Daughter had pneumonia this week. Like all week. In hospital and everything. Before you panic, know that she is fine, home from hospital, and currently running around at top speed neighborhood children (with doctor's approval).
Here was the timeline...
Sunday, feeling fine and jumping around in a bounce house
Monday she progressed from feeling sick to her stomach and lethargic, to complaining that it was hard to breathe (but it often is when you are congested) to having obvious breathing difficulties (including retractions-- where you could see her ribs with each inhale) and a dreadful crackling noise in her lungs.
So it was a trip to the ER.
Got to the Children's Hospital at 11:30, nebulizer, chest x-rays, IV fluids for dehydration (but I suspect also because they knew we'd be staying)...
Admitted at 3:30 am.
Supplemental oxygen several days. Finally discharged once she was able to make it through the night without setting off the pulse O2 monitor without her mask.
I felt guilty for staying at the hospital and not going in to work during the day. Which I technically could have done with husband and grandmas and many other helpful people in town.
Except I would have been rubbish at work. And no one at work expected me to leave my daughter in the hospital so that I could rush in to assist in the instruction of facts vs. opinions.
The eighth graders by the way are doing a unit on fake news. Really it is on how to tell if a source is reliable. Taught a similar unit to my college students last year. So they could cite reputable sources when writing a paper. Unsurprisingly both age groups have trouble telling fact from fantasy in the age of instant digital publishing.
The weird sleep/wake schedule that I had (waking on the hour as they came in to check on daughter or when the alarms went off on the IV or the oxygen) may have helped with my adjustment to daylight savings time.
I will not encourage other children to require hospitalizations in the spring to facilitate my entry into increased daylight.
It was of course the children's spring break this week. Happily the elder children were able to go do fun things with a grandma.
As we speak I am dying my hair blue. Highlights, I should say. I went to a regular salon and they told me they didn't have bright enough colors for me... so they just lightened my hair so I would be able to put in my own color. Isn't that just a fascinating bit of trivia.
I a having a bad attitude about students with bad attitudes. There is just ONE student in each of my classes who is persistently A. disrespectful and B. disruptive. It makes it hard to get things done. For anyone.
The problem is that for all of these students there are all kinds of mitigating circumstances in terms of why they are acting out. Stuff at home. Not having appropriate boundaries. Or appropriate levels of support. The fact that they came here as refugees with interrupted schooling. The vague (or specific) feeling that people have already given up on them.
They need a teacher like in any one of those inspirational teacher movies who will give them tough love and not take any of their crap and then they will remarkably get top scores on some national exam and get a scholarship and deliver a heartfelt speech thanking their teacher who made them the man they are today. Because of course they are boys.
I cannot be that teacher.
I can be the teacher who gives them a fresh start every day. Not holding the previous day's behavior against them. Not sitting there waiting for them to fly apart so I can have them removed from class (which I have not resorted to very often).
The problem is balancing the needs of the WHOLE CLASS against the needs of the one student. Whose needs are so great they could suck all of the caring and compassion out of any one teacher. And what happens to everyone else?
I am loathe to remove a student from class... Typically they are already doing poorly because they are not paying attention in class. Removed from class they will certainly not do any better. But if they are clearly NOT learning and their presence is preventing other people from learning... temporary removal from the classroom is the appropriate course.
It is perhaps telling that these three students have one thing in common (otherwise they are VERY different): each one has parents who... a call home will have no effect. The parent is either at a complete loss for what to do and/or they have given up. Which makes the school/home partnership rather incomplete.
I don't want to be yet another person who gives up on these students. I don't see their other teachers giving up on them either. But I don't think the students see how much the staff at the school is trying to do for them. They just know that we won't let them do whatever they want to (the way they often can at home).
We had a student leave the school this year because he didn't like that teachers kept telling him to do things. He would prefer if he could just hang out and talk to his friends. Wouldn't we all.
Grateful Crap: oxygen
went back to work
eating something besides hospital food (although it was surprisingly good. made fresh. with real ingredients)
meds: 200mg lamotrigine
someone asked me if i had done something yet and it was an excuse to think of all the things that i have not yet done. this was not helpful for me. what would be helpful for me is to just DO a little something every day.
just a little. not everything. not all the way. small steps, but stepping in the right direction.
i saw that anderson cooper blocks the twitter feed of the current occupant. i don't follow him, but it is nice to know that even people in news... maybe particularly people in news... need to find ways to disconnect.
there are 50-some days left in the school year. it is my intention to take an online class or two as a way to structure my time.
i am tired. i get tired in the evening. early on. which is not what i would expect from spring. nor does it feel much like spring today. the wind is whistling past my head just outside the kitchen door.
i made it through the day at work without wearing one of my beaded cuffs and i didn't even freak out about it beyond realizing on my way to work that i had forgotten to put one on. and that was more like a "i forgot to put on a watch" rather than a "i forgot to wear deodorant" or "i forgot to put on pants" level of panic.
i need to schedule to see my psych np. she wants to see me in march.
