Thursday, February 29, 2024

Take a Flying Leap

(It's Leap Day!)

Winter has returned for a minute or two. With snow. I went to the lake after my doctor visits on Tuesday. It was such a beautiful day with very springlike temperatures. Yesterday the temperature plummeted and there was snow on the ground this morning. It'll be gone by Saturday, if not tomorrow.

So... things at work have been going better. My boss has been extremely... nice. Nothing was said about the email, nor was there a reply, but she has been extra friendly. I'm not sure exactly what this means but I'm willing to wait and see. I will be guarded, but honestly don't wish to cause trouble or stir up strife, nor am I trying to make enemies.

We had an incident at work today. (I'm not saying anything more, simply putting this here for myself as a reference point.) Maybe I'll tell the story after it's all sorted out and settled.

My blood pressure continues to be up and down but my resting heart rate has been good. The doctor's notes said, "She is normal weight," which I found encouraging even if I would like to lose 30 pounds. I'm trying to eat better while waiting for spring and the ability to walk more consistently. I was in pain back in the fall and did not walk near as much as I'd hoped. We're in the home stretch. Just another blizzard or two and it can be spring.

Pictures from my stop at the lake on Tuesday afternoon when it was 70 degrees or more.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Feels

 I write it here because it helps get it out of my brain and onto "paper"...

The struggle is real. I don't know whether it's due to mid winter (even though it feels more like April) or because tomorrow (now today) marks ten years since my mom's "graduation day," or because the work situation really is taking a toll, but I feel defeated and defective. I know feelings do not equal truth and there is a way out of the abyss I have fallen into. I just haven't found it quite yet...

Two doctor appointments tomorrow; one for a cortisone injection (here's hoping it solves my problem with SI joint pain) and another with the doctor I saw a week and a half ago about my blood pressure (which is sometimes up and sometimes down). I didn't have an appointment time for the injection until this afternoon and so took tomorrow off. It's unpaid because I didn't ask to use PTO in time... Getting used to new people, places, policies is not fun. I was not paid for the day the doctor wrote off either because it was "just under the six month employment time requirement." Ugh! I'm working on another email... 

I'm confused. The Employee Handbook says on p. 14,

"All full time employees will be awarded 16 hours 
of Paid Sick Leave upon hire. All employees will accrue
one hour of Paid Sick Leave for every 30 hours worked, 
up to a maximum of 56 hours per calendar year. Employees 
do not accrue leave for payments that are not for hours 
worked, such as vacation and holiday time.

Employees begin to accrue Paid Sick Leave immediately upon
 hire and are eligible to use Paid Sick Leave upon accrual 
as needed."
I understand the six months wait for vacation pay, but the time off 
with a doctor's note should have been considered sick time. 
Am I wrong?

Thank you,

Here's hoping they pay me the 24 hours of vacation time when I go to Florida in 3 weeks. I really, really don't like fighting for everything (including accident reports).

I am tired. There are a myriad of ways to raise children and deal with discipline issues, and they change according to the recommendation of society. I won't go so far as to say today's parents and caretakers are doing it wrong (the verdict won't be in for 20 years or so), but I know that my way of raising kids is outdated and considered "negative" in the eyes of the younger generation. It leaves a multitude of ways to interact wrongly in a daycare setting. Every week (maybe even every day) I find myself looking the other way and silently saying "I don't even care" when a child misbehaves. I do not recognize myself when this happens.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

The Much Needed and Unanticpated Long Weekend

All weekends should be at least three days long. (Ha ha!) I feel so much better and my numbers continue to look better too. I'm headed back to work tomorrow.

Yesterday I went shopping and bought the supplies to make Chicken and Noodles which is one of the lunches I used to serve when I worked in the daycare kitchen. I mentioned on Facebook how I really, really miss my kitchen job and had three people mention different foods I had prepared. Hannah misses my goulash, Beth misses the chicken salad, and Tahnya has been craving Chicken and Noodles for five years now. I'm planning to make her some too, but I had to make a refresher recipe first and it turned out delicious!

My sister met me at church this morning. We have gone together several times now and it is feeling more and more like the place I'd like to settle. My heart is peaceful (although occasionally palpitating) and calm. I am finally feeling a renewed connection to scripture and the God who loves us more than I am able to comprehend. We met for a very late breakfast/lunch after the service. A rare occurrence.

The afternoon was spent at home trying to get my feet warmed up. I was finally successful after turning on a space heater and sitting in front of it for a while. In all honesty, I do prefer the spring temperatures of the last couple of weeks even though I know winter is not over yet.

