Saturday, November 05, 2011
I thought I'd take some time for sparking this morning after falling asleep early after a fairly grueling week. I was exhausted after I got home from work last night around 7 and I fell asleep early, with my clothes on. I have been reorganizing things in my classroom and trying to plan our special building wide reading day. We had a half day away from instruction yesterday and the team (of 2) that I was on had that task to work on. It was complicated because we didn't have enough information to do the job well. That made things a bit frustrating, but I will handle this too.
My gynecologist called me this morning. We have been playing phone tag for two days. It turns out that I have some polyps that are most likely causing the issues with my "female plumbing." That is why the ultrasound was important. Anyway, since those are predecessors to cancer and most likely have been causing the bleeding issues I have had, they will need to be removed. They do that during a D&C with a hystascope (sp?) and will require a day for the procedure and a second day of "resting." I have to call the gynecological surgeon on Monday morning and set that up. That will be my first surgery this year--I thought I might get through a year without one. My second one will be scheduled after I see my orthopedic doc on November 15.
The folks from the foundation that I wrote my grant for came to our school yesterday to take photos. 3 other people from my school also wrote grants from them and got them. I know that they weren't able to give everyone what they requested according to the chairperson. I should be able to order my big teaching cart/ easel. I know that it is going to save me a lot of grief over collecting materials I need for my push-in lessons. Just thursday, I got to a classroom and found that after grabbing all of the "things" and my bottle of water that I had forgotten the folder with those children's guided reading books. There is no way that I could do the lesson without the books so the ids had to sit and wait while I went back for them. I have forgotten materials before, but never, ever the books!
My shoulders are doing better, less tense, tight pain. I got my traction machine Thursday and was going to use it Friday, but oops, I fell asleep without doing anything that I typically do in an evening. My lower back is back to its old, familiar tricks. I can only stay on my feet for a limited amount of time before the pain starts and it escalates until I have to stop what I am doing and sit. My brace helps some and being in the water helps a lot. I have been trying to tell if the source of this pain is my hips or my back or both. I think I will have my doctor help me to figure this out when I see her for my next appointment in a couple of weeks. If I could get rid of this issue, I would be able to have a frustration-free day. I know that there is little chance of this, but my summer spoiled me. Between the shortened work days and the sunshiny, warm weather, I was able to do basically whatever I wanted with minimal pain. It was so nice to be in that position and I would like to have it all of the time.
It is good to have answers and some relief. The nature of a body that has arthritis in all of its big joints and most of the smaller ones is complex. Pain is a part of my life and efforts to reduce it seems to be my ongoing hobby.
Today is the day for my lunch date with my best friend. I look forward to this peaceful time when we spend a couple of hours visiting and catching up with each other. I go to the pool when we are done and then I will need to go grocery shopping. (I sure miss the summer fruits and veggies!) Then the rest of my weekend will be about finishing a lot of homework, especially preparing my exam on Thursday. That is the same day we have our Veteran's Day program and our first reading day at school. Planning for that is not finished because of some issues with gaining information that we need. I am confused why this is such a problem. However, we are going to make the day a successful reading day for all involved. The purpose is to be motivational and educational, and we shall do exactly that!!
Have a wonderful weekend--I hope to spark some, but I am promising myself that I will get my classwork caught up as a priority.
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.
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