Sunday, May 03, 2009
I promised that I'd get back. I have been so busy the past few weeks with medical appointments, trainings, and my family that trying to keep up with all of my friends on SP has been neglected. I'll start out with an apology to you all and a disclaimer about teachers in the final days of a school year. I know what is coming--well partly. We have a meeting on Tuesday to let us know if we have new paperwork for the year that we are going to have to do (for the entire year, which will take some time with backtracking.) I know there is a 100% chance that I get to move again, I just do not know where I'll move to. On top of that is the regular end of the year paperwork for the year and ending progress reports. I expect some time at school during regular work hours for some of this, but a good deal of it will be on my personal time. Hopefully we will get a reprieve at the Tuesday meeting.
Medical tests and appointments have kept me busy...let me see if I can remember everyplace I've been of interest and how things turned out...My stress test showed an area of my heart that is not getting enough oxygen, but my cardiologist said that he considering it to be "low risk." He never mentioned the blockages, but another of my doctors explained that my medications and my nitroglycerin patch have probably gotten that stuff to cut loose and clear up to a good extent. YAY for that, one procedure averted. I had that big test on Tuesday where they "relaxed me" and put a camera down my throat for my surgeon to get a look inside of my esophogus and my stomach to my intestines. He was happy with the way things look and even gave me a charming photograph of my insides. (Now really, I understand giving expectant mothers photos of ultrasounds, but why in the name of all reasonable things did I get this? My doctor even labeled things like the "pyelorus" for my benefit. Hmm??) I had gotten a phone call from his office and I will need to call them Monday morning to find out what they need from me. I suspect we will be scheduling my weight loss surgery as soon as he has heard from my insurance company. This will make a big lifestyle change for me, but it is my hope for getting rid of my back pain.
Finally, I saw my gyne on Thursday. I am sure this is a GP rated blog, but with the lack of flexibility in my knees and the crazy screaming pain in my back (especially after a long day at work), routine stuff can be very difficult. However, a new table combined with a creative care giver who realized if she turned the thingy upsside down, she was able to do the job. I also have to finalize my appointment for my mammo on Monday. The new hospital has a new "digital" machine along with agentle technician that may make this a less evil procedure than with the mean woman at the other hospital. I also saw my GP and found out that after all of the megadoses of vitamin D and 1000 units daily after it was gone...and my Vit D level had only increased by one point to 19 now. I am back on the weekly megadose again. My doctor expected with how low my level was originally that I'd need a second round with the megadose, but he had expected my level to raise more than it did. Geesh
On to other things...The riverboat ride was pleasant enough. My son is doing a "long term" subbing job in my school for our music teacher, so he got to come. That gave me someone friendly and safe to be with. The boat had an elevator so that I could get everywhere but the uppermost deck. I got some walking in as I walked around the third level in the sunny but cool outer edge. Our secretary was a bit ill, so I comforted and encouraged her. An old friend of mine from the school I taught at for over 10 years was there and we caught up on old times. (Our school was unexpectedly closed and it was totally hard on all of us who worked there. It was an inner city wchool and we had turned the scores around, things were improving in so many ways. Then, they neglected to tell any of us, but they decided at a school board meeting and it was headlines in the next day newspaper. Personally, I hadn't read it and was shocked when I got phone calls from friends asking me why I hadn't said anything to them. We went through a real period of mourning as we packed, cleaned and "closed." Anyway, we are having a 5 year reunion for the school's former staff in June and I am ooking foward to that. (I need to get my RSVP in for that too, I'm definitely going, that has been one of my best jobs as a professional.)
The trainings that I signed up for were good for me in so many ways. I had a great time being with other National Board Certified Teachers. The training was excellent, all 4 of them were trainings in mentoring other teachers and it was some new information and some things I already knew. I think that makes the best learning--I do it for my students: scaffold on what they know to give them something new.
My kids are doing pretty well and things at home are no more frustrating than usual. I think we are doing better because they are cooperating more. (It is also spring and there are so many things they want to do...if they want my blessing and generally some cash as well, they know what they have to do to get it--lol) Personally, I am thrilled it is spring. The kids started mowing and my husband did some planting and relocating of some of the plants here. Our garden will go in next weekend if the weather allows. If it doesn't, it will have to go in during the week because the first week of May is the best planting time here.
I love the springtime. We have a lot going on, but it is all good stuff (with maybe one exception, but it is not something I can perseverate on here...) Anyway, I'm focusing on what I love and what we are enjoying. My dogs make me happy. My children make me happy. My students make me happy. Life is great!!