Plans are being laid for my trip to Florida. There are a few friends I hope to see in the week I'm there and I managed to connect with every one of them this weekend. (I am so excited!)

Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Numbers

Still high but looking better. 

Having an unplanned long weekend has been good. My heart, though still occasionally making itself known, is feeling more at rest.

Thank you for your prayers.

Friday, February 16, 2024

The Continuing Saga

My blood pressure is just as high at home as it was in the doctor's office, so it's not the White Coat kind. The good part of that is I did not go to the doctor for nothing. The bad part is my blood pressure is way too high.

I am scheduled to have a cortisone injection in my sacroiliac joint on February 27 (They called today) and I had to send my boss another time off request for that and the follow-up appointment. I don't blame her for wanting to go crazy with my abundance of appointments. I'm a little crazy with it myself. One thing just leads to another...

* My visit to my GP about my back pain led to physical therapy, which led to orthopedics, which led to the Spine Center/pain management doctor, which is leading me to the cortisone injection and a follow-up appointment..

* My apparent allergic reaction in Cape Cod led to the allergist noticing my elevated tryptase levels which led to him sending me to hematology to rule out anything serious. (He thinks it's just a hereditary condition that makes me more susceptible to itching and hives but wants to make sure. Test so far have pointed in that direction.) That appointment is March 11th.

* My visit to the eye doctor led to a visual field test, which led to the possibility of eye lid surgery. (LOL! Like that's going to happen... There are way too many other things to address.)

* My appointment yesterday, precipitated by my visit to the Spine Center, led to an EKG, which is leading me to a cardiologist on my return from Florida in March.

That doesn't include the recommendation to see an orthopedist for my hands, and I haven't even mentioned yet how my right sinus always feels like there is a blockage in there. Headaches are almost always on the right side and it always feels like there is something in my right nostril that doesn't come out when I blow my nose... Ugh. Have I told you I once didn't go to the doctor for years and years?

Anyway, taking a mental health day was profitable. I wasn't comfortable doing nothing and I wasn't comfortable doing something, so I decided to at least be accomplished. I cleaned the utility room in the center of the house. I feel much better knowing most of the dust and cobwebs have been cleaned away from the furnace and water heater, off the walls, and out of the corners. It's not finished yet but the difference is astonishing.

PS. Some pictures of last week's pottery night creations. Tonight I'll be rolling more slabs and hopefully glazing.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

So There.

So, I was feeling anxious enough to call the doctor this morning on my break. A little short of breath (nothing excessive), a tad lightheaded (which could mean nothing), and totally overwhelmed along with that heart that I can almost always feel beating. (It's beating. That's good, yes?) 

My boss was less than thrilled when I told her. "Will you be coming back afterward?" she asked in an exasperated tone, along with a look of disgust. 

"I don't know," I told her, "It depends on what happens.

"I'll have to rewrite the schedule," she muttered.

I could be reading more into her tone and answers than I should. I want to like her. I want her to like me. I've had more than my share of appointments in the 6 months I've worked there... She doesn't really know me, and I don't know much about her, but there has never been any hint of concern from her. No "I hope everything goes well!" or "How is your hand feeling?" (I fell on it in January.) Nothing. It feels as though she couldn't care less.

Anyway, I had my highest blood pressure reading ever when I arrived at the doctor's office. They checked both arms with the machine, and then did a manual check as well. The doctor checked it several  minutes later and it had relaxed significantly, but it was not any lower than it had been on Monday. She decided to prescribe a low dose of medication and suggested I pick up a blood pressure cuff and track my readings for the next two weeks. They also did a quick EKG and said perhaps I should see a cardiologist due to a slight abnormality. (If my kids are reading this at all, don't panic. I'll let you know if there's anything big going on. My appointment with cardiology isn't until I come home from Disney.) Oh, and the doctor also wrote me a note to stay home this afternoon and tomorrow. 

Winter has descended. It was cold when I walked into the doctor's office a little before 1 pm. Bitter, even, but the ground was clear and dry. And hour or so later, when I was buying a blood pressure machine in Target, the snow started coming down. It will be an entirely new world out there tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Under Pressure

I have been feeling stressed. Toddlers are great for raising blood pressure and mine is way too high. I do not like the numbers I am seeing (at the spine center on Monday), and I don't like how I've been feeling. It was too late to call my doctor's office this evening so I sent them on online message to inquire about it. I don't have a headache, I can see fine, and my speech is not slurred. I'm not dizzy and can walk just fine. (It's the galloping that sends me sprawling and I've purposed not to do anymore of that.) Just putting this out there because it's what's on my mind at this particular moment. Yes, I will connect with the doctor. Thankfully, I have one. I am grateful.

