Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday update: work and health

Work life:

I made it through this three-day work week, after taking two days off, and next week will also be only three days because of Columbus (hero or despised invader?) and a professional development day.

Wait until you hear what our professional day centers around. Wait for it... some crap called GIS which I think refers to Geospatial Information Systems. Or it could be Geographical Information Systems and my MS is just blocking the real definition.

I have to have a partner for the activities during the day. I will get to play with a SMART board, which I don't have in my room. I just this last week had my borrowed TV and VCR hooked up correctly to show videos to my students. I mean actual academic videos and no just crap you throw in when you're too damn bored/crazy/lazy to actually teach.

I also believe we will be outside working on geocaching which sounds like great fun but will it really make me a better teacher? What I really need is time to work in my room uninterrupted by anyone else. I need time to put things in my computer, time to sort out my materials for my upcoming units, time to just sit and think and breathe without a time deadline hanging over my head.

There's something else we're doing that day with technology, and all it sounds great, but a whole day devoted to it? We have one SMART board at my grade level and I've heard from a reliable source (its owner) that it doesn't always work well. Some people have wall-mounted flat screen TVs which look great but actually have a smaller screen so kids need to be right on top of it to see what's going on. Some of the new TVs have already burned up because we purchased them cheaply and that company is no longer in business. Technology in our building for the average teacher, especially in my world of fifth grade, is ridiculously behind the times compared to some other local schools.


I'm complying and taking my meds, including my new directive to take 2000 IU of vitamin D3 daily and my multi-vitamin with iron. I have a bruise now from my hand IV insertion. I don't cry as much.

My hands, however, have been real problems for me for the last three days. They ache and hurt so by the end of the day that I can't hold my book up to read. I could barely hold a pen during the last half of the day yesterday and write. I had to write some notes home and it was so painful and my handwriting looked like scribbling. I felt awful that I couldn't do such an easy thing.

Food is still a problem. Sometimes I almost eat two meals a day and then I have to purge myself from dinner meal stuff every other evening. It's like I have to punish myself for allowing myself to eat and trying to feel.

I'm angry but don't show it so that's how anger comes out for me, literally. This is my old bad behavior rising to the surface. I'm angry that I still feel so overwhelmed at work even though I'm working harder than ever to get it all under control. I know my observation last week went well although I have not received my invite to go down and discuss it with my boss. I know I am working harder on the paperwork and getting things graded faster. I know I have made a kazillion sets of copies for the weeks and reading selections ahead. We've started preparing for the state test in Social Studies that is coming up in mid-November.

It all seems like we're on track but the special education teacher and I am amazed at the sheer lack of effort by many students. We keep track of names on giant chart paper along with missing work. It is usually filled with at least 7 names for each assignment. That is mind-boggling for me. I have 18 math students in the lower group with two assistants and 21 students in my other regular class sessions.

How is that so many people just don't do homework? I try to call home and most of the numbers don't work. I send home notes and they don't always come back. I stayed after school twice this week to force people to catch up on work and I only worked three days. I stayed on a Friday and I never stay after on Fridays. I still do not go to lunch and sometimes I don't even eat lunch because I am working and then we have an occasional meeting.

I'm tired but having trouble falling asleep most nights. I'm forcing myself to take my evening meds earlier and hoping that will be the trick in getting me to sleep. Here I am on a Saturday morning awake at 5:30 for no reason and I am tired.

My mind still gets muddled at work. Names and words and papers and answers get all mixed up. I try to cover myself but children are fabulous at pointing out every wrong thing I do, no matter how many wrong things they do.

My typing on here is atrocious. I sometimes miss words altogether, I spell things wrong and I have always been a super speller, and I type the beginning of one word and end it with the letters of the second word and I type the second word and finish it with the letters of the first word. Almost every other word I type now is wrong in one way or another until I go back and fix it.

Is at all better? Yes, slightly.

There are many times when I am home and I think about the whole Heath Ledger thing. Did he really overdose on purpose or did he just mix things and accidentally kill himself while trying to feel better?