Saturday, May 02, 2009
We just got home from my son's high school musical, "Once Upon a Matress." It was fun and we had fun. There were lots of good laughs--and I stopped the college kids from comparing it to their stuff or critiquing the effects, etc...We had a really fun time and that's the only memory I want. I have a new computer and I'll get a photo or 2 up--my other son (#2) took some pictures, but he has his camera.
One of the best things that has happened in the past couple of weeks is that I have a new computer--it has a "t" key and will run on the high speed. I'm getting spoiled--but we bought it on credit (I know, I know--but the other one wouldn't even work for homework.) I also have a Mac again, which makes me so very happy.
I am going to go get ready for bed and I will be right back--If you haven't checked out the new photos, take a look. The one of Frankie "laughing" cracks me up--and the photo that is "enuff81020" is my darling Lady. She got me addicted to basset hounds, but she hates having her picture taken.
I'll be back later!!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I had my first day of tests at the hospital yesterday. My first was an appointment with the dietician. She had left instructions for me to bring 3 day of eating journals complete with what I had to drink. I simply added in when I drink water to my SP food tracking and gave it to her. She had so many questions about SP that we almost didn't get to my stuff. It was funny, she shared the way that they are teaching diabetics to track their food, using carbs (when I was pregnant with gestational diabetes, it was still the exchange system in 1998.) Yet she couldn't really put down what I was doing--I couldn't seem to get her to understand that there was a "program" that went along with the tracking though. She kept my paperwork to check SP out because "there are so many people who like to do things online these days." And her evaluation--same as SP tell me regularly--I need to eat both more and more protein. That has always been my issue, when I was with Weight Watchers as well.
My second test was less fun and pleasant--but it was important. I won't have the results for a bout a week, but we shall see if my heart is in better condition. My blood pressure was lovely (115/71) and at both places, my weight was down. (But not the same even though I fasted until this was finished at 3:05 yesterday. WOW, I really pigged out with a lot of carbs and ended up eating my regular calorie intake. Not my prettiest behavior, but nothing to harm me either...)The most important part for me was that it was not nearly as painful and uncomfortable this time. I don't know what chemical that they give people who cannot run on the treadmill, but it is a doozy--left me breathless and flushed. It helped that I had done it before and knew what was coming, I was able to do some steady, deep breathing and use some Lamaze kind of relaxation to get over it.
I forgot to weigh in this morning, hoping that a couple of more pounds are gone according to my regular scales and weigh in time. I'll have to leave an update about that and work and family and everything later. We have a houseguest for a few days--my second son's girlfriend--it's been 4 years for them to date--is here while she is on break from her job and my son is doing a long-term subbing position. She has been working on a cruise ship and this is her first time off the boat in 6 months. She may do this for one more term, although I know that neither of them really want to be apart. She is trying hard to find a job and it would be best for them if it happened. I want my son to be happy. Mothers are like that!!
I'll finish later--maybe tomorrow with my update. Take care everyone!!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
After an exhausting day at school yesterday that kept me at school until after 8 PM, I got home in time to fall in my chair--finally eat a few bites of my first real meal of the day--and I realized that none of my kids had listened to my "suggestions" about doing their taxes before April 15. One of them took the computer and got his done--(and kept me from being online, which is almost 90% of the time the reason I don't get online--one of the kids using my computer, lol.) I did two state tax forms after I had found out that in IL you cannot file your tax online until you have done it on a paper form once. I found out that is what gives you a number that you need to file your taxes online. I slept as hard as a board last night--after the long day with all of the physical activity I did. (I have two major walls filled up with projects my students have done working on Earth Day and in time for the Science Fair.) I don't often do a lot of that here, because the hallways here are so difficult to do displays on--lots of masking tape and teachers from coast to coast probably know that you can come in soon after your project and find everything all over the floor because the tape didn't hold.
I am managing my food so much better--except for yesterday, and SP told me off in everyway because I hadn't eaten enough nor gotten enough of any of their key nutrients and vitamins. Except for computer errors, that may be the only time the computer has fussed at me before.
