Thursday, November 03, 2011
Isn't that a wonderful title for me? I have had no outrageous medical issues, work events, family uprisings (knock on wood) and the week is over half way through. I am so excited to be working and doing what I do without having all of these other things pushing on my mind. It is awesome--as is that pool that I am back to enjoying. I lost a bit of endurance over the past week and am working to build up the number of laps I can swim. (I break them up with exercises because I am not a strong swimmer--but a year ago, I couldn't swim a half a lap, so I am coming along nicely in my book!!)
I have started doing my very first ELL assessment with one of my students today. It isn't that different than any other testing that I have done and all that I need to do is have some experience with this material so I can juggle it with some level of expertise. I am so happy to be back at school, learning a new facet to my career. It is really good for me in many ways, except for all of the homework that I am behind in right now, lol. I am in the middle of 5 big assignments--an report on the district ELL program, a brochure about the church program, a midterm test that we can prepare before class, a presentation of an article, a group project, and of course my weekly stuff (article readings and reports and my tutoring journal which is now finished and just needs to be posted online.) I am getting a lot out of this work. I am learning that good teaching practice is good practice and from my tutoring, I am learning that I already know how to teach ELLs because I assess and instruct to kids' strengths. My instructor is so positive that I get a lot of positive feedback that counteracts the destructive kind I get from the building administrator.
So, I am a bit off of my spark plan with the end of the big week. I think all of the steroid injections have played with my eating needs. I am having more fruits and veggies, but a couple of Halloween treats found their way in my mouth before I could give them away. I will do better tomorrow because I have given them away.
Take care my friends!!
Monday, October 31, 2011
Today in church, our children dressed up in cute costumes like Raggedy Ann and Minnie Mouse and lions and tigers and princesses and went "trick or Treat for UNICEF," I love that tradition as do most members of the church. We had a great service for Reformation Sunday which gave us all public education and we also had an extra anthem by the African people who are worshipping in our church. It was a good service, as they often are with excellent music that results in handclapping even if some people think that it isn't quite right in church.
I went to the fitness center and was going to break the rules and go in the pool even though I am not supposed to until tomorrow--but I grabbed hold of myself and asked me "What would you expect of your kids?" I would make my kids follow the doctor's orders, so I did too. I am weary of riding the bike until my legs itch and trying to lift various weight and balls to strengthen. I can work so many parts of my body in the water at the same time. I am hungry for the pool and will probably get nothing else done on Halloween for this time in the pool.
Anyway, Davenport and Bettendorf--part of the IA Quad Cities have their Trick or Treating on the 30th. Rock Island and Moline, the IL Quad Cities have theirs on the 31st. Many kids have parents who allow them to do both nights of candy collecting. I never allowed my children to do any more than going to our local grocery store that gave away a lot of interesting and healthy things and then to go to a couple of our friends homes and then to circle the block nearest our house. That was enough for them to have the experience and more than enough "treats" for them. This year, my kids are all too old to 'trick or treat" and since we live in the country, we don't have kids stop by here because it isn't convenient.
The only place where I might be tempted by treats is at work tomorrow. I may have a few children who will come to share a treat with me, but I can handle that with grace. I think I will do all right. I will probably take Micah to the Haunted House where my daughter has been working tomorrow. That will be fun for him and then maybe we will go out together for dinner. He is 13 but I think that he is too old to go out. It is amazing to me that my older kids are thinking I am wrong about this--but they are the ones who constantly tell me that I let him "get away with everything" and then they tell me that they didn't get to do this or that... Hmm, I cannot seem to get it right in anyone's eyes but mine. That's okay, I'll stick to my guns.
Have a wonderful Halloween. I hope that you all get to see some little goblins and bunnies and Ninjas and so on that bring smiles to your face.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
After the last few blogs that I have written and one of the most tumultuous weeks known to man, I am proud and happy and pleased to announce that things are better.
I don't have endometrial cancer. My biopsy results came Friday and my doctor let me know right away that the cells were not abnormal. I may need a D&C fairly soon and we will probably know that after the ultrasound on Tuesday.
I passed my National Boards Renewal. I am so glad to share that because that was the big work of my life during the 2010-11 school year. This renewal recertifies me as an accomplished teacher for ten more years and I suspect at age 66, I won't be doing this again.
Last Wednesday, I found out that I grant I applied for was approved. I haven't written a grant application in about ten years, and I need this cart desperately. I am glad that they decided my request was worthy of just short of $500.
