Wednesday, October 10, 2012
These three topics can be a problem, especially if they aren't working right. We have been dealing with issues with both of our cars and it has been a lesson in patience and how to use money budgeted for other very important things. The result is that after a new water pump and replacing the muffler and exhaust system that was damaged when our jeep was taken to the shop, it is running. After replacing the radiator and any number of other things, our car is not working yet. This family cannot manage with one vehicle and this is a problem.
How does that work with other things? Last evening, I decided to let our son use the car to take him and his brother to work and that I would go for a walk rather than going to the pool. It was blustery. We live in the country where there aren't sidewalks and paved roads everywhere. I had quite a time getting in an hour and a half of walking that kind of matched my pool workouts. I have had intense pain in my hip since then that won't let up. I'll be glad to get that injection next week that should hold me over until my replacement in December.
I'm going to go to the pool today before class and work it out. I hurt a lot and my meds and patches aren't doing the trick. I tried some gentle movement and stretching too. Ouch. This cooler weather makes me miserable and I know it is just a tiny step to what is to come.
I think I might try an ice bag next--although, I hate to get cold when the coolness is already bothering me. I will overcome this--I just need to find the right combination of activity, pain meds, temperature, and prayers. I think I'm a candidate to retire in the sun belt. I also don't think that could happen because I won't go that far from my family.
In the meantime, I am wondering if I could take one of our cars and run over the other one. It won't solve anything an would definitely make things worse--but for the moment, just a moment, it might give me a happy rush of adrenaline that would help everything. Ha ha, only in my imagination could such a thing be a solution.
Things could be worse--I might not be on break!!
Take care of yourselves!!
Monday, October 08, 2012
I survived last week and although it was a tricky set of accomplishments, I did all of the things that I needed to do. On Tuesday, I completed my progress reports and got them copied and distributed to the teachers who needed them. I also got to go to the teacher's night at the museum with our son Mitchell. It was a good time. On Wednesday, I took the exam in my class and except for the one question that I drew a blank on, I think I did okay. (That was a question that I actually knew the answer to before I studied. I think pure fatigue set in and blocked my thinking.) On Thursday, after working from 8:30AM until 8:30 PM, I turned in my completed IGP--the paper stating my plan for professional development, part of our new evaluation system. On Friday, I finished my lesson plans before I packed Digger up, and left school for our two week fall break. I did handle everything that came my way and mostly with my typical level of accomplishment.
I don't plan to go to work or think about work during this break. I'll need to go and water my plants at the end of this week, but that is about my plants and not about doing any other work. I haven't ever managed a break with this sort of thinking, but after the way the past summer at school went and all of the stress and effort I put into doing my best, I need some time out. This is not my normal way of doing things or thinking, but it is exactly the place where I am right now. I think it is probably good for me.
Today, we celebrated Worldwide Communion Sunday. Our church is moving along, but without the energy of having a leader and the vision of a leader. That may soon change. We have a pastoral candidate who is interested in taking the call at our church. She will preach on the 28th and immediately following the service, we will have a Congregational meeting with a vote on offering her the position of pastor in our church. The people on the search committee are absolutely impressed with her as is my son, who is the secretary of our church board. I am excited about this development, as I continue to miss Michael so much. With all of the events going on in my life, I miss him a bit each day, but that is our friendship as much, if not more than our pastoral relationship.
Our parish nurse mentioned my pending surgeries to our interim pastor who talked with me about them and offered her prayers after the service. I do like her--her name is Tammy, but I think I have been afraid to befriend her since I know she won't ge with us long and the grief I have went through without Michael. On a positive note, Mason finally came to church with us since Michael's retirement. He has grieved since June, but he seemed to be okay and he saw that people were glad he was there and he fell back into the helping others routines he has always held. It was good for me to see that. Next Saturday, we are going on the Haunted hayrack ride along with a potluck. On Sunday, we are celebrating our "Heritage Sunday," which is the 100th anniversary of our church building. It will include a German lunch and music and fun after the service. There will be a lot of eating opportunities that I will need to be careful with. I am taking healthy choices to the potluck and I know the menu for Sunday--that information will allow me to make good choices and not break my eating plan. Losing this weight before my hip replacement is an important goal for me. I can have fun without overeating or desserts and other rich foods.
