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Saturday, 3/8 So much to do--so much wants my time!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Hello Friends!!

I am so tired. I think I am beginning to realize what my back feels like when I don't have pain meds or injections to help me out. It's not a fun time to live with it, that's for sure. I went three nights with almost no sleep at all and it wasn't fun. The one gift it gave me was a six hour sleep last night, but I am still tired and a bit groggy after sleeping that long last night.

I've been a busy girl and have taken care of a lot of "stuff" that was clogging my list of things to do, both at school and at home. Some of it required a bit of help--my son Marshall came to school and helped me to take down all of my snowflakes and winter decorations. Even if it isn't over, I'm pretty tired of looking at them or thinking about winter. I still had a sign on my door that, although it lights up and is pretty, the message :Let it snow," had to go. I also cleaned out the shelf that sits by my table with all of my supplies and decluttered three file drawers. Yay.

I did a lot of calling and paperwork too. We got a lawyer to help us to get a decent claim from Nationwide, the insurance company of the guy that hit us on July 2, 1012. He needed a lot of paperwork, copies of bills, health insurance "stuff," and forms for him too. I also spit out a second letter to Mayo Clinic in response the the smart alecky letter I got from the RN in response to my first letter. There were at least three lies in it and that made me feel angry on top of everything else. I decided that if I were to have peace, I needed to respond. I bluntly asked why the doctors I had requested couldn't look over my case and my pictures and give their opinion--I haven't heard yet. I also went through a bit of rigamarole and called Mayo to get a copy of my MRI that they did sent to Dr. Mendoza at University Hospital. Finally, I called and left a message for my pain doc, but Nurse Rachet apparently hasn't handled that message as of yet, even though I called on Tuesday and was able to get my prescription on Friday. (They require three days for written prescriptions.) I may have to call him privately next week because she doesn't always do what she should, as history shows.

Finally, I did a bunch of stuff at work--and even though I am having a progress report weekend, I had a lot to do last week. I contacted the union president to find out if I might be eligible for the sick leave bank to cover some of the many days I will be off work with these procedures and I do not have enough sick leave to help out. He told me that I had to contact HR and as soon as they gave him the go-ahead, he would send out the paperwork and notices to help me collect days. I contacted Hr and made an appointment for Tuesday after school, but he made it into our building twice to see me prior to our meeting. All I need is a note from the doctor basically giving the necessary information--2 surgeries and the length of time I will be off of work. That was easy enough, so I contacted University Hospital for this and the letter came today.

I also got to speak with Dr. Mendoza's nurse for quite a while. I found out that I won't be able to go back to work between the two procedures because if I am better as early as 4 weeks after the first procedure, they will do the second procedure--the big one then. (The first surgery is to place spacers between my vertebrae where they are all damaged or gone.) The total time that they excpect me to be off work for both procedures is 14-18 weeks total, which is a bit different than the 4-6 months he said when we talked--that would be 24-30 months. I guess he really wanted to paint a picture of the severity of this procedure--or maybe was sharing the big extremes. I told his nurse that my son's wedding will be September 20 and that I had to be capable of attending and enjoying it--she said that they were looking at starting all of this in early May. I didn't know that either. I see the doctor on March 28--and have already been cleared for surgery, so I'm pretty ready.

I also went and re-joined Weight Watchers because I want to be as healthy as possible. I think I need that weekly weigh-in and meeting to give me a boost that I haven't quite been able to get here recently. Now, before anyone takes that wrong, it is all about me and time. I have had to juggle my family, work, getting to the fitness center and time online to spark. Obviously, the latter had to get left behind a lot. I used to have a lot of time for my spark teams, but they haven't been active lately and I am not sure what to do about that. Even my friends and faithful team members aren't coming as often. I need someone to give me a push--and I think having that someone close up and personal will have the most bang for the buck. I may have two months until my surgery and if I could go into that 10-15 pounds lighter, it would make things easier for me. I am going to try my best!!

I am down to 25 mcg of fentanyl now. It is an obvious difference that when I was using 75 mcg. I think those dual injections that my pain doc gave me have worn off too. My back is getting a bit more testy each day and I find myself hanging on to stay upright and having a lot of throbbing, lousy pain. It has distorted my sleep even worse than before. I am not feeling very good and the hydrocodone isn't covering this much. I guess I should have expected that. By the end of the month, I will be off the fentanyl altogether--for the first time since 2006. It's a big deal--it's a powerful medication, 250 X the strength of morphine.

I am hoping to get my progress reports finished so I can print them on Monday. That will allow me the opportunity to prepare lesson plans and goals for the fourth quarter and try to make it so someone can do at least part of my duties. This is tricky because since half of my job is paid for through Title 2 as professional development, there isn't a sub who can do that part of my work. I am not sure how the district will manage that. My day is also split apart with me doing 3 sections of Title 1, three sections of Title 2, 2 sections of Title 1 and a final section of Title 2. I had to do things this way to get the staff to play nicely with me. If we cannot find a reading specialist--maybe a retired one--to do my work, I don't know how a sub can do it. I have to start end of the year testing on May 1 and it is due to central office by the last Friday in May. I also have a school-wide baseball game on May 6 to take care of. Then, the beginning of the year includes testing, student selection, and scheduling which not just anybody can do. It is looking like that is the part of my work year that I will miss--I don't know how my job will work under this situation. However, I am thinking that that isn't my problem. Taking care of myself and timing things so I can be at my son's wedding is my problem. I am taking care of MY problems.

I know there are some other things I need to attend to--I am hoping to pace myself during my spring break and get some of that done. We start our book study for the Lenten season on Wednesday--a book called "An Altar in the World, a Geography of Faith." I think I can put a few things that need doing off of my list then! I will do my best, that is how I do things.

I hope this finds you all well and finds you meeting goals. I think we will see the spring season of new life soon. That will be good for us all!

Gentle hugs,

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I' m always amazed at how much you can pack into a day. I can't imagine how you get it all done. I hope that you can get everything planned for your surgery so you can get some rest preop. I'm glad that you wrote to Mayo and gave your side of the story. They need to know. It's good that you will also have Weight Watchers to help. I find that the teams often become inactive as spring arrives and people get outside.
    1839 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I just can't imagine going off your best painkiller and still trying to cover your workload :(( Looking after yourself should be your first priority. They will quickly find out how hard it is to get along without you when you leave work for your surgeries.. Is it their responsibility to find a qualified sub? If so, you should leave with a clear conscience. You really can't function as you are now. If all goes well you will be much stronger and able to cope with your duties better. That is a good plan to join Weight Watchers, they do a great job and its way better to have in person support anyway. All the best with it!
    {{{gentle hugs}}}
    1839 days ago
    As usual you have so much on your plate I don't know how you get it all done. I am glad to hear things are progressing nicely for your surgery. You are really doing great with getting off the fentanyl. That is so important, though I know that means your pain level must be getting pretty tough. Just remember in a couple of months you will have the surgery behind you and recovering. Hopefully you will be well enough and feeling much better by your son's wedding. Have a restful and peaceful Sunday. Hugs Pat.
    1840 days ago
    Think you have your list covered nicely. You are organized and logical which is very important right now. Are you going out on "Family Medical Leave"?

    Delighted to read that you wrote to Mayo Clinic, how that nurse is handling your requests and needs isn't right.

    Take care and keep plugging away at the list.
    1840 days ago
    Boy, you are one busy lady.
    1840 days ago
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