Monday, March 21, 2011
As you all know, I love Sundays. This was an awesome one with our temperatures getting up to 70 for the second time now. We had an awesome church service with the theme being "journeys." We are all on a journey and we take so many throughout our lives--it gave me a lot to consider about myself, my walk with God, my family, being a teacher, and what I value in life. After we got home and had lunch, we zipped off to the fitness center because my daughter had a job interview for the local waterpark for the summer there. I added in some bike riding to my daily routine before I did my workout in the pool. I have made a thoughtful new friend who is quite a talker. Part of my exercises are stationary and having someone to chat with is okay. He suggested that I take my back issues to Mayo in Rochester and that stays a possibility on my mind. He thought that I had polio because of my walker, but no, my walker is just to support me because of the problems of my back. I am up to about 16 steps before the pain makes me need support these days, far too few for someone as active as I am.
Monday is the big meeting with my son's school. My husband is taking off work to go with me and that will at least make me feel a bit less alone. My son had trouble with a teacher again on Thursday that resulted in another office referral. She didn't bother to find out that another kid had been bullying him and tried to deny it happened because that kid's para didn't hear it. Micah told me that that person wasn't there when it started. The name calling (fat, dumb, stinky) upset Micah so much that he couldn't get started on his work and she didn't bother to find out why. She gave him one chance and he told me he was trying but she told him he had to go to the office--he didn't do that fast enough to suit her, so she wrote that off as more noncompliance. Micah is a slow moving guy and his condition makes things like schedule changes and disruptions (like the name calling) upset his functioning. It may seem a bit silly to some, but it is typical of kids with Aspergers and autism. She has to do better and I have to insist or find help to make it happen.
The rest of the week is for my writing and my medical appointments. This culminates with the appointment with my pain doc on Friday. Unless this guy behaves himself in a lot different way, it will be the last time I ever see him. I cannot take his nonchalant manner and the way he zooms out of the room after making me wait over an hour to see him. I need a non-surgical intervention for my back and he doesn't seem interested in helping me. I think there is some solution for me and I intend to find it and do the work I need to be better and to live my life the way it is intended--maybe even without my walker.
I hope that spring is good to all of you--I'm looking forward to seeing green buds on trees show up after all of the snow of the season. Have a great week!!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
It has been a quieter day than most for me. I had a bout of rather unpleasant nausea again today and I am convinced that this is a result of my new medication. (The package lists nausea as a side effect for one. I have had it 3 times in the morning since I started taking it and the only other possible cause could be a "sweet" breakfast. I had a slim fast shake two of the days and today I had a cup of milk, 1/2 banana, and a Luna bar. Today's breakfast is one that I have enjoyed many days though, so I don't think it was the sweet content of what I ate that made me feel so bad.) I will have to hold out and see what happens this coming week as I get used to the medication. I also need to see if this medication is helpful in reducing my fibromyalgia discomfort.
That beings another thing to mind for today. I ran a few errands and went to Micah's bowling banquet. I was too sick to partake in any food and left Micah and Miles to enjoy that while I went to lie down in the car. I came home and did a few chores before we went to the fitness center. It took a bit for me to "get into" my workout at the pool. I continue to be sore in my shoulder and I was also sore in my arm and wrist when I left. This arthritis business can be disconcerting when I feel pain that I didn't have earlier. I continue to deal with extra pain in my back and am looking forward to getting somebody else to help me to help myself to be better.
I took a nap again today after we got home. That's two in a week for me and I appreciate getting a few extra moments of sleep in. I am constantly tired because of the limited hours of connected sleep I get. I wake up during the night most nights and I often cannot get back to sleep due to pain in something. Any extra sleep that I can get is a gift as far as I am concerned.
I've been super busy this first week of break, but it has been a welcome change of pace for me. This coming week is all about my doctor appointments, the appointment at our youngest son's school on Monday and my writing project for National Boards. I also have a birthday party to plan for Saturday--it's hard to believe that Matthew, our oldest, will be 29. It has been a while since he has had more than a family gathering for his birthday and I am thinking this is a special day for him.
It has been a quiet day for me and I am giving thanks for this. I hope that you all are having a fun and quiet weekend as well.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
It has been quite a week. I have seen two of my doctors for regular 6 month check ups, another for the first time in two months and a fourth who I see fairly frequently. All of them mentioned my weight loss this week and that was pretty moving. My rheumy, on Monday, added up my weight loss over the past year and asked me "Are you doing this on purpose or is something else going on." When I told him that it was very intentional, he told me that it was very good for me and that it was an important thing for my health.
On Tuesday, my ortho commented that I was "looking very good" and that he was "so happy for me and my weight loss." He told me that every time he sees me, I just "look better and better." He told me that he was proud of my success. On Wednesday, I saw my psychologist and he asked me "How are things going for you with all of the weight loss?" We talked about the ways it has changed my life--and not surprisingly, all of those things have been positive!
Today, I saw my pain management doc for my regular 6 month check up. He told me that I had "really done a lot of good for myself with all of the weight that I had lost." He said that it was "better for me than anything any of the doctors could do" and that he was "proud of me."
It really means a lot to hear those things. When I first lost weight, I heard a lot of compliments, but those have tapered off considerably. Compliments are motivating and really push me to another level. These compliments meant more than some because they all came from people who are helping me to feel better. They all recognized that I put some work into the changes I have gone through and that I am all the better for what I have accomplished. I wasn't expecting this from all of my appointments on the first week of spring break, but I am sure glad that I received the compliments.
I am even more glad that I deserved them.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!
