Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Weird Condition

I feel like blogging. I feel like sleeping. I feel like running away and then alternating blogging and sleeping. Okay, I feel better now that I've gotten that off my chest.

You've probably been wondering about what I've been up to. I'd like to say that there's something interesting going on, but now that I think about it....sometimes something interesting is also stressful. So right new and interesting stresses in my life. Just the same old stresses.

This is a sign that I'm getting old, but I must complain a little about my ailments.....

As you may or may not be aware, I am currently living with Meniere's disease. Basically, I have hearing loss and continual ringing in my left ear. I went and checked a little while back to see if I'd be able to get a hearing aid. It seems that MS has this program where they will pay for your hearing aids if it helps you work. Since I can't hear the kids, I figure that I'd be the perfect candidate, right? Wrong! Apparently, it's one of those situations in that I'm not "sick" enough to require help. Great. So the solution is to just ask people to repeat themselves. I've found that smiling and nodding gets you into trouble if you don't know what people are talking about. It seems that people expect you to listen when they talk. But that's not the latest complaint....

Awhile back, my ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor diagnosed me with Acid Reflux. I've been taking medication for that since then. For the most part, it worked. And then something happened sometime last fall. I started coughing with the acid coming up and vomiting several times a day. It's gotten a little better now and then, but lately things are getting too much to handle. It's a horrible thing when you have to stop teaching, grab the trash can, and run into the hall to vomit. Mostly, it's either dry heaves or mucus. (Can I just insert here that I'm not a good vomiter? It always feels like I'm choking. And when the vomiting session is over, I look like I've been choked by someone.) I spoke to a friend that had similar symptoms and she said it sounded like her diagnosis....hiatal hernia. Basically this means that part of my stomach has bulged above the sphincter that separates the stomach from the esophagus. I tried to get into the local Gastrointestinal doctor in town, but found that they wouldn't give me an appointment unless I had been referred by my regular physician.(I read this as one of the doctors needs to make a car payment....) And to top that they told me that the Gastrointestinal doctor was on vacation for three weeks. So, to get the ball rolling, I made an appointment, saw my regular doctor, and got little information that I didn't already know. (Apparently if I lost weight, it would help. My question...what won't losing weight help? And if I could lose weight, wouldn't I have already done it?) He recommended that I make an appointment in Columbus with doctors there since the procedure I'll need to have could be done there at their outpatient office. The procedure is basically where they sedate me (not totally asleep but more or less awake and comatose) and them inserting a scope down my throat to look at my stomach and esophagus. There is a surgery to correct the hernia but as it turns out, it is rarely done. I'm not sure what I'll need since they mostly treat this with medication and I'm already taking some. So in the meantime, I'm just vomiting several time a day. The good news is that I can feel when it's coming. Just know that if you see me holding a trash can nearby, you should stay away. Especially if you have a weak stomach.

Anyway, I'm sure this isn't the post you were hoping to read, but you have to take the good with the bad....and I'm sure this is a bad post. That means that the next one will be better. Thanks for sticking in there with me. In the meantime, your prayers are appreciated.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Like Looking in a Mirror

Hi Friends....

I know, it's been awhile. I'd love to blog more so if you want me do that....send money. I guess I'm going to have to be independently wealthy before I'll have time to blog daily....Oh well...I can dream.

Today's post is about a dear friend of mine....Kamille. I met Kamille a couple of years ago at an Open House event. All I can tell you about that meeting, other than it was predestined, was that neither of us forgot that night. In the spring, our district hosts an open house for the upcoming grade(s) to see the school they will be at next year. (Side note....our district has one school for grades K-2, one for third that will join my school next year, one for fourth and fifth, one for sixth, and so on.....) Well, most teachers don't like those evenings when you feel like you're being put out on a meat market, but I find that I really enjoyed them. It always felt like I was in an E.F. Hutton commercial...I'd answer someone's question, and everyone would stop and listen to my response. This is a huge boost for those of us that like being in the center of attention. In case you didn't know....that's totally what I'm about.

Well, after it's over, some of the teachers will compare experiences to judge how things went. I relayed the questions asked of me by potential parents (especially from Kamille) and found that no one had the same questions that I had. Especially from Kamille. It's not like she asked me anything really personal, but her questions were nothing like "How much homework do you give?" or "How do you differentiate your instruction?" Those are common questions. No....Kamille was more concerned with me. What kind of person I was.....What I believed in.....I remembered her name and had a feeling that we'd be seeing each other again. And I was so right.

