Saturday, January 12, 2013
I'm not terribly proud of today and there is really nothing I can admit to having accomplished besides some fussing at my family with resulting cooperation and help with some chores that were long overdue in being managed. I had lunch with my best friend today and after that, our weather has changed from being unseasonable jacket weather to full on cold, "blizzardy" stuff. Micah is outside shoveling this late because he is excited about the wintery stuff being back.
Personally, I didn't sleep much last night because I was trying to comfort my sweet Lady. She is not making much progress on this cone, but she is on her second sleep of the day. I think fatigue and antibiotics are both helping her to get some rest. It is hard for her to eat or get drinks, so I am recruiting people to help her to get to her nourishment. With her short basset body, that cone drags and causes her grief. The vet trimmed it down, and my husband was going to trim it some more--but I stopped him because any further trimming would go into the seam and then the thing would probably fall apart and be ineffective. I would hate for her to have to have a third procedure on her beautiful ear. She is my baby in so many ways...
I went to WW and weighed in, having gained back 2 of the 2.2 i lost last week. I am not surprised. I was as active as I could be last week, doing my exercises and going places to get my pedometer going--but my eating was either poor (not enough) or poor (bad choices.) I am going to have to resign myself to maintenance until I have recovered from my hip. I am ready for it to move on, but I am also already dreading that I have to return to work in 3 weeks and start dealing with the monkey business that ruined most of my week. I talked at length to my therapist about why I am so defined by my job and why, after 7 years that this woman causes me so much grief. He laughed and said that he was thinking the same thing. For the first time--or maybe second--he gave me straight up advice. I told him that she "was a flake" and his response was that I was never to be surprised by anything she does again. He said that I could be disappointed and temporarily caught off guard, but that I could not let her surprise me again. She has done this month after month for 7 years and I don't understand how she operates or the strange ways that she does things, all based on lies and other mistruths. I am as honorable and honest as I can be--and straightforward; the things she says and does hurts me and defies what I value. Now, can I NOT be surprised when she tells me that she won't place someone until the end of the week and then does so the next day, choosing a person I specifically asked her to not choose? I don't know, but I will try to remember that she's a flake and doesn't operate the way I think most people do, certainly the way I do. It is at least an approach instead of this constant garbage in my professional life.
I finally fell asleep around 5:30 to take a short nap when my husband woke me up to let me know he cooked a pot of chili for dinner (yummy, lots of tomatoes!! woo hoo, my favorite!!) I was pretty grumpy because it was the first nap I have had all week. I fussed at virtually everyone and told them they didn't need to eat until they did their chores--and they did them. I went back to sleep for about an hour and it felt good. This is the time of the day when my body hurts the worst. Sleeping through some of that after taking my pain meds allowed me to wake up with some control over the pain. I could make this a habit.
I feel better--still tired, but better after a nap. It is snowing hard so church might be out of my reach for tomorrow. My husband won't let me go out if it is slippery and I will cooperate--no more falling for me. All I can do is see what tomorrow brings.
Thanks for being my friends!!
Friday, January 11, 2013
We took Lady for her post-op check and we knew before the doc checked her that her bandaged ear was all swollen with blood. Getting the bandage off of that ear was awful, she had to have a muzzle on because, well it hurt. Her big beautiful basset ear is covered with hair and there was no way to ease it off. Anyway, the vet got the job done and we set up the big surgery for Lady for this morning.
The day started off rough, with me over-sleeping. Lady had to be to the animal hospital between 8 and 8:30--so my waking up at 7:30 wasn't a good plan, especially when I am needing help with things. I was all shiny clean and ready to go by 8:10 which gave us plenty of time to be there on time. I made it out the door without letting Sadie sneak by me--but when Marshall was carrying all 60 pounds of Queen Lady, the basset, Sadie rushed him and got out the door. That pup is a scamp and she is growing like a weed. She rushed out the door as she tries to do every time it is opened. She seems to enjoy the fact that the humans are all giving her a ton of attention and the only trick that ever works is to parade Lady around and give her lots of treats and hugs and tummy rubs. Miss Sadie cannot watch that from afar and she will descend upon that activity and we capture her. However, today, we could not do that because it was raining and I didn't want Lady to get muddy before her surgery.
