Tuesday, August 16, 2011
It is always a blessing to read your comments on my blogs. I sure appreciate your support. I went to work yesterday at 6;30 to get caught up on cleaning up my classroom because I left in a hurry Friday so I could go to the pool. Interestingly enough, I ended up doing the same thing yesterday. The schedule of available hours at the pool for these next two weeks really messes with my life. However, I will dow hat I have to so that I can work out. I won't get to go to the pool tonight because I have a doctor's appointment. They are open from 1-4 for open swim and from 5-6 for adult lap swim. I think it is really unfair that the after work hours are so brief, I had to lop off part of my workout and some of my laps yesterday in order to fit in the time frame. I made up for that with all of the physical work I did yesterday between walking all over our big school and the heavy lifting I was doing in reorganizing some book areas in my classroom. (They don't call them "Big Books" for nothing.)
I expected to spend yesterday teaching, but I spent more of my day testing a couple of children. This is something that I haven't been "allowed" to do in our district for the past 4 years. Even though I am a reading specialist and part of my training has included detailed work in assessment and diagnosis, our district policy changed back then and only classroom teachers were to do any reading assessment. It is no secret that I have fought this silliness and disagree greatly. I do understand that it is best if the person who does daily instruction has a great advantage in planning if they know how their students operate in detail and they teach to the child's strengths while building on their weaknesses. I also understand that the old days when I might spend weeks doing almost all of the assessments for a building limiting my time to actually teach. However, they "tossed out the baby with the bath water"by not allowing me to assess my own children or to do anything to help the staff or building using my expertise. We adopted an online assessment program last spring for all students in grades 3-12, so that means I can now assess as is needed again. It feels good to use a part of my own skills in working with children again.
I am back doing the Weight Watchers "Points Plus" program that I tried to start in January. I would have stuck with it then, but their meetings are way too crowded in January and paying to attend a meeting that I didn't get to attend because I spent the entire time in line waiting to pay for my meeting and be weighed didn't make any sense to me. The strength of any weight loss program is the combination of a healthy eating program and community--like SP and WW both do quite well. I thought having some accountability at the scale might help me to stay focused. The thing that I am getting from this is a renewed focus on reading labels and on weighing and measuring foods. I needed to tighten up my portion size--not only to manage amounts of all of my foods, but to make sure that what I was counting as a serving of fruits or veggies was actually an entire serving. I have been very good at measuring those target foods like desserts, but I needed to get back in the habit of measuring other foods as well.
I started out yesterday feeling a bit yucky again. I hadn't felt that feeling since we reduced my dose of Savella, I am wondering about nausea and a kind of off-center almost light-headedness when I haven't eaten yet in the morning or haven't eaten for a while. I do best as do many people with a small meal every few hours, but now that I am back to work, it isn't quite as easy to do that. I guess I am worried about dips in my blood sugar levels while I am more physically active than I was in the summer. I was busy beyond busy, but I could manage the "when" for eating and activity in a different way than I can when I am "on the job." Maybe I am more in-tune to my physical reactions to food and activity as well. In any case, I ended up doing an emergency run for fast food at 6:30 and given my available time and opportunities, that put me at McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin. I am not an egg person, but I analyzed their menu carefully with one of my WW books. It was the best choice for me at the time to provide something that was both not sweet and that had protein in it, even if it wasn't one of my favorite foods. I hope to do better today and avoid even a well-planned choice from such a place. I might just use my time away from the pool tonight to stock my refrigerator. Around here, that is a big job!!
Grocery shopping is a regular pain when I am feeding this many people. I have to really balance budget with who I am feeding. Besides a costly food budget, I have to make sure they know which foods are available to them and which ones they must leave alone. That is also hard because they aren't always here at the same time and I seem to forget who I told what to. Oh my, I can get back into the swing of being at work. I also have to balance when I can do my sparking and the filter at school now complains about almost every spark screen I open. I do not understand why that is--the CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) filter has to prevent the use of internet shopping and blogs, but there is a lot of SP that is neither. I cannot understand why my spark points page triggers the filter now. I am guessing there is some new upgrade and in a few days, I will petition our tech people to let it go. It may or may not work depending on the rules and reasons.