now is when i purposely do NOT list all of the other things that i need to do. things i need to do for other people are weighing on me quite heavily at the moment. tangible things that they can hold in their hands.
i want to write more. i want time to just sit and write on my fiction. romance novel. i'd like to try another round of submissions with it. but first i have to finish my edits, have my readers read through it again for errors and consistency (seems a little... lumpy?)
how is it that i can be so anxious about things and yet be fairly flexible? i seem like i have the personality of someone who should be concrete sequential. rule-bound. orderly. this is the impression that i give some people in my work life.
they are the people who see me in meetings. where my goal is to get in, get done, and get out as quickly as possible. where my goal is to do precisely what is being asked of me. and then walk away and not have to think about it any more. this is the ideal. or walk away and be able to use the very valuable information i have gleaned. one or the other.
people who have seen my desk... people who have seen me teach... people who have spoken to me outside of a formal meeting setting do not have any illusion that i am a linear thinker. abstract. random.
it is hard to stay away from the news.
there is this whole day without women thing happening tomorrow. zero percent of the women teachers i work with will be staying home from school. it would not be helpful to our students and who would notice but them? we're meant to wear red, i guess.
what i would really like is a day without trump. without any mention of him across the media spectrum. anywhere. wouldn't it be amazing.
i don't want to be political here. but i suppose political is a part of who we are. i wonder if i would feel the same degree of fatigue... the same bereavement over the complete media saturation... if it was in relation to someone i supported.
has this already happened and i didn't even notice?
like a tongue seeking out the sore tooth, you can't help but be drawn in to the stories that infuriate.
my fingernails are too long to type.
grateful crap: off switches. also popcorn bowls that let you make popcorn in the microwave
meds - 200mg lamotrigine
did sales tax for my bead shows
I don't feel quite as roller-coastery lately. This is good. No longer waking with my heart pounding. Having an easier time getting to sleep. Even though I did reinstall the New York Times app on my phone and I sometimes read it before bedtime or in the morning, I am not quite so obsessed with checking things.
I wonder if that's what it feels like to have PTSD... at least the hypervigilance part. If so, it sucks. If not, it still sucks. And quite frankly, I have known for quite some time that I'd rather avoid PTSD. The fewer co-occuring mental illnesses I can accumulate the better.
I am working to help a friend who is in dire straits. It helps put things in perspective for me in a Greek tragedy sort of way. I have other stresses but mine seem much more manageable in comparison. And I am happy to find ways that I can help. She is also quite good at making sure I don't agree to things that I shouldn't.
This is a particular skill of hers: saying "no" on my behalf.
I am looking for ways to have some structure in my summer so I think I will be enrolling in some online college classes leading toward a K-12 reading certificate. It should help me with teaching my ELL students grades 6-12.
I love my job, by the way. It is stressful at times, but only because I am fairly (or a lot) invested in my students and how to best serve their needs. Even when one or two of them are driving me up the wall.
One of my acquaintances joked today that I should try getting drunk or smoking marijuana to see if it would help me relax. Mostly she was kidding because she knows what a rigid person I am in some respects. Because I have never been drunk or stoned. She thought maybe it was something I should experience.
Don't worry. This is not going to happen. Largely for the same reasons that it hasn't happened yet. I don't want to know if I like being drunk or stoned. Because if I do... I have an obsessive/addictive personality and I would have a hard time with moderation, I think. And if I don't like getting drunk or stoned, then why should I do it?
Added to this is the fact that I am COMPLETELY unwilling to do anything that will mess with my medications. We laughed at the idea that I would only eat "magic" brownies under completely controlled circumstances under the observation of trained healthcare professionals. It seemed to defeat the relaxation purpose.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) my drug of choice is sugar and chocolate... which also are no good for me. I'm off of them (added sugar anyway) for March. Doing another 30 days without added sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol... Mostly because it is a good way for me to get back to moderation.
When I notice that my consumption of sugar has gone way up (eating cookies etc. every day) I take a thirty-day break and it resets things so I no longer crave sugar.
I have no intention to go off sugar for life. I just would like to moderate the sugar usage. And at this point (I think I've already been off sugar for more than a week... I started early) I am not craving super-sugary things. I do have dates and frozen fruit every day to satisfy my sweet tooth. But not cookies, ice cream and chocolate.
Still have not figured out a way to make myself exercise. (SWEET! I just remembered how to spell that word! I told one of my students that I would learn how to spell it by today. Mission accomplished.)
P.S. I am no longer quite as terrified about current events in my country. I am developing more distance. A curiousity about how messed up things will get rather than overwhelming panic (which was really not helpful or productive anyway).
Grateful Crap: my thumb no longer hurts as much. Thus the ability to type at regular speed.
meds 200 mg lamotrigine
walking about 4,000 steps per day (it's a start)
not obsessing about news. (Of course now I am going to go check the news because I have spent enough time writing about it here that I can't get it off my mind. What if the current occupant of the White House has done something?)
Quaker, teacher, parent,