If you could have watched the next 25 minutes of activity, you might have thought it to be an old Abbott and Costello type movie with a bit too much slapstick for anyone's taste. Marshall and Miles tried everything to catch this scamp and it was like she was teasing them. She would run up on them and then dart away. She ran down the lane and when Miles started to walk away, she came back towards him. He took off to grab her and slipped on the ice and landed on his back quite hard. He went in and got the doggy treats and she would come for one and then tease him--coming a bit closer, then darting away. In the meantime, Lady was crying her heart out in the jeep because she absolutely hates car rides. I finally had to tell the guys to let Sadie go so we could get Lady to the hospital. It was a hard decision to make, but by then, we were a bit late and this was an important procedure. (Lady's future hearing and the quality of her ear being without repeated ear infections was at stake.) The boys did as I told them and we took Lady to the hospital. The plan was for the doc to slice her inside ear down the center, clean out all of the blood and blood clots, and then suture it up and down and back and forth, leaving a lower flap for any drainage. The sutures stay in for two weeks and then it will take a while for the natural appearance of her ear to return without the tiny bumps from the sutures.
We had to drag Lady into the vet's office and the exam room. She started simultaneously barking and whining at the same time as soon as the door opened. This was breaking my heart and certainly upsetting the peace around us. (For those of you who do not know basset hounds, they are a very independent and stubborn breed. It is virtually impossible to redirect them from what they want.) The vet came in with the paperwork--anesthesia, lab work, surgery, recovery, materials, meds came to $652.00 (ouch) They were ready to take her for her pre-op labwork and she wouldn't walk--they had to drag her down the hall and they explained to me that that was why they had such slippery floors. She cried all of the way to the prep room.
After getting a promise for a phone call, I left to go home and retrieve that crazy pup. She was sitting nicely in our front yard when we got there and I told the guys to ignore her--she followed them right into the house and our front door was covered with these puppy prints from her trying to get in while we were gone. Arggghhhh. I told the guys that from now on, if she gets away, they are to come into the house and ignore her. She really loves getting people into any game and that was what the morning romp was all about.
I had physical therapy before joining Matthew for his work Christmas party. They added some weights to some of my exercises and that added a bit of pain to things. I am having a lot of trouble with my knee and despite their reassurances that this is typical and the result of the overwork by my knee after it was "resting on its laurels" when my hip wasn't working. I know that it is hurting as much, of not more than my hip and it is by far, the most annoying of the pair. After therapy and the delightful, wonderful ice packs, I stood up and could feel my knee swell and roll.
The party was simple, but fun. There was a nice, healthy luncheon with the mandatory table of Christmas cookies. (I took 3 and ate a half of one.) We played bingo and I actually won a couple of prizes--One was a snack set--a glass coke glass, a silly straw, a can of diet coke and a package of microwave popcorn. I gave that to Marshall for taking us, Matthew got two prizes as well. The other prize was a small set of kitchen items--a plastic basket with a set of measuring cups, a veggie peeler with a brush, and a plastic spatula. It was a shock to me because I never win anything, let alone twice!!
We went and took Matthew to work afterwards, picked up my husband and then took Marshall to work before we went to pick up Lady. She is now coming out of her grogginess and is really upset about the plastic e-collar (a cone) she is wearing around her neck. She keeps running into things and then won't move. She stands in one place like she just doesn't get it. She walked into the bunny cage and then stood there for at least 5 minutes with the cone pressed up against the cage. I don't know how to reassure her or give her peace. The doc doesn't want to take any chance that she will pull on her ear or damage the suturing. Right now, she is standing next to me, whining and staring at me--she expects me to take care of her and she doesn't realize that I am. At some point, she will need to lie down because I can see how groggy and tired she is. I will ask my basset hound friends if they have any advice on helping my girl with a doggy cone.
