How Far is Heaven?

Thursday, January 26, 2023

It’s just about exactly half-way through the school year.

It always blows my mind, how fast the year goes. You start, before you know it, it’s the end of quarter 1, then mid year and a couple more blinks brings you to summer break, another year under the belt.

I live most my days in misbelief, lol. When I think of my old life, I get really excited. I’m so lucky to be where I’m at, and to have the life experience that I do.

I can’t believe I used to drink every single night. Then again, I can’t believe it’s been almost four years since I’ve had a drink.

I talk to my (almost) 20 year old about drinking, and he doesn’t seem at all interested. He has diabetes, and while he isn’t perfect with managing it, he says he doesn’t want to drink because it’ll mess with his blood sugar. I know he will probably dabble into drinking at some point during young adulthood, but I feel very happy that I stopped. I want to be a positive role model, and drinking until passing out every night, is not a good look.

I don’t normally talk to my 14 year old about drinking, but it has come up. Every time it does, he says the same thing. When he turns 21, he’s going to go into a bar and order a water. And then another one, and another one. For some reason he thinks this is going to be hilarious, and I love it. I’m so proud that both of them have zero interest and am happy that they don’t have drinking parents anymore.

Speaking of my youngest, I’ve been thinking a lot about his new friend group. He’s always been blessed with many friends who all seem to be good little people. Several months ago he started to meet up with a new friend group that he met online (through a real life friend). They’re all local kids from surrounding cities, and are a bit unusual in that many of them are non-binary, some are trans or identify as another gender- I can’t keep track of the names of all the different things kids are these days.

In the past few months, he’s had this friend group over several times and has gone to parties or get togethers with them. I’ve never had an issue with any of his friends, but one thing I’ve noticed is how cool this specific (the non binary) friend group is. They just seem more friendly, happy and genuine- it’s hard to explain. I’ve been thinking alot about it though, and think that maybe they’re more confident than the other friend groups and more authentic because of that, and may seem more real.

The heartbreaking thing is hearing how some of their parents don’t accept their ways and has threatened to throw them out if they aren’t only gay, but dress like the opposite sex.

I know this is a touchy topic, and I don’t want to get into it. I just wish everyone was free to be whomever they wanted to be.

Truth be told, hubby and I were a little nervous to have this friend group over at first and had many questions for our son. It provoked an insightful and nearly delightful conversation about non-binaries, trans, etc. We weren’t afraid of them, don’t get me wrong. But we were worried about saying or asking the wrong things. I’m thankful to be open and to be able to have this conversation with our young teen.

I’m also still in disbelief that I work at a school within walking distance. We had a snow day yesterday, and there was still a bit of snow to get through today. So it took me 7 minutes to get to work instead of my usual 5 ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

We have a new superintendent, and many other new people at the top. It’s a very exciting time to be involved and I’m loving working in my community. I also love that our programming changed this year (this is when my classroom changed to partly self-contained) and is still being developed. It’s exciting to be a part of this and I’m excited to see the new curriculum we’re getting, etc (won’t be till next year).

I love working at Parkview, mostly. It’s such a quirky school in our district! I think it’s right where I belong and I’m sure the Universe had something to do with the last minute change (I was supposed to be at a different school originally). People seem to get moved around alot, and I have no idea if I’ll be at a different school- or they might lay me off altogether-I don’t have seniority so who knows what’ll happen next year. I have a strong feeling though, that I’ll be at Parkview.

I spent years healing my inner child, and it’s paying off. Oftentimes, I’ll be in a situation- or have a conversation and will handle it pretty well (in my eyes, anyway). The blessing is that I seem to automatically remember how that same situation or conversation would go a few years back- and it usually ain’t pretty! That’s always surprising, and always feels amazing! ๐Ÿ˜Š

And then there’s email dad… he’s emailed me two more extremely long and ranting emails. The second one he sent stressed me out.

Until I got to the middle.

Then I remembered, this wasnโ€™t an attack on me. Iโ€™m just the sounding board. I think Iโ€™m gonna need some boundaries for this situation, Iโ€™m just not sure what that looks like yet ๐Ÿ˜‘

I’m not trying to gloat, and please don’t think my life is perfect, it’s far from.