On a different note, my best friend's husband passed away yesterday--and I haven't quite come to grips with that. He had Alzheimer's and it was one of the saddest things I have ever known in my life. It is hard to understand or "get" the destruction of a condition like Alzheimer's, let alone how such a gifted, wonderful man with a loving family struggles through day after day of having him, but not having him. He was one of the most intelligent, kind and gifted people I have ever known. He was an elementary school principal and he was one whose staff always loved and respected him for his honesty and integrity--as well as his strong work ethic. The world is a better place because he was here. His wonderful family has struggled for a long time as he became more and more lost to Alzheimer's--but his final illness started just over a week ago and now they are preparing for his funeral. It is a lot and I don't know what to tell any of them except that I am sorry, I care, and if they need an ear or a shoulder, mine is always ready for them. I am praying for them all. I am sending prayers above for the entire family. I know when my friend gets off of the overload that I know she is in, she will talk to me about whatever she needs to talk about. We have been best friends for over 25 years. She knows that I'm here for her. Please keep them in your prayers too.
Best wishes to you as we deal with the strange weather of the coming week--colder to warmer and most likely back to colder. My body is rebelling against all of this. I'm dealing with a lot of OA pain and a fibro flare. This is the beginning of the winter season and I need to get myself together and manage it. I have to honestly admit that I don't like this at all followed by admitting that there is nothing I can do about it except to dress warmly and keep the warmth of the past summer and all that I got to do and enjoy in my heart and mind.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Good things happen with prayer and time!
I am realizing something again in my life. There is no substitute for relationships in our lives. I have a couple of good examples that have touched me today. The first is that I called on an old friend who retired from teaching in our school district about 5 years ago. I have seen her a few scattered times and the last time I saw her happened to be in August when I confirmed her phone number. I called to ask her for an unrelated favor (that she might be able to help me with--and it is big and may require that she change some family plans, wow...) Anyway, I mentioned that I am struggling with this IGP part of the new evaluation that we have to do. It involves us doing a checklist and selecting an area of our professional duties that we need to strengthen and then coming up with a two year plan that consists of a measurable goal to improve our skills. We started sharing the days we worked together and one thing led to another, and I have an idea thanks to her knowledge and creativity. (certainly not mine, lol. I am sick of trying to get to this) All I had was a few really complex and tedious ideas that I did not want to do. I am about to do a bit of research on that before I go to sleep in a few moments.
Another thing came up... I was writing a note to go with my progress reports and I hated the thing. I saved it and decided that I would redo it Tuesday morning. I know what is wrong--it is too antiseptic and misses out on the relationship needed between my parents and me and my students.
Finally, I just read a blog entry from a very good Spark Friend of mine who has been rreally ill and she mentioned that she thinks she has lost spark friends while she has been out of commission. Although it didn't look that way to me, I know that I have while I have been so overrun with things that have had to be priorities. We have to cherish our relationships and keep up with them. They are too valuable to lose.
Good things happen when we pray and when we take the time needed and when we let our good friends help us out. We need our relationships and we need to protect them. I sure hope that some of my spark friends who haven't been to my page in a bit check this out. I want to tell each of them how important they are to me. I want to tell them how valuable they are to Spark People as well.
Please trust me, even if neither I nor anyone else managed to tell you this. We all check to see who wrote notes to us or who left us comments on our pages or blogs or who left us a goodie. You are important--very important!!
Take care of yourselves and thank you for being here!
Monday, October 01, 2012
I have spent the weekend trying to get over the soreness from my injection and body, organizing my thoughts, and getting a plan for the remainder of the year with the three pending surgeries that will certainly drive my life beofre New Year.
I need to start with this week. I finished my progress reports except for some fo the data I inadvertently left at school on Thursday. I will be able to get that on the progress reports in no time and then get the copies made equally quickly, especially with our new secretary who offered to help me out. She has been so sweet!! I also did some work studying for my big exam on Wednesday--that will need a lot of attention between now and then. Finally, I have a bit of a thought for my IGP which is the first part of the way that our Illinois teacher evaluations are changing into a two document that is a lot of time-consuming teacher work. Anyway, I will be ready for parent teacher conferences in the last half of the week--and I am looking forward to our two week fall intersession. That is a nice gift when the weather is still lovely!!
However, I have some other things on my mind... One is my weight loss plans--I am at 23 more pounds to lose to meet that goal of 30 pounds I had before my hip replacement surgery. I cannot do that by December 17, so I am revising to 12-13 pounds by my surgery date which will leave me at meeting a 20 pound loss before the surgery which is still helpful. It will also help me to manage holidays as wel as I did my birthday without overeating or under-exercising. I need to heal from this procedure without any weird issues, and that is why I set that goal of a 30 pound loss. It also matched getting my BMI in sinc with my new, reduced height, lol.
