Sunday, December 7, 2014

New Knee

I have had my left knee replaced, during the school year. I have avoided missing school and doing this for years, but, as they say, you will know when you can't take it any more. I have left my classroom in the hands of a newly licensed art teacher and I am trying to be confident in her decisions while I am gone. I would like to say, this is no walk in the park, I understand the rewards will be tremendous later and I will forget the difficulty of this part. PT is a force and one must be willing to put out that effort. I am so glad I am getting professional PT three times a week. Yesterday wa my first day out in public. I had my husband take me out to breakfast. otherwise, the web and PT are my world. And thank goodness for little screens, smart phones and such so I can keep a lifeline going with my friends.
  I am reporting ad nauseum on almost every little detail of my recovery on Facebook. leaving off the joys of pooping and pain meds and improvements in that department, but I'll tell you, I think I have made it! I am ot released to walk with a cane, but a cane is so much better in the house. Yesterday I took my outing with the cane,m so much easier to accommodate me and a cane!

I am constantly searching for the perfect position to rest the knee. found it for 2 or 3 hours last night while I napped. It's elusive.

Another challenge I face is trying to get enough protein to support my nearly 6 yr old weight loss surgery. Eating does not feel like a priority right now. I keep overestimating what I can handle. I wouldn't be surprised if I haven't lost 4 or 5 pounds. that's OK. I wanted to. I don't want to lose more than 10. Can't believe that after 30 years of a combination of obesity and morbid obesity, I am at such a good place that I would only "like" to lose 10.

I am also diffusing some lovely essential oils around me, helping me relax, breathe, heal and rest.I can't sit here long so this is it for now. Another one of my rambling connections with... who knows.

Pain with this is minimal, soreness is maximal, always trying to get those muscles right over the knee working again, working together.

 December 20, off the cane and today my stride is lengthening and the knee feels more like my own all of a sudden, instead of a clunk limb stuck in the middle of my leg. Major improvement overnight, so I thought I'd add it in to this post. I am down to 2 physical therapy appointments a week for the next 2 weeks and then it is back to the classroom. IF I feel really good about this, I will schedule knee number 2 for June. A summer of recovery, but I can do it. Then I may possibly be heading in to my last year of teaching. 2 years short of my goal.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Barely Post

This is the second year school has been so rugged. I have figured some things out, but really resent that feeling of being pushed out. It makes me want to dig my heels in and practice a really honest really pissy retirement speech!  I think I understand why now, but I won't say until it's over. Not the way I want to leave my beloved profession. Paranoia leaks over to the blog, and I am not brave with my voice. Coming soon, a new right knee joint, which I hope will make me a much more active adult and grand parent as pain has prevented me from doing things I want for so long I cannot remember-- much longer than I would admit.

Already done: cataract surgery and new vision becoming better every day. I am now wearing readers again and that may be what I end up needing. The surgery and the surgeon were very easy. I took 3 days for each eye, but felt like a malingerer after day 2. I do not miss school easily. This year it changes. This surgery is fascinating as is its history. I have asked many questions about this and learned a lot. One thing I noticed is I do not have really good camera focusing vision right now-- distance is fabulous- but mid range is not- I would have done a better job on the DeVivo family photos if I had two more bad jokes and realized the boys needed to be standing higher or the parents sitting lower! It's a tall family! My phone shots were better, but they take no talent at all!

I was very upset when the ortho surgeon changed my date AGAIN! I think the anxiety from all this gave me some stomach pain and I was afraid my #WLS surgery was having issues after nearly 6 years. Nope, good old nervous stomach trying to revisit after 40 years. I will now have to miss an entire month of school instead of 3 weeks. I have to take a day off school for a joint surgery class and another day for a skin check., There must be no bruise or blemish on the knees or the surgery will be cancelled AGAIN! I might have to retire to get this done!

This is definitely an old lady post, see above.

