Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Hi there, my friends!!
It has been an amazing week and I have been busy, busy, busy. Starting on the home front... It cooled down a bit, so we have gotten a lot of work done in the yard again. We have been eating light meals--a lot of salads or light sandwiches. It has been a lot of the usual running people here and there and I need to get some chores around the inside of the house done. Funny thing, the kids who are at home "forget" to do the things I ask of them. Teenagers are like that.
I almost have my classroom ready to go for next week. I have about 4 baskets of books that I want to level, one of them is for my son. I have a meeting there tomorrow as we plan reading strategies for the building. I have also spent three days helping my son to set up his very first classroom. (When he got hired last year, the room was already set up.) It is a big room with tables for the kids to use. I sure appreciate the fact that our district has air conditioning for us because it has been a bit miserable working in that room. There were about three book cases full of books that we sorted out and leveled. I gave him about 5 boxes of books, some bulletin board materials, some good teacher resource books, a nice little calendar that I bought for me and realized that I really didn't need it. I want to send him a nice plant when he actually starts teaching, maybe on his birthday.
I have made it to the pool each day to do my new exercises. They take me a bit less time to do than the others did, but they leave me a bit more tired when I am through. There's a lot more fast movements to these and they taught me how to do exercises that have me creating some water movement and then I work against the movement that I created. It is kind of neat to use the water to help support me and to use it as a strengthening tool as well. It has been a fun week.
I got my new glasses today. They have special lenses that are supposed to resist any glare and I am hoping it will be easier for me to be out at night and not have headlights, traffic lights, and all of the rest of the multitude of lights that are out at night make my head hurt. If these don't help some of the problems I have been having with my vision, I will have to see my opthamologist about treating my cataracts. I suspect all of the recent steroid injections have spurted their growth. Next week, I have my oral surgery to repair the (now) three broken teeth I have been dealing with. My dental issues have been plaguing me for some time--my former dentist blamed them on pregnancies. Research doesn't prove pregnancies have a role in major dentist problems, my guess is that a lifetime of poor eating habits along with yoyo weight loss is more responsible than anything. This is another of my health issues that I can take responsibility for based on my poor eating habits over a lifetime. However, that isn't why I mention this. I have been busy with some half dozen dental appointments in as many weeks. I will be glad to have these really ugly teeth taken care of. Hmm, new glasses and new teeth might require a new hair cut before school starts, lol.
I have two more classes left and my first class with a grade in some 16 years will come to an end. It is time for me to register for the two classes I will be taking in the fall semester. I have really had to hustle with all of this, but I can reflect on what I have learned about myself and the world in this class and it has been a really positive thing for me to do. I am looking forward to the next part of my work in the area of teaching English language learners.
The final interesting part of my week has been here at Spark People. Our (TAMLKING and myself)new Spark Class Team started Sunday. As of Tuesday night, we already had some 6900 members in the team. I have answered as many spark mails and team messages as my time would allow. Another interesting thing has happened on my beloved Basset Hound Dogs team. We have a total of some 80+ members and we usually get someone new about every 4-6 weeks. We have gotten 5 new members in as many days. Those activities have kept me busy online in a big way. If you are one of my spark friends or a member on one of my growing teams, I am doing my best to support you, but I have had a lot to share my time between!!
Yes, I have been really on the go, but when it is positive energy, it feels good. I am looking forward to the rest of the week being full of play and work as I get ready for the beginning of the new school year.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
I'd like to share what it's like to be me with osteoarthritis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia and a permanently damaged spine. My day starts with me waking up in my reclining chair in so much pain that I generally convince myself that I don't need to get up and go to the bathroom for at least an hour. I take my meds (100 mg of Savella, 900 mg of Gabapentin, 7.5/750 Hydrocodone, 6000 units of Vitamin D) and I do my best to maintain a decent mood. By the way, I sleep in a recliner because I cannot stand the pain of trying to lie flat on my back. Between the nerve pain, the scar pain, the arthritis, and the left over stuff from having a metal rod and screws holding my spine in place; lying down just doesn't work for me.