By God's divine wisdom, her child was placed in my fourth grade classroom. Her child is a gem...the kind you wish you had more of. The kind of kid that you look at and feel like you were the same type of kid when you were that age...... Also by God's divine wisdom...I looped with this group of students so I have this wonderful child again. many memories. Kamille was the first parent that I remember calling me on my cell phone. She was the first parent that I programmed in my phone. I vividly recall her calling me one day as I was shopping in Wal-Mart. I pulled over to the side and we talked for a long time. That's huge for me because being stuck in Wal-Mart when I don't have to be isn't my idea of a great time.

As I've gotten to know Kamille, I've really connected with her. She and I are so similar in many ways. We have the same sense of humor and find the same things funny. (Side note here...she introduced me to Bon Qui Qui and I'll never be the same.) She is like me in that she also has just one child. People with only one kid are different kind of parents than those that have more than one. You see....we have all of our "eggs" in one basket. We can't afford to let things get messed up. After all, we're talking about the person responsible for putting us in a home when we're older. But anyway, she gets me and I get her.

I've spent some time with her in the last few months and I thoroughly enjoy myself. We always have lots to talk about. Kamille is one of those people that is bigger than life. She lives life with such passion. I'd like to think that I'm the same way. When she loves, she does it with her whole being whether we're talking about friends, family, or food. Her laugh is infectious and beckons you in. She's just so down to earth....she's good, solid people.

I'm sort of sad the end of this year, her child will move to another grade and another school. Their lives will go on and I'm sure that we won't spend nearly as much time together. I'd like to think that I'll still be in her heart....I know she'll be in mine.

I love you Kamille! Thanks for all that you do and all that you are.....I'm so blessed to know you!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Evil Wal-Mart Strikes Again

I'm really torn I blog about how Wal-Mart has once again proven how evil they are or do I simply ignore the store and shop at Kroger instead? Sadly, I feel compelled to complain about Wal-Mart yet again.
I've blogged about Wal-Mart before. One post was all about how they've changed the layout of the store and now it appears that they carry LESS stock than before. I've also been known to say that Wal-Mart is part of a conspiracy to get me to buy things I don't need. They space stuff out in the store and/or put things in obscure places in the hopes that I will wander aimlessly around the store and randomly put items in my cart. And I have to admit, it works. Sometimes I go to Kroger. Both stores carries items that the other one doesn't have. I end up going to Wal-Mart simply because that's where my pharmacy is and I don't like going all over town to run errands. So I'm stuck. It looks like I'll be complaining again about the store that I feel is pure evil.
Let me illustrate. Like I just said, there are items at Wal-Mart that you can't get anywhere else. And there are items you CAN get everywhere else but I don't like to because I already said that I don't like running around town doing errands. A couple of Saturdays ago, I did my regular shopping and noted how low the store seemed on regular albeit random items. Imagine my surprise when a week later I go back to the store and find that they STILL don't have the items I require. So what's so important, right? Let me tell you....
1) Welch's Dark Berry powdered drink-This is exactly like Crystal Light but in a very yummy flavor. I don't like grape, but this drink is good. It has cranberry, grape, and blueberry. What's funny is that I don't like those flavors individually but makes my mouth sing. That is....when I can find it. Wal-Mart doesn't have it now. And if I'm wrong (and Lord I hope I am) it looks like there isn't even a label for it on the shelf anymore. Geez Louise!
2) High fiber, whole wheat fajita sized tortillas-I found these by mistake awhile back. They are low in Weight Watcher points and taste great. Can't find them these days.
3) Nabisco 100 calorie count packages of yogurt covered pretzels. They have chocolate covered but I don't really like those. These taste great and have been my morning snack for the past couple of weeks. Now they've disappeared. I'm not sure what to do.
4) Progresso High Fiber Creamy Tomato Soup- I normally don't eat this brand, but I tried it awhile ago and it was good. (Side note: I don't like regular tomato soup. The creamy kind reminds me of Spaghetti-o's.) David really likes this so I buy it for him when I can find it. Lately, that has been too often.
5) Soup at Hand creamy tomato, basil, and parmesan soup. This is a great thing to eat when you're on the go. You don't need bowls or utensils. Again....I haven't been able to find it lately.
6) Weight Watchers yogurt-I miss this yogurt because it's a pretty big container for the low points. I'm all about getting as much food as I can when I eat. I had to settle for the Wal-Mart brand. You see? It's a conspiracy, I tell you.
7) Fat Free Hot Dogs- I found that Oscar Meyer makes a hot dog that is low in points. I usually keep a few of them on hand. Hot dogs make for easy and fast dinners on nights where I get in late. Now those hot dogs are nowhere to be found. The buns used to not be there, but they've made a comeback. What would be nice would be if I could have both of them together at the same time.
I'm sure there's a few other items that come and go on the shelves of Wal-Mart. These are the ones that directly affect me. You'd think that I'd be walking all around Wal-Mart looking for the items that have been in question today. If I did that, I'd be giving Wal-Mart exactly what it wants. Another mindless individual putting stuff in the cart. To combat this, I just put whatever is closest in my cart. That'll show them. I can't be had.
Anyway....I appreciate you taking the time to listen to my rants about the corporate superstar that we call Wal-Mart. I've tried to quit but I can't. I have a Wal-Mart problem. I just need some way to break this pull on me and start shopping somewhere else. Until then, I'm the one with the cart that is wandering around looking lost. Chances are I'm looking for some random item that will disappear soon from the store.
PS-This post is dedicated to one of my faithful readers-Audrey H. Hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Chaos Is Making My Eyes Hurt

