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,
Friday, March 27, 2009
Good Morning Friends,
I have a lot of "tasks" to accomplish today. Most of them are small, but all of them are important--like paying some bills and doing some paperwork, filling and picking up prescriptions...you know important little things that I've kind of put off. I started on some of that stuff last evening.
I am feeling good about the things I've done for me during this break. I know that this may seem a bit selfish, but this break was about me in many ways, I cleaned my classroom and put away a lot of books that had been waiting for attention for a while. I also bought some new books that I've been leveling and getting stamped so they will be ready to use when I get them to school.
On my own health front, I have went to and made several necessary appointments. I saw the surgeon who believes I am a good candidate for weight loss surgery. He scheduled an upper GI x-ray that I had yesterday and an appointment with one of the hospital dietitians who will need several of my food journals. I have also seen my therapist twice and he has been encouraging me to put myself first--I have rested a lot and visited on the phone with my closest friends and had lunch with my best friend of all. I saw my cardiologist today and he told me that he thinks this weight loss surgery for me is a really good idea--and he scheduled a stress test for me (on the same day I see the dietitian) because he thinks it will be important in my care. I also found out where my former nurse practitioner moved her practice to and scheduled my yearly appointment for my pap test and to schedule my mammo. I haven't scheduled dentist appointments for anyone yet, but I need to build up our bank account first. (Our insurance barely pays anything on that, so it's a must.)
I also went to my sons' schools. I have straightened out things at one school and help the IEP. For the other, we now have regular homework coming home and have finished enough things to improve some really bad grades. I also have his IEP scheduled at the best time they will live with. I attended a technology workshop and started my web page. I attended a second technology class on iPhoto and they gave us a little camera, then taught us how to do a lot of things with the neat stuff on iPhoto. I have also signed up for 3 arts education courses--my son and daughter will attend with me. I also have 3 National Boards workshops coming.
Finally, I had an afternoon meeting with my pastor on Monday and we planned a program for inner city children in reading. We are hoping to serve about 25 children going into first grade in the fall, We will feed them breakfast and then tutor them for 2 hours using a variety of people and fun activities. I will plan some group lessons and will also see them in small groups or individually to boost their reading levels. It will be a lot like my work except I get to make the calls on the program. Also, the children will get to participate in the summer feeding program that our church provides for kids between ages 0-18. I also have gathered my materials and will finish my lesson plans to work on "Earth Day" activities and a project to submit to the school science fair also.
Finally, I bought a new vacuum cleaner which seems to motivate my kids into helping a bit more. I've gotten to do some grocery shopping which has put some extra fruits, vegetables and lean meats i n the house, let alone other things that I like to eat on a good healthy diet. I intend to plan meals for a week, purchase the food needed, and get everyone on a nice healthy eating plan around here. Hopefully that will get us all more time for other things like walking the dogs more often now that it's warming up. I may get an incumbent bike and see if my back will let me do some of that.
Well, what do you think? I feel calm and in control, with positive results heading my way and good help to get me there. After the meanness I experienced 3 weeks ago, I feel better.
Hugs all around,
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I ended taking some time off from SP while I recovered from a real blow to my self-esteem. I know I cheated my friends here out of the chance to help me work my way through things, so the first thing I will do is apologize to you all. I have a handful of dear friends--and I have at least that many good friends here on SP, if not more. I have learned something important here and after being socially away for over a week, I know that I really missed you all. I don't think I ever expected to make the kind of friends that I have made when I joined this group.
On to my story...my boss did something really mean and it hurt me down to my spirit. It took me a while but I came to realize that what she really doesn't like the way I look. It is pretty superficial, but I know that it matches how she does things. So what can I do? After a lot of thought and a little help from one of my favorite doctors, I found myself meeting a surgeon on Friday to discuss weight loss surgery. He was very thorough and explained a lot to me. First, I need an upper GI x-ray because he wants to make sure my anatomy will handle this. I have had a couple of big procedures that involved that part of me, so he wants a look at what is there. He also wants me to meet with a dietitian--if we do this, it will be an important part of a long range follow-up. He told me--rather, he promised me that I would be involved in several years of follow-up, I won't be left alone to manage this. It seems like a pretty positive procedure and he thinks that I'm a good candidate. After all I have been through, I never guessed that I would ask for a surgery. I am almost looking forward to this because this will help me in the places that I haven't been able to help myself. I have been overweight for most of my life. I have been at my goal weight twice, both times after losing 130+ pounds with help from Weight Watchers. I have also been on diets of some kind or another every 3-4 years of my life since I was 12 or 13 losing anywhere from 50 to 80 pounds or more. In all, it is reasonable to guess that I have maybe lost a half a ton in my life. My problem is that no matter how hard I try, I cannot maintain a loss. Now, my health has worked with my age together and I am not even having success losing weight. Even though I am putting in time with walking and weights, my activity minutes aren't working up a sweat and I'm not losing. I need help so I can lose weight, so my back and large joints can function and I can be active again, so I can be healthy and save my own life. Weight loss surgery will help with the time concern, give me results with strong personal support and I will regain activity along with learning to maintain in a way that I won't be able to fall off of the program. I am convinced this is a good way for me to go--and I am praying my anatomy can handle this because I need it.
