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Wednesday 2/29 Surgical Leap Day

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


This is a quick note to let you know that I am now sporting 5 snazzy hospital bracelets, an IV, ted hose, and the leggings for the blood clotting machine and I am waiting to go to surgery.

I'll talk to you soon and will be happy to announce that my neck and shoulder pain and these horrid spasms in my shoulder and right arm will be a thing of the past.

Have an awesome leap day!
Gentle hugs,

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    Hugs & Prayers!!!! Glad the day has finally arrived!

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_LINDA 2/29/2012 6:02PM

    May the surgeon's hand be skilled and sure and solve your neck and shoulder pain once and for all. All the best! Its amazing you can communicate with us in the hospital and will be able to tell us soon how it went!
All the best!!
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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MTNGRL 2/29/2012 2:36PM

    Wishing you a very successful surgery and fast recovery. Keeping you in prayer.

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HOPEFULSNAIL204 2/29/2012 2:12PM

  I will be praying for your surgery and recovery to go off without a hitch.
Big Surgery Blessings emoticon

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GOATS03 2/29/2012 10:20AM

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


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FELINA 2/29/2012 9:50AM

    Wishing you good luck with the surgery and a speedy recovery.

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ARIANERA 2/29/2012 9:43AM

    Prayers for a smooth recovery and a good outcome for your surgery.


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WELLNESSME09 2/29/2012 8:03AM

    Hope your surgery goes well and you have a quick recovery! emoticon

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NANCYBOAT 2/29/2012 7:59AM

    Good luck - hope the surgery goes well!

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Tuesday, 2/29 Another injection

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hi all,

I am kind of off right now. This antibiotic is making me feel a bit nauseated and I had another big injection in my neck when I saw my pain doctor today. I found out that he hadn't been given my message when I asked for someone to let him know about my surgery because I wanted him to be my anesthesiologist. He called and took care of that right in front of me. I realized that we have been together for 14 years--he was the anesthesiologist when my youngest son was born and talked my husband through his role of Daddy during the c-section. They were funny chatting away about all kinds of army stuff. Anyway, that nurse purposely didn't let him know, she is up to no good all of the time.

So is a certain staff in a certain school. Things are so petty and mean-spirited that I cannot even talk about them. I am tired of being treated like someone who is under their feet or like someone who is there to be taken advantage of. The principal sends me an email about our need to have a meeting to discuss my evaluation, but after the ornery things in this weeks email, she leaves the room when I come in. I now have 12 out of 20 readers for our reading day and finally, the others are finding a few people. I don't think this is a difficult job, just one that needs to be done. Everyone should know a person who can read!

Anyway, I took the afternoon off and I am sure glad that I did. I didn't know I could have another if these injections. The nurse who cared for me today was very kind. She told me that you can have up to three of them every 6 months. She also apologized that I wasn't told that when I had to make the appointment. I wish she was the gal in charge.

I am going to go find a popsicle. I need to get my tummy to calm down a bit. Only 3 more doses of the antibiotic and on Friday, I have to go to do another test to see if the bacteria is gone. That one, I am praying for.

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Too many doctor's office are like this these days. They don't do their jobs.

It's time that school got it's act together for the sake of the children.

I hope the test is clear of bacteria and that you feel better.

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EMRANA 2/22/2012 7:20AM

  I've worked in places like that. They make every day an ordeal. As if you don't have enough to deal with.

As far as that nurse purposely not giving the message, I don't care how much you don't like someone, that is completely unprofessional. She needs to be called on that. It's one thing if she treats you badly ~ not that it is fair or acceptable ~ but to not forward something as important as a message about a surgery? She needs a new job.

