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Using the resources at hand--Monday, February 9

Monday, February 09, 2009

Hi there,

I am starting the week with this loud cough, but without fever, so I am ready to do the work I love at home and school. I promise not to overdo anything because everything I do helps me to be "mighty fine in 2009." That is the mantra from the OA of the lower back team and sometimes it seems so silly when I say it that I have to feel better. I know that isn't the purpose.

Fessing up time--I have to change my weight ticker. I have known that it was wrong since about a month after my surgery, but I have kept trying to lose it again. I think I need to work from an honest field to have true weight losses to celebrate. This is not that week though, I have gained almost two pounds and I am not sure how, as sick as I was with whatever the virus was. I will need to get back to journaling. I do better writing as I plan and eat and that is not always possible online. When I write every bite, I succeed as well. This will be my week.

i tried to go shopping yesterday and to use the shopping cart instead of my walker. Thank goodness that I only wanted a few items and that I was at Walgreen's because I had to sit down by the time I got to the back of the store. My hips and back are not strong enough for that yet. I am going to follow up on a program I saw yesterday at 6 AM on public TV called "Sit to be Fit." I think it will help me to get my body working better without asking it to do things it cannot do. I am looking forward to that. This may be something to help others here like me as well--all I know is that it is worth my best effort.

We had to make a tough decision. We just couldn't afford to pay for this semester for my daughter's college, so she is taking a semester off. I know the world won't end, but making decisions like this is never easy. She came home last night. but they got here so late that I missed them. I love her so much and I am glad to have her at home, but I am sorry to have it like this. Her plans are to get a job and stash money and we will match it dollar to dollar so that she will be okay to get back in the fall. She is a theatre education major, so she will be going back to work on some plays, have private lessons in directing, and to hang out with her friends as well. This summer, she will take a couple of gen ed classes at our local community college and things will be back on track for her next year as a senior. It has still been hard to let her down this way, someday I hope she sees it as one of those life decisions that we had to make. I will give her credit, she hasn't made a complaint and we haven't seen a tear in her eyes, she is an awesome kid.

We have to start tutoring my 18 year old son tonight. 60 hours of tutoring by a certified teacher will make up for the credit he lost last semester when he failed chemistry. My second oldest son has agreed to do it, and I have told my younger son that he will be expected to pay his brother for his time. Apparently local tutors get $15 an hour, so that means it would cost him $900 (which is a steal). He said that he would do it for half price, since his brother doesn't have a job yet. I am hoping that he finds something because that should give him total structure in his world until he graduates and for him, that's a good thing. All he wants to do is read and play video games. I am very proud to have a teen aged son who reads--but this one gets in trouble and is assigned detentions for it at school. At this point helping him to graduate so that he can study mechanics like he wants is the goal. I am also trying to not be the one to do everything in the process. It is hard to let go, but I am letting this go into trustworthy hands,

This is the time for me to cut back on what I do, like I need. I am committed to the things that I am doing at work--my job, tutoring before school and after school. I am going to ask about getting paid for some of my tutoring today--all they can say is "no" and if I do, maybe it wont be quite as selfless. I can donate the money to my daughter's college fund if I want. I can help make plans for my kids, without being the one to follow them around and seeing every detail through. I am sharing this with others. I am going to use this time for some fitness and therapy for myself and maybe some one on one time with my husband between his 9 hour a day, 7 day a week work week. I feel like I am on the right track, with that will come my own better health and maybe some improvement at the scales. Hopefully, that will also keep the depression at bay so that I won't feel so overwhelmed and lost as I have been lately.

Yesterday at church, our pastor and our parish nurse had a discussion sermon about Jesus' life as a healer at the end of the book of Mark. They spoke a great deal about Him needing time to "recharge His batteries" after all of the healing He did. I think the point was clear that if Jesus needed time to Himself and time to rest up and pray and recharge, that we need to do so as well. I may not be a healer--and I am certainly far more flawed than my Savior, but I am not too stupid to learn from Him and do as He did. I am putting this on my schedule of what I must do too. I couldn't have a better role model. Take care everybody!!

