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Thursday, 9/15 And it goes on...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hi all,

I saw my spine doc yesterday. She is so amazing. As soon as I started telling her my story, she was attentive and serious. She trusts that I know what I am telling her. She treats me with respect and she listens and shares her expertise with me.

Let's start with the numbness in my left hand. She tole the story similar to my PCP and gave me some of the same explanations that he did--except, she does EMGs and after not wanting to "butt in" on another doctor's work, she offered to do mine. She will be getting me in before October 10. She did tell me that it would be best to wait until 3 weeks from the onset because nerve issues change and might not be easy to see and detect before then. (Note to self, I need to cancel that other appointment in the next few days so someone else can have it.) She also did x-rays of my neck and I'll explain that more in a bit.

As for the pain in my back, it has potential for being something big. She did a complete exam of my spine and I have a "hot spot" in the upper spine. It doesn't hurt above this place or below it--but the area that is giving me all of the pain is perpendicular to that part of my spine. She is quite concerned that it is either osteoporosis and a fracture, a ruptured disk, or MS. She told me that there is a disproportionate percentage of cases of MS in our little Quad Cities area here along the Mississippi River in Iowa and Illinois. People are trying to figure out why. There is also a remote chance that it could be some quirky Sylvia thing that might go away too.

So what do we do? Well, I need an MRI, but apparently now the insurance companies require an x-ray to see if that will give the diagnosis first of all. Great, they will get to pay for neck and cervical spine x-rays on top of the MRI. I will have the nerve test and between everything, my doctor will be able to make a diagnosis. She also gave me a handful of lidocaine patches to apply to the sore spot on my back. They made it a bit easier to work today.

I am a bit overwhelmed with my homework needs and have to get on as much as I can do in about ten more minutes of "me time." These classes are another handful in my world. We had a good class tonight--and I am sure the weekend classes will be good too. I have two big assignments due and one isn't quite finished and a lot of reading and very little of it is finished.

School has been crazy--it is hard after missing two days, especially when I feel lousy with back pain. I stood up for myself when somebody tried to take advantage of me today. Oh my--and it goes on.

Take care of yourselves!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MALKS_ARIA 9/19/2011 8:08PM

    You aren't alone!!! I am sadly dealing with chaos and pain on a regular basis. Busy is my middle name... (and your's too)!!

We had a great trip this weekend.. but glad to be home, and I totally need a vacation for the vacation!!

aria

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/16/2011 4:40PM

    Oh, Sylvia, I can't help but want this to be something that is an easy fix. You have been through enough already and you have too much to do to be sick. You are important to too many people to have your body betray you. I am sending prayers for a complete speedy recovery.

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_LINDA 9/16/2011 2:05PM

    My province is a hot bed of MS too :( I do not want to hear that for you. Pray they find something else that is fixable..Love that you finally have found a Dr. that can talk to you as knowledgeable about your condition and won't give you empty platitudes.
Unfortunately, you brought this extra work load on yourself by insisting on taking these extra classes. I would say: look after your health concerns first because you can't afford to set yourself back any further.. You do need rest and healing time..
Hope you can find some relaxing time in there..
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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ACIMPEGGY 9/15/2011 11:29PM

    Life can be hectic, painful and difficult. AND I am finding my life so much that way (and confusing as all get out, too) that I'm am finding at times it seems SO hard to stay positive.

I really need to step back and have some ME time, too...that doesn't just involve an hour of mindless computer games when I get home from work.

I need to get back to meditation, especially as I joined a team for it that has a SP friend for a leader.

Sigh.

Hope your back gets better, Sylvia...before it gets worse. I'll have to read up on MS. Gosh, is there something in the water there? Nuclear power plant? Maybe villages, subdivisions, etc. built on top of a burial ground? I have heard all kinds of reasons that an area can have a batch of the same kind of illness over the years.

Do as the doctor you trust the most tells you to, honey...stay positive if you can. You're learning, you're Sparking, you're wonderful!

Love, light, prayers and emoticon

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Monday, 9/12 My body is rebelling!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hi all,

This is a short blog to let you all know that I am miserable again.

I just saw my rheumy. He is more concerned about this numbness in my left hand and thinks it is a pinched nerve in my neck than I expected. My PCP thought either that or a pinched nerve in my elbow were a possibility. My PCP ordered a neurological test for as soon as possible--and they scheduled it for October 10. My rheumy wants a copy of the report, but he said some things are best left to their own device for healing rather than something man might do. H said we should wait until we get those results before thinking that way anyway.