Anyway, I think that being flexible is my new mantra in many ways. I will figure out my details and as always, I will count on you for both suggestions and support. Have a great day!!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Now that school is really back in session and I should be working each day on the schedule I have worked so hard to create by Tuesday, it is time for me to have a plan to deal with my health, my home, my work, and my happiness. The next two weeks will stay a bit tricky when on Monday, my opportunities for being in the pool are going to be limited, but I am going to work with the very limited available hours at the water park pool for those doing lapswimming. (I swam 20 laps yesterday and got in my regular workout--that was a first for me.)
I am going to go back to Weight Watchers for meetings on Saturday mornings--and I am leaving in a few minutes. I am going to trust the rest of everything that has worked for me for months and expect things to fall back into place. I think having a weekly weigh in will help me to stay focused and be accountable. If I find I don't need this, I can quit going, but it will be worth $14 a week to watch myself and let everyone around me see that this is important.
That being said, I need to get ready to go. I'll check in soon and let you know how things are going in my world.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I am worn out and things aren't quite right. I will start with the worst of everything. I had my doctor's appointment Wednesday afternoon and when I weighed in, I expected a weight gain, but I didn't expect that I had gained 19 pounds over the summer. I haven't been weighing in, so I guess that is part of it--but I have been tracking food and exercising like crazy. I often get messages from SP that I haven't eaten enough and that might be part of the issue. I have had 42 steroid injections and that may also be a part of the issue. My oral surgery has me in a mess right now and that might also be part of the issue. However, as much as I try to downplay the scales, this really felt awful, like that proverbial kick in the guts. All I can say is that I need to figure out what to do about it.
The next issue on this somewhat related issue is that I may have Grave's Disease. That is an overworking thyroid and with that, I should be having an unexplained weight loss taking place. I am going to have more lab work in two weeks. My doctor wants to make sure that some virus isn't skewing my tests and that I am over the stress and issues with my oral surgery. That adds to this--I am barely able to eat because I cannot chew a lot. I have had more ice cream since last week than I have in a long time, but I have been measuring it and counting the calories. I wish I could both explain the scales today and let it go because it isn't the most important thing in my life. It isn't like I gained all 140 pounds back and it isn't like I cannot fix this. It is just that I cannot figure out why this has happened and that will make it hard to fix and I don't want it to continue.
After numerous rewriting, I think I have a work schedule in place finally. I will be thrilled if the last "tweaks" work out and I can run with it. It is always a tough job to make my schedule work with each classroom teacher's regular stuff--math time, guided reading, lunch, gym and music--but I also have to work with special ed and speech therapy. I have been approached by several of my kids from last year and they are looking forward to us all working together again. I am sad that I didn't get them all up to grade level, not because I don't enjoy their company, but because I want them to be as successful as possible.
We had a really good meeting this afternoon. I am no big fan of meetings, but we have some special groups (cadres) who focus on a specific topic. The cadre I am on is the reading cadre and I wrote our first ever "agenda" prior to the meeting and it took off like wildfire. We have a lot of awesome plans for the coming year to infuse the building with reading activities and to promote the love of reading for each of our students if they are willing to accept it. I am so glad--this is what I live for. We are building in a lot of collaboration across grade levels and within grade levels as well. It is exciting "stuff."
One of our guinea pigs passed away yesterday. We didn't realize that Star was ill and it took us all by surprise. Micah is really having a hard time with it and is sure that he or we did something (or didn't do something) that caused it. I have been trying to explain this entire situation to him, but even at the wise age of 13, he doesn't accept the laws of nature.
Mitchell had his first "first day of school" meeting days today. To me, they are old-hat and a bit annoying, but for him, all of the wonder and excitement is in place. I am really enjoying his excitement, questions, and ideas. I wish that student teachers wanted to work with someone who does what I do--I know that only having one subject area and the intricacies of what I do are a bit overwhelming and maybe even a bit restrictive for a person becoming a teacher. However, the energy of a student teacher is really contagious and exciting. I think I felt that in our meeting today and I am trying to recruit volunteers.