  
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JIM*S_QUEENIE 5/28/2009 7:38AM

    This was a great blog as it was full of lots of meat not just milk. Know what I mean?
And yes, you do help heal as you are a nursemaid to your children and you have to diagnose if they are bad enough to need to seek professional care or if you can take care of what is wrong yourself.
You drive, you cook, you clean, you counsel, you punish, etc. etc. Need I say more?
As far as your daughter and college, I have a son who is now 30 this year in Sept. on the 29th (the day I joined Spark People) and he put himself all the way thru school. It took him longer as he did some classes here and some there. Sometimes he took 2 classes, sometimes 1 and if they were fairly easy classes for himself he took 3. Sometimes he had to take a final over again as he missed a part. What was hard for him was when it was so close and they don't let you know what you missed so you don't know what you need to study. He did get his masters last year and was darn proud to have done it all on his own. He moved to Italy to study as he could go to Milan to take his tests 3-4 times a year. His classes were really difficult, too and I didn't understand one thing about them!!!
I worry though, as I know his work is based on the economy and businesses hiring him about their finances.
He was going to go after his doctorate but I think he decided not at this time and I am very glad. He is a smart cookie. He now knows 3 languages and he has started studying German because he may have to move to Germany to work. He has been working for some German companies from Italy. And they just bought a home in Turin which they plan on remodeling thru a magazine like Sunset Design. I was hoping they would move into it as it is 6 stories to walk to get to his apartment---no elevator. That is why the French are in shape. When they eat, they only take 3-4 bites and then they walk up to 20 stories every day.
Give me a break!!! I had a tough time at my sons. I rested on the landings when I needed to. After being there for 3 weeks I could walk all the way up but now I couldn't.
Ok, I am closing. Not feeling well. Let me know what you wanted to talk to me about, okay? Was it your surgery? There was no blog for 1/5. Check your 1/6 answer to my 1/3rd blog. Hope you don't have as many problems as I did getting into your blogs. What a mess and a lot of time but it was worth trying to find what you were talking about.
Love, peace and blessings, my friend Sylvia
Vicki


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ALICERIEGER 2/9/2009 7:56AM

    Everybody is having tough times and having to make tough decisions right now but I think we will come out stronger for it. Your children sound wonderful. I think the one think I have learned on this journey is that I have to take care of myself and keep myself in good shape to be able to do the best for my loved ones. You can only pour so much water out of a pitcher before it has to be refilled.

God bless.

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Already February!! Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Time is flying by. Last week was our first five day school week since sometime in December. It felt good to be a bit normal. Our weather last week never rose above 30, so every single day was "indoor recess" for the kids. The kids at school were getting pretty antsy and my own delightful 5th grader got into his own brand of trouble. He made a nuisance out of himself by messing up a chess game (more than once) and found himself in the office. He has Asperger's syndrome, a high level of autism, and being in the office raised his anxiety level and he tried to relieve it by singing. Instead of telling him not to sing, the secretary told another kid that he was a terrible singer. That hurt his feelings and he responded by growling. Then he was told that since he acted like an animal, he was going to be treated like one. He had to wait until every other person had lunch to get his and now he has to eat his lunch in the office every day for at least a week. Do you agree that this is inappropriate and inexcusable by these adults? I would like opinions by people who will tell me the truth. It seems to me that the punishment for the horseplay was appropriate, but the rest of this was just a combination of bad moods that came together.

He has a birthday on Wednesday and in honor of his love of shopping, I want to get him a gift card for Toys R Us. The thing is that he will take days to make up his mind and this can be really excruciating for those of us who will take him. He is a loving little guy, but the Asperger's elevates his anxiety and he really struggles.