I have a ton of photos to share of Pioneer Village. All of our kids except Megan went yesterday and we had a beautiful day. I kept the new issue in my back to myself except for a couple of blurt outs on the way there. I have a nasty new pain in my upper back, mostly on my right side about at the rib level. It takes my breath away as it spasms. The pain rotates around my back a bit and it hurts a lot if I breathe during the spasm. I stayed home from work today thinking my rheumy might have an idea, but he wanted me to talk to one of my other doctors--I need an xray or something. I don't think I played it up enough. Anyway, I called my PCP who will check me out, run appropriate tests and send me to the doc I need to see out of my many docs.

Anyway, pain that comes on like this one does and gets agitated when I breathe is a concern. Anything in this back that isn't what is normal to me is a concern. I will miss another day of work tomorrow--grr. I need to finish my homework, but I am having trouble concentrating. I gave myself a ten minute break from studying and that time is up in one more minute.

Time to say "bye,"
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 9/15/2011 10:01PM

    Sylvia, you know you are in my prayers, GF. I am praying for a speedy full recovery. emoticon

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MTNGRL 9/13/2011 6:13PM

    Sylvia, so sorry that you are having these pains. I know how hard you work at being healthy. I just wish your body would cooperate more! I hope your doc can get to the bottom of this.

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MALKS_ARIA 9/12/2011 10:27PM

    I sadly so understand, but glad you do have a Rumo who is working with you, and making sure you get treated as you should be. I hope the pain gets a chance to "calm down" and heal! I hope you have a better week!


aria

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_LINDA 9/12/2011 10:23PM

    So very sorry to hear of this new suffering :(( Sometimes, I think you have too many Dr.'s and have to go through too many hoops before getting some answers.. Is there any chance this could be a muscle strain?? Did you lift something and twist the wrong way without being aware? I know I once had a strain from lifting and it felt horrible to breathe, that rib pain was awful.. Felt like someone was jabbing me with a poker..It really doesn't take much for us to damage our bodies. They are more delicate then we like to think :(( Whatever it is, don't try to force the issue. If you can't work than you simply can't.
I will look forward to your photos. I think its so awesome how your family does things together even when they are adults.. Our family only did things together when we were very young. But then Mom had to work three jobs, so not much time anyway..
Take care of yourself,,
{{{gentle hugs]]]
Linda


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Wednesday, 9/7 Strange things

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Hi all,

Since I last blogged, I have been to two parades, a family picnic, a church picnic, extra work, two doctor appointments, and an interview while filling in between the gaps with school stuff and homework. Whew!!

One of the top activities I have done was an interview of a multilingual person for one of my classes. It was an assignment that I needed to fit into my busy schedule. However, after missing an appointment that I made with someone, I ended up at my church with a member of the ELL for parents class that meets in my church. I met a remarkable lady and it was a really positive meeting. Her English is improving, but her story is amazing. She was originally from the Sudan. She lost her father when she was about 4, most likely due to the violence that started growing there. After years of war and loss, she migrated with her husband and two young children to Kenya. Her husband was a good man who was killed in the war--I think right in front of her. She kept on going and met another good man who married her. She now has 6 children. As the violence in Kenya grew and the lack of food was overwhelming, her husband went on to Uganda to fight in the war. She came to the United States where her youngest child turned 6 months old. She has been on her own here in our area since then and her youngest child is now 5 and entering kindergarten. She is a strong woman who has really experienced some awful things--but is a most positive person. Her work now is to parent and learn English. Her former work was farm work and she misses growing corn and working for "the company" to earn money and support her family. She wants to work again and I am sure that she will. I suspect that she will be hired to do work of a different type and it will involve caring for other people or sharing her story. I was energized and thoughtful after our discussion. I want to see her do the big things that I think she is intended to do.

I woke up Sunday morning to find my left hand numb. It is still numb--only on the back of my hand and up my thumb. It is not improving and it is a bit nerve-wracking. My knuckles are numb as well. Anyway, although it is not preventing me from working or functioning, it cannot be ignored. I called my doctor and he wanted to see me today. He asked me a lot of questions and gave me a complete exam. He asked me if I was worried about it being a stroke--and I quite honestly wasn't, but now I am wondering if he was concerned about that. That is a scary thought. He did a test with me keeping my eyes closed and he poked both of my hands with a sharp object. Apparently, I felt all of the pokes on the right and some of the ones on the inside of the left hand. He says that it appears to be some kind of neurological thing that is connected to my ring and pinky finger and goes at least to my elbow and possibly up to my neck. Oh my, a compressed nerve issue again. If it is only at my elbow, that could have been brought on by normal life activities. He told me that I am not to rest my arm on my elbow in my chair or at a table or counter at all. If it is up to my neck, that sounds like something I have dealt with at the other end of my spine and that is scary. I cannot get in to the neurologist until October 10 for the tests I need--they suggested that I call the neurologist and try to get on a cancellation list. Oh my--at least it isn't sore or debilitating. I hope it might go away as quickly as it came on...