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BLUESTARMOM 2/22/2012 6:07AM

    Gentle hugs, Sylvie. I hope that the injections help. I had a round of injections from a pain management doctor- I don't know if they are the same or not. Mine were done under a epidural and also involved some nerve blockers. It took awhile, but they really helped.
Our school is feeling the stress of an administration that is doing it's best to drive down morale and make our lives miserable. My coworkers are awesome though, and all they've managed to accomplish is to bring us all together. Workplace stress isn't fun. emoticon

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_LINDA 2/22/2012 12:38AM

    I hope the injection works for you. I hate hearing about co workers being so nasty like that. I only deal with one person like that at the club, but she is such a piece of work, she makes up for the whole lot :-/ The previous manager said she was on her back all the time and that I would inherit her and I did, but I don't let her push me around. If there is any flaw in the things she says, I will call her on it. I have also caught her in bold faced lies so I know I can't trust what she says and have to check on it first before responding.
I am glad you are getting some readers in at least. What ever happened to the three R's as being the most important thing in school??? Computers are making dummies out of the next generation. They can't spell, add or write anything without all their programs checking it over first. The result is I have seen some pretty bad writing and spelling when they don't have access to a computer and have to write something by hand..Is having to write by hand going to become redundant?
Hope you can sleep tonight..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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Sunday, 2/19 People I can count on!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hi everyone,

I am trying hard to avoid thinking about this pain--I can't when it flares hard or when it makes my right arm buzz down to the tip of my thumb and renders it useless, but especially while I am typing, I don't have to talk about it.

I am taking a homework break right now. I wanted to check emails and do some sparking. The first thing I noticed was all of the thoughtful and caring comments on my last blog. My dear basset hound friend is correct, my colleagues are a very self-absorbed lot. They are competitive and they work closely with a partner and terribly with other people. I have a constant push and pull think where they want me to serve their students but they won't let me take them out of their classes. I have a couple of close friends, mostly people who are on the end of the same whipping stick that I am. In our building if you are over than 30 or weigh more than 130, you are not one of the chosen ones. Self-absorbed is a good way to put it. It will be interested when school starts and 4 of them are all off on maternity leave. I wonder if experience will be coveted a bit more then.

My church family is another group that I can count on. I sent a request out via our prayer chain looking for guest readers and I may be up to six now. I think it is interesting that the folks I work with had trouble finding one reader, but through our little church in the heart of the inner city, I am getting a lot of warm and caring responses. Even the folks who are telling me "sorry, I cannot" are sending some wonderful messages.

My own family gets kudos from me as well. They are walking on eggshells around me and they are being kind and they are getting along a lot better recently. Megan is doing my laundry (again.) The biggest problem that I have with family is that Marshall and Miles keep buying me food that I wasn't expecting. For VAlentine's Day, my husband commissioned my daughter's musical group to bring me a singing valentine along with a long stemmed red rose and a sweet stuffed teddy bear. It was sweet when they came to school, I was quickly returning to my room after a discipline issue and one of my first grade groups was in my room. The little girl in the bunch had her hands over her heart, sighing and swooning a bit. It was cute.

Anyway, it is a tough time in my life and I sure do appreciate the many ways my spark friends are showing kindnesses. I know I am barely reciprocating. I have broken spark streaks recently and missed taking care of things on a couple of my team pages. I simply am without enough energy because this pain in the neck is taking more than its fair share of my energy.

I am down to a ten day countdown. I got a letter from my husband's insurance approving up to 5 days in the hospital. My insurance , which is primary, approved one day. The doctor was clear that this may not take care of all of the pain, so I am expecting some pain to linger. I also know that my first days are going to be rough because I already use the pain meds that they would use to make me comfortable to treat my lower back problems. However, I know it and I am not expecting everything. I do expect that removing the offending disks and replacing them with gifts from my hip should take the pressure off of the nerve that is upsetting my right arm. Eliminating that much of the pain makes this a worthy procedure--anything else will be "lixury."

I am so blessed to have the people in my life I can count on. You and my other spark friends, my church family, my family, and a few special people like my best friend. Our lunch date for this month is tomorrow because we had so many other things on Saturdays this month. President's Day is a good day to spend with her. I will go to the pool after that and I have class in the evening. I am going to wrap things up now and work on homework for as long as I my neck will allow it. Although this body and the arthritis that is in all of my joints is painful and tricky to live with, I am blessed to have the best people around me. People I can count on is a definite plus. Thanks for being one of them!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Gentle hugs to each one of you, my reliable and caring friends!!

