Wednesday, February 16, 2011
As a teacher, I don't let kids use that generic word "stuff" in their writing, but right now, it's the best I can come up with.
After struggling to get to a phone and get the back doc's office moving, they have scheduled my body bone scan for Monday morning at 6:15 AM. That's a lot earlier than I like, but since it's a holiday, I won't have to miss work this time. The doctor ordered lab work at the same time and I am waiting for the school nurse to come in and take a peek. I have a copy because the lab wouldn't send it to my regular doctor, so I got my own copy for him. When I called the back doc's office, they checked to make sure who my regular doc is because they want him to see it. There are several things earmarked, but the statement "Persistent reduction in estimated GFR... defines Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)" My GFR was 54.81 and the cut number is 60. BUN and Glucose were high, but this is listed as a fasting test and it was not. (I did it at 5 PM after working all day and I may have had a snack before I went, I can't remember. My glucose was 103 and I don't think that is a worrying number. I had a lot of numbers that were low as well--hematocrit, hemoglobin, WBC, RBC, Platelet count--but I donated blood about 3 weeks ago--duh. ALT was low too, but I have no idea what that was. I do think my doc needs o see this and I am going to get it translated for me and then carry it over to him.
I haven't heard results from my stress test yet and that also is on my mind. I think that they must have gotten okay results by now--it was a week ago yesterday--or they would have called me. If the results aren' good, he told me that I need and angiogram. I'm counting on my healthy habits to have managed that for me.
Anyway, my back hurts a lot. My shoulder is getting better each day, but is still under the doctor's care. I may have some other health stuff going on, but I don't know until I se a doc who gives me straight answers.
For now, I need to get to my last reading group of the day. Wednesday is an early student dismissal so we can have meetings. Yippee.
Take care everyone.
Monday, February 14, 2011
I'm taking a writing break from my National boards renewal to bask in the quality of today. I had quite an interesting day, no doubt about it.
The first thing that happened was my early morning tutoring student came and brought me a lovely flowering plant. I was surprised at that and it made me cry a bit. I never expected anything like that. Later on, I went to my mailbox and our principal had given everyone a small box of chocolates. One of my older students came a bit later with a similar box of chocolates. (Those are quite tempting, but as of this writing, they are sitting over there unopened.)
My principal came in this morning and I mentioned my overload of work--and the possibility that I was going to cut some students out of my program if I couldn't get some support. I am trying to connect six computers to ethernet cords for the kids to use the program that was "given" to me to use. It is a nightmare beyond anything that you can imagine. I ask for someone to look up phone numbers for me so I can call parents but they are "too busy." Well, if I cannot get some help like that in my program, maybe I am going to have to change the program. Later in the morning, she came and helped me with a problem that I have been having with a couple of children simply returning books and doing their homework. It was a step in the right direction at least.
Around 9:45, I received my favorite valentine gift of all time. My daughter is in her high school madrigal group and they came to my classroom. She presented me with a rose and they sang for me. It was so beautiful and I stood near my daughter to hear her beautiful soprano voice. It was so touching and my husband knows that this kind of gift means the world to me. (I got him a new air compressor which he has been wanting for some time--not quite as romantic as being serenaded, but it is something he will enjoy a lot in the coming months.)
I have received several cards and lollipops and other treats. I'll share those with my family. It has been a day of gifts that I wasn't expecting. The flowers look so pretty over there with my poinsettia that is losing its touch. I think I'll snap a quick photo for all of you and I'll share it below.
Hve a special valentine's day. I hope that someone shows you their love and affection in a creative way. It doesn't have to be with expensive gifts--love is love, no matter how it is shown.
These are my valentine gifts--I wish I had taken photos of the kids who came and serenaded me, it was so awesome to have them all so close with their beautiful voices!!
This is my busy writing space--I am gathering data from many sources to do my renewal project.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Happy Valentine's Day
Happy "It's warmer week" around here anyway!!
Happy "Thanks for hanging in there with me" week also!!
I don't know what was going on in the world around me last week, but I am ready to move on. My cold is still here but it isn't as pressing or giving me as much pressure as it has been. I think it is finally breaking up and that is a strong step in the right direction.