I continue to be very busy during break. One thing that is on my mind is that I have a lot of pain in my shoulder. My physical therapist thinks that I am "an overachiever" and have worked it too hard. She advised me to ice it down frequently and let the weights go for a few days--and when it calms down, to bring them back gently and at the most every other day. My arm is aching from my shoulder down to my wrist--she cut our session short because I even winced during the BTE machine today. Arghhh--overachiever??? Usually my efforts don't result in pain.
I saw one of my docs yesterday and got to school in time for my little student's lesson. He must have been tired or something because he cried when it was time for him to solve a word and read. I think everyone needs a break sometimes. As for me, I didn't get much of a chance to write yesterday or today. I am trying to finish up a powerpoint and have forgotten how to crop photos and add them in where I want them... I will just have to go to our "Atomic learning" program and revisit power points. I haven't done many and I haven't done any in a few years. The purpose of the power point is to go along with a document I created to instruct people who work with kids during the summer how to enrich their activities with literacy and higher order thinking. I think it might get a lot of use.
I worked on some of the kids' taxes today and then went to school. I got a bit of work done in my classroom and a bit done on my National Boards. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with my pain doc at 8 AM and the day will be for my real writing and work.
As for me, right now--the ice on my shoulder is calming it down a bit. My son is cooking dinner with some help from his dad--and after dinner, I'm going to the pool for my workout and some relaxation too. I enjoy that sauna after I work out so much, it calms down my body a lot. I am not planning any St. Patrick's Day festivities. Now that we are on break during this little holiday, I cannot say I do much for or about it. It is a colorful day though and I appreciate the culture that goes with it.
Have a great week--the first part has flown by so fast!!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
After 2 days of my spring break, I have come to realize that I might need a break from my break, lol. Let's see if I can share what I have been up to...
I started my day by sleeping in a bit! I think my brain knew what was coming. I ran a couple of errands and then had an appointment with my rheumy. (For those who haven't needed a doc like this, a rheumy is short for rheumatologist, an arthritis specialist.) He believes that a big source of my problems is my fibromyalgia. He started me on a new medication called "savella." It is a titrated dose that I will be on in full strength within two weeks and we will know if that will help some of my pain issues. He also gave me the name of a back doc, and interestingly enough that it is the same name I got from my pain doc and one of the names mentioned by my ortho. I have an appointment in about a month with a different doc who was referred by my PCP. I am liking this idea because this doc isn't related to my back doc by organization or hospital or even state. I think these fresh eyes make a lot of sense.
I left there and went to work to take down all of the wintry decorations and went with a lot of springtime. I need springtime and I want to share that with my students. I taught a reading lesson to one of my first graders and when his mom came to pick him up, she brought me a delightful, hand-made gift.
This "vase of spring" is all candy. My student's mother made these with Girl Scouts--the "flowers" and "smiling faces" are all chocolate, the vase is made of pixie stix and the "soil/water" are M&Ms. It is so cute--and I am thinking that all of that candy will end up being in Easter baskets or at a coming birthday party, because as cute and as tempting as they might be, well, I don't need those empty calories. I took several photos to keep to enjoy my gift in my way.
I went from there to home for dinner and then to the pool last evening. It was a very "short" day.
Today was a lot busier. I started my day out at my son's school. It seemed as if the principal is avoiding me. I was pretty blunt with him a couple of weeks ago, but I offered both an apology and a solution. He sure seemed to have ducked behind his door when I was in the office the first time. I left him two sets of information on Aspergers, one that I highlighted to make going through them a bit easier. I went with my son to see one of his teachers about grades and assignments, but it is my guess that we wasted our time. I tried...
I came home long enough to pick up my oldest daughter and we went to pay some bills and do some grocery shopping. It is sure nice to see the price of fresh berries come down!! I took her to work and went home to clean veggies and fruits, and to get them ready for snacking. Yummy.
Our 20 year old son took me to school where I worked on my power point to train summer activity providers in enriching their activities with literacy. Next, I taught my little student his lesson. Then, I went to physical therapy for my dose of "pain and torture." Right after that was my appointment with my ortho. He is happy with my shoulder progress and we agreed that I will call him if I need something, but I don't need another appointment for my shoulder as it is.
I go home and helped to fix dinner. I also helped our youngest son do a project that was late for the teacher we talked to in the morning. There were a lot of steps to this activity and it took us well over 3 hours, so I missed going to the pool. I did some exercises at home to "kind of" make up the difference before tackling a couple of cleaning jobs. It is now time for some sparking before bed.
My schedule will calm down some with the remainder of break after Wednesday being mostly about my doctors appointments, writing for my National Boards and exercise. As for now, I am feeling satisfaction in the good work I am getting done. It is hard for me to get anything done when I am working except work and work-related activities. I love being a teacher, it is a job that I was meant for. It isn't the silly thing that people joke about. I rarely get time off of my job--when I am not serving students, I am doing paperwork, setting up lessons, working on my classroom, attending meetings with families or staff, and other related things. I do teach/ tutor students on "my own time" and I spend a fair amount of money on the materials I need to do my job. This is not what people in other professions do. I also continually go back to school or for trainings. I have a MA plus some 50 hours beyond that along with additional credentials. I take my work seriously and give it all I can and more than is reasonable most days. That is why when people joke about teacher schedules and hours or when the recent comments I read while all of the political things were going on about teachers being greedy or lazy or whatever really bother me. I have offered every politician and comment maker I have spoken with the opportunity to do a bit of job shadowing with me. Funny thing, none of them have ever taken me up on that!!
Have a great week--I am going to try and do the same. I know I will be busy!! (And they say it will be 60 here tomorrow, YAY!!)
PS--I just found this and realized that I didn't post it last night--oh well, it's as true on Wednesday as it was on Tuesday!!
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