Today's weigh in had me down 3 pounds which neutralizes the 2.4 that I gained last week. My weight keeps bouncing back and forth within about 5 pounds of the same place and even if I work hard to lose more, I end up in the same arena. I am wondering if this is the weight my body wants me to be at and if I am actually maintaining these days.
Thank you all for your prayers and kind messages of support as I waited for the results on the biopsy. It is good to know I am free of cancer, that was one medical issue that was overwhelming for me. I have an appointment for the pre-op stuff with my orthopedic surgeon and the carpal tunnel on my left hand on November 15. I was "fitted" for the correct traction equipment and it will be coming to my house soon. The injections in my right shoulder were lousy and my shoulder ached so much that I didn't even use the computer much for two days. I will be having the injections for my other shoulder on Tuesday. I think these painful injections are working on the grief that the nerve in my neck is causing.
Only 2 more days until I can go to the pool--actually a day and a half. I am not sure the exercises I have been doing are enough for me, but I am trying. I am so lucky to have a pool in my life because not only does it provide a place for exercising, it gives me time for me and the soothing, healing movement and resistance of the water. I love the pool so much--it was fun to read the blog that "Indy Girl," Beth Donovan, wrote on the Daily Spark this week on just that topic.
I am so glad with the outcomes of the past week, but I can honestly say that I do not ever want to live with the nerves and anxiety and tension (that I created) up until Friday ever again. Oh my, it was tough. I have an entirely different kind of respect for my friends here who are cancer survivors because I never really thought about the nature of the emotional ride that this can provide. I've always thought of it as a frightening disease and one that takes people through difficult treatments and worries, but what I experienced with the waiting was horrible and I understand that this is a part of the treatments as well as the diagnosis part of cancer. You are all awesome, patient people and deserve even more respect than can be stated.
Have a great weekend, my friends. I'm going to the pool in a day and a half. I can wait that much longer!!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Things just keep going on but I got a bit of awesome news yesterday. I got the grant I wrote for a "teaching cart." It is actually a large easel on wheels that I can use to take my materials to the classrooms I am going to and use to display the kids work and have ready to go without having to gather things and carry them on my walker. I can use it in place of my walker as well because the one I selected has a way to hold it. It costs about $450 and I couldn't get that much money out of our family budget, so I wrote a grant for it in August, I am so excited to have done this and gotten something that will make my job easier and quite honestly have some good news in this pathetic week.
I had a parent come into my classroom yesterday who was upset by a comment I made on her child's report card. She did some yelling and name calling while I was teaching and had a volunteer in my room as well. I was actually glad for his presence because he quieted her down and got her to leave. She went from me to the principal who came right to my room to tell me that I had to call her. I showed the principal the comment that was harmless and I told her that I had no reason to call this woman--she said what was on her mind. It is my guess that since report cards went out 3 weeks ago today that something else was really going on. All said, it was very unpleasant--and I haven't had anything like this happen in about six years. I get along well with parents and rarely have issues with them, maybe 4 or 5 in my 26 year career. It definitely bothers me, however, I can be assured that she at least "got my message."
Today is going to be a bit crazy. I have a group of kids who I am tutoring before school. I have my regular day and I found someone to take my after school student. I have an appointment with my spine doctor at 3:30 for injections in my shoulder. After we do that, I have an appointment with the medical supplier in my spine doctor's office so she can set me up with the traction machine. This is a new part of my life that I am a bit anxious about. However, the purpose is to help the situation with the bone spurs and tightening of my cervical spine and reduce the effects on my shoulders, arms and hands. It is very important. These appointments will make me late to my class tonight. I won't get home until after 8:30 tonight. That makes for a very long day and right now, I guess having my brain full of things besides cancer is helpful.
It is time for me to get going--Have a wonderful day and enjoy everything that you can. Life is good even with its challenges.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Yesterday was one of those awful Mondays with more problems than getting out of bed is worth, however slowly but surely, they are on their way to getting better.
My workday started early yesterday because it was my duty day and we have to get to work early for that. I needed to talk to the principal about the issues in my life. I got her to meet me in my assigned area and then try to be private talking about my health issues as children and their parents kept walking through. Onward to the end of that--and she was at least kind once I explained to her that I would be making phone calls and taking care of business. That was her opportunity to let me know that the volunteer she described ass odd would be there to help me. Marvelous--actually, I find him to be kind and thoughtful and good with my children, so that wasn't really a problem to me.