Finishing my class is on my list of things to do for this time frame and if I need extra time, I know that my professor will work well with me. I also have the idea of a 6 week recuperation period on my mind. One issue is that I don't have enough sick leave to cover that time, although some of it will be the holiday break. I am going to check into my options--but part of my sick leave will be needed for my pre-op appointments and for my cataract surgeries. Our family will have a hard financial time at a tough time if I cannot get this worked through. I will make contacts in the light of day... I also learned that my principal will push for a sub and I need to find one with a reading background who will work for me rather than some of these people she has found in the past who just plain don't get what I do. I also have a phone call to make in the light of day...
My last big need is to work out the holidays. I must have everything holiday related taken care of before December 17th. That includes meals, shopping and wrapping, cleaning, and decorating. This will definitely include some sharing of duties and passing them on to my older children. I need to think through who will help with what the best. I am lucky enough to have a houseful of good kids who have been through a lot of this with me in the past, but this time, we have time to plan rather than an emergency thrust upon us at the last minute.
Now that I have said all of this out loud, it seems pretty manageable now. I am glad that I decided to write this all out. I have some ground work to set, but I can do this! Thanks for helping me out--if I hadn't thought of this blog, I might have stayed at a high anxiety level which would have prevented me from dealing with this week. That's enough for now...
Thanks for all you do for me and for other Sparkers. You are the best!!
Saturday, September 29, 2012
I guess my description of my day off of work should start when I took my new Bunny, Digger and left on Thursday afternoon... I went for an appointment with my therapist who constantly reminds me that I can't do everything for everybody and that when I am so over-committed to everyone and everything, that I don't have enough energy to deal with my pain and the effects of my arthritis issues. It was a nice afternoon because Mitchell acted as my chauffeur and we chatted about everything including a lot of shop talk, and we got caught up in each others work and personal lives. He took me to Weight Watchers and I did a rare thing, not staying for the meeting. I did lose another pound, so I have 27 of that 30 left to go. YAY, I am making nice progress after a rocky start. I sure missed a big Weight Watchers beginning los, but I think that is because I have never totally been off plan--just happily maintaining my big loss. Anyway, I am pleased to lose an average of 1.5 or so pounds a week since I really got working at this again.
I went from WW right to the QCAIR meeting that I promised our church's outreach director that I would go to. That acronym stands for "Quad Cities Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees." That is the organization that Michael is acting director of since he retired. It was a good meeting that began with a poetry reading in Tagalog by a Filipino immigrant. They are working hard to become a solvent organization. After that, my husband came for me and took me to the pool.
This morning, I started out at Eye Surgeons. This is a wonderful set of doctors who give a great deal back to their patients and the community. We met up with them when Megan was a baby and needed treatment for strabismus and amblyopia at 18 months old. They did amazing work with that little stinker--she tossed one of her earliest pairs of bifocals out of the car and I drove over them unknowingly. That was an awful thing--those little bifocals cost almost three hundred dollars a pair and we sure couldn't afford that as youngish parents. However, they continued to help her and the rest of our children out over many years. One of their claims to fame is that their pediatric opthamologists is married to Lisa Brothers (Arbisser) daughter of Joyce Brothers, one of the earliest TV talk show docs.
The news with my vision is that my right eye has deteriorated substantially while the left one is not good but holding its own. After all of the medical information that was needed, we decided to do my first cataract surgery on October 17. Barring any issues with that procedure, my left cataract surgery will be done on November 1.
From there, I went to see my orthopedist. I started there by having my shoulder x-rayed. I saw my ortho's intern to start with and he shared my x-ray results with me and did a partial check up on my shoulder. It turns out that there is a large area of calcification on two of my shoulder tendons. He discussed the benefits of an injection and we talked about my hip. He then went and got my ortho who gave me a shoulder injection and who explained that my shoulder problem can recur, but won't need any surgery. I then talked to him about my hip in detail and we decided to do my hip replacement surgery on December 17. I also found out that the nursing staff hadn't contacted the radiologist to do my injection which should hold me over until then--and that my pain doc can do that procedure. I hope to get it in next week. I also found out that I got longer benefit fromt he first one than most people do.
Tonight, I am having a great deal of pain in my shoulder where I had the injection. I am icing it and have taken all of the pain meds that I am allowed for the next 4 hours, so I am suspecting I will have a tricky enough evening. However, I have a plan and I am going to need to change my goals here because there is no realistic way I can lose 23 more pounds by December 17. I hope to lose an average of one pound a week--so I hope to lose 12 or 13 more pounds by the time we do this big procedure. I will do my best because it will make recovery be a lot better and it will also keep me on target during the holidays with all of the eating then.
It has been a pretty productive day and I am glad that I have some answers and some medical support and plans. I will plan on a healthy new year without all of the problems I had this past year.
Take care everyone!
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