Thursday, March 31, 2011
This has been a week of events...and it is just Thursday. We had an inservice day on Monday and they honored retirees and those of us receiving our service pins. (Mine was for 25 years.) There were two teachers who received pins for 40 years of service, that's a life commitment to education in our district, without a doubt. It was nice, but I am always a bit uncomfortable trotting myself with my walker in front of so many people. I wonder if I'd feel quite the same without the walker? Hmm, maybe someday, it is in my plans!
We had technology inservice after that. Part of it went well and part wasn't so great. I guess that is always the chance we take with a menu of activities to choose from. I have been trying to find out how to add photos to my web site. Our district uses "word press" and what I think I have learned and understand is that it isn't possible to add a really decent photo because of the restriction on pixel sizes. That seems silly because some photos would improve the entire experience. However, it is the best I can do with what is provided. I miss our former format when I had a lot more creative control over what we could do, but our tech people moved to this program and that's what we have.
We were back to business as usual on Tuesday and Wednesday. The kids are always awesome after a break, eager to be back and learning. Behavior has been outstanding and interest has been high. My daughter came yesterday to videotape some of my lessons for my National Boards. I had a few kids absent yesterday which didn't make sense to me, but I guess some illnesses are still going around. (I have had the sniffles for so long that I can't remember not having to replenish tissues before leaving the house.) I haven't seen the videos yet because I couldn't download them, I left the cord at home, lol. We are planning to do one more day of this on Tuesday and then, I am going to use something I have. I don't know how to "plan" a lesson to put in a video because I try to do the BEST stuff in each of my lessons. I don't know if I can share one as a video blog or not--all of my kids have a parental permission slip for videos, but putting other people's children online is a bit of a worry for me.
Wednesday is an "early dismissal" day in our district--we add 15 minutes to the other 4 days a week and then the kids get out an hour and 15 minutes earlier on Wednesday so that staff can work together and have meetings. Our building had science things to work on, so that gave me a chance to work on things pertaining to my students. I made a phone call home to check on some technology things (that earlier mentioned cord and a about burning DVDs from a video recording) to find out our 20 year old son had an accident. My friends who are parents of kids with Aspergers and AD/HD might understand the added element to this.
He used his own money to buy a pellet gun last fall. I hate anything to do with any type of guns, my husband sold most of his stuff when we married and what he has left is so disassembled that I am not sure even he could put them back together if he could find all of the pieces. However both Miles (20) and Mason (18) have been doing target shooting since the fall without any big issues. Yesterday, Miles was out walking with his pellet gun and he dropped it. As he grabbed the barrel, it discharged and he shot his hand. The pellet entered his left hand at the base of the middle finger and is now wedged deep inside it. I called just after this happened and of course, I told him he needed to go to the ER.
He drove to school to get me--it was almost the end of our work day anyway and the minutes that I left early have been more than given back each day as I teach before and after school on my own time, so I left with him. He hadn't washed this up much and there was a lot of bleeding. We checked in at the hospital just before 3. We waited almost an hour for the triage and the nurse laughed at him a bit. He had a good sense of humor about this and takes responsibility for his mistake. The ER began filling up with a ton of people, seemingly for the most part to be parents with sick children who I think belonged with a doctor at an office more than at the ER...About 5, they took him for some x-rays and he told me that he got to see them, and the pellet was exactly where he knew it was. (OK??) Anyway, it was 6:30 when we finally got to see the ER staff. The nurse discussed what choices the doctors had in caring for him--and remember, this still hadn't been cleaned up yet. He still had the paper towels around it that he brought from home. The PA checked him out next and told us that he thought it was wedged too deeply for them to pop it out. Finally, we saw the doc and he agreed that it needed to be taken care of by a surgeon. At this point, they gave him a tetanus shot and cleaned him up. We left with a prescription for an antibiotic, pain meds, ibuprofen, and the number of the orthopedic surgeon on call. They also put his finger in a splint. (He is part of the group I use, but a doc I haven't seen before. That took some doing, lol.) We got home at 8 PM.
I didn't get to go to the pool and was just achy and grumpy. I did as much moving and walking at the ER as I could, but it wasn't the same as being at the pool. I had a burger for dinner--it was easy and fast enough because I was starving. First thing when I get to work today, I need to make Miles an appointment with the doc so they can take care of his hand. He has acted as if it doesn't hurt and he begged them to just take it out last night, but I am glad they were more prudent. My 20 year old doesn't understand the consequences of permanent damage quite the way that I do.
I guess there wasn't enough commotion in my life right now, so Miles stepped up to the plate to add some. He is sure remorseful and did a lot of talking about "do overs" and what he should have done. I am thinking there is some maturity in that part of all of this. I do know that he is going to get a lot of teasing by his siblings with references to "shooting himself" for a long time to come.