On the home front, many things are improving. I have been working hard to get my children cooperating with me and general rules for living. I see improvement, even with my hold out son. I used part of my spring break last week to visit schools and my kids' teachers and things are looking up. I had a decent IEP meeting for my little guy and I made some headway in getting the attention of his yelling teacher. I also was able to discuss the anxiety issues with an Asperger's child--and he will get regular help with math. He is totally afraid of math because he assumes it is too hard and he cannot do it. He has worried so much about this that his world is just an anxiety-filled nightmare for him. I feel so good about getting this done. He may be able to do it in his classroom, but he doesn't trust himself and he is not doing it. Having a small personal group with readily available help will calm him down so he can learn. My older son did bring homework home this weekend, FINALLY!! Now, I got some of it with my personal touch--and he was a bit surprised to see what I had--but he isn't even fighting me. It is so nice for a change to have the unpleasantness way down to a respectable level around here. With 4 teens, one almost teen and one just past teen in the house--but things are okay now.
As for me, I ended up not getting to teach during break--I had difficulty in getting the information and support I needed. Maybe it was something designed to give me time and space from the issue hurting me. I was able to clear up my thinking and free myself from any guilt or blame and place those things on the person to whom they belonged. I have played--I slept late 4 days, had 3 doctor appointments, went to a class and started my own webpage, had a lunch date with one of my dearest and oldest friends (small victory--I brought home half of my food and gave it to one of my sons to enjoy. Servings were too big for just me by decent standards.), went shopping, went swimming, and tonight went with my daughter, 2 of my sons, my husband and my son's girlfriend and her parents for a frivia night at church. We kept things hopping, won second place--and gave the prize money back to the church for the roof fund. It has been relaxing and fun.
I guess ten days have made a big, positive difference for me. I'm feeling comfortable with my decision and feel supported. I'm feeling good about my family as we resolve big issues. I did have a big depression-type emotional drop, but I got past it with the help of my therapist and my loved ones. I am more rested than I have been in a long time and I have had rare time to play. I also have a big lesson plan in my brain that is going to be fun and exciting for my students. I have another whole week off of work and I am planning to use it the same way I used the last one. I feel like I'm on the right track and I think I have a great destination too!
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I had a tricky night because our kitty finally is braving things enough to c ome in the room where I sleep...and the dogs hang out. He is not happy with my basset babies and they don't much care for him either. The kitty wants to play around, but has had his claws trimmed next to nothing for so long that he doesn't really know that he can hurt me. He kept "playing" with me and now I have a ton of little scratches and holes in me to prove it. What a nut.
I am working hard at getting some of the issues with my family under some control. I have worked hard to get my kids (who were off-track) back on track. I still have one hold out, but I think he will. I don't think he understands that if he doesn't successfully complete all of his classes plus his tutoring that he won't graduate. He says that he wants to graduate and then then 5 minutes later will sit down for a 12 hour marathon on the Wii. Go figure...
As for me, I am wavering on what to do during my break. I have signed up for two technology classes--one in IPhoto and one on making my web-page for school. I will use this stuff immediately, so they will be good classes for me. I also am in the middle of a two part class on mentoring teachers who want to become nationally certified. That class has been good for me--we finish it this coming Saturday. I have also signed up for a two Saturday class in April and a single day class that I will have to travel a bit for, Learning new things and being with other adult learners is a special gift. Our school district is doing much of this type of thing any more, but i know that learning keeps me vital. Hopefully, I will be able to show off my school web-page for everyone.
I haven't been working on weight loss so much--life has been crazy hectic and it seems as if once I dole out my energy over being the "law and order" cop at work ajd home, that I am drained. I have been eating within limits, but my sleeping has been so off that nothing can work well. I also have to select my foods better--I don't think that I'm eating enough protein, so I'm going to try to focus on that. A lack of protein would explain why I feel so hungry in the late afternoon and at night. Yet, sometimes meat seems to make me feel too full and then I get sick after I've eaten. I do best with processed meats--I know--
or cheese or cottage cheese. I drink milk and eat yogurt, so I am trying to make good choices. I take so many medications that sometimes I get full just from them. I generally eat a piece of fruit before I take my meds. Most of them say they have a side effect of making people drowsy, so I have separated them into the ones I have to take in the morning and the ones that I can take at night. It is no wonder that I am often tried and feeling all drug out between my meds and my interrupted sleep. However, I am aware of this issue and I am trying to work on it. Maybe I need to drink some type of herbal tea. I love camomile and I know that teas have so many soothing qualities. Maybe that needs to be my research for the week.
