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Tuesday, 6/14 My back and Being Stubborn!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hi everyone,

Today was a day of reckoning for me. I have been awful to myself because I am stubborn and I work too hard too often. I was blessed with a new doctor who is competent, capable, and kind--and I let her down.

On Monday, I had to move all of the materials I need to tutor for the Room." Along with the para who is helping me, we are tutoring 58 students. I create a personal reading basket for each child and those baskets start out with about 20 books in it. This is a vital part of my program because I really get to see how children read when they are selecting their own books and are really reading. I also provide at least one hands-on activity where we work with words or play word games. The meat of my lessons is the guided reading portion of things where I sit with a small group of children and they read books. That is where I teach comprehension, the most important function of reading. I do other things in the guided reading group like teaching strategies for problem solving and developing fluency, but comprehension is big. I use a lot of charts and do writing activities using graphic organizers. This turns into a lot of "stuff" that needed moving. And, I did it. I didn't realize how hard I was working and how much pressure I put on my back until I finished.

I was dripping with sweat in a way that I have never sweated. That's a big deal considering the building was air conditioned at that moment, My shorts were soaked with sweat from my waist down to my thighs. My back was aching in a way that I cannot understand that I didn't realize it until that moment. I am stubborn and I kept pushing myself, ignoring the important messages from my body. I was also teary-eyed when the reality of what I had done hit me and I was ready to quit the tutoring job. However, the little boy I have been tutoring since January came with his mother and they helped me to understand why I took this position and why I love my work.

I had my follow-up appointment with my back doc at the end of the program. The fact that I was miserably in pain did not escape her. She wanted to get right on the phone and call my employers about the restriction list she sent to the. I took responsibility for what I had done and promised her that I would talk to the people in charge about how the things I moved would get taken back to my room and be put in their appropriate places. She determined that there were some problems with my back and my left hip. she increased another of my meds and then she ordered two more sets of injections to deal with the bursitis in my left hip and to deal with the pain in my left lower back.

I went home with a handful of med samples that she gave me to boost the level and three appointments. The first of those was today for an injection in my left hip. It went like the other injections she has give me, but I noticed trouble in the first step I took when I got off the table. She told me to go home and put ice on it, which I did. The water in the pool was chilly as well (because they finally fixed the air conditioning in the pool area of the fitness center.) I took it easy as I went through part of my routine and did things with less intensity. However, it hurts to walk and sit right now. This could last a couple of days.

I will not work extra hours and I will not hurt myself again. That is my promise to myself and those around me. I have to quit being a "workaholic" and I have to pace myself. I am in position to have the least pain I have had in a decade and I cannot jeopardize things. That is more valuable than any amount of money. I am dedicated to my students, but when my position becomes unreasonable, I have to learn to say "no" to the people I work for. I am not someone who generally does that kind of thing, so I will have to work at it. I guess we all have to learn new things and add them to our tool boxes of life skills.

Gentle hugs to all as I muddle through more life issues!
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMRANA 6/15/2011 9:16AM

  I'm not happy at all to hear about the pain bursts, but I am glad that you are going to tone down your schedule. You've been superhuman for too long in a regular human body. Time to rest and be good to yourself in there.

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MALKS_ARIA 6/15/2011 1:21AM

    I can say "Hi" too :)

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FRIENDOFBACH 6/15/2011 1:02AM

  Hey there!
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Tuesday, 6/14 My back, my health

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hi everyone,

Today!!

  


Sunday, 6/12 Starting over again!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hi all,

I really need a good week in many ways and I have decided that I need to make that for myself. I have been awake for hours because of pain. I realized that my pain patch was missing and that strong medication generally keeps me nestled somewhere in a normal life. Three companies make it and one of them makes it in a way that stays secure for me--however, I haven't been able to get that brand for about 4 months now. The others are smaller and less noticeable, but if they come off, they aren't worth much. Actually, the good news is that my pain levels have been better--I think that the warm weather combines with all of the ways my new doctor is treating my health is all working on my behalf.

