, who is working on the playground and in the cafeteria o days he isn't subbing. He came and I told him what was up and he went for the principal. She asked me what I wanted and I hemhawed a bit and she asked if it should be a 9-1-1 call. I unhappily agreed and she went to the office and made the call. A couple of others came dow to help me and sent my big group of 4th graders back to class. I had cool washcloths on my head and got the window opened because I was sweating buckets and the principal did a code red lockdown to keep the kids from warching a potentially upsetting situation.

The paramedics came and it got very busy in a hurry. I had a heart monitor and an EKG done on the spot. They connected me to an IV and gave me 4 baby aspirin. It was a loud and bumpy ride to the hospital as they questioned me about all kinds of things. They gave me a spray of nitroglycerine under my tongue and that got the chest pain to let up almost immediately.

To make a long story short, they told me that I had had a heart attack. They also found several other things--a bacterial urinary tract infection and an unexplained blood loss. That last is their biggest worry right now. They had decided to let me go home and then rescinded that comment within seconds. All I know is that this has scared me stupid and that I expect to leave with another handful of prescriptions to go with the ones I already have.

I have had a lot of attention and cannot seem to get this finished. I actuually started this around midnight and was surprised to still hve it up at 8AM. I have been trying to finish it and it is almost 10 now. I am going to sign out and I will give an update this afternoon.

Hugs everybody!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TLDUVALL 11/20/2008 8:26AM

    Oh my... Take care of yourself. Keep us updated on what is going on. Hope you are feeling better soon.

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SHELLPRO 11/20/2008 1:08AM

    Hon, get them to find you a Centers for Diseases Expert please, thats who fixed DH Mom when she was found to have poisoning of the blood & urinary tract. Until they discovered a E coli infection- they were'nt using the right antibiotics!

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JEANELLEN59 11/19/2008 8:03AM


Geez! Those 4th graders must really be tough!!! No not really....

Do what the doctors tell you to do and not to do...

Just take care.



Comment edited on: 11/19/2008 8:02:13 AM

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LOULOUBELLE2 11/18/2008 9:15PM

    Wow, Sylvia, you are having quiet a ride of up’s and downs lately. No wonder your body sent a signal to "S L O W" down. The hospital is a scary place, but it’s were you need to be to find out what’s wrong. enduring those tests are not easy, but necessary to properly diagnose the situation. Please keep the faith Sylvia, God will not let you down, as a matter of fact, if you know the poem, “Footprints” He is holding you up right now. Count on your family to do the best they can to keep the homestead running smoothly. Remember they are scared for you too.
My prayers and thoughts are with you dear friend. Do keep us posted.
Would love to sit with you and give you a hug, but virtual hugs are the best I can do.
emoticon emoticon emoticon and prayers too.

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CTEMPLE 11/18/2008 7:18PM

    Oh Sylvia, what big tests are put in your way. I hope they can diagnose properly and don't let you go until they're sure that you will be OK.
I will thinking of you and hope tomorrow is a better day.

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GRANDBOBB 11/18/2008 2:44PM

    That really is scary! I hope you feel better soon and I will have you in my prayers. Take care and do what the doctors tell you! emoticon

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OH2TRAVEL 11/18/2008 12:40PM

    Sylvia - Wow, what a scare. That kind of thing scares me stupid as well. SO..... I found a book in the health store when I was searching for supplements to help with blood pressure and I found a book called The Blood Pressure Hoax by Dr. Sherry Rogers. Don't let the title scare you. It's written by a medical doctor who believes in holistic care and eating healthy and not using drugs unless necessary. She goes into all the drugs and what they do and not do and she tells you about all the supplements that are need and the dosages. It's a great book and I have highlighted mine like crazy. I even loaned it to my dad who has been on blood pressure meds for the last 30-40 years. He has started to wean himself off. I hope to do the same. Even if I don't get off the meds the supplements cannot hurt me. They are all normal supplements we need and target heart health.

I hope you will continue to get better and stay healthy.

