Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Today has been a thoughtful, thinking, thinking, thinking day for me. I have been working on that job application. They will ultimately hire about 80 people from about 800 to 1000 applications. It will be a tricky competition. I know I am a very good candidate, but I am going to have to write it all correctly to be considered. I have to be thoughtful, undoubtedly.
I am noticing improvement in my hip and its functioning. I am so glad. I can get my own leg in and out of the car without help these days. I can do a lot for myself except for the shoe and sock on my right foot. I can walk through the store with only a couple of stops to sit and rest. I did a lot of new exercises in therapy today, but...
The therapists are new to me and I think they have a goal to have me walk unassisted. I didn't realize that until today when one of the guys attached a gait belt to me and we went for a walk with the cane. (I have two of my own canes and have used them in the past.) I got about the length of the gym and my back started heaving and that was that. I lost track of my rhythm and had to grab hold of the first available thing--a big exercise machine. He was kind and caring about things and waited out the spasms and helped me to walk back, realizing that I had started holding my breath and doing a number of inappropriate personal behaviors. He got me to my chair and he said for me to rest and to breathe... I was embarrassed and I don't know why. I wanted to walk--my hip is more than ready for that, but my back, grr-rr the problem of my adult life--got in the way.
The other thing that is bothering me is my right knee. It aches and it aches and it aches. It is constant and annoying. My PT finally suggested that I talk with the doctor about it because even he must understand that this isn't just using a part that has been sitting idle for a long time. I know that that isn't so because I know what my workouts prior to my surgery did and I didn't leave any part of my legs and unused. It is where my biggest source of discomfort is right now. (I am icing my knee as we speak.) My hip gets tired after I have done a lot of walking or whatever, but it comes back pretty quickly after I rest. My knee starts the day a bit rough and grows more and more painful all day long--and by now, heading towards bedtime, I am quite upset with the whole deal. Grr-rr, I had my hip replaced, my knee replacement was about 9 years ago or so and hasn't had much pain for some 8 years. I sure hate feeling this again for whatever reason.
That's about it for today. Lady is finding ways to mutilate that cone today and we have had to rescue her once and the cone twice, ha ha. I sure hope that the vet takes her out of it tomorrow or Friday rather than leaving her in it another week. She is getting pretty owly over it.
Take care of yourselves. Time is flying by so quickly that I'll be back at work before I know it.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Physical therapy is getting a bit more difficult as they let me do a bit more. I think I might be reading their concern about all of the pain in my right knee more like I am, even though they keep telling me that it is hurting because "it didn't have to work much when I was having all of my hip trouble, but now that my hip is doing more of its share of the work, my knee is having to work more as well." Quite honestly, I don't believe that because my leg has never been allowed to be babied and without movement going on. I have worked it and worked it, in the pool and out of the pool--with weights and without them, using bands and the stepper and so on. I also am a bit surprised that it feels so swollen after I leave therapy, especially after it has been babied and iced with relaxation time. I haven't had pain in that knee since a couple of months after its second replacement surgery. Before that, I had non-stop pain in that right knee for about 4 and a half years along with about 5 scopes and two very good docs trying to come up with a treatment that matched the fact that I was "only 43." It kind of scares me because that knee caused me to have more falls without provocation than anything in my life. It was then that I also became diagnosed with RSD--and if you don't know that nasty little disorder, check it out on our "Health conditions from A to Z" here on SP. It is awful. Around here, it is so rarely heard of that people have big fundraisers to help cover their expenses. I lived with it and all I can say is thank heavens that my ortho moved back here after having been in Columbus for over a year and that he teamed with my wonderful pain doc/ anesthesiologist to figure out what was causing me all of the grief.
I was catching up on my emails today and I may have an answer for myself professionally. Because I am a National Board Certified Teacher, I was sent an email about some positions with the Department of Education. Some are Washington Fellowships that are not going to work for me. The others are classroom fellowships that allow people to work half a day in their position and then the federal government pays them to be liasons between regular teachers and the Dept of Ed., sharing information both ways and advocating for what teachers want, know and believe. I think this might be a perfect response to what I need professionally and I have started working on my application. I need to have letters of recommendation from a couple of people--one in my district. I have sent a request to an assistant superintendent because obviously, my principal wouldn't be a good person for such a letter. I also asked the professor of the ELL classes I have just completed. She already got back to me and raved about how this position would be a great match for me and that she will have my letter early next week. I am excited because having a half day with my kids and a half day under anyone else's supervision sure sounds like a perfect position to give me what I need. Now I have to admit that they will have hundreds more applications than they need and it will be very competitive, but I am as good as anyone else and I am going to give it my best.
Lady either has to wear the cone until the end of this week or the end of next week--I'm not sure which. We cannot take a chance at her whipping up that poor ear again while it is trying to heal. I am so sorry for her. The only peace she seems to get is after she takes her antibiotics and goes to sleep. The only good that has come from all of this is that she has finally started fussing at Sadie for some of her naughty behaviors. Lady has not fussed at her this way ever, and Sadie is paying attention to my sweet hound when she lets out her sharp, loud bark for her monkeying around. Sadie has quit fooling around with the cone or with Lady as she tries to get comfortable. I'm proud of Lady for helping her people here with that ornery pup.
I have an appointment with my therapist again tomorrow--we shall see how he thinks I am doing. I am guessing the entire world is shocked that I haven't been inside the school since before the end of break. I am going to get my husband to go water my plants tomorrow and I am not going to do anything except to work on this resume and application. I hope that I can make it top-notch and have a chance at one of these coveted positions.
Thanks for hanging in there with me too!
Monday, January 14, 2013
Today was strictly routine...or as much as it gets around here. We started off at church and with yet another interim pastor. Our new pastor starts in about a month and I am looking forward to the kindness and consistency I have been used to in the past. We did have an ordained pastor today and got to have Communion. I have missed being on our regular schedule with Communion.
We went grocery shopping after church and (yay) no falling!! That went according to the plan. I spent the rest of the day sparking and reading. It's been quiet.
I don't think Lady is going to get used to this cone, poor girl. She keeps running into things and then is just confused by it all. I feel so badly for her. She is taking her meds without a problem, including the ear drops.
There's nothing much else going on--isn't that amazing?
Have a great new week.
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!!
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