I am glad that the rest of my week is going smoothly!!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I wanted to talk a tiny bit about wishing I had a bit more time off work for spring break, but I guess that is how everyone feels. It has been a hectic busy two weeks with some success and some disappointment and some things done and some left undone. That said--I go back to work to an inservice day in the morning with a wellness fair and continental breakfast followed by a big program and meeting, technology training, and then at 1:30 back to school to work in my room until my 4:45 doctor's appointment. I am thinking it will be a long day before I get to the pool for this body to work out and continue to strengthen.
Now, I want to share Matthew's party. It was a good time, although we didn't have many extra visitors outside our family. Some cancelled at the last minute and some had trouble finding us. However, Matthew was truly surprised and enjoyed every second down to the silly birthday hat and his cake and gifts... I'll let some of the photos tell the story:
Here is the food table along with the daffodils we got for the alter to honor Matthew on this all-important 29th birthday. I wonder if this is harder on me than him, lol.
Here are prizes and noisemakers for those who are helping Matthew to celebrate his special day..
Here is the birthday boy in his happy hat and others playing a variety of games to celebrate.
Here's Dad, still sporting his winter beard as he enjoys the party too.
The "Dream Team"(Mason and Miles) are preparing for the birthday song and the blowing out of the candles!
Matthew's beloved Packers are the decorations for his cake.
Other guests and family with Micah finally joining in after he realized everyone else really was having fun!!
I wish all of the photos would have turned out--I am not a good photographer--but it was a really good time for everyone. Matthew had a good time and it was a tough party to wrap up. I wish my spark friends could have joined us--maybe someday, huh?
Saturday, March 26, 2011
This day has had me on one mission after another. I have to tell this terrible tale to start with though. Grr-rr, I won't get over this for a while. I went for my appointment with my back doc. He came into the room and asked me how I was, told me that I was "normal" and "fine." Then he told me that there was "nothing surgical he could do for me." He ended this very quick appointment by telling me, "You have back pain."
Really?? Really?? I have "back pain." I don't think I needed anyone, especially a doc to tell me that I have back pain. Enough with this guy--enough. He did save my life and did this enormous procedure on me so that x-ray technicians and doctors are in awe of the hardware in my back that has "totally fused." Okay. However, I still cannot walk over 16 steps befoe my back starts to hurt and I have trouble standing upright. I can walk in the pool--and I can exercise there like crazy. I believe that there is some other step in my healing that I need to help me be as strong and balanced on land as I am in the water--and this guy isn't the one to help me achieve that. It doesn't much matter what this guy says, because I saw him for the last time ever today. That is that.
I left that waste of time to go on to start shopping for Matthew's surprise party tomorrow. I had fun spending money at the party store and have everything in shades of green and blue for the decorations. It was fun checking out all of the ideas at the party store--it would be easy to blow a pile of money on a themed party there... I still haven't decided what food I am going to serve. That is a tricky thing given the fact that we haven't any idea whether to ex[ect 10 or 50 people fr this. (If I had gotten organized enough to get the invitation published last week in the church bulletin, it would have been beter--but our pastor was out of town and i couldn't confirm things with him the way I needed to.) We have a nice cake ordered, so that will have to do until tomorrow, lol.
We went to the fitness center and I had a really good work out today. I don't know how it is that some days it seems that I do better than others--I think it has to do with the pace of things. I have doubled my amount of time on the bike--I'm up to 20 minutes now. I know that that might not seem like a lot to the way many people exercise, but for me, it is a nice improvement. I remember hurs in theray to get from 5 minutes to 6 to 8 and so on....
I wish that each of you has a wonderful weekend. I am expecting Matthew, our oldest son to be quite surprised at his party and that will be fun. I hope to have some photos to share.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I am tired. I wonder if I am always tired. I don't know if it is because of the terrible patterns of sleep that I have or if it is because of how busy I always seem to be. Maybe it is both things. However, I am smart enough to know that I am tired.
I started out this morning by over sleeping again. I got up just in time for the bus to pick up the kids. That was absolutely NOT what I needed to do. Now, usually I can't oversleep since I have to get ready for work, but this week has not been good for that. I am so glad that Micah has done his best without me needing to bug him. I got dressed as quickly as I could so that Megan and I could head to school for a while. We did quite a bit of work in my classroom and I spent some good time working on my writing.
Mitchell came and joined us and I helped him to select a variety of books about plants and animals to go with the unit he is teaching when he gets back to school the week after next. We ran a couple of errands after that and went to the fitness center. I am getting better at the bike and increased my time on that. It sure helps that they have a couple of bikes that have fully backed seats. Having that support helps me to be able to use the bike and increase my workout time. I went from there to the pool. After I did my regular work out and swam some laps, I showered and then enjoyed the sauna. I sure love the dry heat of the sauna, it makes my body feel better in many ways.
