Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Uncle--uh, no I mean: UNCLE!!!!!
This pain is not letting up and even when I go to the pool, it stays kind of there and jumps back out at me almost the minute I get out of the water. It is really going insane. I have had non-stop, earth-shattering, makes me sick-to-my-stomach pain for three solid days and a couple sporadically before that. I am wondering if this is to help me to make sure I take care of business and have my surgery.
If that is the case, I don't need the pain because I never even considered backing out or anything similar. I initiated it when I realized the injections weren't holding it at bay. It is awful--and if that isn't enough, if I have a cough, a yawn or heaven help, a little sneeze, well, wow-wow-wowwee-wow!! It hurts in ways I cannot explain. I am guessing because when you do any of those things, your body has an uncontrolled jerking and that hurts deep inside my hip. Argggghhhhh. I am tired and I am having a lot of difficulty focusing. I finally took a pain pill around 3 today even though I had a seminar from 3:30-5:30 that started 15 minutes late. I kind of slept through half of it because between the meds and the pure tiredness of my body, I couldn't quite fight it off. I listened, but I couldn't keep my eyes open.
I also told my administrators today about my surgery. It was time with less than three weeks to go. I have asked if any of them have any suggestions for subs and I have asked a couple of trusted friends for names as well. I cannot seem to find a reading person, but I have an idea of two good primary classroom people who might be just who I need. I will give them a call tomorrow and see if they are interested. The worst they can say is "no" at this point, and I won't be out any more than I already am.
Anyway, one bright star in all of this is the kindness on my painful blog from yesterday. You guys are all too sweet and I am so glad to have you in my corner. When I go to work, I sure feel alone much of the time. there were a lot of my good friends at the seminar today and that was a good feeling. I must admit the new thing "close reading" is something I have been doing with kids for a very long time. I went though to make sure I was on track and, whew, I am.
I am almost finished with my presentation for tomorrow. I know how it is going to look--it is only supposed to be 15 minutes, so how badly can I do with an article that is packed with so much good data and information?
Thanks for your good wishes and prayers--they are helping me maintain my attitude right now!!
Monday, November 26, 2012
It's been a bit rough around here since early Thursday morning. I have briefly alluded to it and I am living with it. It hurts. What is it or which it? My lower back and my right hip are aching and throbbing together and it is a sharp, sickening pain that isn't backing off. None of the things in my tool box are helping me out of this either. I have tried everything I have from my NSAID patches to ice to my tens unit to my breakthrough pain meds. It is wearing me down.
This is one of the times that I used to try eating. Eating doesn't help this and that is a fact, but in the past, I would go find anything to eat and give comfort that the kitchen has to offer. Thank goodness that I realize this won't help in the first place and that I also don't have any chocolate chip cookies or other such comfort foods in my house these days. I am not sure that I would be able to manage things if I hadn't cleaned up the contents of the kitchen.
Anyway, I am awake again and this pain is going to mess around with my ability to focus on the things on my plate today. I got started on a few tasks yesterday and we might even get the Christmas tree set up tonight. I will be focusing on studying after I go to the pool. That was the only place that I didn't ache and throb yesterday. I had to tone my workout down a bit to be able to do anything yesterday, but I am glad that I could do that. As a rule, the water is soothing and calming and that didn't let me down yesterday.
This entire week is jammed full of things that I must address. I have morning duty to start things out today, and it is the day to get my entire presentation for Wednesday organized and to study for my coming exam on the international alphabet and sounds. Tomorrow, I have a workshop after school on close reading that corresponds to the Common Core State Standards. On Wednesday, I once again have duty before school and I have my class after school--but I also have to find time either before school or before my class to get to the hospital for my pre-op labwork. I have no clue how to fit that in unless I get there at 5:30 when they open or unless I refuse a second duty day in one week. I don't see anyone else having to do this and it really bugs me that I have been given this to deal with. Thursday, after school, I have a doctor's appointment. Finally, on the weekend, I plan to have a couple of "wrapping parties." My older kids are going to help me out with getting some very important tasks done that are weighing on my mind.
Anyway, I have to find some ways to get past this pain to live my life and to manage these important responsibilities. Sitting here whining about pain won't serve any purpose anyway and will make the moments seem like forever. I really have dealt with enough of this sort of thing that I know the pitfalls. I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO TO MAKE IT BETTER. I think it is important to understand what this pain is like. It is deep down inside my body and if I cough a tiny cough or yawn, I feel a sharp pain in that area around my lower back and my right hip that turns my stomach. Any movement seems to aggravate it as does sitting still. I do know that when I get to work and am busy beyond busy, I will become distracted enough to ignore it at a different level for the majority of my day. Yet, that will be a problem of a different nature. By ploughing through this pain and working hard--I will have to force myself to get pain meds at a regular time and if I recognize that it hurts, I will lose my focus on what I am trying to do. Further, if I ignore it at that level, it will leave me in far worse shape when 2:50 comes and I have a moment when I will and must listen to my body. That will keep me from my work on my studies. I cannot really win this.