My head cold from a week and a half ago has been replaced by a chest cold and flu-like symptoms. I try to sleep and then I cough and choke and make my throat burn. I haven't had a cold in a long time. I'm betting it has something to do with some of my students. Even my youngest kids at my former school knew to cover their mouths and use manners--Many of my students this year have no clue and I suspect that my system is pretty fragile and can't fight this off. This is what happens the first two or three years of teaching while you build up some immunity, Argh.

I had a couple of good sessions with my therapist. I/ see my doctor weekly and this past week i t was early in the week and the previous week was late in the week, so it seemed like along conversation. I had talked to him about how I felt that taking care of others was part of my personality and that made things hard for me to take care of only myself right now. I asked him if that meant I had some serious problem that we weren't addressing and he gave me a good picture of how all of this stacks up. He started by pointing out that almost every mental health disorder has some aspects that they share with all people--like eating, drinking, crying, etc...and it is only when these are abused that problems occur. That is the category where my roles as a caregiver come in. For another, taking care of my children and family is important--and for a teacher--caring for my students and trying all of my possible skills to help them be successful is important. He believes that I have been working on these skills since I was a young girl. Now, I have reached the time in my life that I have to put my own health and needs in front of everything else in m y world. This involves a reteaching of everything that I have done in my adult life and my childhood as well. I try but get trapped in old patterns and he comforted me by explaining that I am making progress with this and I just have to keep at it. A couple of my good friends had me thinking that maybe I had some really obsessive type personality that couldn't get better. His understanding and explanation of such things was helpful. I am working hard at taking care of myself, but I have made some commitments that are problematic. For example, I begged a parent to let her child attend my Tuesday and Thursday tutoring class--she had no way to pick him up then. I offered to keep him with me until she gets off work at 4:30--the other kids leave at 4. Mom agreed and now, she isn't picking him up until 5. She also doesn't seem to be helping him at home with anything he needs to work on either. I have another student who needed more help than I could give in a group, so I made arrangements with her mom to get her a ride to school 40 minutes early and I tutor her before school. Now I know that I need more time for resting and my own self-care, I cannot quit providing this support. I cannot ignore my 10 year old's birthday this week either because he is a boy and he needs us to make a party for him. I think that I will keep trying to elevate my own needs and yet stay close to the love and satisfaction in my life at the same time. I am an intelligent woman, I think this is a whole bunch of "building new habits," much like working at weight loss and maintenance.

Take care everybody,
Sylvia

  
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CAROLYNINJOY 2/1/2009 3:40PM

    It seems incredible that Feb. 2009 is already here. It seems like just 'yesterday' when I was in high school calculating that in 2000 I'd be 53. That sounded SOOOO old. Sometimes I feel like George Burn's line: " If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

I was blessed to have several caring teachers & I know you bless the lives of the students & the parents you encounter.

I hope you have a super Sunday.

Injoy:) Carolyn

PS Happy Birthday for your son's Wednesday birthday. emoticon emoticon

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TLDUVALL 2/1/2009 10:55AM

    First I would like to comment on the treatment of you son.... This is totally unexceptable behavior by the "adults". I would be raising a heck of a scene with the school administration. My step daughter is handicapped and the system here is wonderful with the handicapped children and their "tenendcies" There would be some heads rolling if that kind of treatment was done here. I would not allow them to put him through that everyday for a week? I am sorry but this just angers me to no end! You need to stand up to them!

On the other notes... You are a rarity when it comes to teachers these days and I commend you for careing so much about your students. Don't stop. You do need to however talk to the mom that does not show up until 5... she is taking advantage of you. Parents need to take the step as well if all your hard work is going to pay off with their children.