Life has been sad these past few months. Our cat has a deteriorating condition and has been gradually declining for months. Sometimes he has a lot of snot coming out of his nose and he flings it everywhere. He gets on the counter to get a drink, and I don’t have the heart to make him get down, so I keep a giant pitcher up on the counter for him to drink without having to put his head down. I don’t use that counter anymore, I’m sure he’s sneezed all over it. It’s our biggest counter and the main one we’d use, but oh well.

Normally distraught and frazzled when it comes to my pets’ illnesses, I feel that I’m taking this well. It’s frustrating at times though, because while I’m super in tune to how he is doing from day to day (he has bad and good days) my entire family seems completely oblivious. Am I the only one thinking about that horrible decision we might have to make in the near future? Am I the only one who looks at him intently, trying to gauge whether or not he’s in pain day after day? It appears so.

I’m giving him as much love and understanding as I can right now โค

Also, I saw a new rheumy and he’s bumming me out. He’s not convinced I have rhuematoid or psoriatic arthritis (did blood work to find out more, I go back next week). He doesn’t know what’s going on with me and didn’t seem to know what direction to go in. He did bloodwork and ordered x-rays.

The nurse called to tell me the xrays show that I have inflammatory arthritis. She called me a week later to tell me my blood result show possible early IBD. I have no idea what to make of this, but kind of doubt the rheumy will be able to help me. I’m still taking all the supplements from when I was following Anthony William and have been thinking more seriously about going back on that diet.

But I’m scared, and I’m scared to start working out too. It’s been over a month since I’ve been on the Peloton. It’s not because of my physical health, I’m just worried I’ll get edema like before it was so awful ๐Ÿค”

I’m also proud. Proud that I can spend most days thinking positive thoughts, and feeling happy, especially when things aren’t going the way I want. I’ve been trying to feel my feelings, like when I get really sad about my cat, but then letting them go, not allowing them to stick and cause my thoughts to spiral.

Gosh I wish I had these coping skills before the age of 40! Better late than never, I guess…

No Wine-ing about It

Once in awhile itโ€™ll hit me, how different my life has been these past few years.

Like when I think about my recycle cupboard. The high spot above my fridge- where Iโ€™d keep my bottle of poison, along with the many empties Iโ€™d produce each week.

This sounds kind of lame, but I sort of felt like a super hero when my large recycle bin no longer contained a surplus of empty kahlua, vodka or wine containers. I also donโ€™t miss my indoor liquor/recycle cabinet.

I donโ€™t have to rotate liquor store stops, or make sure I grocery shop after noon on a Sunday (so I could buy liquor), and the perfect Saturday night is spent happily at home- not out wherever at whoeverโ€™s house (basically, wherever I could drink the most ๐Ÿ˜ƒ).

And, an exchange of messages made me realize how much I donโ€™t miss losing things. Expensive, important things ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ™„

But this morning it was loading the dishwasher..

All the wine glasses, so awkward. Top rack? Too tall. Bottom rack? Too flimsy. Where do I put these dang things? How can I forget so easily after loading wine glasses daily for like TWENTY years?

The wine glasses fit awkwardly

It was one of those moments when I realized how little I missed such a huge and scary daily obsession. Which is bananas, considering the amount of time I dragged my feet to quit.

It was like hiding behind a large door. The door is strong and solid, and protects me from harm, while comforting my brain and belly, and ensuring the safety it provides.

I got tired of feeling stuck, but didnโ€™t know how to get through that door. Slowly, by listening to podcasts and reading quit lit (books to help quit drinking), I gathered enough tools to slowly take down that door.

Busting through it took a lot of strength, courage, effort and faith.

Sometimes I got scared, and ran back to my safe room, slamming the big heavy door behind me.

But a part of me knew I didnโ€™t belong in there. After many tries, I finally broke the whole thing down. What I saw next was shocking.

Rows and rows of open doors surrounded me. Each one was warm and welcoming. Better yet, I could go through each one without becoming a prisoner.

