Thursday, February 07, 2013
I cannot think much at this point and I am terribly grumpy. I don't much understand why I feel like this, but a lot of pain takes over and thinks and acts for me. I want to come back and I want to do it soon. I have things to do and I have things I don't want to do. If I think about it too much, I feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the pain and I want to cry about not being able to handle it and because it hurts everywhere. This is unbelievable and I don't care what anyone wants to call it, it is WRONG.
My skin hurts. The area around my upper left arm is aching and throbbing. My right knee is throbbing and the pain is sharp. My inner hip area is also aching. I am tired and I have a headache. My feet are tired and my right ankle and thigh are aching. My back started hurting around 10:30 (right after our earthquake drill. I refused to crawl under the table!! Hmm, I'd still be there because I couldn't get out.) My back shifted into aching with two burning areas, one on each side of my spine. My left shoulder is throbbing around the joint. This is too much pain, my friends.
I left work at 6:45 and went straight to the pool. I spent most of my time walking in the water and doing my stretching and endurance exercises, lot of kicking and stretching. Just before I left, I checked my work emails. There was one that offended me a great deal and I couldn't NOT respond to it. It was the meeting notes from yesterday. I had taken the second revision of my schedule to one of the groups of teachers whose children were getting the majority of my time and asked for them to help me fix it. In their meeting evaluation, under the cons, it said that I was frustrated with my schedule. "We feel your pain. However we would like to have the schedule completed so our kids can get the service they need and we can get our schedules going." I was so hurt by these words.
They feel my pain... Hmm, all they did with the schedule I asked for their help with was to circle the problems and give it back to me. The reason I had a problem at all is because 4 out of the 6 of them teach math at the same time for well over an hour and a half and I cannot use the bulk of the afternoon for their kids. I was trying to put the first grade children in the morning because I have longer blocks of time for lessons then and because we lose the afternoons one day a week because of early dismissal days. I was trying to make things as good as I could for meeting the children's needs.
Anyway, I wrote a very nasty response and deleted it. (Personal form of therapy, lol) Then I wrote another somewhat nasty response and deleted it. Finally, I wrote a more controlled response and let them know that they offended me and that I was trying to do the best for my kids that I could. I also pointed out that I serve more children than anyone else in my role and that we have the only school in which kindergarten kids get service and have an intervention under their belts before they even get to first grade. (That helps us to be able to get kids special help if they need it!) I told them that I do my best and that it was cruel for them to write such a thing, they know nothing about my pain.
Did I over-react because of my pain and fatigue? Was I out of line? I have far too much on my mind to be treated in such a nasty way by the people who are benefiting the most from my work next to the children themselves, of course. They cause me the problems and then poke fun at me before they act like I am causing them trouble??? I was offended to the nth degree. There was no reason for them to do that or say that or anything.
Anyway, it all comes back to the fact that I am hurting. They added in some emotional hurt to the physical hurt. I am also too tired from working these 10 plus hour days and trying to sort out a lot of nonsense that is all around me. I am worried about my kids right now and I simply want to do the best work I can do. Anytime someone adds in stress in any way isn't right. Their words--"We can feel your pain..." just insult me and go through my head over and over. I think if any of them had an ounce of sensitivity in their beings that they wouldn't say anything like that about me in such a public way. Of course, there is always the possibility that I am over-reacting, so I am going to let you all share your thoughts.
As for me, I haven't done much sparking--so I'm off to do that now. Take care of yourself and keep on being as kind and thoughtful as you are! You are all so caring and kind--and awesome!!
Thursday, February 07, 2013
I went to work today and yesterday. This is a mixed variable to me. I love, love, love my work when I am doing my job without any unreasonable interference. However, interference is what I am getting.
I left for work this morning leaving my lemonade sitting on the table. (My current beverage to choice is sugar free lemonade and I cannot get it just anywhere...) I had plenty of water, so it should have been okay, but it set the tone of how the day worked. I am amazed when some little and trivial thing can set the tone of things. I know that I allowed that to happen.