I have been exercising at the water slide park each day because the fitness center is on its second week of shut down. I learned that they are going to keep the pool closed an extra week next week because they are refinishing the deck floor. The problem is that next week, the water slide park goes to only being open on weekends with the majority of the local kids being back in school. They are going to let people in classes have them at the water park and they will be open a couple of times a day for lap swim, but the hours are going to make it quite hard for my work schedule. I think I am going to call the fitness center and the park board if necessary and fuss tomorrow. I really, really need my pool.
I see the dentist again this afternoon. My mouth is doing a bit better--I am out of anti-inflammatories and I think a few of the stitches have dissolved. I will be glad to be a bit more "normal" again. I cannot chew fresh fruits or veggies yet and I am needing them. Even watermelon chunks hurt and bananas and applesauce are getting old. I will get things back in order soon. there is a lot going on that is out of my control and I never handle that well.
That's about it--this isn't one of my more positive blogs--I can use some ideas and support right now. The scale really threw me today and I have to get myself back to where I was. I certainly upgraded my records here and SP is tactful enough not to send a message on my friend feed that says "Sylvia gained almost 20 pounds.." However, I know it and that is more than enough. If you can help me to come up with some new goals to fix this, I need your ideas.
As always, thanks for being my friends. Through thick and through thin, good friends are what makes everything work out.
Sunday, August 07, 2011
My week has been absolutely hectic. I am doing okay, but it is hard to come up with a few minutes to blog these days. I know that this is what going back to work is about for me.
I was here last on Tuesday and had an appointment to see my doc the next day about issues with my lab work. After all of my plans to take care of myself, I postponed that appointment until Tuesday of this week. I decided that missing that meeting and having to go to other schools to catch up on the "Bloodborne Pathogens" mandated training and about six other things that the state of IL requires us to have annual training on was not something I had time to do. (Every year, we have to watch a video on bloodborne pathogens and how to protect ourselves against treating bleeding kids and ending up with HIV or Hepatitis. The nurse facilitates these videos, but after doing this for some 18 of the past 25 years, I am not sure what is new in this field. The videos are "cheesy" and pseudo-gross as well.)
Thursday was busy and I am still trying to select students and make a schedule, but I am waiting on the rest of the teachers to get back to me with their schedules. I have over 100 students who need a program and I cannot do that. I am hoping to do something innovative so that I can see extra kids by working within the classroom programs. I know that seeing more kids is a tough deal for me and different for them--but I can double the number of children that I see without working a lot of extra hours.
After work, I left for my oral surgery appointment. I had a lot of work done in my mouth and am still recovering now. I decided that with everything I had endured up until now, that I would opt to be awake and use local anesthesia for this work, saving money and avoiding that "sleepiness" from anesthesia. It is too late to do it over, but I should have went the other route. It took some 24+ injections to numb my mouth up and my face was numb for hours, especially up my nasal passages making breathing tough. Anyway, I had 7 teeth extracted and gum work done. I left with a mouth full of stitches and although it is improving, it isn't good yet. Eating is a real chore--soft foods that don't seem to be very filling. Applesauce and juice are my source of fruits and veggies right now--and I am craving stuff I never eat. Hmm, this is another sign that eating is emotional as much as physical (at least for me.)
I was able to go to work on Friday--far better than staying at home and feeling sorry for myself and I accomplished a lot behind the scenes. I still cannot start teaching as I am waiting for feedback from teachers and in getting my schedule finished. I am not feeling great about the new school year yet, but maybe, when I get to start seeing my students, it will come. Paperwork and meetings is the real down side to being an educator in this country I cannot think of anyone who got into teaching for that stuff. Meetings typically frustrate me because you are handed paper that explains the topic and the agenda--then you spend the entire meeting having someone read that stuff to you along with long periods of time debating items that don't have much significance to actual education.
Saturday was a bit better. I had lunch with my best friend--uh, soup for me, but we talked and talked and talked. I did some grocery shopping and some chores around the house. Then, I went to the water slide park with my youngest son and my 20 year old joined us. After we finished, we came home and regrouped--gathering my 22 and my 23 year olds and went bowling. I came home and had some macaroni and cheese for dinner. I went back to some spark time, but I fell asleep at the laptop. (I do that a lot--and I wake up during the night and sometimes cannot get back to sleep. I average 6 hours of sleep a night in pieces and parts.)