I am knee deep in reading for my classes. I have a couple of big projects due in the next couple of weeks. I will be by Sparking as I can, but this work is important to me. I can only do as much as I can do. My regular pool reopened yesterday. The newly tiled floor looks wonderful and it was good to be back in my special workout place. I must admit that a month of outdoor exercise has been invigorating and if nothing else has left me with a nice tan that I am getting a lot of compliments over.

Time for me to head off--take care of yourselves!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAWNWATERWOMAN 9/11/2011 10:58PM

    Wow! You've been very very busy. You're one of the few folks that I see as even more active than I. You're in my prayers daily. Bright blessings to you my friend. Love, Dawn emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/9/2011 8:37PM

    It's truly eyeopening the lives that some people in developing countries have to live. Most of us in the U.S. have it made.

I hope you can get in soon to have that hand and arm looked at.

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MALKS_ARIA 9/9/2011 4:16AM

    So, I am sitting here @ 2:10a, and dealing with a numb left leg, and foot. . . (not really new for me.... as i aggravate my hip/pelvic and back . . . and I end up with pinched nerves. It sounds like you may have the same issue going on. I hope the Neuro will be able to identify it, and you will be able to "endure" the tests they do -- I know they aren't my favorite!!

I am glad your 'normal' pool is back open. I have been getting to the pool 2-3x a week recently -- so I can get used to it again. My hips and tummy (Keeping my tummy muscle tucked in while I exercise) . . . are telling me I have hit my limit for the week. I will go tomorrow but I will be floating on the noodle ...
I can do it!! You can too!! (awesome about your TAN by the way ... wooohoo!!)

Hope your homework goes fast and you learn much... Impactful story of the interviewed lady. I think God sets up appointments that we may not otherwise meet.... Glad it was inspiring for you! Was for me too!!

aria

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EMRANA 9/8/2011 12:02PM

  Hope you can get in to see the neurologist soon and get some answers. Take care!

emoticon

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_LINDA 9/8/2011 11:56AM

    Sorry to hear about your arm and hand, hope you can get in soon with that Doctor. Glad your pool is open, but changing up your exercise once in a while is a good thing! I have loved being outside because the weather has been so great here, and is even continuing this week.
That women you met sounds remarkable!! I hope things work out for her!
Take care of yourself, you sure burn the candle at both ends (
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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SHARRONRNC 9/8/2011 7:16AM

    Sylvia, you sure are a busy woman! Sorry to hear about your left hand and arm. I hope you can get some answers soon. I hope you got on the cancellation list! My prayers will be with you.
Hugs,
Sharron emoticon

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Thursday, 9/1 Feelings words

Friday, September 02, 2011

Hi all,

I have been a busy worker bee these days. I seem to have my motor on high gear and haven't been this active since long before arthritis. It is amazing how much I am doing and how quickly I can move around these days. I am so lucky that I found Dr. Miller and that I didn't talk myself out of it. She deserves an award of some kind--I'll take care of that soon!! I am thrilled to be so busy.

The primary teachers in my building are doing a unit on good health habits with the kids. I decided to work with them but to veer off a bit and to teach them vocabulary to describe their feelings--and I have told them that happy, sad, mad, and glad are kindergarten words so they must choose words that tells their feelings better. I never use the same books and materials with more than one group at a time, but I am doing so right now. I want to help them to build their vocabulary because it will help them to be able to respond to fiction, history, and biographies more clearly. We are using some great books: "Three Dogs at my Door" by Roach Van Allen, "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" by William Steig, "Frightened" by the Wright Group, "C is for Curious" by Woodleigh Hubbard, "Feelings" by National Geographic, and "This is my School" by Mercer Mayer. These books have the best vocabulary, photos, stories, and interest levels for young children. I have several charts all over the school with three columns--a smily face, a so-so face, and a frowning face--that the kids are adding additional vocabulary words to. They are really learning a lot and I am so proud. In the meantime, I am focusing on early skills of book handling and directionality with some of them, high frequency words with some of them, using letter-sounds and meaning to help problem solve, and lots of writing.