What is wonderful in my life? My mother taught me to "count my blessings" so there is always something for which to be grateful. I have a great vacation on the horizon and I am very much looking forward to spring. I've got some great mugs waiting to be glazed on Friday and people asking if they are for sale. But, in all actuality, I am mostly feeling anxious. Maybe it's because it's February and I miss my mom...

I drank lots of water today. Lots and lots, and now I am having a cup of camomile tea with honey. Perhaps I should scale back on the coffee, not that I drink a ton or anything, just a cup in the morning and another of half caffeine in the afternoon. Maybe replace one cup at a time with cinnamon tea. Maybe.

Oh, I bought myself a comfy, new, little recliner. It's built for women and smaller than the usual. I picked it up at Home Goods a couple weeks ago and it seems very good for my lower back. Great foot rest and fabulous back support. It fit perfectly into the back of my car. I like it a lot and now all I need to do is pay for it. Ha ha!

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Two in a Row

 It's been an interesting year. A year ago I decided to find a new doctor. I didn't have one because I seldom needed one and had been knocked off the past doctor's list of patients for not going often enough. (Who knew that was a thing?) I eventually settled into a practice close to home, caught up on the missing physical and blood work, did the recommended tests, and even went to physical therapy for the pain in my lower back. Not only did I do the doctor thing but I saw my GYN, found a dentist, and got back in with the eye doctor about two weeks ago. 

In September, after a strange allergic-like reaction while on vacation in August, I saw an allergist who had discovered something slightly unusual in my blood work. It's probably something genetic, and if so could explain the possible seafood reaction I had in Cape Cod. He wants me to make an appointment with hematology to rule out anything more serious.

In the meantime, my eye doctor scheduled a visual field test, which was yesterday morning. My upper eyelids lay like puffy curtains over my eyelashes, making it hard to keep my eyes open. (Honestly, sometimes it's an effort.) Eyelid surgery would vastly improve my ability to see, and probably renew my desire to read as well. 

I fell at work a few weeks ago and ended up going to Urgent Care for an x-ray of my right wrist and thumb. Nothing was broken but the suggested I go to an orthopedist. I didn't. My boss was thrown off enough that I gone anywhere at all... and my hand was feeling much better. I've been careful not to overuse my right hand which has apparently resulted in me overusing the left. I felt a popping in the outer part of my thumb yesterday and didn't think much of it, but today the pain has gradually gotten worse, even traveling into my wrist, arm, and fingers. A coworker said I should have it x-rayed too but I bought a brace and took some ibuprofen...

Next week I have an appointment with a pain management specialist. LOL! For my lower back. If I take meloxicam on a regular basis, there is not much pain, but when I back off for too long it comes back. Turning over in bed can be painful. They say it's my SI joint, which is why I went to physical therapy. I now have buns of steel, but my back still hurts.

It sounds like I'm getting old or something. Ha ha! I recently learned that galloping, indoors or out, is not safe for my body, but I'm still trying to convince my brain. I'm not in miserable pain and I stay upright on my feet, unless I pretend I'm a horse. A coworker was "skipping" about the classroom today, but I opted to sit that one out. LOL! I don't want to be the baby (or old lady) who can't mop the floors or lift children, I don't want to be the whiner, and I don't want to go back to the doctor with something new to complain about. I also want to climb mountains, sail the ocean, and ride a zip line.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Just Because

February. Or is it April? It certainly doesn't feel like the middle of an upstate, central, or western New York winter. Where is the snow and the sub zero temperatures? Not that I mind a mild winter, but I don't quite trust these mild ones... Last weekend was absolutely marvelous! Next week we could be buried. We never know.

It's been a week steeped in emotion. In years to come I won't necessarily know what the emotion was regarding, but I chronicle it here just the same. Tears, they say, are healing and so our souls bleed tears. They come in torrents, washing pain and sorrow from deep within our souls and God, in his tender mercy, collects them in a bottle... I've cried gallons of tears in my lifetime. How big must these bottles be?

The toddler room has been total chaos. Toddlers are absolute tyrants. They are defiant, headstrong, and cruel, especially to each other. Pushing, hitting, kicking, biting. Throwing, tearing, grabbing, climbing. Screaming, yelling, whining, crying. And then they look at you with sweet innocence, wrap little arms around your neck, speak your name for the very first time, and grin ear to ear over new accomplishments. It's exhausting, frustrating and rewarding all at once. (I forgot to mention any of the other messes they make... food, poop, boogers... paint, mud, drool...) You'd think with all the things we tolerate in the classrooms, that administration would be kinder. Ah, perhaps we all really are tall two year olds.