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Saturday 10/1 I am trying and winning!!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Hi all,

You all know that I am having a tough go of things--and I have done more than enough whining here--but I have to admit that the outpouring of kindness and understanding from all of you make things a lot better. I had lunch with my best friend today (I also went to Weight Watchers, worked out at the pool, did chores around my house, worked on homework, went grocery shopping, took care of part of the pets, went out with my son, solved a couple of emergencies for my kids...and I walked 19027 steps today!!) Anyway, it is the good stuff that I want to talk about.

I want to talk about what I am doing that is right...
*I am working with pride and doing what one of the administrators told me to do--I am holding my head high and I am proud of all that I do for so many kids.
*I know that I will be having surgery at some point, as soon as we know what all is contributing to the carpal tunnel in my left hand--but I am making plans to take care of everything just as I always have with surgery. I will be taking a day or two off work with this surgery unlike what I usually do. I should do this for me.
*I am spending my spare time doing my enormous pile of homework for my grad classes and interestingly enough, I have an ally in the professor of the course. She told me that she is glad to have someone with my talent and experience in her class. That made me blush a bit.
*I have decided to do good things for others during my break and use my talent in ways that it will be appreciated. I will also have time to (finally) get caught up on my homework, lol.) I will also have time to take naps and visit with people I care about.
*I am exercising daily, eating 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies, drinking 10-12 glasses of water each day. I am happy with my eating habits. The only thing I ever overdo it on is having a second Weight Watchers 3 point bar on a given day. I also know that I have my bigger weight losses on the weeks when I have eaten more--and I need to learn how to manage that.
*I have great kids--I know each of their strengths and weaknesses, but when I listen to what other people are dealing with with their "young adult" aged kids--well, I am fortunate that my kids aren't doing all of those scary things. There aren't a lot of people who can say the same with 8 kids who all go to church,volunteer in the church, work and/or go to school, and who aren't doing nasty or illegal things.
*I have good friends in my life and online. They are kind to me and others, and they make my life better--I hope that I do the same for them!!
*No matter what, I am healthier than I have been in years, I can tell when something is wrong with me now and that is new to me. I am so much more in tune with my body.

I know there are more things that I am winning at, but since I woke up after having written this much, I am thinking this is a great start that I should keep adding to.
Thanks for all you do for me.
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/7/2011 10:12PM

    The professor is right, of course. You are doing amazing and pushing on to accomplish a lot even in the presence of pain.

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WALKZWDOGZ 10/3/2011 1:50AM

    emoticon to you --and that professor! (Sounds like you scored a good & perceptive one!) emoticon

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_LINDA 10/2/2011 11:24AM

    Your children are so fortunate to have you for a mother and the children you are teaching to read are lucky to have you as a teacher! Happy to know at least some of the adults you deal with in your life are recognizing that!!!
Its nice to hear you are giving yourself something of a break in your time off. I would like to see more people doing things for you instead of always the other way around though.
Take care of you!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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EMRANA 10/2/2011 10:56AM

  Always good to count our many blessings ~

emoticon

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Monday, 9/26 EMG and My Update

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hi all,

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.

Gentle Hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 9/28/2011 1:16AM

    Oh Sylvia, so sorry you are so in a bad place right now, but why, why why take on more work??? Instead of volunteering at the church and school, you really could have used that week off to rest and recuperate..
This can't be helping your stress any :(( You really need to find a way to put your needs first for a change. You are running yourself into the ground taking on so much all the time. It doesn't help your health any.
Stand up for yourself, in all ways!!
Take care of yourself, as no one else is going to..
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/27/2011 1:19PM

    Sylvia, I am always here for you. I know you won't let life get you down. You are important to us and we know your true worth. You bless us with your friendship and your fortitude in the face of challenging times. We love you.

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MALKS_ARIA 9/27/2011 9:02AM

    *Deep Breath* Goodness that's a lot to take in!! Hope the EMG shows all that you need to know! As far as the surgery... if that's what ya gotta do... tiz what you gotta do....