There is nothing that anyone can do to help me with any of this. I am definitely here, right now, venting and whining. In about 15 minutes, I will get ready for work and that assigned duty which will make my day start off in tumultuous fashion. I left my refrigerator open and defrosting and I will need to clean is and I will need to get Digger situated in her cage as we share our morning fruit. (I will need to eat a bit or my system will fight the strong meds I will need to take so I can get around from place to place today.) The announcements will be on as I try to quickly read my morning emails and as I prepare my first lesson of the day. From there, the kids will take over and things will move rapidly. That is how my work day is--I see 68 children in groups lasting from 20 minutes to 40 minutes with people stopping by to ask other things of me throughout my day and no time for myself to eat or go to the restroom or to think. My world is a hectic place and to all of the teacher critics in the world who think we sit around waiting for our summer vacation and our pensions, well, I more than earn what I get paid.
OK, I am now just ranting to be ranting. I need to get past this and it would seem that the tasks at hand will do that until 2:50 gets here. I can pray that activity will make this pain be different. It would be helpful. I am not usually this negative, but it is also a side effect of chronic pain in my body.
Let this Monday begin!! I will tackle it with everything I have in me.
Gentle hugs are not quite in order here--I need all of my personal strength and intelligence to manage this situation.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
I came to SparkPeople and joined when I was at about my highest weight ever. I had been working on my own and had lost about 30 pounds.
I didn't really understand all of the parts of Spark People when I first joined. I didn't quite get Spark Teams or the role of exercise. I didn't understand how to record my exercise minutes and it didn't much matter. I got started by following my eating plan and by really not exercising at all. It was okay because I was losing weight regularly.
As a matter of fact, I lost about 60 more pounds just using my diet and portion control. I was receiving a lot of compliments from people and things were going well. All of this time, I was logging into SparkPeople and I was reading the multitude of articles that were available. I knew I needed to exercise, but I didn't know how to begin. I was disabled from arthritis and complications from treatments for this arthritis. I walked with a walker on my best days.
I had a surgery scheduled that was supposed to help me. However, the big result was that I was left in a wheelchair and I couldn't work a complete day. I also wasn't eating to comfort myself and I continued to Spark. I went to physical therapy to get the strength back in my legs and I was referred to water therapy. It was at this point that I realized I could exercise and that my place was in the pool. It took about 8 months to get me out of the wheelchair this time. (I had been this route once before...) I knew that if I stopped working out because I could walk with my walker again that my weight loss was over. I couldn't do much more with diet alone. I had lost about 120 pounds by this time.
I started going to the pool every afternoon which was pretty easy to schedule at first because I only worked half days. I would work in the morning and then go to the pool and use the program the physical therapists had given to me. I kept at it and kept at it. In three months, I was able to return to work full time.
I kept going to that pool in the evenings. My days were long and it was taking all of my strength to work and then exercise. My family supported me and I kept at it. I also kept losing weight. I finally got to the place that I was back to walking again with my walker and I had lost a total of 130 pounds at this time.
I kept at it and lost more weight and was up to a total of 160 pounds lost when I hit the dreaded plateau that went on for over 6 months. I kept up with my program and I kept Sparking. I tried and tried to stick with things. It was hard and I believe that a plateau is the most destructive thing with a weight loss program. I also believe that they are important because they give the body time to level out and get back to "normal."
I did shift things around and reconfigure both my pool exercise program with help from my physical therapist and my daily menus with help from SparkPeople. About three and a half months ago, I started losing weight again. I am now at a total of 165 lost pounds. I have lost 135 pounds with SparkPoints since I joined and I am very happy with that. I am still losing and I am very happy with that.
The truth is that I had to change my goal because I have a "new" height to address. Between my age and my arthritis and back surgeries, I have lost almost 3 inches in height. It is my goal to have a healthy BMI and that is based on one's height.
Now, I am preparing for a hip replacement surgery and I cannot get to that goal in the remaining three weeks I have left. I can lose at least 3-4 more pounds which will take me within 10-20 pounds of a perfect BMI for my "new" height. I believe I can do it, but I believe that it could be a bit tricky.