Anyway, I am making a commitment to myself this morning, at the beginning of a new week. I am going to take the time I need to do what is best for me. I am going to eat carefully rather than in the rush in my life. I am going to get back to my plan of 6-7 servings of fruits and veggies each day because I feel better when I do that. I am going to stick with 10 glasses of water and daily exercise because I know it helps me. I am also going to work harder at having more than one serving of dairy each day--this is one of those tough things for me because although I love milk and yogurt and cheese, I hate the calories that they involve. I am kind of odd in that although I am a chocolate lover, I have a far bigger issue with cheese than chocolate. It is a trigger food for me along with chocolate chip cookies. emoticon emoticon I will work on managing this.

As for stress, I am going to work 4 hours a day--and they will get what I can do. I am not going to overdo things at all. If they want these hours of paperwork, they will have to accept that I won't serve children for four hours. I cannot do everything and I anticipated my summer break to be a break. I anticipated this summer program to be a true summer program with the variety of children who attend each day to be given the opportunities to read and to enjoy literacy events when they are present. That is how summer programs work--they are inconsistent as children have opportunities to do a variety of things. Attendance varies and we just run with activities with who we see. Asking for goals and strategic plans assumes that a child is in attendance each day and that the program is consistent. I can only do what I can do when I am in attendance. As things are, I am having to move all of my teaching materials and books for the summer program from my room to another room in order to work with the custodial work. I also did not sign up to put physical stress on my body.

There are a few other things in my world right now that are adding stress to my life. I am not able to share much about them at the moment, but I am lifting them up to my Lord to deal with. Some issues on earth simply need heavenly interventions. I am glad that I have the Lord in my life to help with the big issues.

The old, often over-used quote about today "being the first day of the rest of" our lives is very true in it's simplicity. This is what I am using for myself on the start of this week in June.

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 6/12/2011 11:28PM

    I am glad you are finally putting you foot down and will only work the hours you have signed on for and not a minute more. It is high time you started putting yourself first. You haven't been looking after yourself and that surely contributes to how you are feeling. Are you absolutely sure you have to move your materials to another room? Can't something be worked out? If not, can you arrange a work bee of volunteers to help move it all? Please do that if you can at all, do not put any more stress on your body!! Interesting about the food, cheese was my huge problem. I could go through a large brick of it in a week easily. I still can't believe I can limit myself to only two small slices a day!! Chocolate has been my nemesis lately. Been scarfing it like crazy so I am over on my fat, but its saving my calories or I would be going under all the time. I simply don't have an appetite between the pain and the medicine's side effects..
Don't worry about the extra pounds. Once you are back eating healthy again, they will come off. The only dairy I have is cheese and yogurt and I get by with those. My soy milk replaced skim milk, and only has 70 calories in a cup. Carefully tracking your food and fitting it in will work. I eat mostly fruits and veggies and no meat so I have the room for it, although chicken is good for low calories and fat and high protein, I don't want to hassle preparing it.
All the best getting back on track.
I wish you could find a long lasting oral medicine to replace the patch..
Take care of yourself,
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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HONEYBEADS 6/12/2011 9:57PM

    When I'm stressed the first thing to go is self care. You have a great goal. I'm cheering you on!

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GGMOM06 6/12/2011 8:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon ME TOO,AMEN !

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MALKS_ARIA 6/12/2011 3:56PM

    Go Sylvia!!!

Take care of YOU so you can take care of others!!

woohooo!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 6/12/2011 12:38PM

    I'm doing the same thing this week my friend. Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 6/12/2011 12:16PM

    Sounds like a fantastic plan! Sometimes we need to slow down and let things play out as they will.

Have a great Sunday!