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Already February!! Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Time is flying by. Last week was our first five day school week since sometime in December. It felt good to be a bit normal. Our weather last week never rose above 30, so every single day was "indoor recess" for the kids. The kids at school were getting pretty antsy and my own delightful 5th grader got into his own brand of trouble. He made a nuisance out of himself by messing up a chess game (more than once) and found himself in the office. He has Asperger's syndrome, a high level of autism, and being in the office raised his anxiety level and he tried to relieve it by singing. Instead of telling him not to sing, the secretary told another kid that he was a terrible singer. That hurt his feelings and he responded by growling. Then he was told that since he acted like an animal, he was going to be treated like one. He had to wait until every other person had lunch to get his and now he has to eat his lunch in the office every day for at least a week. Do you agree that this is inappropriate and inexcusable by these adults? I would like opinions by people who will tell me the truth. It seems to me that the punishment for the horseplay was appropriate, but the rest of this was just a combination of bad moods that came together.

He has a birthday on Wednesday and in honor of his love of shopping, I want to get him a gift card for Toys R Us. The thing is that he will take days to make up his mind and this can be really excruciating for those of us who will take him. He is a loving little guy, but the Asperger's elevates his anxiety and he really struggles.

My head cold from a week and a half ago has been replaced by a chest cold and flu-like symptoms. I try to sleep and then I cough and choke and make my throat burn. I haven't had a cold in a long time. I'm betting it has something to do with some of my students. Even my youngest kids at my former school knew to cover their mouths and use manners--Many of my students this year have no clue and I suspect that my system is pretty fragile and can't fight this off. This is what happens the first two or three years of teaching while you build up some immunity, Argh.

I had a couple of good sessions with my therapist. I/ see my doctor weekly and this past week i t was early in the week and the previous week was late in the week, so it seemed like along conversation. I had talked to him about how I felt that taking care of others was part of my personality and that made things hard for me to take care of only myself right now. I asked him if that meant I had some serious problem that we weren't addressing and he gave me a good picture of how all of this stacks up. He started by pointing out that almost every mental health disorder has some aspects that they share with all people--like eating, drinking, crying, etc...and it is only when these are abused that problems occur. That is the category where my roles as a caregiver come in. For another, taking care of my children and family is important--and for a teacher--caring for my students and trying all of my possible skills to help them be successful is important. He believes that I have been working on these skills since I was a young girl. Now, I have reached the time in my life that I have to put my own health and needs in front of everything else in m y world. This involves a reteaching of everything that I have done in my adult life and my childhood as well. I try but get trapped in old patterns and he comforted me by explaining that I am making progress with this and I just have to keep at it. A couple of my good friends had me thinking that maybe I had some really obsessive type personality that couldn't get better. His understanding and explanation of such things was helpful. I am working hard at taking care of myself, but I have made some commitments that are problematic. For example, I begged a parent to let her child attend my Tuesday and Thursday tutoring class--she had no way to pick him up then. I offered to keep him with me until she gets off work at 4:30--the other kids leave at 4. Mom agreed and now, she isn't picking him up until 5. She also doesn't seem to be helping him at home with anything he needs to work on either. I have another student who needed more help than I could give in a group, so I made arrangements with her mom to get her a ride to school 40 minutes early and I tutor her before school. Now I know that I need more time for resting and my own self-care, I cannot quit providing this support. I cannot ignore my 10 year old's birthday this week either because he is a boy and he needs us to make a party for him. I think that I will keep trying to elevate my own needs and yet stay close to the love and satisfaction in my life at the same time. I am an intelligent woman, I think this is a whole bunch of "building new habits," much like working at weight loss and maintenance.

Take care everybody,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALICERIEGER 2/1/2009 10:04AM

    Sounds like the staff needs to educated about the problems of Aspergers. Are they aware of his problem?
You are doing great with all that you have to deal with and I hope you get over your cold.
Best of luck.

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Monday--Dr. M L King Jr. Day

Monday, January 19, 2009

We are starting the week with a historic holiday and watching history unfold all week. The weather improved a lot, off and on this weekend--yet it was snowing the last time I looked outside. I have grown to realize a couple of significant things, and it was because of a very thought provoking thread on the OA of the lower back team and the "Healthy Reflections" quote of the day. My doctor advised me to put myself first, but I never sat down and thought about what "myself" actually meant. Our team had a post questioning "what did you do to make yourself feel good today?" The quote of the day from SP involved looking at the world through the eyes of others before you are critical. These things don't seem to relate much...until my brain put them together as a very interesting puzzle.