My hip replacement could get in the way. I have to be careful to avoid eating when I am in pain or when I am frustrated or bored when I am sitting around, unable to be as active as usual. I am nervous that I could slip back into old habits that I think I have changed. I have had an excellent holiday after planning a great holiday meal that was loaded with great foods and healthy choices so I could easily stay with my plan. I didn't even sniff at the desserts that were present.
I have stuck with this for a few years and I believe that I have made lifestyle changes that are healthy and smart. I am a "work in progress" and am not ready to make any shift into maintenance. I want to get to that perfect BMI and I want to have the best chance at walking both painfree and unassisted that is possible. I cannot let this surgery get in my way.
I have had a lot of success when it didn't seem likely. I am going to plan to continue on this plan. Fattening hospital food with its typical bad choices cannot get in my way. Being unable to go to the pool for my workout or lap swimming cannot get in the way. The fact that new metal joints outweigh the joints that we were born with also won't exactly help me. However, when I think of all of the things I have overcome, I have had a great deal of success when it didn't seem possible.
I can do this. I have come so far that I know I can do this. I may have to call out the cavalry to lend a hand, but I am guessing that the phone number is "sparkpeople.com." I have a lot to do in the next three weeks--report cards, lesson plans, a presentation, project, and an exam in my grad class, and holiday decorations, shopping, wrapping, and planning of meals are all on my calendar along with many doctor appointments and medical tests that are due between now and December 17.
I can do this and I am starting with the best program possible up until December 17. I have 3 more weigh-ins before then. I plan to do well!
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!!
I am sitting here in a pleasant stupor. My daughters are in the kitchen preparing the vegetables for our big veggie tray--my favorite part of our family meals. Matthew is helping Marshall move things and vacuum in the family room. Mason is helping Micah to wash the dining room floor. My husband (Floyd) and Miles are "fixing" something in the bathroom where Miles and Marshall had replaced the floor earlier this week. Mitchell and Laura are on the way here with the desserts they prepared for our meal. I am so blessed. This is one of those amazing moments with me and my sweet basset are enjoying the peace and the good things that come from a family as big as ours.
Now, to be honest, the early moments of this day were not so serene, but once my kids got a few digs into each other and did their required fussing, they really got themselves together and were the family I tried to raise and love. I have been thinking about families a lot lately--the one I grew up in, the one I have raised and many that I have come to know as a teacher. All families are not created equal--but what makes them that way?
It isn't finances. We haven't always had enough money for what our kids wanted. We made sure we had enough for what they needed, but it was and is often a bit of a struggle.
It isn't family size, obviously. With 8 kids, our kids had to learn early that "fair doesn't mean equal." That continues to be a concept that many adults don't get. I hear it a lot when teachers and families are complaining when one child gets preferential treatment of some sort because of a disability. It drives me crazy when adults cannot understand that a particular child earns rewards by following a specific rule that other kids just have to do. Sometimes, we must emphasize that rule for a disabled child and they "get" a prize for doing so. It isn't that tough when you consider that we are about helping all children to become lifelong learners and world citizens.
I do wonder if it is the church. My kids have gone to church every Sunday since they were born. We rarely miss church and they have grown up with our church family rooting them on and being their role models and support. They have grown up with my good friend Michael, as pastor and mentor. I am sure this is part of it. I hope that their father and I, although in a sometimes less than organized manner, have taught them values and life skills that will keep them all going. I know each of them and can praise them for their strengths and I can list their personal faults. That's the way of humankind though, most of us have strengths and faults. I know that today, at this time, I am feeling blessed for the competent and caring young adults my kids are becoming.
On another note, I went to WW yesterday and weighed in (no Thursday meeting this week, duh.) Anyway, since the last time I went was Saturday morning, those are weigh-ins that are pretty close to each other and I lost .6 of a pound which makes a total of 3 for the two weeks. I have been receiving a multitude of compliments from people recently about "how good that I look" and my weight loss. That is so cool. With about three weeks until my hip surgery, I am getting to my own personal crunch time. Hmm, with Thanksgiving today, the question I have thought about is "Am I going to shift from weight loss to maintenance mode?"
I can answer that--I am having a meal that is healthy with a few more calorie costly choices. I know exactly what I am going to be eating already--there will be one calorie dense dish on my plate (Our traditional Norwegian baked mac and cheese that is so good!) I will have what WW calls power foods--veggies and turkey along with a slice of the light multi-grain bread that I love. I will be fine with this meal and even if I taste one of the desserts that my son brings, I will be good. I understand portion sizes and can do this. I will not fall off the weight loss band wagon today or on "left-overs Friday." I get to go to the pool tomorrow and I will be putting my homework presentation together. I am in good shape for all of this.