We had a lovely Easter. The kids had a great time despite the fact that the Easter bunny substituted gifts and trinkets for most of the candy they formerly received. I never heard a word complaint. They played new games. My 2nd oldest son and my oldest daughter fixed the meal--and it was both yummy and mostly low fat and low in calories. My daughter has "joined Sparks" but we are having a problem with the computer--it will not let her have her own page. It takes her to my page even after I have loggecd out. I received all of her welcome email yesterday too, which really makes no sense. If anyone has an idea about solving this--PLEASE, PLEASE let me know. Two of us should be able to log on to Sparks with our own pages. I'm going to check cookies when I get home--but that doesn't explain why I received her Spark mails in my box. Hmm-mm...
My doctor called me last week and told me that my Vitamin D level was hardly unchanged from my first test, so he put me back on the big weekly dose for another 8 weeks. My surgeon called on Monday to tell me that he wanted to get a better look at some of my stomach structures, so I need to have one more test before we can schedule the surgery (not counting the dietician.) They will do what I'm thinking he called a scope--but now I'm confused. I was thinking that when I talked to him, he meant "endoscopy" but he said scope. I think I may want to have that clarified. They certainly aren't the same things.
It is getting warmer and is sunnier than it has been for along time--and I feel much better. I am wondering if I am one of those people who have some level of SAD. Maybe we all do, I am not sure--but I have more energy and motivation. It may be the fact that I've been having some workshops and trainings to go to lately and it probably is also due to the fact that I am eating healthier. Something positive is going on and I love it.
That's enough from me for now. I'll be checking back later and maybe I won't start my next blog three times and then having to delete it unfinished that time. Take care everybody.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Good Morning Everyone,
I am doing better in almost every way, and I can't help but to wonder if it the reappearance of the SUN!! I just feel a bit more energized and it is easier to plan and act than it was a few months ago. (I also have felt a bit like fighting back against things that aren't fair or honorable--and I'm weighing in on if that;s a good thing or not, lol.) I have tracked my food every single day and every single bite for the past 9 days and I also have a 4.2 pound loss at the scales. Are these things related? You bet, and after I "run" my daily food analysis, I refuse to put another bite in my mouth--I don't know if it will let me add things to the list or not, so I don't even try it.
Work is back in session--with a second 4 day week for kids. We have had some busy days. I am trying something new with my students, we are going to do a cross-grade study on the environment and do an entry for the science fair and continue our work to and beyond Earth Day. It is such an important cause and I have found a variety of materials to match all of my kids' reading levels from my tiny kindergarteners to my big, hormonal 6th graders. I just need to do the kind of teaching that I am capable of and I need a challenge, something new, an adventure for me and my students. Don't get me wrong, I'm a good, no a very good teacher and my kids learn and succeed, but I can be outstanding and exciting and I feel more like being outstanding and exciting now than I have. It could be the trainings and workshops that I have been going to, but I feel inspired in so many ways.
Another possibility is the decision I have made to have weight loss surgery. I have weighed pros and cons--at this point, my pain doc, my psychiatrist, my heart doc, my surgeon, and my family doc have now all given this their blessing. I believe that with all of my docs--and particularly my cardiologist, telling me that it is a good idea, I have good reason to buy into a major lifestyle change and a more healthy me.
My kids are all home on spring break this week and I am promoting their part of spring cleaning. My girls have bought in, the boys are needing some shoving in, bit I am trying. I have to have help with some things and that is just a fact of life. My youngest daughter was confirmed last week. The week before, she read her essay and her statement of faith. I was so proud of her. Her essay was pretty awesome--the topic was "Mission" and after she pondered the role of the church and how the government was in mission with other countries, she ended up with questioning what role in mission that God would give her. It was thoughtful and she wouldn't let me help her with any of it because she said it was her belief statement. (My other kids had me to look it over and help here and there...I really am proud of this thoughtful 13 year old girl.) All of my family except my oldest son were able to get away from their Sunday work schedules and were at our church for her actual confirmation and the laying of hands. Afterwards, they had a party for her and the boy who was also confirmed. She got a basketful of cards and gifts--and they had cake and punch and other refreshments. (I brought water, an orange, and a 100 pack of cookies and I was just fine during the social eating. I got to talk to a lot of people and that really was the focus, like all parties have.
I am looking forward to worshiping and services during Holy Week. I wish that I could participate in our local cross walk--but maybe next year, when I have lost weight and my back feels better, I'll be able to do all of those things that I can't, that often frustrate me now. In any case, thanks for the tons of support and friendship here. I'm losing weight now and I'd love to go into this procedure already healthier, with less weight to lose.
You are wonderful.
Hugs all round,
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