YOU CAN DO IT!!! You are doing a lot that allows you to keep pressing on!! You are an inspiration! You keep pressing on with work, and through the pain, and frustrations.... I honestly couldn't imagine doing so... but you do it, and you are a far better person for it!!! Keep up the great job!!!

aria

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Sunday, 9/24 A New Week

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hi all,

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.

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 9/27/2011 1:22PM

    Happy birthday to your hubby.

I can't help but hope they get rid of this horrible woman soon.

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PUGRAD1995 9/26/2011 10:11PM

    Hang in there. The legal system is an option, but I've never found it to be alot of help.

I think I am very glad that there have been advances in back surgery. Mine so far has been much easier that what I"ve heard from people who had them done more than a couple of years ago. I am ready to start trying to walk without the walker, but the surgeon tells me patience!

Hope the arm feels better soon!

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MALKS_ARIA 9/26/2011 9:16PM

    Dear dear friend... I hope the person down town will rip the lady a new concept of "supervising" and what's discrimination, and what is not... You are a lovely lady inside and out and I sooo wish you the best!

aria

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_LINDA 9/25/2011 2:34PM

    It sounds like the only way this woman will be stopped is by legal action if her superiors are unwilling to do anyhting about her, and that is a shame, but she shouldn't be allowwed to go on like that either. I will bet any disabilities association would be willing to help out, or bring it up as discrimination.
I so wish your family would get on board with your healthy lifestyle. Giving you treats you can't eat for your birthday?? Totally thoughtless really. Glad your husband got to enjoy his birthday at least
Hope you have a more postive week and that this latest treatment does you some good.
Hugs,
Linda

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Wednesday, 9/21 Enough hurt from others

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hi all,

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!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MKPRINCESS007 9/25/2011 11:34AM

    I agree, this principal is horrible! I would rally as many folks behind me (and it sounds like you are) as possible and put her in her place!

Sorry about your birthday! Glad you were treated well by one of your children, though. It does seem that the people that are caregivers tend to often not have that love and support reciprocated.

Wishing you all the best!

Karen

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FLOSTEP 9/25/2011 9:51AM

  Wow! I am sorry that you had a rough birthday.That principal sounds like a horrid excuse for a human being. I'm glad you are standing up for yourself!
Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! emoticon emoticon

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NANCYRUBIO 9/24/2011 1:02PM

    Cheer up--you keep making things sound unimportant but they really are.

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PUGRAD1995 9/23/2011 9:24PM

    What goes around comes around. While it's a real pain to have patience, your boss will get her come-uppance. And then it will be okay for you-you just have to keep on doing good work.

Sorry I missed your birthday. Happy Birthday! emoticon
I don't usually celebrate them much either-3 of 6 people in our family have January birthdays so all we do is send a card or email.

Take care. My back surgery really did work-I can't wait until the immediate issues are solved so I can celebrate that. And I should be able to get rid of my walker too!

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STEPPYSUE 9/22/2011 6:13PM

    Your kids probably would have been the first ones to tell you if you smelled bad. This woman is a 8itch! Report her until it can't be ignored. emoticon

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MTNGRL 9/22/2011 3:25PM

    I am going to be positive about this and say Yea for you that you stood up for yourself. It seems like the Principal has the problem and maybe her her nasty comments are what she is smelling. If you are constantly a sour puss you probably are a sour person.

You are one of the most up beat and go getter type of people I know. I am glad you have others on your side.

Sorry your birthday was not as expected but how about we just party here on Sparks. I am going to go decorate your page!

Happy Birthday!