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PETUNIA_45 11/18/2008 11:31AM

  My goodness! What a shock for you! Glad you went to the hospital and hope you can get everything straightened out and come back home soon.

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KIERAE 11/18/2008 11:07AM

    Sylvia - I am so glad you went to the hospital! Hopefully you will get everything cleared up and get back home soon. Please keep us posted and take care of yourself! emoticon

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Saturday, Nov. 1--Third time's a charm!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I have had a week of ups and downs. This is the third time that I have tried to do this. The first time, I finished and thought I clicked the right buttons, so I was surprised when I found out that it wasn't here a couple of days later. I tried again on the 29th and spent most of my computer time on this page and fell asleep with my laptop on my lap and woke up with my clothes on, my laptop in my lap and 3 kittens on my laptop. I am glad that nothing more happened to my machine than the loss of my blog.

I guess I could have had the misfortune of these kittens. I don't know a lot about them, but a couple of months ago, my kids found a mama cat and these three kittens in our garage. They are sweeties. One of the babies looks like the little beanie baby that is a black kitty with white feet, so my kids named him Ty. Ty had been injured when we found him--His fur and skin around his lower lip, mouth--whatever you call it had been all pulled off aNd it looked so awful. we took him to the vet and she put him on antibiotics because it was infected and told us that the only time she had ever seen that type of injury was as the result of animal being tossed from a moving vehicle. She saw him again in 2 weeks and 2 more weeks later until the infection was gone and then did surgery to put him back together. She couldn't get it all of the way back, but she did the best she could. We have him, his tiger striped brother now known as Bobby, and his little long hair calico, kind of tiger striped looking sister Hobo along with their mother, Puddles living with us and the 3 kitties we already had and my basset and my son's dog and the guinea pigs and other assorted rodents and critters who live in cages around here. They are sweet cats that were very socialized but not well trained at first. Their mama prefers to sleep on the back of the toilet and doesn't pay much attention to the kittens anymore. Bobby is quite a bit bigger than Ty and Hobo, but they definitely are comfortable together and play quite well. I am worried about the two little ones but have no idea how to get the mother to feed them more than once a day. The little ones can fit on my computer power source and sleep there for warmth, I think. We know that they are at least 9 weeks old and probably more like 10 or more, from the way they looked from when we found them. We really didn't need 4 extra cats, but I have given strays to everyone we know who loves cats and needed them. I cannot imagine how people just unload pets. We live on a country type road that isn't too far from in town and our closest neighbor also seems to find cats and kittens the same way that we do. They are big hearted people who always buy things from the kids fund-raisers and they also get involved in similar fundraisers as I. I may try to get some information from one of the cat lover teams here on SP, I'm betting someone I know might be able to help.

I have had some stressful days at work--Thursday was a doozie, that's why I didn't have the energy to do more than my regular daily SP activities. Friday was the opposite. People who haven't went out of their way to be kind or friendly were great on Friday. One of my students who I really worry about was having major issues on Thursday and I was able to help him out and resolve problems that shouldn't have bothered him, so he had a good day on Friday as well. I finally got a couple of big jobs done on Thursday and feel like a load has been lifted off of my shoulders a bit. My youngest son, who has Asperger's Syndrome had a really bad couple of days early in the week because so many people do not understand his condition either don't work with him or the kids encourage him to do things that he shouldn't do--laughing at him when he thinks they are laughing with him. (He calls it showing him respect.) That took a chunk of my heart, hours to settle, and a bucketful of tears. He deserves better than what he gets at school and they just want to label him as bad rather than to teach him and help him stay on the right path. Then, I am stuck with the awkward situation of needing to discourage him from being with kids who represent the "friends" he has always wanted. I haven't quite been able to do that because it is like pulling a rug out from under him. Mothers don't do that--so I am trying to figure out the way to help him and maintain a group of friends at the same time.

