Friday, May 21, 2010

a long month

Continuing my impersonation of a healthy person, even while all this stupid health stuff continues in the background:

- I had a wonderful student teaching experience for my Adolescent Behavior class. Really, it could not have been better. It was a little crazy, since I took on a lot more responsibility than was required for the class, but my mentor teacher was very encouraging and I valued the opportunity to work with her and get the benefit of her experience for as long as was feasible. So a 20 hour requirement turned into nearly 4 weeks, and instead of 2 lessons I taught an entire (small) unit, and instead of teaching just 2 hours I taught 6 classes a day, 7 days of instruction. Loved it, loved confirming that yes, I can handle it physically. Kind of annoyed that it has taken me so long to get here, but at least I'm here.

In other news, the kids all passed their karate tests and have moved up to purple belts, and they totally aced their Arizona Study Program piano tests, with Superior grades on their performance exams and nearly flawless written theory test scores. DD and DS1 are both recognized at their schools as Golden Scholars, and DD's band concert was terrific. DS2 had a research project on Ferdinand Magellan, and DD had one on Betsy Ross which required a costume... which induced me to get out the sewing machine. Been a long time since I sewed from a pattern, but the little hat, scarf, and apron all came out great and she looked terrific.

On the medical front:
- came down with a UTI on my first day of actual teaching. Instructive, as this is something that's common for teachers. Schedules are very tight, and we don't get to go to the bathroom whenever we want or need to... which can lead to things like UTIs. Obviously I'm going to have to watch that. I actually went to the mini-clinic at CVS over the weekend while the van's tires were being rotated, but then I went back on Tuesday to my regular office for a follow-up, because I'm still feeling off and I'm having flank pain. I've had flank pain before, I've even had PT for flank pain before, but the exercises aren't helping. The PA assured me I don't have a kidney infection, but I'd feel a lot better if the flank pain and other symptoms just went away. The PA seemed sure it was muscle pain, but I haven't been doing anything that would stress those muscles, so I don't know. And even if teaching and being at school was messing me up (which it never did before when I was subbing), I've been home now since Tuesday and it's no better. It's probably just my fibromyalgia, acting up for no reason.

- the hip is a lot better, the bursitis is gone, the muscle/tendon thing is still there but seems to be getting better. I honestly don't know. It's a range of motion thing and I can certainly live with it. I'm just grateful that the bursitis has resolved.

- the RA is still kicking my butt on a daily basis. Hands are the worst. Arthrotec 75 2x/day is helping quite a bit, particularly with the gastroparesis, but I'm still having pain every day. I tried the pain meds (Ultram) one day and they did nothing, but I only took one and I suppose I should try two, as per the prescription. I didn't feel loopy when I took it but I did have a bought of dizziness the next morning -- unrelated? Don't know, but do know that dizziness is a known side effect. Also have Arava, which I'm not taking, for several reasons including I work in schools so being immuno-suppressed isn't the best idea, and that it takes about 3 months to start working, and when you stop taking it, it circulates in your systems for months or years afterwards. I'm not sure what the upside is supposed to be, but for now I'm holding off on it.

- The left eye-headache thing: saw the TMJ doc, and he thought it was muscle tension related and gave me trigger point injections in my neck. These did nothing (and apparently will cost me $358, as opposed to the $144 quoted at the office, but I don't have a bill in hand yet, so we'll see). He stressed my PT exercises which I am doing -- no effect. Dr. O, the ENT, ordered a sinus CT scan, it's completely clean, and then did a bunch of exams in the office, exhausting his expertise. He's thinking cranial nerve involvement, and referred me to a neurologist. Saw her this morning, she was very thorough, and, as expected, ordered the MRI. She thinks it's probably migraines even though they are not manifesting like typical migraines, but we need the MRI to rule out lesions. Exam and symptoms rule out a problem with the optic nerves, and the sinuses, inner ear, and muscle tension have all been ruled out also.

She gave me Relpax to try for the pain when it's bad, like now (about a 5) -- it never goes away completely, it will fade to a 2 (more like insistent pressure than actual pain, but I notice it). I can't figure out what makes it worse or better, which is annoying. If I knew what was causing it, I'd stop doing that!

DH started MediFast this week. He doesn't need to lose much weight at all, really, but he needs to change his relationship with food, and that's not something I can do for him. He'll be working with these folks for a year. I think it will help, and I'm doing what I can to support him. In the beginning things are rather stringent, so I made him a stir-fry last night of garlic, mushrooms, broccoli and spinach, which he really enjoyed.

I'm still slogging through my two classes -- not much left to do now but I asked for and got a 1 week extension. If I were feeling better I could have pushed and finished everything by tomorrow -- maybe. Far better to take the extra week and not stress so much about it.

DD and DS1 will be taking classes in June, math for DD and Latin 1 for DS1 -- it's only Monday - Thursday from 8-12, and it will give them something to do, so I'm not terribly traumatized by it. DD is a bit annoyed, but she'll survive. DS1 seems not to care at all, although he is excited about starting Chandler Prep in August.

By the time vacation gets here, we will have well and truly earned it.

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