I do know some great things. I love being a mother--it is so cool to see my kids who are behaving to reason and use the things that I have been trying to teach them. It is exciting to go shopping with my daughter and she is a friend as well as my daughter now. It is still fun to get them a surprise every now and then--tee hee, boxer shorts with Sponge Bob in a size 2XL are a great surprise. For the most part, I can share adult type things with them now too--like honest info about our finances--or lack thereof. They help me at work with my classroom. and they love so many of the things that I do--like animals and board games and card games and crossword puzzles. I used to take them with me when I walked. We live out in the country, so the places we can walk are kind of limited--but my son (the one who is vexing me right now) would come with me and we would talk about all of the beauty in nature and how things worked. It was the best fun ever. They all used to play baseball/softball and we would go to the games, cheer our player on and just have time out together. We used to go fishing too--never caught anything worth a hoop--but it was just fun to do. I want to be able to walk again so we can do some of those things--a long walk with my basset hounds and some good company is one of my dreams.
I think the key to being able to walk unassisted again is to lose weight snd take the pressure off of my back...and my artificial knnes. I need this site and all it has to offer. My situation may be a bit more complex than many, but I know that once I am over this current hurdle with anemia and vitamin deficiencies and the like that SP will lead me where I need to go. I also know that all of my SP friends and cheerleaders will help me to get there in my own time.
Have a glorious first week of March. Enjoy what this month has to offer--the end of spring, a time for reflection, Lent, preparation for spring and new birth. As I consider this, I am thinking about my youngest daughter who will be confirmed on Palm Sunday. she has been busily writing her speech and says that she doesn't need my help. It seems like only yesterday that she was born.
Life is good!!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Last week was a bit crazy. I fought that awful cold all week, but am finally down to an occasional cough and groan--yay. It has been mostly a good week for me. I have reclaimed my world and have climbed on the "nag anyone who needs it" bandwagon--haha. Actually, it has gotten me further than anything else that I have tried. The kids are doing more chores than they did all last month, homework too. My husband is taking care of some things that only he can take care of. Personally, my classroom is more organized and I have found some workshops to go to. That may not sound like a positive, but our district has decided that some people like me who are well-trained do not need any more workshops. They simply won't let us go--but I booked myself to attend some that are sponsored by the IL National Board Certified Teachers. This means that they will be good trainings that I will be able to use and probably earn some extra money for as well. I teach kids to be lifelong readers and learners--and they are depriving me of the same important opportunity.
Our two new doggies are settling in so well. We have more activity, but there are a lot of good things. Thee kids are helping their dad with more of their care and they aren't complaining about it. The dogs and the kids are getting more fresh air and activity. This also helps my husband to feel less grumpy. He fell of a ladder at work early last week and has some bruised ribs that have made him pretty uncomfortable, so it is a positive thing for him in more ways than one. )I wish they all knew how badly that I wanted to take the dogs for their walks. If I didn't need my walker and have such a slow pace...)We are enjoying them so much--thanks a million times Shell!! Right now, the pug is sitting on the arm of my chair as I type on my laptop. He likes my slow pace. However, he is going to be adding activity to his agenda as well. We just checked on the AKC site and the expected weight for a guy like him is 14-18 pounds and he weighs 27, so we are going to have to figure out how to get him into a bit better shape. He is so cute, that it doesn't seem right, but w want him to have a nice long life--so he will get some help.
I had two important doctor appointments last week. One was with my therapist who knows that I have been having a really tough time lately and the other was my 6 month check up with my rheumatologist. He is waiting for the new fibromyalgia drug to be on the market in the next couple of weeks. He is going to check it against my other meds to see if it is a possibility for me. He also gave me an injection of kenalog, and I have felt some relief from the raging pain that I have all over all of the time. That is a true gift and I am glad to have seen him. Kenalog is an interesting drug and can treat a big variety of things--this is the third time he has given me one, generally after he does my exam and mutters about the auto-immune nature of my characteristics. (It may look like it is auto-immune, but there is no evidence in my lab work.) In any case, it will stay with me for a while and I feel better now than usual.
3 more weeks of class until our intersession. I haven't decided what I am going to do during break yet--I could teach, but I think I'm going to use my time for me and my family, It is a far better way to do things. Here's a big thanks to all of my SP friends. I expect to see my weight loss look more serious if the pain is down and the activity is up. Thanks for sticking with me, no matter what. I will talk to you all soon!!
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