Saturday, February 4, 2012

Black Cloud

Work: It feels like there has been a black cloud over the 4 other members of my reading department and I for the past 2 and 1/2 months...

-D.F.'s jeep was totaled when a teenager ran a red light and smashed into her on the way to school the week before winter break. She suffered a concussion, but thankfully no other major injuries at the scene of the accident. She is still suffering dizzy spells sometimes, but is fortunately "okay" physically other than dealing with headaches and dizziness.

-C.J. tripped and fell on a parking lot curb while shopping the 2nd week of January. She fractured her elbow and has missed lots of work with doctor's appointments and physical therapy appointments, etc. And of course Murphy's Law of injuries--the elbow she shattered was on her dominant arm and effects the hand that she writes with. In addition, her mother has had some circulatory issues and has had to have 2 days of testing at the local Mayo Clinic to try to determine the cause.

-A.S. is our newbie and coming in mid-year after a slew of substitutes she continues to be like someone who is treading water with no shore in sight. On top of still trying to learn the ins and outs of both our county software and our reading program software, she feels like her students are running amok behaviorally.

I am her assigned mentor and am struggling a bit. I feel badly for her, as I know first-hand what it is like to try to take over a classroom mid-year. (When I started teaching back in '03, I began in November after the students had had several different substitutes for the 6 weeks before I was hired.) However, A.S. is not being assertive enough. She tells me things in our mentor/mentee meetings like, "I tell students to rotate to the computer station and they don't go." UHHH...hello! Whose classroom is it? She needs to take charge! It's really difficult because we've discussed parent phone calls, class participation points, the system I use to monitor students' rotations in my classroom, etc., but I can only make suggestions and offer support and ideas, I can't force her to use them. I'm just surprised by her lack of classroom management, because she has 2 teenage sons, and though she took a break for 12 years, she did teach previously.

-L.P., whose husband died 10 years ago and whose only child died in a freak accident at age 27 two years ago had been dealing with the declining health of her mother. She had recently helped her mother begrudgingly move into a full-time hospice center. Sadly, her mother died this past Thursday. I am so grateful that L.P. was able to be off of work and was with her mother at the time she passed away. (L.P. had missed a lot of work in December due to her mother being hospitalized, and she didn't want to miss anymore days.) Her mom had actually been doing better health-wise the past 2 weeks, so her death was a bit unexpected. My heart goes out to L.P., as she is an only child herself, and now she is truly alone with regards to having any family. She is taking next week off and among making arrangements for her mother's funeral services, she is faced with the task of having her mother's body transported from Florida to Georgia so that her mom can be buried in the burial plot with her father in their GA hometown. So sad!

-Add my January miscarriage to the mix, and you can see that the five of us combined have had tons of stressful incidents to cope with. I am hoping that the dark cloud has rained itself out now!

My follow-up with the OB went like this:
--Bloodwork results were again normal.
--There is a cyst. I was mistaken it is on my right ovary, not left. It is 2.3 cm in diameter. I go back in 6 weeks for a sonogram to confirm whether or not the cyst is growing or shrinking. If it is shrinking (which my cyst back in '09 did and eventually disappeared on its' own) then I'm home free. If it is growing, we'll discuss whether or not surgery for removal is needed.
--I was given a referral for a consult with a reproductive endocrinologist for DH and I. At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to go. As I stated 2 posts ago, I had finally come to terms with being a mom to a singleton...I am not sure what measures I am now willing to take with regards to becoming pregnant again. However, after thinking on it and discussing things with DH I am now glad to have a consult (finally, after all these years!) and hopefully find some answers. In April, I turn 37 and hubby turns 38, so I think it is best for us to at least discuss diagnoses and options ASAP, and then decide whether or not we plan to actively try again for Child #2 or not. Also, I want to ask for feedback regarding my cyst and whether or not the RE thinks it impacted my having a miscarriage, as my OB was vague and basically said she couldn't determine whether or not the two events were linked.

Weight Loss:
-Prior to the miscarriage, I was determined to lose weight this year. However, I got off to a lousy start and wasn't watching my food intake or exercising at all.

-Then my OB recommended that I work toward weight loss. She said whether or not I plan to get PG again in the future, weight loss would be best for my overall health. Of course I know she's right, but it's difficult to hear from someone else. (Especially someone as tiny and petite as my beautiful OBGYN is!)

-Anyway, DH has been off to an awesome weight loss start. For about 4 weeks now he's been back to running and exercising regularly along with watching his food intake. Though it has only been a week, I am finally on the band wagon. We made sure to buy lots of healthy food options at the grocery last week. Yesterday and today I've finally been exercising again. We used some of our tax return money to buy a Kinect for our XBOX this afternoon. Wowie, zowie....awesome workout! Em and I have played on it for several hours...I can't even tell you how sore my thigh and upper arm muscles are. Also, my sister got me an awesome Wii Dance game for Christmas that kicks my butt in a good way. :)

-I know from my past miscarriages and life in general that my emotions feel better when my body is more active. So I am determined to get more exercise. The difficulty is that on work days, this sometimes means I'll have to make my butt get up early and workout BEFORE work...because I am prone to skip workouts if I wait until I'm tired AFTER work. (Not to mention that DH doesn't get home from work until 7:30ish, so it makes for working out close to bedtime, unless I workout WITH Emma.)

To wrap the black cloud over my department at work (hopefully) dissipates, I continue to work on getting my emotions back in check. I'm not as mopey as I was the week after the miscarriage and am starting to "move on." (Though I know, one never really "moves on" 100%.) A few weeks ago, I found a small card I've had since high school. I placed it on the iPod stand/speakers in our kitchen so I see it everyday: "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed...nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20) It helps to remind me that the black cloud won't always be here. Here's hoping for a silver lining, whatever that may be.


Jenni Hester said...

I have heard somewhere that life is 5% what happens to us and 95% how we deal with it... it sounds like you have been thrown a number of curve balls, but you are making really wise choices to protect yourself and those you love!! I am proud of you for taking the initiative with your health! I will pray for wisdom for you and your dh about the specialist and for you to get answers about the cyst - I pray it goes away again! Love, J I guess I write all that to say you are doing well making lemonade from lemons :) (I generally have to workout with the kids too and I do think it is a GREAT message to give them even though it makes it a bit more challenging :))

JEN said...

I think this post reminds us that into everyone's life, rain must fall.

I totally understand the infertility stuff.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Wow... your department has been through the wringer this year. I am so sorry that work is so stressful.

I'm so thankful to hear that you (finally!!!) have a referral to an RE! Perhaps this open door is God's way of saying that it's not time to pack it in just yet? Praying that your new doc will provide good insights and direction, one way or the other.


Danifred said...

Sorry about all the crap going on at work. I can't imagine how stressful that must be. It sounds like you are getting lots of information from your doctor and I hope that you are able to move forward and figure out some solutions!

Beautiful Mess said...

OH WOW! You gals have been through A LOT! I wish you all peace and lots of comfort!

I think going to an RE isn't a bad idea. If nothing else, you will get SOME answers. Sending you lots of good JUJU!