I have almost completed "undoing" the things my sub did that were unacceptable. She made my job as easy for herself as she could by ignoring the lessons and directions I gave her. Instead, she went to Pinterest and found lessons to use and taught them to all 14 of my reading groups. Hmm, the same lesson for first grade, second grade, and third grade readers. Even though they all need support, they do not need the same thing. They made lots of cute little things that they spent time coloring and cutting out. (As a teacher, I know how to do those very time consuming activities with pretty little products as outcomes, I have always done my job as believing it was my job to help my children get their reading up to grade level as fast as I could so that they didn't have to come out of their regular class for support. Maybe that is flawed thinking, but it has worked well for my students for a very long time.)
Most of that doesn't matter, but I have a philosophy that above all, I can "do no harm" to any of my fragile children. They all know that their reading is not what most of their peers can do and I think they need to be encouraged and to believe that they will get there (and they will because I know that with very few exceptions, all children can read.) My sub created these books with the children that took her a bit of time and inside each book was a random list of some words and some letters and letter chunks that each child explained to me that "I don't know." I questioned them about what the books were for and virtually none of them could tell me. A few told me that they were supposed to "practice them." When I asked them to describe how that looked, not one of them could tell me. The telling moment came in one of my groups when two of the little girls at the table were bragging how they only had "this many" (about 3 or 4) items written in their book and the little boy sitting next to them had at least 3 pages of words in his book. His little sad face told the tale as he quickly closed his book and tucked it into his basket. I was so angry on his behalf. When a child has difficulty with something, I always stop whatever I am doing and teach them how to work with it--how to figure out the word or sounds or I share the fact with them that it is a word they have to practice after we try it out for those true sight words. I sure don't single anyone out for what they don't know. This is one thing that I am going to make sure that somebody "higher up" knows about because as I said, the rest of the issues were based on what this sub didn't know or have skills to do in my position--but hurting a child's feelings in such a cruel way goes beyond ignorance, in my book.
Yesterday, I tackled rewriting my schedule and I worked on it for hours. I tried this and that and finally had what I thought was a breakthrough and solved it. However--I made a mistake and scheduled three kids during their PE and music time, which isn't a choice. I went back and muddled with it and no matter what I tried, it wouldn't work. I finally gave it up and sent a message out to everyone saying that i couldn't see children again on Thursday due to problems with creating my new schedule. I stayed at work until 6 on Tuesday and couldn't do it again on Wednesday because I had physical therapy followed by therapy after school.
As for my own well-being, I didn't get to eat until 3:00 on Tuesday and by the time my husband came to pick me up a little after 4, I could barely move. I was feeling pain in my new hip along the inside which I had only felt a few random times previously. My back was virtually on fire. MY left knee and right shoulder were both screaming at me. My husband helped me wrap up my details and took me home to get into my swim suit and I went to the pool to treat my aching and sore body. I didn't workout hard, but I walked in the water in every direction I could and I did some stretching and strengthening exercises before I took a long, hot shower and dried off in the sauna. It felt good in the moment, but i didn't have any long term relief like I am so used to getting from those activities.
I came home and tried to get comfortable with ice bags on some of my really obnoxious pains and parts. It took me a while to get to sleep and quite honestly, I couldn't even do a thing--read or spark or talk--at this point. All I could do was feel miserable and that is how I woke up. That was kind of scary. Wednesday was similar except after PT and therapy, I simply came home to do nothing. My hands were hurting and my arms were throbbing too--that all seems to be fibromyalgia pain. I'd say that I am in a full-fledged flare to go along with a lot of joint and post-op pain. Nice, it will keep me on my toes, I guess.
I talked at length with my therapist about pain. It is taking all of my energy to deal with it right now. It is overpowering everything that I do and care about. I can almost smell it and I don't know what to do about it. I am weary of it and I am tired. I fell asleep early (after 11) last night and woke up at 2:30 this morning. I didn't get my things for work ready like usual and will need to get some help when others wake up around here. I have taken my morning pain meds already and hope I can take a short nap in a while.