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MKPRINCESS007 2/19/2012 10:45PM

    Hey there.........I have cut back on Spark, and actually have read your blogs and haven't commented because I have been trying to cut back on my time on the computer and Spark. I just wanted you to know that I am praying for you and wishing you all the best. I will definitely keep stopping by to see how you are doing.

Sending you much love and prayers!

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MALKS_ARIA 2/19/2012 10:38PM

    I am glad you have support from those around you.... (even if your co-workers are selfish)....

Hang in there.... glad to hear your 2nd-ary insurance is approved a lot more days than only one.....

Deep Breathing, and focusing on anything but pain....


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_LINDA 2/19/2012 10:03PM

    Wow! 4 on maternity leave, hope you get replacements that are more reasonable to work with. I would have thought people interested in educating children would want only what is best for them, and not be so concerned with their fellow teacher's appearance or age..I hope becoming Moms tunes them up. Unfortunately, cliques are found in all levels of society :( As one who has always been on the outside, I am quite familiar with it..
One day hospital stay from your plan and five from your husband -that is some kind of discrimination!! I always thought it was the DR., or physiotherapist that decides when you are ready to be released, not the insurance company.. This is very delicate surgery, not a day operation! Its awful this is sooo far away :(((
Thoughts are with you,
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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    Even in your condition, Sylvia, you are able to accomplish more that most people could. I know you are worn down from pain but you are strong and will get through this. I'm hoping in the mean time that your colleagues have a change of heart because educated people should know better. We should not have to teach people who help children to have empathy for others. At least you have support in every other area.

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Saturday, 2/18 Complications on top of things

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hi there,

I feel as if sometimes the only places I can be myself are at the pool, in my chair at home, and on the computer. I am so hurt by some of the people in my work world that it has added to the physical pain I am feeling in a nasty way.

I have been told that I need to give up some things I do at work because "I am going to be gone." Hmm, it will be a total of 8 days at the most. It was a snippy little email from the principal about handing out prizes that the kids earn on their way to making a reading goal for the ball game. NOBODY else wants the job and I had it covered so that I distributed them one day a week and there would only be one day that I couldn't do. Now, I am trying to figure out an entirly new way to doit.

Next, we have our other reading day coming. It was supposed to be a fun day, based on "Read Across America." We couldn't do it on the national day because it is an ISAT day (our state's standardized testing.) The group working with me has changed it to "Read to Succeed" and they want all of the guest readers to share their career and give it a career theme. Okay, I can work with others--and this group of 6 was supposed to be responsible for 2-3 guest readers apiece. (We need 20.) When I asked for a meeting to put the schedule together and to see how many readers we had, I was told that there wasn't time this week. (Reading day is March 9 and I won't be back to work yet.) I got three emails from one of the team members Thursday night that told me a number of things about the ball game and reading day. The big piece is that they think one of the teachers husband has two readers coming. I have three scheduled and that gives me 5 out of the 20 needed. Nobody else got one person. I have to figure out where to find 15 readers who will talk about their career. When one of them asked if I was going to be there, she told me "Wow, you really picked a bad time to be gone missing ISAT, the ball game prizes, and reading day."

What in the world was I to say? It didn't matter, she walked off after spewing that anyway.

Thursday was not my best day. On Wednesday, I went to the hospital after school to do my pre-op lab work. On Thursday, my PCP called me everywhere. My urine test turned out like the one I had 3 weeks prior for my regular physical. There was bacteria in it. He did a repeat and did a culture and there was bacteria in it. I am not having any symptoms of an infection and my doctor decided that it is probably colonies of good bacteria causing the test to respond that way. He said with my history of the infection in my spine that it would not be a good idea to treat this because the good bacteria would be killed and then bad bacteria would replace them because they were colonized. (I guess it is something in women my age and I have to believe it makes sense. He is a pretty picky doc worrying about every detail of test results.)

Now, my surgeon is balking because the new urine test showed bacteria. They are doing a culture now and these cultures take time, so there were no results yesterday. I told the doctor that I cannot have this surgery canceled over this. They are telling me that there is plenty of time to manage it, if they get results on Monday that indicate I need to be treated. OK, calm down, Sylvia.