Anyway, with all of this and my pain levels staying pretty significant, I have gotten walking in everyday--either 2 or 3 15 minute walks throughout my school, in a local store and parking lot or in my home which is the hard way. I have to stop because my back goes into spasms and sends fireworks to my brain at times, but after a minute or two, I go on. I haven't done so well with eating this week because I am having to spend time just grabbing what is quick and available--then before I go to bed, I get my fruits and veggies in whether I want them or not. I am perfectly aware that that is not the way this works, but it is as much as I can get done while I am so dependent on others with everything from food to showers to getting places to getting my shoes and socks on. I am glad that I got my hair permed during break, it is easy to care for and much easier to look at too.

That's enough for now, this will not get lost again today. (Thanks for the tip, Claudia!) Take care everyone. I hope to get caught up on your pages and our threads this weekend, because I miss you.

emoticon emoticon Sylvia

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ENUFF81020 11/1/2008 10:29PM

    emoticon I told you I'd get it done this time!!

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October 3--Intercession

Friday, October 03, 2008


My mood is a bit better and my body is too. The weather here is cooler so my shorts, tank top and slides along with my big bulky brace is comfortable and my shirt underneath is only damp, not dripping wet. I bet that is helping my pain level and my mood. The idea of two weeks to myself to use as I please has a lot of promise also. I will be going into work around several doctor appointments to work in my room and have sons who will take turns to help me with the more physical aspects of what I need to do. If there are any teachers reading this who can share a good book leveling site with me that I do not have to pay to use, please let me know. We are using Fountas and Pinnell leveling and I have about three boxes of books that I need to go beyond "Matching Books and Readers" to level. I have leveled all of my Sunshine/ Wright Group books, Little Celebrations, Rigby (except for some older publications), Sundance, Alphakids. I have tradebooks, Scholastic books, Troll books, and several more current books that I need to level but cannot afford to pay to use sites that may not have what I need in the fiurst place.

My daughter is happily enrolled in school. She would like to have more money, but needs to get that money the old fashioned way by working, lol. I did buy her a card for her phone and need to email her the numbers to get her phone up and running tonight so we can talk again.

Work continues to challenge me. I expect\ to have some differences of opinion along the way, but some days are more tough than the others with these strong personalities I'm dealing with. I really work best with adults who show their passion and compassion for children on their sleeve rather than those who either hide their feelings and relationships or who don't build those relationships with students. I warn parents that their kids become my kids when I am their teacher and that I will respect them and get their good information, but the reality is that I reaqlly do love qand nurture them in their home away from home!

I am sleeping more and better and my fatigue is starting to kick in already/ I plan to get as much sleep as my body wants so that I can see the next parent coming in for a meeting with me. I'd like to come back new and improved before my new appointment with the doctor. Maybe I'll get some shopping in. I ordered a few new articles of clothing at the same old size last week, and am surprixed to report back that the new things are all falling off of me because they are too big. That is my NSV (non-scale victory) of the month.

Thanks to so many SP friends who have been supporting me during these dark days of mine. I'm ready to move onward to a place much more bright and cheerful. Take care to all of my regular friends and new friends too!!

Hugs, Sylvia

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLPRO 10/28/2008 4:52PM

    Wow! we have truly traveled the roughest roads haven't we? I admire your determination. I can only hope that we both come through this not only the better for it, but renewed as well.

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GRANDBOBB 10/11/2008 6:47PM

    Hi Sylvia, I'm so glad you are feeling better! You have really had an ordeal with all the health problems. Keep a positive attitude and remember to drink plenty of water, eat lots of veggies and fruits! You certainly sound like a very committed teacher. Thanks so much for caring about our children and for teaching them. You have a difficult job for sure.

God bless,

Grandbobb emoticon

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CTEMPLE 10/4/2008 4:10AM

    Hi Sylvia you sound so much better! Congrats on the loose clothes!
Having a few problems of my own but still reading your blog.