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_LINDA 9/22/2011 2:17AM

    So very sorry you are having this week from Hell. I can't believe the nerve of that principal and am so glad you called her on it. Its about time she was reigned in, a muzzle would also be good. They had better make sure she toes the line. From the sounds of it she must be one of those who think overweight people are smelly because surely they must sweat if they are so out of shape and struggle to get around. She is nothing but a bully, just like any school kid. She got you in the past and she is still making you feel bad. Don't let her win!
Your family is unreal. Not surprised you had a daughter coming through for you though. They all should be ashamed of themselves.
I hope the rest of your week gets better!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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NEWKATHYNOW 9/21/2011 10:43PM

    Well, first a belated Happy Birthday! I know you must be an awesome person as the 19th was also my Mother's birthday! Second, a deep congrats to you for standing your ground! This woman has a problem and needs to be removed. She is in fact, a bully, which is not acceptable for students or staff! emoticon

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KITTY_WHO 9/21/2011 4:04PM

    Crikey that Principal sounds unbelievable. I'm glad you've got the good guys on your side.

Oh, and emoticon emoticon emoticon HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Other people can make or break it if you let them. I always buy myself a little something (and at Christmas too!) - that way at least I haven't forgotten :-D .

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/21/2011 3:27PM

    Oh, Sylvia, I feel so bad for you. I'm sending hugs and prayers.

Oh my gosh!! The people you work with need some manners. I'm mean they have none!!

I hate to be so blunt but the principal is a b**** and needs fired!! I can't imagine them keeping someone in a position of authority like this. Maybe this woman has a problem - thinking you smell something that isn't there is a sign of some serious medical conditions like brain tumors.

Obviously your pain is neurological and I'm glad you have found something to help.

Hang in there. We are both due for some better days.

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EMRANA 9/21/2011 12:22PM

  I like MRE's idea for a replacement birthday! YAY!!

I'm sorry yours was disappointing and even more sorry that you're putting up with such nonsense at work for so long.

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60SIXTY 9/21/2011 10:24AM

    I have worked with abusive supervisors a couple times in the past.
I am glad you reported this to the proper places quickly.
My experience - the abuser was under some kind of stress. But - that is a lousy excuse. They should be sent to some kind of behavior management training.

Hope you can have a birthday celebration with the family before the week is over.
emoticon

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MALKS_ARIA 9/21/2011 9:28AM

    Go about your day with your head held high, and a smile on your face!!! You are worth it!!! Don't let that darn (Bleep-ity, bleep, bleep bleep) get to you! You are correct!! You have done all you need to, and you are taking care of yourself!! Keep up the good work, and let the administrator sit in her own makings and live with the hole she dug herself!!

I been bad about wishing you a Happy Birthday, so
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Happy Birthday!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

My Life has gotten as busy as yours for work outs and dr appts, so keep up the good fight!!! And I agree with MRE1956 -- Reschedule your Birthday and let the whole family know that You want them there -- If it's important to You, it should be important to them!!!!!

I am sooo jealous that you have found stuff that is working so well for you, with your dr's help!!! I wish I had such an awesome and thorough Pain & Spine Doc as You do!! I did try the lyrica last week, and I can't take it!! I soo understand about the limitations of not being able to take various meds -- and Yes, Your administrator can stick that in her pipe and smoke it too! I am not allowed any NSAIDs, so all Arthritis meds are out for me too!

I recently found 2 things that have been helping with my pain level -- besides the pool workouts!! 1. Natural Suppliment- MSM - a natural Occurring Sulfur (I am taking 4,000 mg a day and it has helped my over all 'achy-ness' but then again if you are allergic to Sulfur You can't take it) and 2. My new Corset. I know I am a big girl and all ... but I was at about an 8 in Pain level last Friday Night (at 10p) while at the convention, and I had them fit me for a Corset. I went from an 8 to a 3 almost immediately!!!

I hope I get to Cheer Ya on, a bit more --
aria

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MRE1956 9/21/2011 8:32AM

    OMG - a pox on that damned principal! Is it any wonder that parents are so up-in-arms over school administration - I mean, if employees are being treated the way you are - sheesh!

emoticon on standing your ground - and it's wonderful that you have folks around to back you up!

And what's this with your daughter - plans with friends are *better* than the b-day of the woman who brought her into the world? Sigh.....she needs to be KIND to YOU!

I'd demand a "replacement" b-day since you were clearly handed a "lemon"!

Will keep you in my best thoughts, Sylvia! Mistreatment s**ks (don't ask me how I know this)!

emoticon

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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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