I'm not saying I am going to do that. That is not my plan. I can understand completely how a person could be in such a place that they mix and match meds trying to feel better. I try to act like I am better but I still didn't answer the phone last night when my best friend from Maine called. I prefer not to talk to anyone because then you have to pretend.

It is easier now to pretend that all is wonderful in my work world, thanks to the med increases. I know I have to keep working now, no matter what. Maybe in the future I can afford a leave but I can't afford one now. Maybe Tysabri will work in the next few months. Maybe I will get that miracle I'm hoping for in my life.

All I know is that my hands are tired and I am tired so I need to end this. I know there are so many people out there much worse off than I am. I try to remind myself of this so I will buck up and stop b!tching. When that happens, you all will be among the first to know!


Nal said...

Here's sending you good energy for that iracle. You deserve it!

Nal said...

ugghI meant to type in MIRACLE!

Heather said...

I hate professional development days. They are such a waste of time and during the whole day all you think about is all the work you could be getting done in your classroom. It would be great if we could just have a day to get things done in our classrooms.

Thanks for your last comment. I will be calling my neurologist on either Mon. or Tues. I need to get rid of all these sad and angry feelings.

SwampAngel65 said...

My hat's off to anybody who can put up with teaching and all the beauracracy that goes along with it. I think, all things considered, you are doing great.

Now...if you're going to be learning about geocaching, please, ask me any quesitons you may have! I've been doing it for 5 years now and love it. It can be a great way to get kids out of the house and into the woods. I hope you enjoy it!!

Weeble Girl said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. They always help and I appreciate your feedback.

Heather, I hope you get some answers and help soon with those problems of yours.

Swampangel, geocaching sounds like fun, just not at work.


Denver Refashionista said...

Hang in there. I get where you are coming from. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself that it's better.

BTW, I have a SMART board and I enjoy it a lot.

Lauren said...

Hi Weebs,

I have had 26 Tysabri infusions so far, and I was one of the MS patients that testified via videotape before the FDA AC in March 2006 in an effort to bring Tysabri that the market...,

I tell you the above because I receive a lot of e-mails from some Tysabri patients that tell me their symptoms start to improve somewhere between the fourth and sixth infusion (providing that the damage from their prior relapses is not permanent).

You have to remember that it is not Tysabri which is going to improve your symptoms, it will be your body trying to heal itself. The medication Tysabri is designed to keep the onslaught of damaging T cells from entering your CNS (Central Nervous System)which allows your body an opportunity to try and heal itself.

Have patience dearheart, you did not develop your MS symptoms overnight, and hopefully understanding the above information will help you develop your patients even more.

I send you all my very best - Take care now, Lauren :)

Weeble Girl said...

Thanks Lauren, I know Ty is not a cure but I am hoping to get back some QOL somewhere in these next few infusions.

Now I am mired in a deep and horrible depression. That is also affecting my cognitive issues which makes it all overwhelming.

Lauren said...

Awww Weebs,

Depression is one of the side effects of Tysabri... you should talk to your neurologist about possibly something to help with your depression such as Elavil, Wellbutrin, etc. There is no shame in being an antidepressant..., Trazodone is good too and it is non-habit forming. My doctor prescribed it for me years ago and I still have the bottle... I take it on an "as needed basis", and I think I took one about a year or so ago when my divorce became final, go figure. (heehee)

I am not sure if you are aware of this Tysabri data Re: QOL Improvements, but if you are not, I suggest you read it and hold on to your hopes:

TYSABRI® Demonstrates Significant Improvements in QoL

Might I also suggest that you keep a daily journal and record any slight improvement(s) that you might notice as they are easy to forget.

In my book, Tysabri = Hope..., you are still young and your damage is probably not permanent yet so just hang on to that hope and make it your hope, don't ever let go of that hope...claim it!

If you ever want to write me, please do so at

Take care honey, Lauren :)