no one was ever blinded by looking at the brighter side of things...

Friday, June 25, 2010

boo! to my back...

I know I've touched on this subject a bit here and there but in the last 6 months I have not been a fan of my back. I first 'injured' it in January 2009 but it recovered nicely...until January 2010. Then, all back-related hell broke loose!

It started slowly - mile pain over the weekend and the BAM!!!! on Feb 2nd I went down at school. Literally, in my classroom. Tears. Telling kids to go to the office to get a secretary. An emergency sub situation where I literally said "Good luck. You have kids from this time to that time." No directions at all!

I headed to Urgent Care where I got some much needed painkillers and a prescription for massage. Then started the treatments. And now, almost 6 months later. I FINALLY went to a doctor...should have gone a while ago but massage and chiropractic had gotten me through. After this last recurrence 2 weeks ago I made an appointment at Rebound which is known for joint and orthopedic surgery. This is the same clinic that years ago repaired my Mom's knee.

I went in, talked the usual doctor talk with the doctor and was whisked off to XRay. When the doctor came back in he was kind of smiling and said "Well I have some interesting news" and I literally thought he was going to tell me I was pregnant (I'm not...thankfully). Turns out, I'm an anomaly. Most people have 5 Lumbar Vertebrae. I, on the other hand, have 6. If you google "L6 spinal" like my loving Mother did you will find the word anomaly in the heading :) Oh special me!

I've done an hour or so of research and there isn't a ton but I'm going to dig more. Even my doctor told me that some people believe the extra vertebrae causes the back pain and some don't. Personally for me, I feel it explains a lot. Though, not only do I have an extra vertebrae, one of the nodules on my L6 is fused where it should not be. It is fused on the left side (and not on the right) and ALL my pain in no the left...coincidence...I think NOT!

I also have a bulging disk, which is not exciting. Hopefully the physical therapy and healthy life choices (it really is time to kick my ass in gear) will help with this.

Now I'm doing Physical Therapy with massage and acupuncture in the mix. Yes, you read that right...acupuncture. It really was not as bad as I thought it was going to be and I was in SSOO much pain I was willing to try anything - even if it involved needles. I was doing chiropractic and probably will again soon...but I'm not comfortable/happy with my past provider. So we'll see.

In the end I am glad I know more about myself now, at least my internal self. It alters the course of treatment and the way I'll take more caution to write things down and think about the future. Surprisingly, it also makes me calmer about all of it. Now I know I am not crazy...not that I was imaging the pain...but just for some odd reason makes it all make sense now!

Surgery is a possibility, especially to un-fuse my L6. The doc said that would make for a pretty painful pregnancy and standard delivery if I wanted that. Again, we'll see. I'm hoping to avoid it at all costs but it might be inevitable.

I'll going back in 7 weeks. So I'll update you then. So if you're ever out with me and I'm walking slow, taking breaks, or not going as hard or fast as I used you know. This doesn't mean I can't participate in general walking activities (zoo, light hike, shopping) it just means I need to be careful and make good choices to keep myself healthy!

Picture to be back soon...thanks for the tip Nick.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

sewing ~ practice = more practice...

Now that it is summer I really am going to try to motivate myself to do more around the house and more things for "me time." One of these things will hopefully be sewing. I have a few projects worth of fabric in my room and am determined to do those projects before I buy anything else...we'll see how that goes! One project was to make a few more reusable is one. I LOVE this yellow and green fabric with the white. Very summer but not too loud/bright. I think the blue handle was the right choice!

The bag. It is pretty big...

Inside the bag.

I tried a new "stich". I need to work on it. I tried to do this in one continual motion but that meant sometimes I had to dew backyard for one (or two) of the sides...but for the first time I'd say it looks okay. Definitely something I want to perfect (eventually)...

I have at least two more bags I'm going to make out of this fabric...maybe I'll send one to you ;-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

school's out for summer!!!

WOW. It has been busy around here! The main attraction is our new deck (finished!) and almost completed awning...more about that in the next post!!! Also, school ended which is just a crazy time of year in general. This year really has been a good year at my school. And a friend Sabrina got the 4th grade teaching job at my school! Sabrina and I became friends through another staff member/facebook/and the WSU alumni meet-ups! She's awesome and a great addition to our team!

Sabrina and her room key. Notice my empty room...a sure sign of summer!

This school year did end on a good note and a bad note. Good note - all my kiddos made good progress through the year!!! Bad not- I pulled out my back again!!! GRRRR. I did it the weekend before school was officially over - though I was done teaching. I also did it the last weekend our deck was under construction...whoops!

At the end of the year the teacher's at my school send all the buses of with a wave ans screams of enjoyment!!!

The day after the last day of school we had a staff retreat, in part to welcome our new Principal into our family :-) I'm not sure what he thought of all of us...

1st grade

2nd grade...minus one member.

3rd grade

4th grade

5th grade

kindergarten/reading specialists

specialists (music, pe) & the counselor & new Principal

and last but CERTAINLY not and my "special" team :)

It was a survivor themed party because we survived a lot this year. A new school, many deaths of close family members of many different people in the school, lots of new staff, goodbyes and hellos (changing of the principal guards so to speak)...and much much more! And yes, the special ed torch is actually a plunger!!! Hilarious!!!

This will be the first time in 4 years of teaching that I will have stayed at the same school, and even in the same city!!! It was definitely a different feeling at the end. I did not have to pack boxes, say farewell, or move!!! I am excited to see my kiddos next year but am thankful that it is summer vacation!!! I have a few things planned, mainly my family vacation with an extension trip to Chicago in a few weeks. I want to get lots of sewing done, painting (bathroom and awning), really learn to cook - or at least be come better at it and master some quick and easy recipes as well as some slow-cooker recipes!

HELLO SUMMER 2010!!!!!