I have spent the past two weeks teaching the letters M,m and the corresponding sound to the kindergarten children. Yesterday, I had them do water color resist paintings and the mystery figure was of course, the letters M and m. Today we finished collages of photos that had objects starting with the letter "m," and we used my "M" letter punch to decorate the outside edges of the pictures. We have made the letter M and m out of Wikki stix. We have written them on the magna doodle, on colored construction paper, and on white boards. I think they know that letter. On Friday, I am moving them to the letters R and r. My goal is to teach them a way to look at letters and to give them their own strategies for looking at print. The letter M was not random--all of our children's names begins with "M" and that drove the lessons after I introduced myself to them. The letter "R" is in honor of our new class pet. I got a bunny from a nice young lady on Freecycle who was in college and was worried that her bunny wasn't receiving enough attention. She is a spayed gray Rex who is pretty nervous right now. I expect that as she gets used to us, the kids will be able to take turns reading to her.

I have three projects due for my classes next month. I will start work on them over the weekend. I need to take the atomic learning class on using the school IPad. My current opinion isn't too strong about it. I prefer my laptop and I can't quite understand the IPad. However, when I learn more about using it, I hope that I will understand it better and like it more. We will be using it to do book studies at school, so I need to gain some proficiency with it. Taking that class will be a good start. I need to work on that over the weekend as well.

This weekend is a great one in our community. We have a parade in our little town on Saturday. There is the "Indian Summer Festival," full of rides and activities. Rock Island has a big kart racing event all weekend. Monday is the biggest parade ever, the Labor Day parade. Our church has a float that most of my family will be in. Marissa will be marching with the band in the parades too. It is the last day for Whitewater Junction to be open--my pool reopens on Tuesday, yay!! We will be doing at least one big family picnic and I am letting the kids plan it.

Busy can be really good.
life is good!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 9/8/2011 12:06PM

    Its wonderful to hear you feel well enough to keep up with your busy life! I have wondered why you named all your kids with the same first letter, so they could all have the same initials?
The insight on how you are teaching the children is really interesting. If you have teaching buddies, may they be inspired by some of your ideas and suggestions!
Keep up the fantastic work!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 9/5/2011 6:24AM

    I grew up in New England where we also had Labor Day & Memorial Day parades in our little town. Too bad that they don't have such things where I live now. We have a Christmas parade somewhere in the beginning of Dec. Glad that you're doing so much & so well. You are one amazing lady & TEACHER! I wish that my grandchildren were blessed with someone like you. Bright blessings to you my friend. Love, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/3/2011 9:27PM

    Sylvia, you are amazing. When I hear you talk about what you do with your children I realize how fortunate they are to have a teacher of your caliber. You make things challenging and fun.

Your community weekend sounds great too.

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MALKS_ARIA 9/3/2011 11:34AM

    Sounds Busy, but Fun for the kids!

I am glad you are feeling better!!! I so would love some relief! I am still off the NSAIDs and still in pain... I am hanging in here, and I got approved for my pool therapy again - and received a scholarship for the cost of the pool each month. :) So I am back at the therapy pool 2-3x a week to begin with, hoping to make it 5x a day soon....

Hope you have a great weekend!!! It sounds very busy, and full!


aria

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Friday, August 26 Happy Birthday, Mitchell

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hi everyone,

Today is our second child's birthday. He is 27 today. He is an awesome young man. He is teaching 5th grade in an inner city school in Davenport, Iowa. He runs every day, particularly enjoying running along the path next to the Mississippi River. He is the secretary of our church council and sings in the church choir. He is a member of the local ultimate frisbee club and goes to the fitness center a few times a week--when the pool is open, anyway. He is a good big brother and spends time with his siblings. He has a sweet new apartment in a refurbished turn of the century home. We are very proud of him.

He is having a combined "housewarming/ birthday" party this weekend with his former college roommates. We will celebrate his birthday on Sunday with his favorite dinner--homemade tacos, board games, and finally birthday cake. I had him come and get his birthday gifts today rather than wait because we got him a microwave and I thought he might like having it now since he has all of this company.

Anyway, this blog is about Mitchell and it is full of love, pride and admiration for his accomplishments and for being just who he is!! Happy 27th birthday!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 8/29/2011 2:09PM

    He sounds like a wonderful young man. I would expect him to be as he is your son. Happy birthday, Mitchell!!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 8/27/2011 1:55PM

    Happy Birthday Mitchell! emoticon

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_LINDA 8/27/2011 10:31AM

    A Big Happy Birthday to Mitchell, you sure can be proud of him! But as is often the case, the child is a reflection of his parent or parents setting a good example! Well done on raising a fine boy!!

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GOATS03 8/27/2011 8:24AM

    Happy Birthday Michell emoticon

You certainly have every reason to be proud of him Sylvia :)

Enjoy your wonderful day tomorrow with your family to celebrate his birthday.

Hugs
Sue

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MONIEE2 8/27/2011 12:54AM

    Happy Birthday Mitchell!! May God continue to bless you in all that you do!!!

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