Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I saw my rheumy yesterday and he did as I expected, defining the majority of my pain as being from my fibromyalgia. However, he also noted the issues in my knee and my shoulder and told me getting follow-up diagnoses and treatments on both of them is important. He also gave me an injection of Kenalog, a corticosteroid that is used for overall inflammation and pain. I think it is starting to work because some of my yucky "everywhere" pain is gone. The downside to things is that when he examines me, he checks all of the tender spots for fibro and they hurt for about three days afterwards. It is always a problem for me and unfortunately, all of my sensitive spots are almost always inflamed.
We had sleet and snow yesterday that cut loose big as we returned from the doctor's office. I spent the evening working on some paperwork and getting this and that done. I was a bit productive. We had some unpleasant excitement later in the evening that I am not free to talk about right now, that has increased my stress level about 100-fold. My shoulder has some sort of damage which is far more clear now that some of the more fuzzy pain has let up. I can feel a bone move around in the inner front of my left shoulder. It pops in and out and is quite painful. It will be my job to keep it from giving me sharp and excessive pain until I see my ortho on the second Friday in March.
Today was one of my better days at work after I got there late for a pretty important meeting. Things went well--I am teaching my lessons again and things are almost all organized again. There are lots of darling young children reading books with me at the reign, holding them accountable and keeping them reading. That's a good thing.
I have an appointment to discuss my "IGP" with the principal tomorrow. She wants to know how I am doing on meeting my goals. It should be fun--I am doing fine with my goals, but there are a couple in there that involve her and me attending a conference and visiting a couple of schools around to see how they are handling programs like mine. I went out of my way to design my goals to actually fit my duties rather than to fill in a lot of "popular stuff" or "easy stuff." This is a new evaluation system for our district and it is important to me to do it with integrity. She signed off on it in October, but I could tell that she wasn't really reading it. It should be an interesting meeting.
Marissa and the rest of her Madrigal group are at the local minor league hockey game singing the National Anthem. She is having such a fun senior year with so many performances and recognitions. She leaves for Dallas in less than a month to sing in the National High School Choir Director's Choir. I sure hope that she gets a good report from her ortho on Tuesday so that she can walk without crutches for her trip. We shall see how things play out for her. I know that her pain has let up. That's progress anyway.
Have a great week, one and all!
Saturday, February 16, 2013
I must admit that I am sure glad this is a three day weekend. I am exhausted physically and mentally. It was really nice to get to WW last evening, I lost a pound. I haven't recorded it here and I'm not sure I recorded that big four pound gain from two weeks ago. I should get my records updated. I have noticed that SP doesn't give you recognition for losing weight that was weight you gained recently anyway, but I do like my records to be correct. Somehow they quit showing my earliest weight loss records here anyway. Maybe it's because I have been around for so long.
Our Ash Wednesday Service had some moving readings in it. It included a collection of poetry and short pieces of prose about the life of Christ and there was a litany that started with "Feast" and "Fast." I took it to school with me to have to help me through difficult times, so I cannot share it word for word right now--it was kind of long for that any way. It had phrases like "Fast on complaining. Feast on finding the good around you." There were around 20-25 of these phrases and each one was touching and thought-provoking, dealing with how we treat others and approach life in a positive way. I want to make copies of it and have it around me--I think it might be one of those wonderful "words to live by" quotes that I want in my presence all of the time.
I think the example I gave, which isn't a direct quote, but is certainly the essence of one of the pairs of phrases is on my mind because I have been so whiny and difficult lately. I am sure that the tone of my blogs along with my conversations with my family and friends have been pretty down and I need to get my thoughts in a new place. It will not be easy because constant, chronic pain is difficult. I have lived with it for years and years and years. However, maybe it will help me to try and hold it at bay some. I think it can't hurt to try in any case--if I'm not successful, I can at least feel good about the fact that I gave it my best effort. It also won't be easy when it hurts to keyboard and it hurts to move in almost any direction with most of my body parts, but I think I can let work on this might help me with my other goals. It's my plan as I work on my body and wait for some help with my physical needs.