My entire world is revolving around this awful pain. My neck and shoulder and arm are making me crazy. Somehow, I had pushed my regular low back pain out of my mind, but it reminded me yesterday that it hasn't gone anywhere. It is almost impossible to function with my lower back inflamed. I am stiff in one of my knees right now as well which tells me that our weather must be changing. Arthritis can really be mean.

I am hanging on, but my patience is almost gone. I wish I could just hide in a corner until the surgery and let the school deal with itself. However, I don't have enough sick leave to cover it and staying here thinking only about this pain probably isn't a good idea.

I am going now, to Weight Watchers to weigh in. This isn't going to be good because I am ashamed to admit that I have also started engaging in some comfort eating. There were too many things around on Valentine's Day for me to resist. I am not myself right now. I am going to go face the scale--it has been weird while I have been behaving, so I am hoping that this helps me get back on track. I have either not eaten or enjoyed the chocolates around me when I didn't need them.

I love the pool. It is weird to swim when this thing spasms, but I am getting used to the sensation. I wish I could live in the pool sometimes.

I need to go--take care of yourselves.
Gentle hugs,

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MTNGRL 2/19/2012 5:53PM

    The people you work with are a nasty bunch. I hate to think how they interact with the children if they treat a colleague this way.
I can see where a little comfort eating would happen.
I really wish you could spend more time in the pool but know that isn't possible. Praying that the surgery goes as planned .
I am so glad you do have the computer and you can share with your friends here who support you 100%

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FELINA 2/19/2012 10:25AM

    You have some unfeeling workmates. No empathy at all. Try not to let them negatively effect you. Do whatever you need to do to take care of you.

I wouldn't worry about a little comfort eating right now. You'll get back on track when you need to.

Enjoy the pool, relax a bit if you can.

I hope these test results do not delay your surgery.

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WALKZWDOGZ 2/19/2012 4:02AM

    Try not to let the emoticon emoticon get you down. It sounds like you have a school with several. I'm so sorry! Do they have any clue or are they just a self-absorbed lot? emoticon

I don't think anyone would blame you for hitting chocolate right now. A good stiff....chocolate brownie ...might be better than hitting some other things. emoticon

We'll be praying for some resolution re: bacteria & surgery. You do NOT need anything else right now! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 2/18/2012 10:51PM

    At least you can still get some relief from the pool. It is getting closer to the time for surgery. Hang in there. Surely the school can manage without you long enough for you to heal.

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_LINDA 2/18/2012 7:16PM

    Wow! You have some cold co workers at that school!! I would prefer to say stronger words though. Just your luck to show a bacteria infection :( I was once told I had a bladder infection on a routine test, but had absolutely no symptoms. I get tested regularly because of all my medications.
Hoping, hoping, hoping those test results don't get in the way of your surgery..
I was wishing I was back in the warm physiotherapy pool. Hope you can at least get daily pool time..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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HOPEFULSNAIL204 2/18/2012 4:33PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon Shame on those people at your school! Can't they recognize a truly difficult time when they see you in such pain and frustration? Giving you a hard time now shows that they have character issues they should deal with. It is my hope that your surgery will not be delayed and that it will relieve this NOW! Blessings

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JRSWHIMSY 2/18/2012 11:59AM


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MALKS_ARIA 2/18/2012 10:56AM

    I am building an ideal world... come join me pain free with a 92 degree pool for use anytime we want to slip in! Plus pain relief without side effects and addiction possibilities.... And last but not least..... a bunch of net friends giving each other hug ggz in person!


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Saturday, 2/11 I am in the waiting room of life

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hi All,

I am waiting and waiting and waiting for the surgery on my neck. This procedure that my doctor said needed to be done "as soon as possible" is scheduled for February 29th. I wish I could understand how the medical world around here really works because waiting almost an entire month doesn't seem like it is as soon as possible.

This thing hurts day in and day out. I am doing everything I wildly can in order to manage my pain and function. Everyday is a total challenge. The meds that help the most put me to sleep which is needed at times, but not always at the times they work. Staying focused is a major challenge--and for someone trying to take a couple of classes and teach every day, this is not a good plan. The injection that my pain doc put into my neck seemed to numb it up a bit which is a blessing since I deal with these spasms going on at irregular intervals all day long. They are a unique sensation of weird and pain, starting at the base of my neck, moving across my shoulder and then squeezing my upper arm like a blood pressure cuff being over-tightened. It does that for a few times and then buzzes down my arm all of the way to the tip of my thumb. The only thing that I notice that triggers them is when I start walking somewhere--I always have a series of them and I assume it is the way I hold onto my walker that does that. I also have them at random times that are not predictable--when I am sitting, talking, in the pool, right now...