I went to check my email at the same time that the kids were coming into my room which is not how I do things, but I needed to check on school business. I got an email from a teacher telling me that she didn't like my schedule and wanted me to change it. Yippee--making that schedule is tough and remaking one is worse. Great, another problem that I didn't know how to solve.
I called my GYN when the office opened. They were awesome and offered me two different appointments. I took the 11:00 time because my son was going to have to travel to the school and then we were going to have to travel all of the way to their office. I let the principal know I was leaving and we were on our way--that is until we were on the highway and had a flat tire at about 65 mph. Yippee, my son had never changed a tire before and I was overwhelmed beyond all belief. I called the doctor's office and got their answering service. Nicer yet. I called my husband and yelled at him for buying "crappy tires." Not at all nice. My son figured out how to do the tire, but couldn't release the jack. My husband called back to let me know he had called my mechanic son to help and he helped explain the jack. We were on our way and I called the doc's office back and they told me that they would be able to see me up until noon--we were there by 11:15. My brilliant mechanic son didn't take his cell phone with him, so we couldn't let him know we got it fixed.
My doc was quite wonderful. She didn't think the other doc should have said what she said to me, although I guess that is technical protocol for doctors. She explained a lot of details to me and did the endometrial biopsy. They will have results by next Monday. Because we didn't get an ultrasound first, I cannot have it until next Tuesday or later because of the risk of infection--oh yes, I also cannot go to the pool until then for the same reason. I am so upset over that, I go everyday and it is the one place that makes my body feel kind of normal and good. It seems that I will need another procedure no matter what--it may simply be a "DnC" of the news is good and there aren't a lot of abnormal cells or it could be all the way to a hysterectomy and radiation and all of that kind of stuff. I will know when they know. She also let me know that when she came in, she had seen the fax with my info and was going to call me later and set up an earlier time. She also told me several times how good it was that I called about this. (I reminded her that she had told me that I needed to call her if this situation ever occurred and that I was simply doing what she had told me to do.)
I called my spine doc and her nurse was putting a call into my ortho. She told me that she would call me back yesterday--but it took her until today to get things ironed out. I have my surgical evaluation on Tuesday, November 15. However, finally that is on the right track. My ortho is a very busy guy and he is worth waiting for if it is possible.
Anyway, back to yesterday, the biopsy left me feeling a bit crampy. I tried to work on a new schedule--hmm, the teacher's reason for wanting me to change things was because she had a volunteer coming and didn't have room for me anymore. I looked at those names and I couldn't get my brain to figure it out. I gave up and went home. I tried to do a few things here, but that wasn't working and I finally went to the fitness center and rode the bike and did some work with the hand weights. I met my son and we chatted a bit and then I showered and came home. He helped me to get over the grumpiness that I was feeling after a long, difficult day. On a positive note, I fell asleep earlier than I have since I had my toradol injection last week.
I had an early morning meeting today and got there a bit late because I cannot get there any earlier. I won't leave my youngest son alone to go to work early, that is irresponsible. The topic at hand was one that I am in serious disagreement with a classroom teacher about and I had to just be quiet. (I could explain and why this woman doesn't get it, but that wouldn't be at all professional, so I won't.) I got Lola's cage cleaned out and I got my day started. My lessons went well--funny thing about me and my work. When I am at work doing the work I thought was the truly important part of my day and my reason for being there, I have a good time and things go well. It is the weird extra stuff that messes around with the quality of my work day. I even taught my after school lesson without much trouble, except of course that I had to struggle to get my plans for tomorrow done and I had a last minute meeting after the meeting I had after school. Three meetings in one day on top of regular teaching seems a bit much in my book. The first meeting after school was one we had set up with one of our assistant superintendents about the district ELL program. It was a very good meeting and she was as positive and helpful as always. We got through our list of questions and it was very kind. The second one was not invested in by anyone in the room except for myself and another of the Title 1 staff. That makes it hard for me because I value what Title 1 is for and I value the laws that have put Title 1 in place for needy children.
I missed my son's band concert tonight which didn't make me a lot of fun. I am not happy about that either. It sounded like it went well, but with him being at that great phase of adolescent opposition, I cannot be sure of a lot. I am a bit tired from a lot of extra work and a long day of walking today--20.892 steps today as a matter of fact. I don't think going to the fitness center was needed after a day with this much walking!!
I am expecting the rest of the week to be busy but not as overwhelming. I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday. I have two on Thursday before my class--I will be late to it. However, after my injections and also getting my traction machine, I hope I will be able to focus on my class.
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