I had physical therapy after my workout and today, it seemed as if my shoulder was better than it has been for a couple of weeks. My PT has given me a few new things to do this week. She also increased the resistance in a couple of activities and she also raised the number of sets on a couple of other activities. We stopped and did some grocery shopping on the way home, and I am really glad that we did because I was unprepared for the enormous amount of homework Micah had to do.
We spent the entire evening on homework--and I am sorry to admit that I fell asleep for a few minutes as he was working. He had 4 science assignments, 2 social studies assignments, 2 writing assignments, and a math assignment. There was no way I was going to get all of that out of him in one evening, so we did one of everything--and I focused on the longer ones. He had this long study guide for science, and it was as he was doing that that I dozed off. He was quite angry with me, but it isn't as if I did it on purpose. Oh my.
He got finished at 10:40 with the amount that we did do--and when I finish this, I am going to email the teachers and let them know that it was all he had time for. I am not even going to ask why they didn't let me know about all of this before now, but I sure want to ask that.
Now, it is time that I could go to sleep, but I need to finish Matthew's taxes and resubmit Megan's. I have tried to submit hers five different times now and the IRS keeps refusing them. I have decided that the way to manage it is to use a different site and do them all over from scratch. I called the IRS yesterday and they confirmed the PIN, I have checked the math and the accuracy of the numbers multiple times but I cannot find any problems. That is frustrating enough!
Anyway, if I get going I should get to sleep early enough to have a decent night of sleep before I see my back doc tomorrow. I have to take care of the shopping for Matthew's surprise party tomorrow--I hope that will be fun. (the shopping ad the party!!)
The answer to being tired is to get more sleep. I'm going to try that tonight!!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
After a pretty awful night for back pain, something happened and I slept in--I slept until 9AM. Oh my, what an odd night. The down side is that I was incoherent as my kids got ready for school and didn't get to check to make sure Micah had his homework and was not wearing the hoodie that he loves so much (He likes it because he can be "invisible" at school--but the school staff consider it wrong and disrespectful. I sure wish some people would lament the fact that he has a need to be invisible at school as much as I do.) I also missed exactly how late Marissa will be tonight. Wednesday is her usual late, late night with Jazz band and madrigals after the musical rehearsal. Oh my, she can always call.
Yesterday at physical therapy, my therapist was pretty sure that we can close this part of my rehab. She checked my shoulder in every possible way and believes that the current soreness is due to my over exercising. (oops) She wants me to cut back the size of the weights from 4 and 2 pounds to 2 and 1 pound. She gave me some additional range of motion work that will help me with the higher positions. Anyway, I have an appointment tomorrow and she will give me a few other new things and then I am taking a week off from seeing her. She will see me the following week and if I am maintaining or improving, that will end this work. I am good with this because it opens the door for what I believe I need next.
On Friday, I am seeing my regular back doc. neurosurgeon for a report on my bone scan. I am not expecting anything from this guy because that is what he has been all about for a while. However, that will open the door for me to get another doc to start me on physical therapy for my back. As much as I love the pool and am faithful to it, I think I need to do some work on land without the soothing support of the water. I have faithfully exercised my body and my back in the water daily for over a year with very few misses--and those have all been for big life issues like when Megan was in the hospital. I need more and I need an expert to help me to determine what it is. I want to walk unassisted and to do that, I need to strengthen my back and straighten my posture.
I have added bike riding to my workout each day. I am not great at it or fast--my right knee doesn't bend completely or straighten completely after my two rounds with RSD around two replacement surgeries. Geesh, come to think of it, I have come a long way, lol.
I have about 4-5 days of my trial of Savella to determine if it is going to help my fibromyalgia. I am not sure yet, but my rheumy told me that I would know by the end of the two weeks. I think it helps me to sleep longer which is a real plus. anyone who doesn't have a problem getting uninterrupted sleep doesn't know what a real gift that is. I sleep in weird little chunks, but I always have some fatigue going on. It was nice to have this day off of work to catch up on the sleep I couldn't get during the night.
I am trying to stir the pot and take care of me in the midst of all of the other pots I am stirring. Being the mother of 8 with a job like teaching sure uses my time in interesting ways. Like I often tell my kids, I use my time for the thing which needs me the most at that particular time. My spring break has been about Micah and my health. I have a couple days left to tie up the loose ends and to work on my National Boards renewal. I did a tiny bit of that today since I slept through my scheduled work time.
Anyway, I'm thinking spring and that's a good thing. (I did hear we are supposed to get snow this weekend, but I believe they are wrong as usual, lol!!)
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