The surgery will fuse my affected disks. The MRI clearly shows problems with two of them and hints at trouble with two more. I won't know until I wake up exactly what has been done. I will have an incision about an inch long on the front of my neck right where it folds--the incision will ultimately not be noticeable because of the way they do it. The doc will use bone from my hip to replace the disks and then use a small metal plate to do the fusion. It sounds so simple to hear the medical folks talk about it. I did learn that our neck really doesn't facilitate most of the movement that our head does. I have to trust that this will all result in some relief.

I sure wasn't expecting any of this to be part of my new year plans--it has thrown me for a loop. In the meantime, I am not able to spark as has been my habit for a few years. I sometimes get out the computer and then, things just get out of control. Or, I fall asleep for the first time in a couple of days. If I could predict how all of this worked, I could fit my world around everything.

I sure appreciate you all for hanging in here with me as I muddle my way through. Some of the next few weeks are going to be challenging. My doctor has said that I should expect to be off work for two weeks and then probably returning with light duty for the next four weeks. The middle two weeks of that is our scheduled spring break so I will have that time off of work. I was planning to volunteer at the church for a few of those days and to do an interview with one of the ELL parents who are there for one of my classes. I think those plans are going to be changed now.

My kids have been pretty good and have been helping in a number of ways. Our sad news is that Mason lost his job because the sheet metal company had to lay several people off due to a shortage of work. He has been diligently looking for a job and got a new one last week, in a company that makes hose. He will be cutting hose--and I don't know where his planned apprenticeship now fits in. He told me that he needs to be able to pay his bills (Hmm, his truck payments and his phone) so that is his focus. I want him to have more than a job, but I understand that he is a responsible, hard-working young man and he needs to be given the freedom to be in charge of his life. During this past few weeks, he has helped me in a lot of ways with rides and supporting our two younger kids.

Anyway, my entire life is revolving around problems with my spine again. It is almost like deja vu for me, except this time, I am still going through the motions of my life and when it was my lumbar spine with an infection, I couldn't do anything for the entire month before my surgery. My life would have been different if I hadn't had bacteria injected in my back way back then. I don't have much else to blog about except how I am managing to function. Thanks for the goodies and the kind words that I receive from you all. I am lucky to have my spark friends. I am lucky to have anyone still in my life who can live with this thing with me because it has taken over my life.

Take care of yourselves!!
Gentle hugs,

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WINLOSS 2/14/2012 9:06PM

  HI, I saw we had some things in common. Praying for you dear lady, I understand the pain.


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    Hang in there, Sylvia. It will be over soon and you will be on the road to recovery. I hate to see you suffer like this. I will continue to pray for you.

I am sorry about Mason losing his job but I admire him in this economy for finding one again so soon. He is being very responsible and I hope opportunities open up for him again soon.

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EMRANA 2/12/2012 12:54PM

  I know it feels like forever, and I'm sorry. As Linda said, the wait would be much longer in another country. In Alberta, where I just moved from, we had people waiting two years for spine surgeries. I can't even imagine. I wasn't a candidate, but if I was, I would have just had my surgery at some point last year after getting hurt in June 2009!

Find your moments of relief in the meantime, and bask in those! I'm sorry things are so bad right now.


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_LINDA 2/12/2012 11:28AM

    So very sorry Sylvia! I always thought you Americans didn't have to wait for your surgery :( That is one heck of a lot of wait time when you are in such acute pain :((( Unfortunately, injections always carry the risk of infection with them :( I guess I have been lucky, having had them all my life and never getting any. Same with the surgeries. No trouble at all. I guess that is the one thing this body has given me is an infection free life (I don't even get colds and had the flu only once as a child)..
Nothing much to say can comfort what you are going through, but know my thoughts are always with you..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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