I think my pain doc had his shoulder surgery and I am going to wait for him to return to work before i go for an appointment. I am going to call on Monday and find out when he will be available. One of the other docs in his office is not so good and once you have had the kind of care my doc gives, it is not right or at least easy to settle for that. I have an appointment with my rheumy on Monday and he certainly may have some insight on my issues. He often finds fibromyalgia to be a big culprit when I hurt all over--I hope that he looks deeper into all of this as well.
It must be time for some rest. I just held my daughter accountable for some things she was saying and an unpleasant confrontation occurred. She always reads that as I am picking on her and nobody else. She doesn't seem to be here or pay attention when I am somebody else's mother around here and have to do the more unpleasant tasks of parenting. I am sorry that she feels that way right now, but I am not going to allow any of my children to engage in unfairly picking on another. That is my job. Great ending to a less than desirable week. The coming week will be new and improved. Starting with a holiday after our first Sunday with our new pastor will get it off on the right foot.
Take care my friends!
Thursday, February 14, 2013
This day has been weird. I know that between pain and feeling ill that I am not up to stuff. However, there is a lot going on around me. I noticed today that many people are grumpy and overwhelmed. I was feeling particularly sorry for at least three teachers today.
My doctor's office today called me and told me that they are running cultures of my urine and they found that I have some bacteria growing that indicates the antibiotics they prescribed for me might not be able to make me better. Then the nurse told me that they are waiting for the final results and that they will call me and let me know what we need to do. Then she questioned me to find out if I am doing better. I didn't think that made sense after only two doses of the antibiotic anyway, and I told her the truth that I had another problem in the night. She assured me that they would let me know.
I saw my therapist tonight and he told me the things I already know about being over-extended. He did tell me to keep one word in my thoughts and that that word should be one. He thinks I should remember that I can only do one thing at a time and that I can only worry about one thing at a time. He is right and I am going to need to select that one thing carefully. I can be happy when one of my kids learns one new sight word or reads one book successfully or does one thing better each day. I need to have that same respect for myself and what I need.
I picked up a paper from the doctor on weight loss and although there were no new ideas or secrets on it, I was struck by the first thing on the page--eat three meals a day. This is the first place I fall down. I am barely getting time for one piece of fruit in the morning and I don't get lunch until after 3:00. I'm sure this is not helping me in any category. I will get a full breakfast in each day. I am having a lot of trouble in the morning because when I wake up to get ready for work, I am so stiff and sore that it takes me well over a half an hour for my pain meds to work and for me to get moving at all. That throws me for a loop unless I have been awake all night. The past few days, I have waken up at around 2:30 and then I fall asleep sometime around 5:00 which makes waking up even more difficult. I sure hope that we can get to the bottom of my pain again so that I sleep sometime. I was getting in a morning nap while I was home after surgery, but that is no longer a choice.
I have a lot to accomplish to get my self-care act together. I am intelligent and capable so these things that should seem easy, should be accessible. They are not easy right now, given all of my issues and stress, but I am not giving up nor am I giving in. Just like each day is a new start on our spark goals, it is a new start on these goals. I will get back to where I was in December with caring for myself and feeling good. I can and will get this done, I think my existence depends on it.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I've had a tough time lately and after a lot of manipulating, I got in to see my PCP today. I had a Friday appointment that they needed to change and I couldn't get in to see him until March 11. I knew this couldn't wait and I called them back to find out who I should go see and when they told the doctor why I needed to see him, he made me a late appointment for today. When people did some canceling, my appointment got miraculously changed (with my blessing) to the same time as my husband's appointment for his shingles vaccine.
Anyway, last week I started having a few new symptoms to go along with my wild, out of control pain. I had a lot of issues with needing to urinate and on Thursday, I had a potty accident at home. On Friday, I had one at school--and I was extremely humiliated. I had a couple more and yesterday, I had a brief one at work, unlike the Friday episode where I had to call the principal and my husband for clothing, canceling an hour of classes while they also cleaned and disinfected my classroom. Yesterday, it was my clothing and I had spares after Friday. Arghhh and yuck.
My pain has had a couple of additions as well. My left shoulder is hurting so much that I cannot even move my left arm to pick paper up or push open a door. My left arm has had some shooting pains and both of my hands--but far more intensely in the left--have had bizarre pain that includes tingling and numbness along with pain that won't let up. I just sit here with my hands on my abdomen doing nothing to keep them from moving. It has been awful.