Karen

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EMRANA 6/12/2011 11:47AM

  I am so glad to read this blog! You've been overdoing for so long, and it's well past time for you to set those boundaries. If only I could get my mother to do the same, workaholic that she is... emoticon

Take wonderful care of yourself and definitely keep looking to your faith.

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LOULOUBELLE2 6/12/2011 11:39AM

    Good for you, you really DO need to put yourself 1st....now you sound as if you are doing that. emoticon emoticonwith the Lord to see you through. You are "worth" it, You are "special" and you "deserve" it and . emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/12/2011 11:40:41 AM

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Wednesday, 6/8 Summer Tutoring and My Spark Friends

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Hi all,

I envisioned my summer tutoring project as being a time of sharing books, the love of books and skills in reading with children. That is NOT, NOT, NOT what I am getting to do and I am quite frustrated. It has become a nightmare of paperwork and administrative "stuff." A PhD candidate is helping us and has asked for our "strategic plan," "three goals for each of the children," "pre-testing and post-testing," an attendance page, a schedule, etc... It is a 6 week program with me working 4 hours a day during student contact hours ONLY. When am I supposed to do this stuff? Well. one answer to a part of it is the past three days because she/ they decided that we needed a signed permission slip for any child we serve--and they didn't bring them to us to send home with the kids until today. So maybe, just maybe, I can teach tomorrow. Please forgive me for venting but I wanted to do this because I thought it was going to be like my summer reading program and it is far different than that. I am feeling blue because of it and have even considered some "civil disobedience" in not doing all of the extra paperwork.

As for me, I am spending a lot of time with that and getting to the pool to work out. I also have tried to spend some time with my younger kids--they do still need some attention, lol.

Anyway, I am hanging in there--and doing the best that I can with my Spark program. I haven't weighed in in weeks and will do that this week. I will find out then if I have to keep such a tight rein on what I do.

Thanks again for your continued kindness, patience and support. I amy be the most infrequent of your spark friends, but it isn't because I don't care. My life is so hectic and crazy that I do what I can. My work outs take a lot of my spare time and they are so important to me that I won't give them up for anything but important family issues.

You are the best!! Remember that and all of the reasons that you know that makes it so!!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAWNWATERWOMAN 6/11/2011 7:32PM

    Keeping you & yours in my prayers. Love, Dawn emoticon

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MALKS_ARIA 6/9/2011 2:58PM

    LOL considering i have "spark Friends that haven't logged in - in over 600+ days... You are doing GREAT!!

Hang in there, and remember you can always "count" the days... LOL

aria

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JRSWHIMSY 6/9/2011 11:04AM

    Can I be the most infrequent of YOUR Spark friends? *hugs*

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_LINDA 6/9/2011 2:07AM

    You must find some time in there for yourself Sylvia. I guess that would be the workouts. But really, you need actual rest, not just exercise. When stressful things like this administrative stuff are bothering you, there has to be an outlet like the exercise, but there also must be a peaceful time to unwind. That this blog came up so late shows you must not be getting much sleep time and you don't have much or any time to do things you enjoy to relax :( When was the last time YOU read a book for fun and not learning?
Unfortunately, I can see why all this extra stuff. If this person is studying how this teaching with the kids is going, testing is the only way to get concrete facts on how its helping them. Can't get any statistics without a lot of recording :(
Hang in there. Unfortunately you can't choose how your program is being run :( Accept it and deal with it the best you can, focusing on your part of the job.
I had to accept an assistant manager who is totally computer illiterate and most of my job is on a computer, couldn't figure how this was to help!!! They said I was to train her, but she refused, didn't want anything to do with it. So she does the social stuff. Fortunately she has a husband who does use a computer and could give me a hand. The board finally accepted him as my defacto assistant, they are sort of team that actually work well together. So, in the end, some things can work out..
Take care of yourself,
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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Tuesday, 6/7 Missing a beat

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Hi all,

I think "missing a beat" describes the past several days for me. The end of the school year is a monumental thing for most teachers--besides weighing in on the year and the children whose lives we touch, there are the far more tangible responsibilities in taking down a classroom for major cleaning. I am going to be providing tutoring for children in the park program that is housed in our school during the first 6 weeks of summer break. This is a ground breaking program, brand new as the result of my work with the church and the drive of our pastor. I want to see it work and be successful for the ids who need it. There are over 100 kids registered at our school, so it is a similar story to the school year with numbers and a job that is looking a bit bigger than life. I will get it sorted out.