I took yesterday off to rest and get a bit of extra sleep. We even had pizza for dinner last night (which probably explains a gain I had at the scale today. I didn't over eat and I didn't go over my daily calories or points, so I am guessing salt--quite honestly, I don't care about this because I needed a change in my world.) I made yesterday about taking care of me. I did clean the bathroom but left everything except some grocery shopping to the others around here. I cannot even say it is done, but THEY will do it today because today is also going to be about me. I am going to church and then the fitness center. After that is my time to go work on my National Boards and while I am there, my family will clean up the house, prepare dinner and do laundry. If that sounds a bit lazy to the other mothers in my world, please don't forget that my baby turned 13 a week ago and my other children are ages 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 26 and 28. They are all in better shape than I am in and most of what needs to be done, they are responsible for creating.
I have no extra late work nights this week. I do have physical therapy twice and a doctor's appointment. I do have a crazy work schedule but I am going to put my foot down this week--I asked for an appointment with the principal in my school on Friday, but she either didn't get my message or didn't get around to answering it, I either need some help with the heavy student load I have or I am going to cut some kids loose. I cannot keep up with all that is on my plate with no support from anyone. I have to take care of me. My issues last week were a lot about me taking care of everybody and everything else and not taking care of me. Now that I am out from under the cloud, I am going to fix things. There is nothing good about being miserable physically or emotionally and if I can change that, well, sign me up.
I was sad, tired, angry, irritable, frustrated, overwhelmed, and under the weather last week. That is really lousy and I am simply not going to go through this kind of blue mood or dark time again because it hurt in every possible way. Nobody deserves such a thing. I know that I didn't and ultimately, the people around me didn't either.
So this week is already better because I can see where it has to go:
Things will be warm and sunshiny this week in every way and it will begin with me. I am wishing an equally warm and satisfying week to each of you as I bring down my work load and bring up my mood. I am wishing a happy Valentine's Day to each of you as I bring up my self esteem and bring down my pain. I have a couple of doctors who are getting a call and I am going to get the balance that I need to make everything work.
We cannot control the weather, but we can control all of these other things--I am going for it. Thanks for your kindness and support over the past week. It is so touching to read your messages of support and kindness and caring again and again--I needed them this past week, they were my shining star when I was under the most duress.
Have a wonderful week, each of you. I am going to try to get to each of you with a personal thanks, but rest assured that I need to take care of myself even before I do that--and I will.
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Yes, I'm talking about time!! It seems that things have been as I predicted in my previous blog and I have not had a second of rest until now--and here, before dinner of a nice slow cooker pork roast with veggies and warm bread on the side.
That PET stress test was a nasty little ordeal yesterday. I went through the gal having trouble getting my IV in place. After trying a couple of times to get the thing in, I had the ceremonial request not to look if blood bothered me as mine squirted all over me and my clothing and everywhere--but she got it. This new stress test was shorter in time but more uncomfortable with one long 40 minute scan. The rubidium was pretty horrid and I was too uncomfortable to be able to cry. I found their periodic warnings of how much time was left to be frustrating and when I finally got to get out of the machine, they wanted to take off the patches and take out the IV, but I have done enough medical stuff to know to tell them to simply let me sit up first. My poor back, flat on a hard table is not a good thing for 40+ minutes.
They finished so quickly that I had to wait 40 minutes for my ride. I got some paperwork for school done so that was nice--along with a small meal after fasting for so long--a power bar and a half banana and a bottle of water perked me up along with my pain meds and tens unit. I went over to physical therapy from there and had my doctor's appointment after that. This was not time off work for leisure.
I was sick after all of that and tried to get a nap, but pain of every kind would let me really rest or sleep--tears came and they flowed freely. The entire night was like that and this morning was equally rough. I got my act together and went to work. Children have been crabby and uncooperative all week, and today, my patience wasn't there for them. I was kind of glad to have an early dismissal day for a staff meeting and I treated myself to a couple of small cookies at the meeting as well. It is so hard for me to understand that I can have a treat once in a while that I always have to check my food journal and see that things are okay. Since my lunch was veggies and fruits, I should have known that they were okay for me.
I am heading for the pool now--and I am hoping that I get pain relief there. I am trying to make this tough week manageable, but if it takes a bit of crying and not being as accommodating, I think I am going to do so.
Time to get ready to go--I wish it wasn't staying between 2 degrees and -9 around here. That would help me a lot and I'm guessing it would help the kids at school to be more pleasant as well.
Gentle hugs to everyone,
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
It is no surprise to those of you who keep up with my antics that I am pretty busy, but I have been thinking about the value of rest--not only sleep but having some good old-fashioned "down time." I am guessing that others who might read this think that this is not a worthy topic here on Spark People and I just read a daily blog by Women's Day about obesity that points out part of the issue is that people don't move enough (along with eating too much and many other issues!)