All of this is in addition to the pain in my knee and the increased pain in my right hip since I went back to work. It hurts when I try and get in the jeep again and it hasn't done that since about my second week post-op. Anyway, I am at my wit's end. All of this pain and this additional health stuff added to the stress at school is a bit much for me to deal with. I realized today that having 68 primary students a day is too many, but I don't know what to do to ease things up for me while taking care of our kids.
Anyway, after seeing my doctor today, he did a urine test to be followed by a culture after he did my exam. My BP was still okay--124/70. He decided that we needed to get to the bottom of things. He is sending me to a urologist for a bladder scan. He added physical therapy for my shoulder to my current physical therapy orders. He made an appointment with my ortho to check this shoulder out--I know I felt it pop out of place and back into place this morning when I was cleaning out my bunny's cage. I forgot to mention that to him. He is also sending me to a neurologist to do an EMG of my left arm and hand, looking for something that might be indicating a pinched nerve or something that might explain my hand pain. I have three more appointments on a schedule that is stretched to capacity.
My urine test came out showing that I had an infection, so I have antibiotics. He also prescribed something called Detrol LA to ease up on the urges and the lousy feelings that are making me a nervous wreck right now. I originally thought that the problem was because I am so slow right now in walking from one place to another, but that isn't it. I have been going to the bathroom a lot more frequently for a while, but I didn't think much about it until all of these problems came up. I sure hope that the antibiotics solve something here.
I almost have my classroom back as something of my design. I have been working on motivating all of my children--former and new, to the job at hand. I have upgraded all but five of their book baskets and have been so lucky that Marshall has come to school twice to help me to do the physical aspects of that job. He has been a blessing. I have overcome all of the sub's inappropriate lessons and put more important things in place for and with the children. We have looked at their goals and why they are with me. We have talked about why they are in my class and my goal of setting them free because they have grown to be good readers. That is something that I am not sure I talked with them about before, but they are clear on what coming to me is all about now.
I think I have given up on my colleagues behaving in a decent manner. A couple of them are expert bullies and there seems to be no protection from the office since that is the way it operates as well. I am not going to be chased away and I am going to continue being the conscience around our place. I finally fought back against their insensitivity with the email I sent. I am working hard to help out with building needs and am going to be tied up for weeks with our BIT (Building Intervention Team) meetings. I have led this groups for a long time and it was allowed to sit and wait until I returned. Funny thing, the office person did everything to take everything out of my hands except scheduling meetings but people expect me to keep things going and to help with their needy children. I think they know what is needed. Finally, I have a nightmare of a schedule. I create my own schedule based on the schedules of those around me. Each teacher creates their classroom schedule after receiving their scheduled assignments for lunch, PE, and music. From that point, the teacher has to meet the state's required number of minutes for each of the content areas of instruction. There are typically extra minutes left int he day and the teacher fits in library time and other needs. I have never seen people so rigid that they cannot even give me 5 extra minutes off of math, especially when they are using well over the prescribed amount of minutes. (Math and guided reading lessons are the only times I am not allowed to take students for reading support except for their time in specials--PE and music.)
I recognize that there are things going on with my body that are not right, am seeking out help, and will do what is needed to feel better as soon as I can so I can get on with my life and the things I need to do. I have added more protein into my diet these days, but the thing is I need to get this in at breakfast and lunch time rather than not getting any eating done until 3 in the afternoon. I know that we need to eat regularly to keep that nourishment coming all day long. I just cannot get my time between the morning rush around here and the schedule I am following all day long. I am adding in bathroom breaks as I need them and often which is making the eating time harder to fit in. I suspect that this makes me even more weary.
I am trying the best that I can to get my life back. This isn't easy and I know there are problems with the way I am handling things. I also don't quite see a way out because there are so many wonderful children involved in all of this. They must get the help and support they need and I am their best hope, in spite of anything the other adults in our building do.
"Thanks so much for the support and caring you all give me. I read and cherish every response and comment. I think about them and use them in many ways.
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!!
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