I tried to introduce graffiti in my 8th grade- big hit-- see now that's now old lady! I may work on it while I am recovering!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Movie Review Hundred Foot Journey

When I first blogged, I would zoom home to write down my thoughts on a movie I just saw, and this one made me feel that way. The Hundred Foot Journey is a sumptuous visual feast, a romance on two levels, humorous, sweet-- and starts with one of those Disney moments-- just to break your heart. I want the sound track, I want to go there-- Helen Mirren is wonderful and I cannot tell you any other names. Look them up! If you're a 20 something, a 30 something a 60 something-- this movie is for you.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


When I was about 12 or so I saw a photo of myself/notmyself. It looked like me. The dress was almost the same, the face was similar, familiar, but not quite the same. "Mom, is this me?" "No, it's your sister Janice." That's how and when I learned I had a year older sister who may have died as I was being born. Never a word was spoken about her. Not sure when she died. No idea what her birthday was. She was hospitalized and died of dehydration from Diarrhea. My childish thought (even though I was the caretaker of my siblings) was oh well, she was JUST A BABY. The stoics of the 50's and 60's parenting leaked no emotion. My mom said she didn't even know where she was buried, her sisters-in-law did it and never showed her. Could that be true? No one knows now. I was reared as the oldest-- have oldest child traits-- what would have been different? Would she have been the ONE to go to college? A million things I ask myself this morning. How did my mom go from losing a one-year-old to parenting the next? and really resenting the one after that...? No Dr. Spock to help you then. No Elizabeth Kubler Ross. No anti-depressants. No mental health care. My mind is roiling this morning. My first thought upon the birth of my son was oh my god, there is no such thing as just a baby. I had a clue that day-- some understanding. At this time in my life, there have been many losses, some of them dear children. Enough ways of dying to know there is no best way, no worst way to lose your child. Every way is the worst way. Every age is the worst age. In my late 20's, maybe early 30's, my mom and I were driving south on First street and on the radio was a story about how many babies died in the 40's from an inadequate formula and named the brand. That is when my mom found out what killed her baby girl. Formula may have been the best "New Thing" then, and Dad refused to allow her to nurse her babies, those breasts were his. Nursing was old fashioned and back woodsy at that time. This week another of my sweet school family has had an unbearable loss. Lindsey's mom died 2 years ago from a quick and vicious round of Burkitt's Lymphoma. Yesterday her 3 month-old baby boy died of a rare fatal genetic brain disorder. There is no good time. I put the diagnosis below. There is no such thing as "just a baby."

This little baby died yesterday.
For those who knew Lindsey and Kyle. There little angel Cooper went to be with Grandma Mel today.
Please don't text or face book them at this time.
this is the email that I received yesterday
Kyle and Lindsey have asked that I send an email to update everyone about Cooper. After extensive testing the doctors at Riley have diagnosed Cooper with Leukoencephalopathy with vanishing white matter. This is a rare terminal genetic disease that affects the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) with no treatment available. Because the disease is characterized by rapid periods of deterioration followed by a plateau with some recovery doctors are unable to give Kyle and Lindsey any idea of how long Cooper may have. They are still at Riley and plan on remaining there for now, but may return home with Hospice care. Cooper is currently on oxygen and the doctors are giving him medication to keep him comfortable while he rests with mom and dad. Cooper will be 3 months old on Monday.
Kyle and Lindsey are doing as well as can be expected and have been surrounded by family these last few days. They would appreciate your continued prayers and support but have asked that you refrain from contacting them at this time as they focus on spending time with their son.
I have talked to Kyle about any needs they may have or what people can do to support them. At this time they are not aware of any needs and have simply asked that you continue to lift them and Cooper up in prayer.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