I get up and work my way into the restroom after about an hour when my meds start working. I have to be careful if I am in any sort of a fibro flare, because event he kitty rubbing up against my legs will make them hurt and burn in a way that makes no sense. I do my best to dress and get ready for my day. I have to be selective of the clothing that I wear because I cannot fasten some things nor can I pull them down over my back. I also wear interesting shoes because I cannot always put on my socks and I cannot tie my shoes on my own. Breakfast needs to be protein food, nothing sweet like cereal or bars because if I don't eat the right stuff soon enough after taking my meds, I get nauseated to the point of vomiting. That's a real day ruining agent.
With it being summer break (that will soon come to an end for me--we return to school on August 1 with out modified year round calendar, I have had a lot less stress to deal with because my work days haven't been all day and it has been easier to fit in my medical appointments and my daily exercise at the pool. However, I come back to the last thing I do each day which is to take my meds (the Savella, Gabapentin, and the Hydrocodone) before I try to go to sleep for the evening. I don't sleep well and I take the last dose when I wake up around 2:30 AM each day.
Anyway, part of the reason that I started this blog was to see if I could find some help with my stomach issues that I suspect are caused by Savella. I did some research and it describes some mild stomach upset, but the kind of thing I have been going through often has been a few days every couple of weeks that includes vomiting and pain in my tummy. Since it doesn't happen every day and all of the time, it doesn't make sense that it is my meds that cause it, but I don't recall anything like this until I started taking this medication in late April either.
Any help or ideas from anyone would sure be appreciated. Thanks either way!!
Friday, July 22, 2011
This day has been a stinker--and I don't know how to explain why it went south in the first place. I finished my homework at a decent hour last night and got a pretty decent night of sleep (for me.) I was awake a couple of times, but it was no more than usual. I made plans to go observe my son's ELL class at the church today for part of my class project due tonight and mostly because I wanted to watch what he idd with such a big group of kids who speak so many different languages. Then, I promised my son that I would go to his new school and help him organize and set up his classroom. (Duh, I haven't done my own and we start back to work on August 1!! Go figure.)
Anyway, this morning, I felt a bit yucky, so I got a drink of water and fell back to sleep without taking my morning meds. I woke up an hour later and then I had to hurry to get to the church on time to observe my son's class. I grabbed my meds and took them on an empty stomach (no wait, I ate my daily half of a banana.) Anyway, I got to the church and observed some wonderful activities and teaching. I ran into my pastor and we chatted a bit before my son and I left to go to his school--after I found out about a summer tutoring meeting that we Anyway, I added that to my schedule at 2:30, which now also included driving one of my sons to work at 3:30 and taking our youngest son to a doctor's appointment at 4:00.
I told my older son that I wasn't feeling quite well and that I needed something to drink. I couldn't quite decide what I wanted, but he went in and bought me a bottle of water and a bottle of caffeine free diet soda. I decided to go with the water and I took one sip. I looked at Mitchell and said, I think I'm going to throw up. He asked, "Really?" as I grabbed a bag and vomited up that swallow of water and continued to try and heave more. It was awful. We went to his classroom and it was simply too hot for me to work much, and I ended up with diarrhea as well. On the way back to the church for the meeting, I tried a sip of the soda, thinking carbonation might make me feel better. Oops, more of what happened earlier. I gave up trying.
We went to the meeting and it was lovely. They brought a cake that said "Job well done" on it. They took photos and we shared stories. It was very positive and fun as well. I tired a sip of lemonade and I was better. I am not sure when my ribs will feel better though. Next, I got my husband to bring my kids to me and I did my motherly duty in giving rides and the like. On the way home from the doctor appointment , we stopped and did some shopping. I got a good deal on blueberries, yay, my favorite.
We got home in time for me to type up my project and get it submitted before I needed to go to the pool. Hmm, except I had an email from the professor and it seems that when I did my midterm on Monday, the first question didn't get submitted. I tired to respond to her email and let her know that she was right, I hadn't intended for it to be like that. (Hmm, 5 essay questions on the exam, I wouldn't have omitted one of them intentionally.) My work email that I use for professional activities like my classes wouldn't let me send anything. I did some "stuff" and found a way to bypass entourrage and get an email out to the teacher. Then, I started to look through all of my computer records and I finally found the exam, but I didn't have any of the resources saved on the test work I found. So, of course, I sat and figured out where I got the info I used to answer the question from and did that. That made me postpone typing my project, but I started and decided how late I could work until I needed to leave to get to the pool. I got as far as I expected to, and then I went to the pool with a plan to finish that typing when I got home.
