Tuesday, June 8, 2010: spotting turned to flow again. 6.5 on the pain scale. I went to work anyway, and took half a Tylenol 3 and 600mg Ibuprofen. They were really short staffed, so I felt I had no choice but to be there.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010: spotting, intermittent cramps, right side pain.
To top things off, when I got home from work, my cat let me know she’d somehow gotten a bladder infection. She mewed for an hour until I realised she wasn’t trying to get into the bedroom. We usually ban the cats from the bedroom and they love to mew outside the door, cuz they love laying on our bed instead of on the couch or their own catbed. But somehow I came ’round to the idea that she was trying to tell me something, and she was. The poor thing.
I followed her around the house and quickly realised she was trying to find anywhere to pee, but the urine was just not coming out. She glanced up at the bathroom sink. I lifted her up and into it, and she squatted and a trickle came out. Oh my god. I about cried. My poor baby!
I took her to the kitty emergency room and confirmed the diagnosis. She was put on antibiotics for a week, and now she’s all better. But boy, what a scare. She’s 14 years old, so any health problem could be a major one; it could mean her time has come. Cats in her family line live to a maximum of 17 years old, so she’s only got up to a few years left with me. Of probably 20-something cats that came from the matriarch from 1992 onwards, only three are still living, and two of them are in my household. The third lived with my Ma until last month – now he’s at the Humane Society, awaiting adoption, because my Ma cannot be trusted to properly care for animals.
Saturday, June 12, 2010: Pulled left upper arm/shoulder while stretching. Pain lasted all week through today.
Monday, June 14, 2010: I began commuting to a teacher training course. It’s a one-week course from 8am to 5pm, and it’s 40 miles from where I live. It takes an hour and ten minutes to get there, and an hour and a half to two hours to get home. I have the same unfortunate route that rush hour traffic takes – both ways. I sit in my go-kart of a car (the seats are low to the floor) for over two hours a day, and I sit in class for 8 hours each day. I’m not just at a desk though – I also have to get down on the floor, sitting either on my knees or cross-legged, stretching over a rug, like my teacher. It is the Montessori Way.
These positions did NOT help with my strained shoulder/back issue, and it certainly doesn’t help that I have congenital chondromalacia patella, so sitting on my knees hurts more than my back, it also makes my knees feel like they are on fire, because they get so inflamed.
The other problem I ran into during the training week was that of scented people. I’m not used to having acute chemical sensitivity – it’s only been since September 2009 that this has plagued me so bad – only nine months – so I’m still figuring out how to cope.
Being in class with up to 30 women is a scary thing, because women tend to love scents, fragrances, perfumes. I picked a seat on the end of one of the long tables, and as it figured, one of the scented people in class chose to sit right next to me. The sore throat and headache set in within an hour.
The next day, I chose a seat across the room from this woman. The day after that, I was late to class, and the only open seat left in the room upon first glance was right next to that same woman, and another scented woman.
Not all oils, body sprays, soaps and perfumes have chemicals that are immediately toxic to me. These particular women, whatever they were wearing – the chemical makeup of their fragrance was too toxic for me, no matter how little or how much of the scent they had on them. So it’s not like they were doused in the stuff – on the contrary, it was probably a light tap or spray and most people probably wouldn’t even notice the scent. But the chemical(s) in their perfumes hates the hell out of me – the one with the compromised immune system. Go me.
After Day 1 of class, we were told to clean the tables and tidy up the room. I got stuck with table washing duty, and was handed a bottle of clorox surface cleaner. Of course, I choked and ran to escape the fumes. I had a talk with my teacher, and the cleaner was removed by the next day. She had the students use 409 cleaner, instead. It was a little better, but not vastly. I switched duties with another student and tidied up the curriculum materials on the shelves, instead.
You know, I got back into child care because I had lost my mind in the field of computer software. I had gone to school to be a teacher, not a technical support lackey.
However, the challenge of returning to the field of child care in my thirties has meant dealing with escalating health problems while trying to remain limber and agile, which are the basic requirements for being a preschool teacher.
I find myself in the past year wondering more and more often, “Did I really make a wise career choice for myself?”
Wanting to do something is one thing. My body and health cooperating with this is another thing entirely. But what else will I or can I do for a paycheck?? I’ve never been anything other than a child care provider or a clerk or a corporate office lackey of some sort.
Thursday, June 17, 2010: I was so sleep deprived by Day 4 of the training class that I decided to make a giant mug of caffeinated tea and take it with me to school. This helped me immensely with being able to stay alert and awake for the 8 hour class.
