Sunday, 2/23 Last week--The good, the bad, and whatever...
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Those of you who know me and who have followed my blogs know that I have dealt with a great deal of abuse in my lifetime--and much of it has been related to the fact that I have been obese for the majority of my life. Obesity seems to open the door for bullies to target someone and go for them in body, mind, and spirit. In my case, that included my parents and family, the people I went to school with (particularly in elementary and junior high school), strangers, and some work colleagues. Physical disabilities seem to provoke the same responses in mean-spirited bullies as well. I just realized how public this blog is--and I think it is time to change direction. I cannot tell the story that I need to tell here until I resolve it in a very professional way, and for the good of the order, I intend to do exactly that. I was mistreated last week and I do not intend to do as I have done my entire life and roll over for that kind of thing anymore. I am as good as anyone else and I have committed no crimes against anyone or anything--so, I will do what is needed to protect myself now and in the future and I will do what it takes to protect myself, my integrity, and my values.
The big news for the week is that my reading day turned into a smashing success. There were only two or three little wrinkles in the day which is to be expected when you consider that part of the schedule included 37 guest readers and an outside program--and every wrinkle was attached to somebody being late for their scheduled activity--NOT A BIG DEAL. The students had an amazing day and so did the teachers. I took lots of photos (that I cannot share here because of confidentiality and student privacy laws) and I saw an entire building of people on task and having a successful day, reading all day long. Even kids who had been frequenting the office due to lots of misbehavior did well--I only saw one child in the office and that was at lunch, not during learning time. I am collecting evaluations from the staff that I will publish for everyone to see and they are wonderful. It was a great culmination to my work.
Our family night was not as well-attended as I wish it had been. I am not sure exactly why that happened. Our parade of storybook characters only had about ten people in it which is okay, but it made me feel a bit disappointed. The program with the first graders was awesome--the kids used rhythm instruments and performed to the repeated phrase in "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst, one of my favorite authors and children's authors. Her sense of humor is divine. Then, the principal shared the video they made after videotaping from almost every classroom in the building. It wasn't well-received partly because it needed a bit of editing. The principal went out on a limb and let a couple of 5th/6th grade boys do the taping--but she also let them create the video and they focused on the same two classrooms. People were disappointed that it stayed on those rooms and that they didn't get to see their own child or child's class. They put music to the video which masked the actual reading. Anyway, after that, we had the book swap and book fair before our meal of green eggs and ham--they were beautiful and tasty!! We drew names for door prizes from parents who submitted evaluations. The evaluations basically said the same things I mentioned about the video needing more editing/ adult support and a couple of them criticized the fact that they didn't ever receive notification on the purpose of the event. I had written a special note up about that and on Valentine's Day, I was promised that it would be copied and given to the staff to send home with the students. That did not happen. That actually was the beginning of the string of events that I alluded to in the first paragraph.
Anyway, my dream and goals were all met by the day that we had--our students had a successful and productive reading day. They got to see that we, as a staff, value reading enough to give it an entire day. They got to work with at least three teachers that day--theirs, one with a buddy reading classroom of cross-grade students, and one in a "teacher swap" activity in which a different teacher taught a reading event in their room for 30 minutes. That not only gave the students a fresh face to work with and a chance to see that everyone is a reading teacher, it gave the students a new "special" adult in the building that they now "know." Teachers were pretty apprehensive about that activity but on the evaluations I have received so far, it has turned out to be one of the day's big successes. I knew that the day would be one of the best ever for the kids and I have talked to many children who gave it a big "thumb's up" with the request that we do it again "tomorrow." That tells the story. I am glad that I hung in there after all of the years and times I proposed this event and finally got it on the schedule. It was more than even I imagined it could be for the students, and that was the point.
We are now starting our work to meet goals to go to the River Bandits' baseball game on Tuesday, May 6. The kids have a reading goal that is divided over four weeks--one for each "base" and "home plate." They earn a prize when they get to each base and the home plate prize is a ticket to a baseball game along with a ballpark lunch. Every other year, we provide buses for this event and take the entire school--and this is that year. It is a great time and I get to go along to help supervise and take care of details. I counted out all of the information sheets and prizes for all 19 of our classrooms and distributed them before I left work on Friday.
I worked probably an extra hundred hours in the past 2-3 weeks on all of these reading events in addition to my regular work. I even called guest readers while I was in Rochester to schedule people. I put a lot into the special reading events and I am happy to report that it was worth it.
On another topic, I received a letter from the RN that I saw at Mayo in response to the letter I sent. It was defensive and a bit argumentative. He tried to justify what happened and began by saying that I had his name and credentials on my Mayo itinerary and that he introduced himself. The fact is that the itinerary did not mention any names and simply said "surgical consult." He stated enough to let me know that he conferred with the ortho I saw originally and that nobody else was ever brought into my case. He also mentioned that we had a "pleasant and lovely" conversation--hmm, I left in tears. I am wondering what his definition of difficult might be. Anyway, I don't know if I am going any further with my complaints to Mayo or not--my pain doc thinks they should be denied payment for the visit since it wasn't what I expected or asked for and there was no physician involved. I am going to consider today if it is worth anymore of my time. I made a decision now and I excluded this guy and his information because it wasn't valid. I will share with the spine specialist at University Hospital and hopefully, he will contact the specialists at Mayo and let them know how I was kept from them when my needs fall into their specialty area. That might be the way that my story will get to them, and they can prevent this from happening to their potential patients again.
This week is more routine in many ways. I do go to University Hospital on Friday to visit their endocrinology clinic to discuss my osteoporosis. I saw my PCP this week and he wanted to start treatment ASAP. but he decided to defer since I was seeing the specialists and let them make my plan--he wants the report. I think I am back onto a schedule that is about me these days--and I think I need to get focused on me and my health needs and my future. I lost pool time and spark time this past week and am starting over again with most of my streaks and the like. It is time for me to get back to Weight Watchers as well--I would like to finally beat up this remaining twenty pounds before my surgeries. That will put me in my best possible condition for recovery from the standpoint of physical ability and good health. I expect to be blogging again more often and checking in on my friends who motivate me and keep me going.
The good, the bad, and the whatever--I have experienced it all in extremes this past week. I am looking forward to a week of the mundane and the "normal" (whatever that is!)