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,