Wow, Thursday was the last day of school and I have been busier than busy since then. On Friday, I went to the fitness center to work out, a training session for the summer tutoring program, grocery shopping, errands taking kids to work here and there, and then home to find out we could go pick up a couch for my son's apartment and a cookout in the park with everyone who wasn't at work. We went to a park by the Rock River and it was a bit buggy, but so quiet, beautiful and peaceful!!

Saturday was my workout at the pool before we left to go to my husband's cousin's funeral. I didn't expect all of the people who were there, but I didn't realize that not only did Frank have an excavating business, but he was a member of the village board and a volunteer fireman. We got home in time to work on some laundry and some other household chores. Sunday was all about the warm, sunny weather and working in the yard and moving that couch into our house to replace an older one in the family room. (My son couldn't get it into his upstairs apartment.) I weeded and placed mulch and planted and worked like crazy--and after some 6+ hours of work and a trip to Walmart for some paint and other "stuff," I got home in time to fall asleep as soon as I sat down, missing supper and my spark time. I accomplished a lot, but there is a lot more to do whenever I can find the time.

Monday was about the beginning of the summer park program. I got to school around 9AM and left for a couple of hours for a teacher's meeting, then went back to organize and structure my plans. I worked hard on book baskets with a lot of standing and bending and lifting. I left around 6:30 PM and got home, did a few chores and left for the pool. That wasn't my best workout, but it was really refreshing after such an intense day. My body is pretty sore after the abuse I have been handing it. My physical therapist keeps talking to me about the fact that even though I might be feeling better, I must be careful not to overwork my back and body. I don't know how to judge what I can and should do and what I shouldn't, but it is something amazing to be moving around and doing things that other people do for a change. As I work on my impulsivity in managing my eating and exercise, I have to do the same with my day to day activity.

Take care everyone, stay safe in the heat. (I think that I may be one of the few in the area who is enjoying and embracing the temps we are having and not complaining at all.) I really love the fact that I can be outside and that I can move around. I love the fact that the cold weather that started earlier last November and that made me throb and burn and hurt right through April and part of May is over. This makes me energized and I have no complaints about warm weather--it is easy to find ways to cool down.

Gentle hugs everyone,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 6/7/2011 2:18PM

    What you have to do Sylvia, is takes breaks from repetitive activity rather then pushing through and trying to get it done all at once. That especially goes for any work that affects your back. I was told by my physiotherapist to work 15 minutes and splint my hands for 15 minutes when doing jobs hard on them. My hands are quick to let me know when they have had enough. I am sure if you were paying attention, your back would be feeling the same thing. So every hour, you should get up and take a walk or stretching break, anything to relax the muscles you are using the most and give them a break.
Please take care of yourself. Your health professionals can't be there holding your hand and showing you the way. Its up to you not to cause further damage or pain to yourself..
You shouldn't have to be doing any heavy chores like yard work when you have so many healthy young bodies living under your roof. Get them to pitch in and help! They need to contribute to the household too and at their age they should be..
Hope the rest of your week is a little less frantic..
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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EMRANA 6/7/2011 9:18AM

  Wow, I was thinking that you were doing too much, then I got to the part where you recognized it. You're such an amazing lady, Sylvia, and you do so much for others. You need to rest your body too!

I'm glad you're accomplishing so much ~ and trust me, I know that feeling of being thrilled at being *able* to do it. Just make sure that you do take time for yourself to rest. I know the pool is refreshing, but you need rest too!

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