I am glad it is Sunday. We are having a Dixieland Jazz service at church today. I am going to try to do some videos or photos to share. We have flowers for the alter in honor of our 15 year old's birthday tomorrow. (Guess who gets her first drivers license this week?) We will go swimming somewhere today and we have to drive 45 minutes to the train station to pick up my 26 year old son who has been in LA at a wedding. He was supposed to get to go to Canada for another wedding this coming week, but he wouldn't have gotten back in time to start school at his new position. I am sorry that he has to miss that, but it is far more important for him to have a job doing what he is so gifted for doing. He will have this week to spend more time with me and in his classroom as he gets ready for his big first day of the school year. For him, my attitude about meetings won't quite apply and he will be like a hungry puppy taking in every second. The arguments about silly stuff like where to have children line up will have a different affect for him than they do for me.
From the way I feel, it will be another day of yogurt and cottage cheese for me. I really, really want a burger with slices of fresh tomatoes that my garden is producing by the handful now. Tomatoes are my favorite food and the ones from my garden are the best, big and juicy and yummy. I like them with cottage cheese, oh well, this will heal soon enough I guess. I go to see my doc on Tuesday and find out what is going on with my thyroid. (I now know what parts of my labwork were off. I also am now aware that sometimes thyroid issues plague women as they grow older and can mask themselves as some of the pain issues that my arthritis and fibromyalgia can cause. My doctor tested for a lot of things to make sure we were treating my health correctly. That makes sense to me--and I don't know a lot about thyroid issues. I am guessing that I will be sent to an endocrinologist for a more complete checkup.)
I cannot usually get more than a couple of blogs in a week during the school year. I have made a commitment to my body to get to the pool each day because it keeps me walking and moving with the least pain. With the fitness center still on their scheduled maintenance/ clean-up shutdown, I have to go earlier in the day at other pools, generally those outdoors and for "fun." It seems to take more time to work out at these pools, but it is also so much fun to be out in the fresh air when I exercise. I sure hope that you all have a great week. I recognize that it is still summer, our year round schedule is what has us back at school now.
Gentle hugs, one and all!!
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
I am definitely going to have to figure out how to juggle my time a bit better...
Today started with our big, all-district meeting at the high school. I didn't go to the breakfast because I only had a half an hour and I knew that I couldn't find anyone who had a key for the elevator in a timely way. OK, I planned for that and brought my breakfast. I sat through the meeting and enjoyed the message. Our district goal is to improve respect--adult to adult, adult to child, child to adult, child to child. Hmm, I guess they aren't thinking about the fact that respect has to be earned. They decided this based ont he results of the community wide surveys we do each spring and the issue of respect brought the safety scores way down.
We went back to school to work for a while and go out for lunch if we so chose. After that was our big building meeting. The doctor's office scheduled the procedure on my hip at 2, so I had to call in sick for the afternoon. I stayed as long as I could (on my own time, technically) and I made it to the doctor with 3 minutes to spare. However, it wasn't appreciated much by my building administrator. Anyway, I received 7 injections in my right hip and I have it on ice right now. I also let them know that the altered dose of Savella seems to be working better for me.
When I got home, I had another call from her, apparently there are some issues with my blood/ lab work. She then contacted my PCP and he had an opening for 11 tomorrow. I took it because this is worrying them--but I think it means I am going to have to leave another meeting early. I am thinking I may end up in a sticky wicket with her. However, one of my personal goals for myself is that I come before my job for now and evermore.
Our heat index was 108 today. On the way home, I stopped at our only teacher store to buy some materials for a new wall display I want to make. I cramped up on the way home and after a bunch of big trips to the bathroom, I took a 90 minute nap. Then, I went to Whitewater Junction to exercise with 2 of my sons.
I came home and had dinner. I have tried to take care of things here at home and do some sparking. I think I need to get some sleep now and worry about tomorrow then.
I have a plan!!
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