I am trying to eat correctly, but I am not doing as well as I should be. I hope it comes back to me soon or I won't be losing the weight I gained after surgery or get to my goal. I am not sure I should care about it while I am trying to combat this pain and these issues right now--I'm not sure that I have the energy to try. I decided last night that I won't go to the pool on the three days a week that I have PT.
On the home front, this pain has also come close to interfering in my ability to be a mother. Megan called me from work Tuesday to let me know she was having horrible back pain. I was almost outraged that anyone would come to me complaining about their back. I told her to try ice or the hot tub at the fitness center and she was quick to tell me that she had already done that. Quite honestly, I was thinking that she is 24 and that she should just handle it. However, I also thought about that pulmonary embolism from a couple of years ago and told her to call the doctor. She did that, but they didn't get back to her until Wednesday morning. She got an early afternoon appointment. She had a few tests that we are waiting for the results but we already know a source of her pain and problem. She has shingles. I didn't think someone her age could get that condition, but because her immune system is depressed because of the coumadin she takes to thin her blood and prevent a repeat embolism. She broke out in a small rash on her back on Saturday evening and on Sunday, it had spread to her tummy. I thought it was hives--she has always been prone to a few allergies. It turns out that you need antibiotics within three days of getting shingles (the rash) or it is too late to be treated. Our doctor put her on tramadol for the pain and will see her again next week. We are waiting for lab tests, the check for kidney stones, and the results of her back x-rays. And of course, I am feeling guilty for my initial reaction to her complaints--thank heavens they were only my thoughts, but I know what I was thinking. It was because I was so wrapped up in all of the pain I was having and it interfered greatly in my most important role, being a mother.
I am going to try to rest a bit more because I have to tackle that schedule this morning. My son is coming to work to spend a day with me to help me restock the kids' book baskets and to do bending and lifting that I know is beyond my limits. I am so weary and I don't like the way I feel. I will figure out a way to manage it. I think I will make a call to my pain doc today. I have an appointment in just over a week with my rheumy as well. Between the two of them, I hope to find my way to some relief.
Marissa came home from show choir practice almost in tears tonight because she has been told that they want her to be able to do well in the musical and her senior show choir show. They want her to be able to go to Dallas without a wheel chair too. They think she should give her role in the play to her understudy and she really is hurting about this. She is going to do it, but she is so unhappy that she is lashing out at the choir director who she is such good friends with. (He goes to our church.) I am waiting for her anger about this broken foot and possibly for it to come my way because she was helping me to get clothing when she had her accident. I cannot help her with any of this, but I advised her to consider that if she started walking on that foot against the doctor's advice and the fact that she could permanently damage her foot and/or suffer with it for the rest of her life. That's a lot for a 17 year old who is certainly living for the moment--but she is a bright young lady and I think she is finally understanding that she needs to make some important, but difficult decisions. I am so sorry this is going on, but it is beyond me as much as Megan's shingles.
I have a lot on my plate, my friends. Interference in my day to day life is being overshadowed by out of control pain and the actions of others. My children need me to be on my "A game" right now with at least 3 of them in a crisis kind of situation. I did have one success--I just opened an email from Micah's special ed teacher and the principal and teachers have agreed to accommodate Micah's issues and cut his written assignments in half. This teacher would have done it without being told, because I work to the needs of each of my individual students--all 60+ of them--but I know that I may be the exception in some places.
Interference can be a good thing when it is helpful or enriches what is going on. Unfortunately, it is not helping me right now, in this place and at this time. I am not sure how I am going to handle today, but I am going to try to take care of me in the process. I will call my pain doc and I will take a break sometime today. I will muddle through and make this schedule. I will go easy and be kind to myself. I will pray for those I love and care about to help them in dealing with the extremes in their worlds. I will not be an interference to anyone.
Very gentle hugs,
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
This has been quite a day.