With Bated Breath

   I have started the totally on-line application for the final teaching license of my career. With my past experience with online re-licensing-- I may suddenly be retired by machine. Just signing up, doing all the security questions, picking a name, a password, oh lordy lordy another password. should I photo it and save it on the phone? Right now it's just on paper. I have all my paperwork in the car in my Hello Kitty binder! Cute huh? but unforgettable, as long as no one comes by and burns the car to the ground before I get this done! I easily play on the computer, but for something as important as this, I'd rather deal with a human being. I like to check out at the grocery store in a line with a human being, I like to go in and renew my license plate with a human, and our License branch is fabulous-- I got signed up on Medicare and social security sitting with a human being-- I like that! My CPR card may arrive in the mail and, I hope, it is the last bit of info I need. I didn't think it would take this long to arrive.
   The middle chunk of my day will be with the dentist, I need a filling AND a new crown... I do not dread this as I dread on line re-licensing! Isn't that funny?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How I Ruined My Summer Vacation

    The nurse will call. Not if the doctor doesn't tell the nurse to call, so I let time go by on my knee replacement. This is how I WAS going to spend summer vacation, rehabbing from knee replacement. As I have said before, I really know how to party. THEN, July 31 became the earliest date, 10 days before school starts. I asked for a Thanksgiving date. I am rethinking that to fit in better with a grading period. I don't know how many corporations do this, but mine builds up sick days to a certain amount then rolls what's left every year into an annuity. Let it be said I have maximum days and a huge annuity for the length of the program. I think I missed half a day this year to go to a meeting in the building. My school is in the worst turmoil of all the new shit that is being piled on teachers and students with a chaotic administration, and for the first time in 25 or 30 years or MORE, a churning faculty. Teachers come to our school and either die or retire from it. We love it so much, I have taught the children of students, while the teachers the same age as me have taught grandchildren! Those families come back with love and we stay with love. Until now. Now our best and most experienced are looking for a way out of a miserable situation. Experience, history, connection is no longer valued.  We'll see how a churning faculty helps test scores as that is the only thing that counts now. We are NOT to help build better human beings! We are only here to teach curriculum and raise scores. These words have been said. So I am contemplating an earlier retirement and TWO surgeries in one school year! This is after being a teacher who teaches no matter what!

UH OH-- just had what I consider and exciting phone call from my principal. I am at loose ends not rehabbing and he calls with a new idea for summer school with ART for FUN and a small reading and math component-- I told him what I miss about the regular classroom is reading to my students which turned out to be something he wants! All of a sudden things just got better-- I can do skillet monsters ala Dan the Monster Man! my former 6th and 7th grade students are my targets! WOO Hoo, wonder if my eye appointment needs to be rescheduled. hmm better check.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What Tweeting Has Done to My Blog

I jumped out of bed at 5:30 with a great desire to go to my aunt's. I used to do that. Now it would be crushingly sad.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fear and Loathing in the Afternoon

I have an unrelenting fear of retirement, and yet conditions at school are forcing me closer and closer--We have a new regime that believes our students are too poor to be accountable for their behavior and that this is the new way--no accountability, it has unleashed chaos in the classroom. I knew it was important to have support at the top, but I had no idea what it would mean to have none. I am two different people. A great teacher with good classroom management who barely needed the front office, to a failure who must send kids every day out of one class to be able to teach the rest of the class.  This is supposed to be state mandated, but I think it is misconstrued, and I think it is starting to reek of a nasty form of racism. We are actively teaching children who will some day enter a work force that they have no rules, that they are incapable of learning self-control because they are so poor.  How will this translate?  In my building the children who are thought to be incapable of controlling their behavior are brown. I think this is an insult to those students. For over 20 years I have seen children of poverty and of color succeed and achieve in high school and post high school. It is true, our poverty rate is much much higher with the loss of important employers, but I do not like the underestimation of the abilities and the drive of my students.

If I have a reader left of my pokey little blog, please do not re-post this.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Smell of Death Wafts In

It isn't what you're thinking, it is what I think every time my quintuple bypass husband walks in the back door after a smoke break-- it wraps me in fear and anger. I am 66, he is 67. Our house is paid off, but it needs a roof, siding and windows, maybe even a couple of steel beams to hold it up... What will I do when smoking takes him as it did my parents? Yes, dear, this is what I think and feel every time I smell what has become the new smell of death to me. Not to mention it is -35 in the wind and that's a stress on the heart, too. I walk away from that smell, no point in talking about it.