Tomorrow, I will weigh in and I also have lunch with my best friend. Micah has a morning detention for rolling his eyes and "being negative" the day I had surgery with a repeat performance on Monday of this week. He is pretty worked up about it because he has to miss bowling, but I think it will help him to remember it isn't acceptable before he does it again. (This mother notes that they told him they would cut him some slack the first time because I was having surgery and he was probably upset about that--but they used the fact that he did it on the 17th as a reason to punish him this time. I also didn't understand how they could tell by the way he looked that he meant to be disrespectful. Finally, the entire thing happened because the teacher was insisting that he work and he kept trying to tell her that he was done. Grr-rr, some adults need a different career. This is all stuff that I cannot say out loud or in his presence, because if you are a kid, you cannot act out with adults even if they may be wrong. Anyway, I am trying to do the best for him--and learning that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do and that there are people we have to be respectful of, no matter what. (Note to self, quit thinking about a certain principal.)
That's my day--it's been busy and hectic and heartbreaking and trying, and hopefully is leading to being satisfying too. One can sure hope, anyway!!
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
I have toned things down considerably and I may go even further, at leaset as far as work is concerned. I have been irritated and perseverating all day over something and I am not yet able to let it go.
On Sunday, when my husband and I were at school, we ran into the principal. We discussed this coming week and she told us that she hadn't gotten around to dealing with a sub for me and it wasn't in her plans this week. So you can imagine my surprise when I got a phone call this morning from the sub who started working for me YESTERDAY. (I had left a note with instructions for any sub to call me as soon as they read the note because I cannot leave connected daily plans for a sub given the work that I do.) I also have my sub folder here at home because as a rule, they NEVER get a sub for me.
Imagine my surprise a bit further when it was one of the two people that I told the principal in a lengthy face to face conference that I NEVER wanted to sub for me. I have a lot of reasons about this that includes previous work I did with her and more recently, when she subbed for another teacher and took the kids out to play, not letting them come to their lessons with me. Hmm, do you think she values my work much?
I was absolutely astounded. I wrote a very ugly email as therapy that I didn't send. Then, I wrote an honest email and asked how this could have happened and expressed my irritation at all of this. The woman couldn't keep track of the three strategies that I told her that all of my students need to work on and confused strategies with rote skills that aren't an appropriate match for what I did tell her. Furthermore, I hadn't received all of the updated reading scores until Monday and I haven't reorganized my second semester selection and intake. This sub told me that a teacher wanted her to take a couple of new students and I told her absolutely not to do that. She also will not have updated materials to match the students' most recent growth because the materials I use all belong to ME. (I don't get materials and supplies from the district, I have to buy my own.)
When the principal responded to me, she told me that she "needed to get somebody into that position right away" and that this awful woman (my words) had done good work for her before (Hmm, she didn't check with teachers on that!) She told me not to worry about things and that she would make sure there were no coloring sheets going on.
I am flabbergasted. This is the kind of crap (oops) that gives educators a bad name and creates long term problems. I sent my decent email to all of the downtown administrators as well as the principal. I guess I will shut the door and my availability to them on this. How much damage can they do in a month? I am so sorry for my kids and my volunteers--but this is far out of my hands.
I need to settle down, but like I said I have been upset the entire day over this. There are only two possible explanations for this--the principal either is dumb or intentionally made a decision against what I had requested. I don't think either is appropriate for someone in her role.
On a different note, I received two or three very positive emails about the workshops I led on Monday. Somebody knows that I am competent, capable, and caring about my students and what I do.
I'll try to calm down and let this go...but it isn't easy. I feel pretty violated.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
3 weeks ago today, I had my hip replacement surgery. I had already gotten up and walked to the restroom twice and was feeling fairly good. 2 weeks ago today, I was nursing a big fall. today, I went to work and did two conference presentations that were successful. Walking through the high school and managing materials was not easy though and after having had physical therapy, I have been nursing myself back to reality all evening. I realize that simple things are not easy right now--and the doctor told me I cannot work for a reason.
Lady is doing okay, but it is increasingly obvious that she is going to need another surgery when she sees the vet this Thursday or Friday. Her bandage is loosening up and you can feel the swelling coming back. My poor pup--who is 7 years old, is not going to like this and is not doing well. This isn't her fault. Nature doesn't like empty spaces and is filling this up with blood. I am so sorry for her.
I am also feeling sorry for myself--even walking was too much for me and I didn't think that was true. I believe it now.
I need to ice things again and I pray that my lower back quits aching. It is not helping matters. I learned my second lesson today about doing too much. I know that when I am semi-alone tomorrow that I will NOT try to clean up this room. I will be patient and wait for someone to help me.
