Thursday, March 27, 2014

forget it, for now

Insurance company denied the appeal.  Endo decided, OK, we'll settle for an MRI.  The MRI was also denied.  Whatever.  I am not apathetic to this situation but realize I have zero power so I'm not going to spin my wheels about it.

Plans are made for the summer, and I've found a master's degree program that I like, so I'll be looking into that, to start in the fall.  I'm looking forward to taking the summer off, well and truly.

Next year's school year will be busy, as my team has all agreed to take on another class (7 classes each! no prep hour!).  We'll get more pay and supposedly more help in the way of aides, but we'll see how that actually shakes out.   I'm looking forward to just having to update lesson plans and materials rather than creating them from scratch.  It means I'll get my weekends back  -- so of course, I'm going to use them going back to school myself.  I should be able to manage one class at a time without feeling overwhelmed.

(Later) I decided it wouldn't hurt to send an email to my doctors at MD Anderson and see if they wouldn't mind documenting that I don't need whole body scans anymore. They could refuse, and it would not harm my situation, but if they come through with documentation, that will help me to appeal MedSolutions' stupid decisions.

The MDA website has all my medical records from my visits there.  It's funny what I remember and what I did not -- for example, I don't remember my Tg being over 5 when I was there in August of 2006, and the endo there telling me it could be micro-metastatic disease.  My Tg dropped like a rock over the following months until it finally became undetectable, until it became detectable again. I remember so clearly Dr. C saying he got it all.... clearly, we remember only what we want to remember, even if we think we're remembering everything.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

laissez les bon temps...

Today was a day of many whacks, if not to the head exactly, at least to the pysche.

In chronological order, then: One of my dear students very casually mentioned that many students really don't like me.  While I would love to be able to say it doesn't bother me, it does... and of course I would love to explore the reasons and discount whatever tween-age logic is dominating their thoughts, but the reality is, I have a job to do, and doing my job is exactly the kind of thing that some 7th- and 8th-graders are going to resent.

Some short but indeterminate amount of time later, I was meeting with another teacher and recapping events from our recent science fair, which was mostly horrible but ended on a somewhat high note.  The downer from this meeting was learning that many of the elementary school parents think, "We had all this new science fair stuff because we have a new science teacher," me.  Reality: we had all this new, and barely workable, science fair stuff because our district imposed it on us.  I had a chance to look over the packet briefly, but not to give any input, and can honestly say it had nothing to do with me: don't shoot the messenger.

Of course, I'm left with ~320 assessments to do, so if I spent only a minute on each it would still take me more than 5 hours, but given the rubrics I'm supposed to be using, it will be more like 5 minutes each, and I am (not so strangely) resistant to spending a  huge chunk of my upcoming spring break on grading science fair projects.  I need to come up with a solution, but I'm not sure what it will be.

Today was a testing day for my students, and my 8th graders continue to underperform, with a dismal 45% passing rate on a unit so easy they really should have been able to pass in their sleep.

And last but not least, when I finally left campus at about 5PM, I had a voicemail from my endo: my appeal for the PET scan was denied.  No other information, just that, and if I had any questions, please call  What are the next steps?  I have to call to find out.

Today is Mardi Gras.  I defrosted jambalaya for dinner and mixed up some Kentucky mules when I got home, and then moved on to Pancake's Big Day White.  Some part of me warns against self-medicating with alcohol, but it's not as if I'm actually drunk... it just took the edge off.  And now I'll go finish grading my tests and putting those grades in, and preparing lesson materials for tomorrow, because even though I have about 30 hours of grading hanging over my head, curriculum instruction continues.  Friday can't come soon enough.