I started out with my ortho. As I knew, my hip is doing well and is right on track in the healing process. Then, he examined my knee and we did a lot of painful x-rays. they showed "no problems" with my prosthesis nor no extra fluid on my knee. He believes that I need to work on strengthening my quads. I totally disagree with that because until I had my hip replacement on December 17, I was doing daily strengthening exercises for my knees, hip and lower back. I got them from my physical therapist to do in the pool and we met from time to time when I needed to ramp things up. I am back to day one because between my new hip and the natural restrictions in movement and whatever is going on in my knee--I cannot do any exercise I was doing faithfully in December. I CAN go back to what I did when I began and I have been trying to wiggle around and move anything up a level here or there and except for being able to use a bigger noodle, I am able to do 2 sets of the early exercises I learned over 3 years ago. I am frustrated, but if I have to start there, so be it. I CAN AND I WILL EXERCISE EVERY DAY.
I haven't eaten like usual today--I have eaten my fruits but neglected protein and instead munched a small handful of potato chips that shouldn't even be here and a half dozen chocolate covered caramels that were left from party treats. I CAN EAT HEALTHY AND WILL DO SO WITH MY VERY NEXT MEAL.
I went for the meeting at my son's school and it ended up being a long and futile activity that I just ended with my parting comments. I missed my PT today because the meeting was 2.5 hours long. I have tried to make them understand that Micah has a diagnosis of Asperger's, AD/HD, and Depression and that it is critical that his assignments match his needs. It is happening that way in every class but English and that teacher is single-handedly destroying his self-concept and his desire to work hard and succeed. He is getting more written work to do that Marissa who is taking college level/ credit English and I think that is odd, given that he has moved out of special education from last year and is in a transitional class. I am not going to go away on this--it is my job to advocate for Micah. I WILL MEET THE GOAL OF BEING THE BEST PARENT THAT I CAN BE. I will get this fixed and that is that.
I am returning to work tomorrow. I called and spoke with the principal today and I will try my best to not be overwhelmed or frustrated tomorrow. I expect to have too much to do and not to know quite where to start. I expect that I will need non-student time to get a lot of things done and updated. I am not going to work a lot of long hours or stay until unreasonable hours because the pool needs me. I WILL TAKE THINGS IN STRIDE WITH PATIENCE AND A SMILE ON MY FACE FOR EACH LITTLE CHILD I WORK WITH.
I had to get all excited to get the fact through to my family that I won't be here tomorrow and that I am going back to work. It was ridiculous that I had to ask for help with some mundane things, but I am going to get what I need. My family has functioned well with me working for a long time--27 plus years--and this will pass. I WILL REESTABLISH HEALTHY ROUTINES FOR MY FAMILY.
6 weeks off of work has been a lot, but not a lifetime. I haven't been working since before Christmas so my return to work is my new year. I may be 5 weeks behind everyone else, but I am good, clever, hard-working and smart. I CAN DO THIS AND I WILL. COUNT ON IT.
When I get on the scale this week, it will not show a heavier number than last week. I CAN DO THIS TOO.
After over 3 years at Spark People and losing 140 plus pounds, I know how to do what I need. I am capable and when I am determined, nobody and nothing--not even my wonky body--can stop me!!
I CAN DO THIS--Feel free to watch and to join me because success is around EVERY corner!!
Monday, February 04, 2013
I have learned a bit about football tonight, and the big game was pretty interesting--especially after the lights went out. I have never "gotten" football, but I know now why part of it has been confusing. Mitchell is a pretty good teacher. Unfortunately, I probably won't attend to another such game until next year's Super Bowl--so chances are that he will get to teach me again.