Those doors are the gifts of sobriety, and they tend to multiply ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿผ๐ŸŽ‰

So, if youโ€™re on the fence, give yourself a chance or two, youโ€™re worth it ๐Ÿค

* 3 Years * 9 Months * 5 Days *

The Holiday Recovery Game

This is a game I’m losing, hardcore. I have way too many cookies leftover and my sweet tooth is dominating my dreams of eating healthy again.

I ate more desserts than real food (well, if you call the standard American diet, real food..) these past few days. I feel really gross about now. Yesterday, the day after Christmas, I made a Liver Rescue Smoothie for the first time. It was really good and felt good to be ingesting real, living, high vibrational food.

I’m so lucky that I’m a recovering alcoholic. Instead of beating myself up over all the indulging, I can be proud for not drinking- yay me!

All in all, the holidays were just a mild nuisance this year. The more I think about it, the more I kind of wish we didn’t celebrate Christmas. I can see now, how the perfect storm brewing from expectations, family drama, family stress, back-to-back family parties, stress about gifts, etc etc … can make one feel like they’ve been through a natural disaster.

I was very happy to work until 12/23, which is very late for us. While others were complaining, I played devil’s advocate and said how happy I was to get that dang holiday over with and still have most of my break left. Most of the time, Christmas lands in the middle, then our vacation is half over already.

I was even happier to have a snow day on Friday, 12/23!! It was such a great gift. We had been watching the storm for about a week, wondering if we’d get our wish, and we did!

That night, something crazy happened.

I woke up to sirens, but didn’t think much of it, except my dog was acting a little ancy. Even after the sirens had stopped, he kept whining and I thought he probably just had to go outside, or heard an animal outside or something. I was half asleep for I don’t know how long, and I thought I kept hearing voices in the distance.

I finally got up and opened my shades to see reflections of emergency flashers on our lawn. The view of the street was obstructed by a big bush, so I couldn’t tell what it was.

I got up to check it out. As soon as I walked into the living room, I could see a firetruck through the front door, parked right in front of my house. I walked across the room to our big window and opened the curtains. What I saw outside was a big shock. All up and down the street were emergency vehicles. There were about six fire trucks, two ambulances, and a couple other vehicles with lights.

Is it our house that’s on fire? I absentmindedly thought in my sleepy stupor. Of course not, I countered, they would have probably let us know if that were the case. But I couldn’t see anything on fire and all the emergency vehicles were centered in front of our house, which is why I thought maybe it was our house.

I woke up hubby, who was as shocked as me, and we watched for hours while groups of firemen kept coming in and out of our neighbor, Rick’s house. Rick is the nicest guy, who walks his dog up and down our street multiple times a day and talks to every neighbor he passes by. We were very worried about him with the amount of emergency workers and two ambulances that weren’t going anywhere, and were certainly in no rush. In fact, one of them backed into our ditch and got stuck- a tow truck had to come and get it out. It was all such a crazy night!

I initially got up at 2:30am and finally laid back down around 5 to get some sleep. Hubby said they packed up not too long after, and then he saw Rick get into his car and leave, so we know he’s okay, but still haven’t seen him or found out what happened. It was all weird- the firemen were going in with axes, and towards the end went in with a chainsaw running. There are no signs of fire that we can see from the street.

The following day was Christmas eve, and I knew I’d have to work hard to stay grounded and sane for the next 48 hours or so.

We went to my dad’s on Christmas eve, and now that he has a wife now, it’s a lot nicer. The house was clean and decorated and set up so cute and her food was amazing. My dad did an awesome job as a single parent, but I really missed having a mother figure around and really like Ronda. She is so down to earth, and seems full of joy and gratitude, despite a lot of hardships she’s gone through (like growing up in the foster system, meeting her many siblings and having a relationship with them only as an adult, and losing an adult son to addiction).

I survived the night unscathed!

The following day, Christmas, I was starting to feel ancy. I hadn’t done my morning ritual (reading a page from my soul program, the Lotus and the Lily, meditation and journaling) in two days. It was evident how important that little ritual is for my mental health. I’m used to getting up way before anyone else and having the quiet, dark house all to myself.