However, by early afternoon, I began experiencing left side pain and ovarian pain. It was intermittent throughout the day. It was Day 8 of the new cycle, so I wondered, is it the caffeine or is it Mittelschmerz? Or is it both?
I had gone for a brisk walk on my lunch hour twice during the week with a schoolmate I’d met during a teacher training course last Autumn, so I was really trying to exercise and work out the kinks in my back. It didn’t work. I was experiencing muscle tightness over my entire body, and at night while trying to sleep, I was getting charley horses in my calves and feet. I was sure I was drinking enough water during the day – I had been bringing two or more bottles of Smart Water (electrolyte water) with me to school each day.
I haven’t been so good at remembering to take my calcium pills – actually I forgot for the entire week. I was only taking Vitamin C and Zinc pills, and occasionally remembering my Evening Primrose Oil capsules. So perhaps I’m deficient in calcium and potassium, and perhaps I’m dehydrated despite what I think was good hydration. It certainly didn’t help my stress level during the week.
Friday, June 18, 2010: The last day of class. I was caffeinated that day, as well. I went out that night and drank some alcohol with my husband. I got buzzed, not drunk. I had a good time and my body felt more relaxed than it had in a week.
However, when I woke Saturday morning, the full body muscle strain was back, and the left side ovarian pain ramped up again. I dealt with the ovarian pain radiating up to my sides and down into the tops of my leg all day, just as I had on Thursday.
Today is more of the same with the ovarian pain. I have been on Ibuprofen and/or half Tylenol 3 pills for much of the week for the pain.
Thankfully, I have a followup appointment with Dr. Giudice this week to go over the MRI report. I can’t wait to get that out of the way.
Each day that passes leaves me wondering if I really should try out the Gabapentin or something similar.
I’ll talk to the doc on Wednesday.
Today, I woke up wanting to cry. I still have classwork to finish. I am expected to put in an appearance at work tomorrow, despite telling them I’d be taking the summer off for the training courses.
I have this week to finish the coursework, and a new class starts the following week. I have three classes back to back to back in July. I’m a tad stressed out over all of this. Each class is college-level intensive – it’s like 11 weeks condensed into one. On top of that, I ended up being partially responsible for taking photos for the class, because the two people who said they would totally flaked, and I panicked, knowing photos were needed, so I began snapping pictures of the demonstrations. Naturally, others saw this and began asking me to share my photos with them. Since we only have a week to assemble the binder, inclusive of 200-something photos from class demonstrations, I began to stress over just one more thing – not letting people down.
So I’m pretty depressed over just about everything right now.
I got the photo thing off my plate by yesterday – all the pix are uploaded and invites sent to classmates to pull down the photos from the web (Picasa). I have an order of printed photos waiting for me at Walgreens.
Now that I’ve made time for journaling, it has helped somewhat. Despite the pelvic pain and shoulder/neck strain, and despite the guilt over not being able to join my husband to help him celebrate with his dad on Father’s Day, I will now start my day and try to finish that damned 3-inch-thick class binder, and begin assembling the summer theme materials to take to work tomorrow.
I’m not working with children tomorrow – my head teacher decided to take off last week during tear-down week. The office already knew I was roped into a class which was pushed up a week. So both of us were gone and our outdoor classroom has not been set up with materials for the summer session. The head teacher is still supposedly AWOL, and the director asked me to come in a few days for a few hours each day to clean up and change out some materials in the outdoor class.
Of course, I said I’d do it, because I felt responsible for picking up for the head teacher’s supposedly unauthorised or poorly-timed absence.
I really really really wish the outdoor classroom head teacher had the freedom to teach in her own style, because the children really are learning and really are excited by her lesson plans. Alas, the parents and teachers and office administration are less than happy with this teacher, because she allows the children and the outdoor classroom to get absolutely filthy. And well, her personality is a lot like a friend of mine back in Michigan – most people just have no clue how to even deal with people like my head teacher and my friend; these two people are on a whole other plane of thought and reasoning. My friend self-diagnosed as Asperger’s Syndrome, and he’s also officially diagnosed as Paranoid Schizophrenic. So, taking his personality and communication style, and seeing how closely my head teacher matches him, I don’t want to diagnose her – rather, I go with how I’ve learned to interact with my friend and apply it to this teacher. Things have worked out for the most part pretty well between us. But I don’t think I can save her from the parents, the teachers or the administration. :(
So I am covering her ass for a few days, for a few hours each day this week, as the children begin summer school. I will see teachers and children, but I am not instructing the children. I am not taking in any pupils to the outdoor classroom. I’m merely there to use what I learned last week in class in trying to set out some materials for summer session.
This is of course a bit stressful in and of itself, but also a good learning experience, no?