We had our first regularly scheduled Sunday Communion service today since Micahel retired. We usually have Communion on the first Sunday of each month and then for special Sundays like Easter and World-Wide Communion Sunday. We have had several people in charge of our "pulpit" since Michael retired and if they aren't a full-fledged minister, they cannot administer Communion. We have two more weeks until our new pastor starts, but the current interim pastor who we have can do communion. It felt as if things were coming back to a more normal situation today than they have in many months. Our new pastor is a young lady and she comes with her husband who works for our denomination, traveling for them during part of each week. It will be an exciting time for our church to get settled in with a new pastor. Michael has been on my mind a lot lately and we haven't been in contact for a while--I have prayed that he is doing okay and hasn't taken on far too much at the beginning of his retirement with his interim position combines with his other interim position as director at QCAIR (Quad Cities Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees) and the part time position he has had at a local community college teaching psychology. I suspect he is more like me than I ever considered with taking on too much because it seems like it is the right thing to do.
We had our special event that used to be called the "Souper Bowl of Caring" but I think that that was changed for legal reasons. They now call it our "Descending Dove Diner" with a 50's theme--people donate food or money for our food pantry in return for a diner-style lunch. I over did it some, but I enjoyed the pork sandwich a lot. The choir did a lot of 50's music--Elvis stuff and "to the Hop" and "Lollipop" and the like. It was a fun time to visit with a lot of people and to relax a bit.
Then, we came home to get ready for Micah's party. I had gifts to wrap, a cake to pick up, my meds to pick up as well, some chores around the house to get finished and some food to prepare. I had a lot of help--never the same person for any two activities in a row, but we got it all done. It was fun to eat and watch the ball game and talk and laugh together--all of my kids were here. Mitchell came but his girlfriend was at home sleeping after a longer than usual day at church so she could go to work at her third shirt job. That shift for her sure interrupts some family activities that I would like to include her in, but we respect her need to sleep. People who work third shift need to sleep at the same time every day, and until she can negotiate a different shift, this is the way that it will have to be.
Anyway, the party was fun--but I would be fibbing if I didn't say the highlight of my evening was watching the "Puppy Bowl" on Animal Planet. That always cracks me up. There were three Catahoula Leopard Dog (mix) puppies. Sadie, our growing by leaps and bounds puppy who belongs to Mason, is a Catahoula Leopard Dog. I had never heard of the breed in my entire life until he begged to have her--and promised to take care of her (cough, cough), so I researched the breed. It is an interesting breed with a long background. She is a sweet puppy, but big and boisterous with my limbs often getting int he way of her activity. Her head is even with our table now and she is scamp enough to climb up and investigate that which is of interest to her. She is intelligent and loving and busy, busy, busy--spending the majority of her waking hours chewing things--like toys, flip-flops, the remote control. the doggie brush, Little Frankie (our pug) and anything else that gets her attention. She is training the people in our home to put their things away far better than I have ever been able to do.
As for my and the title of this entry... I am aware that my recovery period is not over due to some calendar date, but I am also aware that I should be well on my way to being recovered from the surface wounds from my surgery. I believe my hip is in rock-solid shape and has healed well. I do not have all of my range of motion, strength, endurance, or balance back, but now that I have been released to go to the pool, I will work on this each day and get it back. I can do that.
I am extremely tormented by my right knee and I wore the brace today with a bit of improvement while I was running errands. It is definitely more secure with it on. I plan to have it examined and hopefully x-rayed and the like tomorrow when I see my ortho. I hope to be released to return to my job because it is time for me to get back into the swing of things. I am not wired to sit around and "get better." I am wired to help others and share my gifts with the children who need them.
I am also growing more and more weak in my left shoulder. I have not been able to lift my left arm today. I have been aware of soreness, but it is logical soreness brought on by using my arm strength as I walk with my walker to relieve that right hip--and now my right knee from bearing all of my weight. I seem to be damaging my body in a lot of ways without even trying.