Comment edited on: 10/4/2008 4:08:28 AM

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Saturday, September 20--The day after my birthday

Saturday, September 20, 2008


It is birthday time here, mine was yesterday and my husband's is Tuesday. Since it is always so close to back to school time, it seems as if there is rarely any extra money to do much. I am glad that I did as always and plan ahead for my husband like I do for the kids and the holidays. I haven't taught them all to think that way about my birthday, but it always works out just fine in the long run.

Some of my tough times are getting better. I finally started teaching on Thursday and it is great to be meeting new kids and to get to know them. My space is pretty limited and I cannot find anything I need to work with, but unlike when I started teaching, now there is the internet and that helps me in finding things without a lot of time and expense involved. It is much easier to eat more healthy when I am busy working full time, but my schedule is so full that I barely have 15 minutes to go to take my brace off and go to the restroom. On Thursday, I didn't have time to find someone to help me get it on and I went the afternoon with it off. The person who works with me took the afternoon off for a doctor's appointment and didn't tell me or anyone--just signed out and left--so I had to double up some of my groups and do all of the walking up and down the hall. I was late letting a group out and got chewed out big time by another teacher and made a mistake on the schedule which got me chewed on by yet another teacher. I am working with 43 children in 11 groups and covering 6 groups and 20 more children that the para is working with. It is a lot to do in one work day and to balance with 13 classroom schedules. I made three mistakes on my schedule and fixed them up easily but had to beg for cooperation.

My body is awful right now and has gotten more painful and uncomfortable with each passing day. I know that the high level stress that I have been at for almost two complete months and the surgery 6 weeks before that has been a big contributor to all of this. The increase of activity and decrease of time to rest has put the topping on. To add injury to insult, my left shoulder (the one that has been treated with cortisone for several years because of arthritis)nmade a loud pop on the inside when I was trying to reach across the brace and frantically look for something I needed. I am in a very crowded space, less than half a small room with an 8 foot table and surrounded by things that make it so hard to get through with my brace. i-i cannot bend over because of my back and brace, and there are things stored at the floor level all around the room. The person who arranged this was the former person in the room and the person helping me has made it even crazier. I was so frustrated trying to write my lesson plans yesterday because i couldn't find things that are still in the mountain of boxes waiting for me to go through and everything else was difficult to get to. I left the room and went to the restroom and then had an ice cream bar that somebody else brought for her birthday today. My husband came to pick me up and for the third day in a row, the person picking me up had to wait for at least two hours and help me to do my planning work. I selected books and brought the armload home with me to do this weekend. Back to my topic sentence, it is the non-stop aching in my body that is the biggest problem. This pop in my shoulder has made it far worse and more testy and I'm afraid to see any of my doctors about it because everytime I have an issue like this, it ends up being surgery and therapy. There seems to be residual pain in all of my surgery sites and I'd like to avoid any more of this if possible.

I am sleeping more--whew being exhausted and in pain has an upside to it, lol. Truly, I am blessed to be getting more normal sleep these days with all of the rest of what is happening in my life. I am sure that I couldn't handle any of what is coming my way on 2 or 3 hours of sleep so this is something to celebrate. Quite honestly, I'm hoping that this is my way back to being more normal (for me, hehe). Tonight may be an exception, it is homecoming for my kids and I won't really rest until they are home. My older son is out of town visiting his girlfriend before she leaves for 6 months and a new job she has taken aboard a cruise ship. It will be exciting and interesting for her, but he will be here missing herover the holidays and all. I hope that one of his applications gets him a job too. He has signed up to be a substitute in the interim, but that isn't always regular work unless you can find some long term jobs to do. One way or another, he needs his foot in the door--I am planning to remind my boss regularly about him needing a job. She really owes me and I think this might be a reasonable payoff, if I can get it to happen.

That's my update for now--my weight is mostly unchanged since my last big loss--but I had some days way off task for a while. I hope that this will be my week to see a nice loss. I am going back to Weight Watchers this week too so that I can really focus with this and them.

Take care, my friends...
Gentle hugs, Sylvia

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRINCESSLSH 3/15/2010 4:47PM

    VIRGO'S Rule. :)

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