I have to backtrack to the middle of the week. I have been on the edge of some deep dark hole and have been trying to keep myself together. I called my therapist and got in for an appointment late one night. I am sure that he could tell that things weren't better for me. I talked to him about my laundry list of stress with some of my children, my frustration over my husband working 7 days a week, 9 hours a day and how I need him, the things going on at my school...and the visit to the doctor who prescribes my anti-depressants. That doctor increased the dose of my cymbalta and he wrote me another prescription for sleeping pills. He didn't much care about the vitamin D concern, except to mumble that, "Lots of people are taking that stuff these days." I cannot take sleeping pills--I have 4 bottles, 3 types and they just are no good for me. One type makes my mouth taste sour and dry. They all prevent me from waking up and I drag around all day. He really wants me to take them, but I have tried--and if I try on a non-working day, I sleep all day long. My therapist talked to me about the fact that I have a limited amount of energy and now my body uses a lot of it to deal with my pain and my health problems. He told me that the only way that I was going to start feeling better and back in control of some things was to rebuild my stores of energy--and to do that, I need to focus totally on myself for now. He helped me to understand that this is not selfishness or laziness, this is necessity given the condition that I am in right now. He also encouraged me to take the sleeping medication, but suggested that I take it much earlier in the evening, like 8:00. so that it would wear off in time for me to manage my day.

On Tuesday night, I took that sleeping pill at 7:00. I went to sleep earlier and slept all night. I felt like a human dumpster in the morning--but I got myself ready and went to work. My school district was the only one of three that did not cancel school on Wednesday, so classes were small. Thank goodness!! I kept falling to sleep when my students came in after about 10:30--and it was horrid. I fell asleep mid-sentence in both talking and writing. I felt so awful, this is extremely inappropriate. I don't know if this was the sleeping pill reacting with my other meds or just the condition I am really in. I am so ashamed of myself--and I don't have a clue what my kids were thinking. I did at least let my boss know that my meds seemed to have caused me to have major difficulty focusing and I hope that she is unaware of all of the rest. She still owes me a lot for all of the stress that I have had because of her activities and decisions.

I spent the two frigid days that we had all snuggled up, doing a lot of napping and some exercising. I went out to lunch with my most dear friend on Saturday--had a bowl of steamy vegetable soup and half of a baked ham sandwich, and about5 glasses of water. I also went to some big stores and did shopping and walking, my style for the afternoon. I did similar things today. I spent time with each of my younger kids and talked about their stresses, helping them. Today at church was my day to teach children's church--but my son was the only one who was available for that, so we played word games in the pew so that I could stay in church. I also brought my big bag of new books to donate for our special book nook program.

I came home and this evening, turned on the computer...and that's when I started thinking. For me to take time for myself--well, it means to have opportunities to give of myself to my family and the church and children who need me. If I am not doing that, I am not taking care of who I am. I believe in other people and rather than just feel run over by them, I tend to look for what makes them act like they do and to help them to feel better. That is who I am. I understand that my body is broken down and that I have enormous pain that zaps my energy. Yet, if I am not me, things aren't quite worth it. I cannot give up everything about me to get better because I cannot be better.

Does this make sense to anyone besides me? I don't want to refuse change to refuse it--but if change is forcing me to lose my personality and spirit in the process, is it really a good idea? I'm looking forward to your thoughts and I want you t be brutally honest with me. Thanks so much.

Hugs, Sylvia

  
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SHELLPRO 1/19/2009 2:36PM

    total sense, I've been there & finally almost gotten over listening to everyone else & listening to me instead. Including I ditched all the Doctors & their meds. I didn't like what they did to me & couldn't see any improvements from them. Just read the side effects for all of them & compare how many other drugs they're giving you to conuteract them.

