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A Test for the Teacher

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Well folks, it's been three weeks since my last blog post. There is a reason for my silence. I have been gradually re-entering my usual, every-day, normal life. I've got to be honest here, I've been worried about how I would handle this time since I had my accident. Now that the weekend before I go back to work full-time is here, I am still feeling unsure and worried about how this is all going to go.

In the past two weeks, I have worked three full time days. Two of the days were all-day meetings. I had worked at home for five full days to prepare for these meetings. They were mentally challenging, but I thought I would be physically fine, since I was sitting all day. Surprisingly, I was both mentally and physically exhausted afterwards. I felt that it was difficult to drive the two miles home. The third day at work, I had a morning meeting, and then worked in my classroom in the afternoon. The afternoon was more typical of a regular day. I sat and worked at my desk and at my teaching table, but also got up every few minutes and walked to various places in the room and the school. By 2:00, I was having throbbing pain in my leg and feeling fatigued. I stayed until 4:00, and was really tired by the time I went home. I put my leg up at home, but it continued to throb well into the night.

Frustratingly, during the past week and a half, I also contracted an infection. The infection was not in my leg. I had fever, chills, cramping, general malaise; and required a week's worth of antibiotic. My body does not love medications, and antibiotics usually make me feel as poorly as the infection. I did not exercise beyond my twice-a-week therapy sessions during the infection. I just didn't feel up to it.

On the positive side, my therapy continues to go very well. My leg is able to bend to its full capacity again. I am pain-free in the knee when I get up in the morning. Now that my knee is feeling better, I was noticing that the ankle on the bad leg was bothering me. The therapist informed me that I sprained the ankle during the fall, and it was inflamed. She has given me two treatments on the ankle, and it is feeling like it is calming down. I am using all the leg machines at the gym now, and increasing the weight I am moving. I have been riding the bike for three miles with resistance now.

Twice this week, in an effort to regain my strength and to prepare for returning to work, I went shopping. I needed to get my wristwatch fixed, and then discovered I needed a new watch. Shopping for a watch was an eight store trip until I found one I liked that fit my wrist.

I feel really good when I am sitting at home with the leg up, and I wanted to see how I would fare when walking on a concrete floor. The answer is, I can only walk on concrete for a short time before the leg starts to hurt. I am still somewhat weak, and have to sit down and rest frequently. This worries me, as it is similar to what I will be experiencing when I am back at work.

Throughout these days, I have fallen off my streak of tracking my food. I have been conscientious in making my food choices, but I have not been tracking. My weight loss has flat-lined since my surgery, just hovering in the same place. I have not been drinking the water I know I need. I have not been spending the time in the gym that I did before the surgery.

Since I started this lifestyle change journey at the beginning of summer, I have always felt that the true test would be the choices I made once I had returned to work. The exhaustion I have felt, combined with the general malaise from the infection and the hours spent at work or working from home has derailed my efforts. My biggest worry is here. My mojo has taken a nosedive. The running start I hoped to have before I went back to work has slowed to a crawl.

This week will be a big test for the teacher. Not only do I return to work for five full-time days, with students, and after-school meetings, and bus duty; but I also have a date with the therapist and another with the surgeon during the week. Additionally, I have my husband's birthday, and the knitting group I started seven years ago. My calendar overfloweth.

How I react to all this activity will make a big difference in how I feel about myself and my commitment to this lifestyle. It will be a challenge, to be sure. I am resolving to track my food every day. I am going to drink water while I am working. I have a plan to have some gym time at least twice on my own, along with one trip with the therapist. I am planning healthy meals for the week and making sure that I have the ingredients at the ready. I am placing healthy snacks within reach at work.

Wish me luck! I'll give you my test score at the end of the week!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • FRAN0426
    You do have a very full schedule for the coming week. Our body is a very precise machine in letting us know what we can handle after having had surgery. Make sure you don't over due with extras until your totally ready. I know we feel good so think I can handle this and that, but ultimately we can push harder than we should. Wishing you well for the up coming busy week. Pleasr let us know how your doing afterwards.
    2300 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    I am sending lots and lots of good luck vibes your way - hoping you're infection is better, that all goes well at school and that everything in your life is as sunny as it was outside today!
    emoticon emoticon
    2300 days ago
    Take it as easy as you can. I am also a teacher and I know how hard that is to do. Remember to take care of yourself first and foremost. I think it is amazing that you didn't gain weight during all the time off. You will recover, but give yourself time.
    2301 days ago
    2301 days ago
    I wish you luck and strength and perseverance!
    2301 days ago
    This is when I wish I had a magic wand so I could relieve some of your burden! Your job alone is enough to exhaust a person, then add on the normal routine of a day with taking care of a home and spending time with Bob. That's enough right there. Now add on recovery from your accident and surgery, including therapy and WOW! I can see why you have some anxiousness about going back to work full time. It exhausted me just to read all you have to do in a week! All I can do, (since there is no magic wand) is offer my prayers and verbal support for you my friend!

    I am so impressed by your positive attitude and know that will aid in your healing and dealing with all of this. Sounds like you are well-prepared as far as meal plans and snacks. The tracking will help. I've not done well with that for a while now, even before my trip, so need to get back on track so to speak! :)

    Best to you with your healing and dealing! emoticon
    2301 days ago
    I'm with you. I have been slacking off for the past couple weeks due to a heavy workload at work. I feel really guilty. I have not been exercising as much and I have not tracked my food for fitness for a week or so. I'm jumping back in head first.

    Its sounds to me that you are very prepared and have the right mindset. I'm sure you will be very successful this week. I always wanted to learn to knit or crochet. Maybe will look for a group in my area.

    Good luck. I will check on you next week. emoticon
    2301 days ago
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