Christmas morning started busy, and I didn’t have time to do my ritual after the kids opened their gifts. We got ready and I told my family to go ahead and go to the inlaws. I needed to meditate before going over there, or else I was gonna lose my shit. They live behind us, so it would just be a quick walk over. I couldn’t feel the effects of my meditation session, but am sure it helped me stay happy all night.

All was well in the land of the in-laws. I breezed through situations that would have left me in tears before recovery. They weren’t bad situations, just perceived as bad due to my poor mental state, lack of self-awareness, coping skills and emotional health. I left feeling drained, exhausted, relieved and proud..

That was two days ago, and I’m finally almost recovered from it all. I’m back to getting up before anyone else and taking care of my head. Hubby is off this week with me, and we’ve spent the past couple of days putzing around town looking for good deals and eating at real dives.

Iโ€™m feeling overall optimistic and it feels wonderful. Iโ€™m excited for New Years and believe that 2023 is going to be an amazing year.

#day1371

Trigger Test

#1351 no alcohol

Life is moving fast right now. There’s never enough time. I miss the days of covid, or summertime, when I had hours to spend in the kitchen making food, juices and smoothies, almost daily. Plus the daily walks. Part of me likes the frenzied pace though- as long as I can make time for non-negotables, like working out, soul work/meditation, those types of things.

I walked today for the first time in a few weeks. I’ve been on a workout hiatus for about that long. My body needed a break. I’m gonna take it slow and if all goes well start training for that half in April (Carpe Diem at Proud Lake) shortly after the new year.

Work is insane. It’ll smooth over in the next couple of weeks, and it doesn’t help that I have a huge meeting on Monday with a difficult parent. And I have to facilitate ๐Ÿ˜ฒ It’s virtual, which is probably better than in-person, but seriously, I hate virtual meetings with parents.

The new classroom is going well so far (knocks on wood). I’m getting another student tomorrow and probably one more after next week. It’s more work than I anticipated, but once I get into a groove and don’t’ have a big meeting looming over to prepare for, it should feel easier. And I should clarify that I already know these kids, and already teach them it’s just going to be for a lot longer now.

The boozy cravings I had before Thanksgiving, oddly went away not long after the holiday. I bet it was underlying anxiety/stress related to the holiday. Even though I didn’t feel stressed, and planned a low key day, those little triggers are so freakin’ tricky! Thanksgiving turned out to be a nice day and I had a good time at his parents.

I have to remember this for Christmas though. I haven’t thought about drinking in a week or longer now, but I wonder if I’ll get triggered as the holiday approaches. I’ll be ready and waiting though. It should be a pretty low key holiday, at least.

Glad I didn’t cave- that would have made for a really sad holiday season, I think. I have been so busy, haven’t had a chance to think about drinking, but you never know when those tricky triggers are gonna show up. Holidays are prime time ๐Ÿ˜‘

Stay safe and sober this holiday season! Reach out if you or a loved one are struggling โค

Happy Saturday

Day #1326

My cousin is getting married today at a Brewery up in Frankenmuth. There will be an open bar and plenty of avid drinkers. I can honestly say that I’m super excited to go to this wedding sober. I’m grateful that I don’t feel tempted or cheated that can’t drink, I mean don’t have to drink. I also can say that I’m SUPER excited for the food, LOL. There will be lots of great food, plus a snack bar that opens towards the end- it’s going to be so fulfilling ๐Ÿ˜

I bought a dressy gown off Amazon and am excited to get all dressed up for a night out with hubby. No kids allowed, so it’ll just be the two of us.

Life right now is pretty fabulous!

This is great because I’ve been down since summertime. I even reached out to my therapist, who I haven’t talked to since January 2020. I told her I had been through health stuff and a new job and just couldn’t crawl out of the funk I was in. My appointment with her is tomorrow, but by now I’ve seemed to somehow get out of that depression- but figure it’ll be good to talk to her anyways.

I don’t know what all we’ll talk about- but I’ve been thinking about the last time I talked to her. I was so so stressed about a family party. She helped me put it into perspective- and I survived ๐Ÿ˜œ

I’ve come a long way since then. Family parties no longer stress me out- I think she is going to be pleased with the growth I’ve made these past couple of years.

