Tuesday, September 27, 2011
As my title says, I had my EMG today. I will have a complete report with my wonderful spine doctor on October 11. (We are on fall intersession that week. I volunteered to teach at both my school--for primary kids interested in a week-long reading club and at my church--to teach reading to the ELL children while their parents have English classes.) My doctor appointment had to fit in between all of that. Anyway, she told me that she didn't have a full and complete report but she could tell me that my right hand which she used as a base--has a mild case of carpal tunnel and that we will most likely need to treat it with me wearing a night splint. She said that she already knows that my left hand has a serious case of carpal tunnel that will need surgery without a doubt. The problem at hand is that with such a big problem, she won't be surprised to find that it is getting a "double whammy" from the nerves on my neck. I will find out the entire story when I see her then and we will discuss what will help.
Yesterday, I noticed that my numb left hand was feeling some "thickening" around my thumb and it was hard to bend. Today, I notice the same feelings in my fingers. My hand is also swelling now. That strange numbness was my red flag that these issues were coming.
I am also having a personal struggle--too much stress and weather induced pain is giving me too many negative feelings. I have to admit that my 9/21 blog had so many kind comments and support that it helped me a great deal. Thank you all for your kindness and support. I feel badly that I am struggling with my feelings when I know a few other people who are dealing with big, life-changing issues. Carpal tunnel surgery is not a big deal for most folks and it would be something like surgery #48 for me in the past 8 years. Being picked on and called names by my supervisor is not a life changing thing either. She is simply giving me grounds for a grievance or litigation or something that can ruin her life. I do not intend to sink into the dark hole that depression has been for me and I don't want any meds either. I need to avoid becoming exhausted or overwhelmed. I can do this, especially with all of the cheerleaders I have here. Thank you all so much.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Here is a direct quote from the email I got from one of the downtown administrators about what the woman in charge of our building said to me: "I will be up to see you this week. You are professional and respected. Hold your head up high and be proud of what you accomplish every day with kids. Hang in there until I can get there." That brought tears to my eyes. Those were better than the tears she gave me.
I am wondering if I should start looking into legal consequences for this awful woman. Rumors have it that her ex-husband is a pretty intense attorney. It might be hard, but I am really tired of the way she treats people. I might have backing of our teacher's union. For all of the people who hate the teacher's union and say all of the nasty they need to think about this kind of thing that is done by other people in school. We have unions to protect our rights from the multitude of people who work with or against us as we try to care for children and their education. I understand that all teachers are not good, but because of this kind of garbage, we have to put up a wall of protection That is exactly why the teachers' unions came to be. Back to my personal business, I wish this didn't bother me at all, but I wouldn't be human if it didn't bother me some. I am glad to not be internalizing it and putting it out there for everyone. I have told everyone around me exactly what has been said to me. Each person responded with an apology on my behalf and an incredulous look and/or comment.
As for my family, yesterday was my husband's birthday. I prepared a nice dinner for him--new recipes. One was a spaghetti bake and the other was a taco-pasta meal. Both were loaded with veggies and variations on some of his favorite foods. My daughter did his birthday cake. It was a nice day and I felt better caring for his special day than I did for mine having been neglected. It made up a lot for Monday.
My son and I went to a wonderful workshop yesterday by Don Bear, put on by our local Reading Council. I got a couple of ideas for my needier students. My son won a door prize and he selected a great book for me to use with my ELL children. He also gave me a great bag of treats from a specialty store as a birthday gift. I shared them with everyone last night so I wouldn't be tempted.
The cooler weather and the stress is really playing my fibro. I have my EMG tomorrow and will miss a half a day of work. I considered taking the entire day off, but I hate to let all of my kids down like that. I have a sweet letter from one of my last year students about missing me. I also heard from her teacher that she is losing ground.
I'm going to be late for church, so I'd better scoot. Take care everyone.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
This week, my birthday week has been a stinker. Literally and figuratively, it has been a stinker. My birthday was Monday and it could have slid by unnoticed. I went to a good deal of effort to make a cheesy meat nachos for the staff for my birthday treat and well, I can't even tell if it was appreciated. I took in plenty so there would be enough and about 3 bags of chips were eaten--so I guess someone enjoyed it. I had plans to go to dinner with my youngest daughter, but a better situation came up from her friends. I was a kind mother and let her off the hook without her having to ask me. However, then, it was my husband trying to toss some dinner together because he was going to take the boys for fast food. My oldest daughter gave me a pretty coral and green skirt and a white top. Otherwise, the day went unnoticed.
Yesterday was the real stinker. Our principal went out of her way to come and let me know that she needed to give me a heads up that I smell bad. Besides the fact that that isn't true--she is just awful. The reality is that I am back. I am stronger and working harder than ever before. People are recruiting me for my expertise and help, that seems to intimidate her and she makes it personal to try to put her foot bak on my head. I am no longer putting up with her monkey business and I contacted the assistant superintendent, another downtown administrator, and the union president. The latter of the three already came to visit her. She backpedaled and said it was my room. He checked it out and said that it wasn't so. He is helping me and so will the other guys. The HR guy sent me an email and told me that he would get back to me. I know that she is on their radar. Her comment to me was that people who take arthritis meds have a smell about them. Hmm, I am not taking any arthritis meds anymore--I can't they either make me sick or could make me sick or they don't work for me. Her thing is that she only likes and wants pretty, young teachers and this overweight, disabled teacher pushing a walker around her school doesn't look good enough for her. I will NOT be silenced and I will not be mistreated by this woman any more.
Tonight, I have a doctor's appointment at 5:45 and my MRI at 7:30. The x-rays didn't show a lot, as my doctor expected. They did show arthritis damage in my C something and another vertebrae--and a little of something else. (The phone kept dropping out. I talked to them and asked if it showed anything "new" or beyond my regular arthritis-type damage and she said "no." That's where I am at with my health. I started using the new lidocaine patches on my upper spine and they are helping with the pain in my upper back. itis strange how wearing them on my spine helps the pain in a different bart of my back, but my doc was right and it helps.
I am getting beaten down and I need to pull myself up and fight back. I know who I am and what I am about. I use the pool daily and wear clean clothing on a freshly bathed body each day--no odors here. I clean my room and the custodians comment regularly about how nice it is to work in my room because of how well I keep it. I am not going to let this woman start her evil garbage with me again. If you aren't aware--this is the third time she has tried this with me and I went to my doc and was checked out in every way. I even did some natural things like drinking chlorophyll and taking extra zinc tablets and so on to treat her "odors." They do not exist and I am sick of this game with her. I won't treat myself badly because of her comments.
OK-that is all I am going to say--or think--on this topic. I have called out the calvary and I have prayed. Now, I am going to work to do the magic I do for the children. That is what drives me!!
Take care you all!!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
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!!
Monday, September 12, 2011
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,"
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