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BELLACUDDLES 1/19/2009 12:00PM

    Wow, Sylvia, you have been a busy gal......so nice you got out for lunch and shopping.......I know for me stress makes me tired.......and pain can do that too I think.....I am praying for you.

Hugs,
Barbara
>PS......do NOT forget how special you are!


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KTCAWLEY21 1/19/2009 2:07AM

    I know how you feel. I am going to start going to church.

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Sunday--I come first, at least for now

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hi there--Wow, my friends have all been hovering around this week. I have been up and down and all over the place in virtually every corner of my life. It is very odd to be on this ride and I'm not sure what to think is going on. I see my psychiatrist tomorrow--for refills on my meds and I am wondering if I should talk to him about all of this. Most likely, he will change my meds--and well, I'm a bit nervous for that to happen. I may need to research some of the drugs for depression. One thing I can swear to is that my weight was coming down regularly, a pound or two a week until I started on prozac and I have battled ever since with weight. I was at my goal when this started some five or six years ago. I have had so many surgeries and conditions since then, I let that go in my brain.

I was pretty excited with the knowledge of the Vitamin D information on Monday and was pretty boggled down with the people I work with creating roadblocks to my new schedule, because of many absurd reasons and because they were wrapped up in their own world, refusing to look at things in my world, the building level. I didn't get to see students until FRIDAY!! That upset me to no end.

My children have been children this past week--busy, sometimes kind and angelic, sometimes sassy and annoying, and sometimes not so cooperative either at home or at school. One of my sons got a detention--no big deal except he is one of my kids who has never been in trouble. My son who is a senior is managing to fail two mandatory classes and could care less. My youngest son has been ditching homework and notes from his teacher. And, nobody has done any chores.

I have had one late work night after another this week as well. I didn't get home on time one night--and Thursday was long after 6. I haven't eaten well and all I had focused on was trying to get time for exercise and boot camp. On Friday, I left work and was home shortly after4. I fell asleep for quite a long time and woke up and slept again. I did some exercise Saturday and today and I slept. But today, I also came unglued. I cried and cried and picked a couple of arguments with my family--see above paragraph for details.

Now, I;m here dealing with a nasty headache--waiting for some pain relief--over laundry and one of my naughty kids going out to a movie on a school night. I didn't go to school and do my lesson plans, so I am heading for work at 4:30 ish. I? am a train wreck. I have thought about this vitamin D and I am praying that the reason this is not changing yet is the severity of my deficiency. Tomorrow is my second big dose of Vit. D--maybe I'll improve.

Finally, the thing left is Boot Camp. I am so awful that the videos have fallen into my dreaded "I can't" list. I can't walk down the hall at school without clutching my walker until I find the nearest chair. my back pain is horrendous, even with the meds and treatments and all. I am so frustrated with this. Every time I hit one of the "I can'ts, I find myself frustrated as I slink into the land where I try to find another answer and another way to get to my great big goal of good health and living like everyone else.

I haven't even logged in yet today, so I'm going to scoot. Again, a big thanks to all of my team friends--OA of the back, my basset hound team, the DWD posse--all of you guys sending sunshine, slobbery hellos and other encouragement have kept me from falling on my face. I do believe that I have a combination to unlock the way to my goal. Take care!!

Hugs, Sylvia emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLPRO 1/19/2009 1:05AM

    Hey, thanks for considering the Step-mom position of my Grand Puppies. It looks like you've got a lot on you right now- & 2 new 'kids' hopefully won't put too much more strain on you. So consider the strains deeply. They're good doggies & well trained for either love or neglect. Just as happy on a bed on the living room floor or in the back yard fence for hours on end.

Also wondered since I haven't had time to read through all of this- have you had your Thyroid checked? You sound so 'classic' ME, prior to finally finding my rotten thyroid & having to have it removed. Vist my Sparks if you haven't already.

Another good Vit supplement is Sublingulal B, its a great boost for energy & mood & had stopped a lot of my Migraines before the thyroid issue. Take care & keep each other informed. emoticon

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