I don't like it. I will do the right thing.
Sunday, January 06, 2013
I am blue which can go hand in hand with a lengthy recuperation period. I am working on it and I will do what I am supposed to do, but I sure feel sad that the things I love most are at arms' length.
Saturday is all about my basset baby. she has had this swelling on her left ear that has kept me alarmed all week since I noticed it on New Year's Eve. I don't know if I missed it because of my own issues or not. Lady is a 7 1/2 year old hound and at 60.7 pounds, she doesn't jump or climb a lot because the shape of her body and back won't safely allow it. She likes having her bottom scratched. so if I have been in a position to reach her, it has been giving her that loving scratch on her hind flanks. Anyway, I have been bugging the folks I live with to help me get her to the vet all week. they haven't been purposely defiant, we have only got one running car with another in the shop and the third waiting for that one to be finished.
Yesterday was my big day--to get what I wanted. I went to WW long enough to weigh in--I lost another 2.2 pounds which leaves me at 3.8 to lose to get back to where I was before my surgery. Then the guys helped to put Lady in the jeep for a ride to the vet. Lady is a typical, very stubborn basset and one thing she is stubborn about is her lack of interest in being in a vehicle. She cried all of the way to the vet, pottied twice on their lawn and then once in their lobby as well. She is a smart girl and knew she didn't want to be there.
Those big beautiful basset ears are not supposed to be about an inch wide, the puffiness looked pretty sore to me. The vet tech came and we did our best to weigh her--she kept trying to climb off of the table even when it was raised about 4 feet high. She wouldn't let him touch her ear, but she let him get a look while I held it gently. He knew a lot by looking. The vet came in and told us it could be one of two things--either an infection and the swelling was full of pus or a hematoma and it was full of blood. A basset's long flat ear is simply the front and back layer of skin that sit next to each other without anything in between as a rule. Usually when the vet sees this, it is a hematoma--but because we have this new wild child puppy of Mason's here who has taken a lot of pleasure in biting my sweet basset. I keep telling Lady that she needs to help teach that Catahoula pup to behave, but Lady has patiently tolerated a lot of abuse with the pup biting her on her ears, tail, and flanks. It looked like drainage from her lower ear, so the vet suspected infection.
Either way, this ear needed to be lanced and the vet took her in to do the minor surgery. Lady let out the most awful wail as the IV was put in place--of course, we weren't allowed to be in there. The entire procedure took about a half an hour. She did have a hematoma coupled with a yeast infection in her ear. She has a big bandage on that basset ear that makes her look more sad and pathetic than usual. We need to try and keep it in place to prevent that ear from doing what nature likes to do--which is to refill the space with more blood. If that happens, she will need a second procedure that will include several sutures all over her ear to hold it tight enough to prevent it from filling again.
Anyway, she spent the rest of the day being groggy and sleeping. She and I are nursing our hematomas together and she is a far better patient than I at this point of the game. I am doubtful that she will allow this big bandage to stay on her ear until her return to the vet on either Thursday or Friday, and I get to fuss over that. We will find what my sweet girl needs next then.
Personally, I am going to try and get the guys to unpack some of the boxes of things I brought home from the last school move. One of those boxes contains my "grabber," that I used after my lumbar fusion to do everything from getting dressed to retrieving dropped items. That may relieve some of my frustration. I am finishing my talk on teaching poetry writing to young children today so I can share one of my favorite activities and topics with other teachers tomorrow. (One of my sons-- most likely Marshall, will attend with me to do the leg work so I won't have any issues.)
I have to check on the weather today to see if I might go to church. It was snowing yesterday morning and I know it got quite cold during the night, so it depends on the iciness of parking lots and walkways if I will go out. I really love going to church, but I cannot take any chances of slipping on the sidewalks or in the parking lots. I am afraid of falling--especially on the ice. This last experience has made it worse for me as well.
I do hope that everyone has a wonderful Sunday. It is a special day for me--I like the opportunity to fill my spiritual cup. We have a new interim pastor starting this week who will work with us until our new pastor is free from her prior contract and joins us at the end of the month. Our church has some very special opportunities coming and I am looking forward to them.
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