I’m still pretty light on the NSAIDS. I’ve been taking Motrin in the morning, otherwise I have general aches everywhere (hands/feet especially) and it’s hard to open things, etc. BUT, most or all the days since I last wrote two weeks ago and that’s been the only dose I’ve needed. SO much better than Motrin and Tylenol 4 times a day.

I’ve bumped up my Wellbutrin to twice a day. I thought it would help- and I think it has. Maybe this is why I’m feeling better. I hope to go back down to once a day, but with winter and the holidays coming, I’ll probably wait until spring or summer.

I’ve also started exercising more. I’ve been on the bike a few times this week and have gone for a couple walks. I’m not exactly running yet, but moving everyday is something I’ve missed and was probably contributing to my depression. Cardio is my therapy!

I’m on Day 37 out of 42 of the May Cause Miracles soul program. It’s been a great routine for me! I usually do it first thing, and in doing so I think my body has adapted and most days I wake up long before my alarm goes off. I’ve been familiar with most of the concepts- so much of it was review- but it’s always good to review and practice this stuff. Especially in today’s cranky ass world. Doing this program also probably helped my depression lift. I’m going to miss the morning routine of it, and will have to figure out a new routine.

That’s all I’ve got ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Happy Saturday everyone! โค

Every Relationship has a Purpose

It’s #Caturday and both cats are doing better since the last time I wrote.

Zoe seems to be healing up okay (I say this because it still looks pretty gross) and Milo was seen by a specialist.

It was very lucky that we got a consultation appointment. We were going to have to take him in through emergency-just to be able to see a veterinarian- but miraculously, my friend reached out to the clinic in Auburn Hills, where she takes her cat and knows the dr and technician and they happened to have a cancellation the next day- which was the very day that I planned to take off to take him to emergency.

They said he looked pretty good and felt comfortable waiting until 11/16 to do a scan. Then we’ll find out his prognosis. I’m hoping it’s just inflammation or polyps or a fungal infection- and not a growth. Already, the scan is very very expensive- and that doesn’t include whatever treatment he may need.

My health is still pretty good ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

I’ve taken less NSAIDs this week than I have in a long time- probably like a year. I’ve gotten in a couple walks and eager to start increasing my workouts.I’m thinking of that half marathon in April. I can’t wait and SO hope that I get to train for it and participate.

The name of the half is, Carpe Diem/Carpe Noctem, seize the day/seize the night. You can run it night or day- I chose daytime to run.

Outta my way, I got a carpe to diem today!

I saw the saying above and didn’t want to forget it, because I love the way it sounds and the meaning of it- I want to make a shirt of it, LOL.

I’m on around Day 23 of the May Cause Miracles book. I’m loving doing it before work, and try to set aside 20-30 minutes each morning. I think it makes my days more positive. I get irritated if I oversleep and feel rushed doing it or if I don’t have time to do it at all. I’m glad I’m finally doing it, I started in like 2019 and made it to week 3, but stopped and have been meaning to get back to it ever since. I plug in my grounding (earthing) mat and rest my feet on it while doing this. I’d like to think that this has helped my physical and emotional health improve, but who knows. I have my feet on it right now as I write, you can’t be too grounded, right??

This week’s work is relationships. It’s an excellent focus for me, and I should probably just plan on doing this week twice, lol.

That’s all I’ve got. It’s the weekend, and I’m so grateful that it’s not so busy like the last two. I’m actually going to try to get some lessons planned and do more organized teaching this week. Work has been going good, but one of my favorite students is moving and we just found out this week that yesterday was his last day.

He’s an awesome 2nd grader who has been telling me (and others) that he’s going to be going to a “forest school” since the beginning of the year. He loves rocks and has brought a couple into school. I wondered if he charges things like water and his rocks in the full moon, but didn’t ask him.

Yesterday was sad. I saw his group in the morning and we played a fun math game. I gave him one of my painted rocks (he was so excited ๐Ÿ˜Š) and let him pick out a prize for his half full sticker chart. He came to my room twice in the afternoon to give me a hug and tell me bye again.