So--I have a lot of ground to cover in my recovery. but my official 6 weeks ends tonight. I am moving on, dealing with the many issues that my body has given me over and over again the past many years. I can do this and have done it with dignity. I hate having constant pain and issues with walking and my back, knee and shoulders, but it is a part of my life. I will apologize for singing this same song, but I will also thank you for listening and giving me a forum to speak what is on my mind. I have to shield my family from some of my whining because some of them have been through so much with me, my husband in particular. I cannot imagine what it is like to sit and wait through surgery after surgery. I cannot imagine what it is like to watch someone you care about go through one thing after another. I almost fell coming down the single step off of our front porch this morning. My walker veered to the left when I was moving straight ahead and it got away from me. Fortunately, my son Marshall was behind me and he caught me. It took my breath away and scared me greatly. It took a while for me to shake it off. I had let out some squeal and my husband--who is 66 years old, came running around the jeep in a panic. I can only think of the fall I had a month ago and it being on his mind, with me getting bundled up on an ambulance and taken away. No, I cannot imagine what it would like to be in his place and having to deal with my constant issues.
All said, this has been a great day in so many ways. I love time with my family and sharing with them. It was the best kind of a day--part of today's scripture was Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13. That helped me to meditate about what is most important to me--loving my family, my friends and my spark friends, my students, others who need my help, people who help me in many ways--at the restaurant, the grocery store, in the doctor's offices and so on. Love is the big thing and it cannot be about anything but the person I love and that relationship. I am so glad that we meditated on that scripture today. It is an old friend in so many ways, but it was a refreshing way to consider what is important to me.
Next week, we will be having a special service at the end of the church service for married couples who wish to to renew or refresh their vows. I think that will be a wonderful touch for us after we just celebrated our 25th anniversary a few months ago. I am looking forward to that as a way to really celebrate Valentine's Day.
Take care my friends. Take time to consider those who you love and their places in your heart, your life, and your world. I am guessing that you, too, will realize how much that they come before everything else. You will also realize that with love, you can handle anything and do what you need to do.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
I'm having a blue day. It has been colder than cold here--wind chills of -50. Schools were on a 2 hour late schedule because of the frigid weather. I made a parental decision to keep them home today because yesterday (when it was some 40 degrees warmer), the buses had trouble keeping the fuel from turning to gel. I couldn't send my daughter on crutches to school when it is like this and I am even more frightened to send my son on a bus that might become disabled somewhere between here and there. That made my older daughter angry with me, accusing me of babying them and letting them "get away with everything." Grr-rr. I am the parent and I make the best decisions I can at the moment. I told her so as well and she said that I never let them just stay home--and that isn't true, I can remember a few times that the weather gave me reason to make the same decision.
I had a rough time at therapy today. I couldn't lift my right leg off the floor and I couldn't bend it either. My knee is totally acting out. I walked three laps around th egym today without a squeak of trouble in my hip--but it was a good thing that the PT had a belt on me because my knee kept giving out and it finally got ugly. I am totally frustrated over this--I keep reliving my knee history and I cannot go back there. I cannot sit comfortably or lie comfortably or find any position that gives me peace. I finally, for the lack of sleep fell asleep in the car today for 2 hours. My husband had them drive around so I could keep sleeping because he knows how awful it has been for me with this knee.
I went to the pool tonight and I realized that I have to start way back at the beginning, doing the exercises I did when I first had water therapy. I expected to lose some ground, but I didn't expect to lose everything. This situation has had me crying three times in two days--once for pain and twice for frustration. I will regain my ground, but I am fearful over what is going on with my body.
The nasty cold weather is certainly not helping me, adding to my stiffness and achiness. I am in a full blown fibromyalgia flare that has been coming on all week long. However, this thing with my knee is above and beyond my regular pain that I live with every day of my life. I am hating this and need something--what?? Relief and answers, I think would help. I see my ortho on Monday and I am guessing he isn't going to care a lot for revisiting knee pain with me. That is what brought him to me and my right knee had 3 scopes, 2 total knee replacements, syn-visc injections, cortisone injections, 2 manipulations under anesthesia until they realized I had RSD. I have been to the wars and back with this and I am nervous as much as in pain. I wish I understood why this has surfaced, of all things that could have gone on.
Anyway, maybe tomorrow when it is a bit warmer and I have some rest and maybe even some peace--maybe then, I will feel better. Thanks for listening to all of my whining today. It's been one of those days!
Get An Email Alert Each Time ENUFF81020 Posts