This is not my desk. However, it feels like it could belong to me. I'm so busy that I just don't have time to put things back. I end up with stacks of stuff everywhere. I can usually find things, but it's a stressful situation trying to locate a piece of paper in the chaos. What I need is like 3 weeks of working in my classroom with no phone calls, no kids, and lots and lots of trash bags. I've used the snowball analogy many times to describe teaching. I really think it's true. No sooner do you get something done and right behind you is another snowball rolling down the mountain. If you're not careful it will run right over you.

Today, the chaos that was my room made me physically hurt. It truly pained me to look at all the stuff I had going on. It was raining are like walking barometers. When the weather changes, they do too. Science fair boards were due at school today. In the rain. I had like 6 kids come in late so I had to start over with my announcements and teaching several times. It was well into the morning before everyone showed up. Progress reports went home today. I tried desperately to get all the grades in that I could so that they would bring up their averages. To grade and enter information in the computer takes time. When the kids are here, I'm trying to help them. They take all my time. There's no time to clean up, put stuff up, find stuff I'll need for next just never ends.

So what's the solution? Take a day or two off? I've been sick and I'm still hacking and coughing so I know I need to rest. However, I don't think people realize that to be absent means that I have to spend 2 to 3 hours writing lesson plans and getting materials ready for a substitute. And you don't know who your sub will be so it could end up being a waste of time. time off isn't an option. Give up? Nah....that's not what I do. I'm known for my perseverance. I'm very long suffering. Change professions? I don't think so. What else could I possibly do? I can't envision myself not being in the classroom. No...there's no big solutions right now. There are, however, some small things I CAN do. Slow down. Breathe. Prioritize. Breathe again. And yes.....I should get off the computer and get some work done. That's what I was just getting ready to do!

Until next time........

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Long Time, No Blog

Well, Pooey. I hate when life gets in the way of the important stuff like sleeping. And TV. And blogging. But no really.... things have been really busy. But then, when are things just quiet and dull for me? Answer? Never!

Raelynn had her ninth birthday party last weekend and I'm really glad that's over! I like parties, but I just don't feel really great about planning and executing them. I can "ride herd" and patrol behaviors at kid parties, but the rest is a little more than I've had experiences with. Anyway, Raelynn wanted to have a party with all of these "older" friends. No one at the party was her age. They were all around 2 years older than her. It's hard to plan a party for someone who loves Strawberry Shortcake when every guest wants to scream inside at the thought of My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake or some other similar character. My solution was to plan a scavenger hunt. The kids had a good time being driven all over town and getting their pictures taken and being videoed doing all sorts of embarrassing things. And Raelynn enjoyed herself too so it all ended well.

I've been sick too. It's been awhile since I got a cold or the flu but I've got a nasty case of bronchitis. The cough is about to kill me. I went to the doctor, got some meds, but as anyone who's ever had this can tell you, it's the sort of thing that keeps lingering. And so I just plow through. No sick days. Just keep going forward.

The paperwork is piling up. I spent all weekend doing Raelynn's party (and paid dearly for it later--I was exhausted) and then trying to get better on Sunday. I slept and lounged a lot. So I'm a little behind in grading. Not a good thing. When I look over my shoulder, the work is still piling up behind me. I have visions of myself being very much like a hamster in one of those exercise wheels. Run like crazy, but you never get anywhere. Do you know what I mean?

So you might be asking why I'm blogging if I have so much to do. The answer is because I want to and I miss it. A small part of me hopes that someone else misses it too. I promise, something more witty will be posted soon. I just need some time. And lots of paperclips and grading pens. Did I mention I have papers to grade?