I felt down all night and knew that he was the reason why. Our connection was special and even though I only knew him for a short time, I will always have fond memories of the positive experiences I had with him the first few weeks at my new school when everything else seemed crazy and chaotic. He was more like my previous students than anyone else, which felt familiar and comfortable. He’s moving up north and will be closer to extended family, so that’s good, but he will be missed.

Ok, Bye for real this time. โค

Renewed Hope

It’s early Saturday morning, and I woke up with a lot of hope today.

I had the same amount of pain this week. By Thursday I had had enough and felt compelled to make an appointment. But with whom?

I thought of that integrative wellness center not far away and promptly called. From what I can gather, this place mixes traditional with Western medicine for optimal care. Perfect- right? Wrong. They didn’t have any appointments for the rest of the year. Their 2023 schedule isn’t out yet, so I was unable to make an appointment, but if I had, It wouldn’t have been till next year.

Then, I called my primary. The same primary that’s been irritating me the past couple visits with stupid nonsense. Like always commenting on my arms’ extra skin and asking if I’m planning on getting skin surgery. I think she actually giggled when I told her I had no interest in surgery and planned on visualizing the extra skin away.

After my last visit, I vowed to find a primary who was a little more holistic, but haven’t switched- or even found a new one yet. So I called the old primary and scored an appointment for 9am on Friday morning.

I’d have to take the day off work, and I got off the phone from making the appointment with a sour feeling in my stomach. In reality, I didn’t think she would be able to help me. I truly believe that she would check my organs, and assuming they’re fine, attribute this to my RA and tell me I’d have to see someone else, probably my rheumatologist. Maybe I should just cancel. I couldn’t stop thinking.

Incidentally, on Wednesday I randomly called Dr. Tent’s (world-renowned functional doctor/chiropractor who is local to me) office. Since it’s been over three years since I’d been there, I’d have to talk to the new patient lady to make an appointment. She wasn’t in, but would call me back on Thursday.

She called me back on my lunch break, as I continued to contemplate cancelling my appointment. She got my information and I was ready to take the first appointment, but was uncertain as to when that would be.

She had a cancellation Friday morning at 9am with Dr. Jeff! Out of the three doctors there, I feel that he is most knowledgeable about gut health, and since that’s been a huge area of focused healing for me, I thought it was perfect. I promptly took it and called my primary back to cancel. Now, my soul was happy feeling.

I was not feeling super optimistic going in. Connecting to people online with lymphedema made me realize that this is something you don’t really get rid of, which is horrifying and devastating all at once.

Dr. Jeff said I have an infection in my legs. Staff or Strep- or maybe both. He gave me a supplement that would fight the bacteria and also one that would help with the swelling/inflammation. He said it’s the closest thing he has to a steroid, but said it should help the problem pretty quickly. It’s a type of enzyme and when I looked it up after getting home, it did seem to have some amazing qualities– and so I’m optimistic.

I went in thinking that with the visit and recommended supplements, I’d be spending hundreds of dollars. I was happy to leave the office with renewed hope and a medical bill under $200. I go back in two weeks for a recheck, so if this doesn’t work- hopefully he has some other tricks up his sleeve- but we ain’t gonna talk about that cause it’s gonna work!!!!!

Also, before going in, I decided to take his advice on diet- even if I had to go back to AIP. I promised myself that if I was going to pay out of pocket and get my hopes up, then I was going to give myself the best chance for success- which doesn’t include taking the doctor’s directions half-assed.

No dairy, no problem!

Although the dietary directions seemed simple, I already screwed it up! I accidentally ate cheese with my lunch (it was a super organic microwave meal that I thought was dairy and gluten free- but it wasn’t dairy free and contained real cheese) and then the creamer I had with my restaurant coffee I had with dinner.

I can and will do better today ๐Ÿ’ช

So.. that’s all very exciting- right? The thought of not having do deal with these hot and heavy legs is like the sweet taste of heaven.

In other news, it’s been an exciting weekend– sort of.