However, this week--and I knew it coming into it--is already pushing my buttons. I am awake now because my pain meds wore off at the same time that my sweet basset decided to reorganize the way she was sleeping on top of me (after somehow that crazy girl managed to turn off the heater in the family room where I sleep in my recliner.) If you know anything about the size and anatomy of a basset, my Lady is a big girl weighing in at about 58 pounds and she is long and obstinate. She likes the idea of lying on my lap and of lying on the top of my heated blanket. Anyway, when she wakes up, she walks in circles and rearranges everything and when what she is rearranging is me--well, it isn't the best experience.
However, I digress--silly girl is now pouting behind my recliner.
Sunday is usually my day "off" from my hectic world but this Sunday was very different. After church, we had a nice luncheon for the "Souper Bowl of Caring." It is a nice way to collect donations for the food pantry that our church houses--people bring cans of soup for the pantry and leave monetary donations for a so-called "light lunch." I call soup, sandwiches, all of the fixin's and a spread of homemade cookies a bit more than light. I had an awesome bowl of vegetarian chili, yummy. I love luncheons at the church because my kids can eat such a variety of things that I simply can. I went from church to the fitness center with 2 of the guys to get my pool time in. I knew what was coming on Monday, so I needed to get there. After that, I got home, organized some and got the kids to fix dinner and went to school (yes during the Super Bowl--sorry, I don't do football) to work on my National Boards writing--I was too busy Saturday to do that. I spent over 3 hours writing when I realized that I had misread the page instructions and most of what I did is too generic and needs a major overhaul. I tried.... I got home around 9:30 and got ready for Monday.
Monday was simple enough--I tutored before school, taught all day, tutored after school and had two parent education sessions at 4:15 and at 6:00, leaving work at around 8. I had written in my journal that I was going to go to the pool after all of that, but my body was crying uncle and I knew I needed to get home and have some dinner. I did get in 20, 565 steps yesterday--so I was anything but sedentary which could explain what my back pain was about.
Today, I have to leave work early to have my PET stress test at the cardiology clinic at 12:30 which will be followed by physical therapy and a doctor's appointment. I will make it to the pool tonight and I can already feel the water absorbing the pain out of my back, ahhhhhhh) Wednesday is a simple day with a teacher's meeting after school. Thursday has me at an appointment for a meeting at my son's school at 7:30 AM and arriving to work a bit late with the rest of my day all tucked in there the best that I can and then physical therapy after work. Friday is another "regular day."
My "regular days" have gotten a bit out of hand as well starting with me tutoring before school to give a child a bit of needed help above and beyond what he was getting. In the morning, I see back to back groups of six children each at 8:40, 9:20. 10:00. 10:40 (3 of those groups being first grades which I am testing daily on sight word recognition, reading independently with at least a couple of children, teaching a phonics lesson, and doing a guided reading lesson with which is a lot of work to squeeze in my allotted time.) I have a ten minute break that sometimes, if nobody needs me gives me time to check my daily email and go to the restroom before I have a 40 minute group of 5 third and fourth graders which overlaps with my 30 minute group of 3 kindergarten students. I have 20 minutes of time for lunch and prep before my afternoon gives me 3 more groups of six--3rd and 4th graders at 1:00 and two 35 minute groups of more first graders at 1:40 and 2:15. At 2:50, I have about 5 minutes to clean up before I tutor another child after school. If my ride doesn't come, I have time to do extra work after our lesson is finished--I run copies or select new reading materials or whatever it takes to keep pushing my kids ahead. My kids are all behind their same-aged classmates, so it is my job to push them to do more than other kids have to do, that is the only way to "accelerate" their progress and help them to "catch up."
As for me, I am always on "high gear." When I can get one of my sons to come to school with me to lend a hand for a project or currently to videotape lessons as I work on my National Boards renewal, it is interesting to get their feedback. Last night at 8 PM. my son who came to school around 2 yesterday commented that neither of us had sat down the entire time. That is my world.
This week is excessive and I knew it coming in. However, I am almost always doing something in some capacity as mother and teacher. I understand the gist of the article I read here at SP today, but I am thinking I could do with a bit more "down time." I don't think I need to fidget more or be more active.
I'm a bit tired yet--I start fasting for the stress test in about 45 minutes. I am wondering if I could get in a nap sometime this morning too. It might work out, but I am skeptical.
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