I am hoping to lose at least 4-5 more pounds before my surgery and then I will be ten pounds away from that goal I made when I thought my surgery would be in June. This is working well--I'm pretty determined. My search for a reading person to be my sub has not went as well--all of the people I am thinking of would be more than glad to do it except they have planned trips during either December or January and won't be available. I am getting to the time that I am going to have to make this known with my principal and the staff at school. Things will become a bit different for me then.
I also found out that I was selected to present at a conference in January which is an honor. I am going to have to get permission from my ortho to work at least part time in January or I am going to have to turn down this opportunity. That will make me sad because it is a chance to show off my knowledge. I was asked to help another teacher to do a presentation at the same conference on National Board Certification. Finally, my expertise has been acknowledged--and I would like to come through for this. There is a lot of good things going on at work right now--beyond our building issues. I am thinking it is a lot like my weight loss story. It takes persistence and personal commitment and caring, and then finally, success comes a bit at a time. (I'll share more on this entire thing later....)
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. If you are having turkey--it's a great lean protein source, so enjoy!! If you are doing anything else, the name of the day is about giving thanks. I have so much to be thankful for. I think I'll go lend a hand to my kids who are all lending theirs at the moment!!
Sunday, November 18, 2012
I have been thinking about the holiday that is coming and unlike any of our other holidays, this one is totally about eating with others. The others are more about social experiences and eating has become a part of the picture. However, if you look at any children's version of the Thanksgiving story, those tables covered with food are a major part of things. Anyway, I have been thinking about that early Thanksgiving and what it is now--and a much earlier me and what (or who) I am now.
...Maybe there are some similarities...
Early Thanksgiving--Up until that harvest, what was eaten was of no control of the people involved.
Early Me--Up until my Spark Goals, what was eaten was of no control or concern of this one person involved.
Early Thanksgiving--Appearances were of no real concern.
Early Me--My appearance wasn't a big deal either.
Early Thanksgiving--People would eat anything, because there often were no choices!
Early Me--I would eat anything because I couldn't make choices so I ate whatever I could get my hands on.
Early Thanksgiving--People worked because they had to, but for over a year, had to conserve energy by limiting movement.
Early Me--I worked because I had to, but for over many years, I limited movement for no good reason.
Early Thanksgiving--Weather played a very important role in food production and activity.
Early Me--Weather played a very important role in movement production and food consumption. (Hmm, if there was weather, there was a reason to eat!)
Things are different now for me and Thanksgiving...
Current Thanksgiving--We have information, foods, and recipes from all over the world.
Current Me--I have healthy information, foods and recipes from all over the world.
Current Thanksgiving--We can use the stories of the past and learn about relationships and caring for our future.
Current Me--I can think of my past and plan for my future and build on my relationships.
Current Thanksgiving--People use it as a time to get together with others and to eat in excess.
Current Me--I will use it as a time to get together with others and to avoid eating to excess.
Current Thanksgiving--It is often sandwiched as an unimportant day between Halloween and Christmas.
Current Me--It am often sandwiched as an important day for family, friends, and socializing in the middle of the "Holiday Season."
Current Thanksgiving--It is often seen as an excuse to consume many calories and many empty calories because they are there.
Current Me--I see Thanksgiving as a way to eat some healthy foods that aren't always available on other days.
Current Thanksgiving--It is considered as a day that people can ignore healthy eating without anything to worry about.
Current Me--I cannot ignore healthy eating no matter what day it is.
Current Thanksgiving--Is a day when people sit around and snack and have fun with no regard to activity.
Current Me--Will worry about a day when exercising will not be practical but will need to be included in the daily activities without an excuse.
Anyway, I hope that you see the real picture here...
Thanksgiving was from early on, a day to eat and enjoy the company of others who had worked to help everyone to stay alive, with the fear of those earlier days without food and shelter there in everyone's mind. Now, Thanksgiving is a day of eating (often to excess) and socializing with little regard to other ways of looking at the day.
I was, from early on, a person who was always overweight and who simply continued to eat whatever crossed my mind. Now, I understand how tricky it can be to be healthy in mind and body and that it requires a well-balanced diet of fresh foods and healthy choices that also includes regular exercise. I have worked hard to be where I am, which is 147 pounds smaller than I once was.
Change happens as does change over time. I am thankful for so much, and it is because I am that thankful that I won't get caught up in Thanksgiving and I won't overeat. I am most thankful that I am far more healthy than I used to be and it is very important to me to stay this way and to not fall back into old habits that did nothing good for me.
I will have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I wish the same for everyone else.
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