The thunderstorm started as we left for the pool. That means we are supposed to have a shift in the weather. It was raining pretty well when we got to the fitness center. I checked in and got ready to swim. I collected some equipment to use when I worked out--and there was aloud crack of lightning. the lights flickered in the pool area and the jets stopped working. We weren't allowed to get in the pool. Shoot. We waited for over a half an hour so I finally just went and showered--until I remembered that I could ride the stationary bike for some exercise. We came home and I finished my project. I am not sure that it got through to the university and my professor. I tried anyway and this time I have a good copy. I sent her an email and let her know that the technology was not quite right.
It's been a tough day--I just finished my last fruit serving of the day, so I saved that streak. I am so glad that I was able to get everything under control after it became a problem. Some days are like this.
Tomorrow, I will get up and eat a proper breakfast when I take my morning meds. That should get things going okay. I start at the dentist, then I'm going back to my son's classroom (if he has picked up two fans for the place!) and I have physical therapy at the pool again in the afternoon. Hopefully that will be a start to a wonderful weekend! I understand that the temperatures have dropped about 25 degrees outside, so that should help some of my family with the mood they have been in.
I'm looking forward to the weekend, my friends!!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I just turned in the mid-term exam for my class. I stayed up most of the night to finish getting caught up and today, it was my mid-term. I haven't done today's reading yet. I will have to do it tomorrow along with tomorrow's work. However, I think I am getting control over the material now, after such a mad dash to get caught up.
Everyone around here is talking heat, heat, heat. Personally, I detest the cold in the winter so much that this heat wave is just a gift in my thinking. I need to work out in my gardens tomorrow sometime. I will have to carefully choreograph my plans so I can get to the pool early and work in the yard in the evening. That should do it.
I have a lot of phone calls to do tomorrow and my class work. Everything should go okay. I do a pretty good job with time. I'm sending good wishes to everyone.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
I am taking a really brief break from studying because sometimes it helps me to focus on material better. I have about 8 more pages to read before I watch a video and take the midterm for my class. Then, I have two more days of lessons to get caught up on so I'll be where I'm supposed to be with the rest of the class. I am so far behind because my book came over a week late and I had trouble getting online with the university. the teacher has been very kind and understanding.
The material is full of theory and is not easy for me to read. I am having to use the strategies I teach my students in reading the text with lots of highlighting, note taking, sticky notes, and rereading. I want to understand and learn this because I think I will be a better teacher because of this. Right now, I am reading a section on how people have prejudices against/ towards others because of the way they use language and speak. I hadn't thought a lot about this, but it is a significant thing in all of our lives unless we live in a fairly isolated area with only family or others from exactly the same background that we have. Language and how we use it is quite distinguishing and is used as much as appearances when people are making judgements.
My daughter's retreat has been a handful for me. I had to gather letters from family members and church members that basically were positive and built her up. She has a whole bag of those and I am sure that she will cherish those for the rest of her life. I also had to provide her favorite treat that they referred to as "agape love." I needed enough for 65 people and her favorite food is pizza. She would eat it day and night for every meal and not be sick of it. However, I also had to "sneak" it in as a surprise and I had no idea of when/how they were serving this. Finally, I thought of her favorite candy (Reese's) and I bought a boatload of those and put them in a nice serving bowl. It was easier and less expensive. The thing is this retreat is called Chrysalis and their idea is that the girls come in as caterpillars and will leave as butterflies, ready to explore the world. They want to surround them with the positives of life and scripture and goodwill. I think it would be a wonderful experience. I attended a couple of retreats as a high school girl and I remember the positive feeling I had when I left--and they weren't entirely focused on doing this like Chrysalis is.
My husband and I go to pick hr up at 4:30 for an hour long celebration service. The heat is high today and I don't know how much work I'm going to do in the garden. I may not get my regular workout in, but I can read as I ride the stationary bike tonight. I have had a good lot of walking already and I helped Mitchell to go through some of my teacher stuff for his new classroom and grade level this year. Hallelujah that he has a job!! He is teaching ELL children at the church this summer (for two more weeks) and that is a job I almost envy him over--he is getting a great deal of experience with children from grades 1-7, all whose home language is not English. He is learning a lot about that and working with several volunteers and helpers too. I am so happy for him. (My blog came full circle back to the topic i am studying!!)
Have a marvelous Sunday--watch out for the heat if you have a heat warning!
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