We live on an acre and have an acre lot empty next to us that my mother and father-in-law own. We’ve been talking about buying it from them for several months-and trying to figure out if we should just buy 30 feet and have them sell the rest (we needed the 30 feet for an easement from that sewer project we had done). With the economy and not such secure jobs, it’s kind of scary- but in the end we bought the whole thing.

Our lot line was at the big bush behind the swing, but now goes all the way to the fence, which is a little ways past the volleyball net

We had written up a contract and took it to be notarized yesterday and gave them a check. So it’s officially ours ๐ŸŽ‰โœจ

Now I need to feel good enough to make something or do something with this land!

Also, this is the weekend that one of my heros, Timber Hawkeye, will be nearby. He’s visiting Finley Ohio for a Q & A session and booktalk for his new book. It’s only 90 minutes away and I’ve been excited for this date for months now.

Last night my youngest, who stayed home from school yesterday with a cough and runny nose, tested positive for Covid.

I don’t have symptoms, but hubby had a headache all day yesterday and wants to take a test- or just to isolate thinking that he might have it. I’m not sure I feel responsible visiting Timber with a covid positive in my household. So I don’t know if I’ll get to see Timber this evening. It’s sad, but in a weird way the thought of isolating all weekend makes me extremely giddy ๐Ÿค”

That’s all for today, day #1277 alcohol free ๐Ÿ™Œ

Wishing you all a happy and healthy weekend ๐Ÿ’–

So Many Changes!

Life has been crazy since the beginning of last week. Not only did I start the new job, but I’ve been dealing with a new called edema.

It’s in my legs and it’s awful. They’re so big and swollen that I can’t wear most of my pants and have to mostly wear athletic shoes- the one pair I have that’s room and cushy enough not to hurt.

I’m so tired of being in pain! Not to complain, but it’s really been getting me down. On top of the stupid pain, I’m trying to not look like I’m 100 years old at my new job. I’m tired of feeling old, slow and big, tired of my feet hurting whenever I walk and being afraid every morning of how well, or unwell I can move.

Luckily, I’ve been able to keep it hidden (I think) at work. I’m sure people notice me walking funny, or getting up or down slow- but also doubt that anyone thinks much about it.

I also miss my old school, and students, alot. It’s been making me feel down this week! The kids at my new school have severe disabilities and I’m struggling with finding the appropriate activities and also connecting with them- something that’s always come super easy to me (connecting with kids).

The good news is that my caseload is relatively super low (like under 10, unheard of for a resource room teacher), and the special education team at the new school is amazing, and has been so helpful to me.

I think much of the sadness is because of this tough medical stuff I’m going through- but also mourning the changes in my job.

Spiritually, I believe I’m supposed to be here learning and maybe teaching someone something.. I knew this might be difficult and anticipated changes, and think that once I get into a routine and know my kids better, I’ll feel a lot better.

I do like the short commute! Although, the longest road I drive on is one mile. By the end of the first week, I was actually thinking on the way home that this is the longest one mile road I’ve ever driven! It took less than a week to become that spoiled, lol.

I left for work this morning feeling better than I have since last week. I’m wearing a new pair of pants I bought at a hippy store in Tennessee and came to work in sandals. For the first time in a few weeks, I felt almost cute! I did LOTS of walking during the morning, so I had to switch to my athletic shoes by lunch, but might put my sandals back on in a bit. My weight is two pounds down from being over ten pounds up, so I’m hoping the edema is improving.

That’s about it for an update. No cleansing or smoothies for a couple weeks- and my diet hasn’t been that clean. I’m working on it- and I’ll get there- eventually. I at least need to eliminate dairy/gluten/eggs- which I’m mostly doing- so I just need to bite the bullet and be strict.

Home

Its late Sunday morning & Iโ€™m feeling better (mentally and physically) than I have in a few days. My cats are happy that weโ€™re home and my dog was so excited to see me at the doggie daycare. Heโ€™s funny. Heโ€™s always excited when I pick him up- even if I only drop him for a few hours. But this morning, he gave me a loud vocal complaint, along with his usual excited silliness- it sounded something like, โ€œItโ€™s about time you came for me, MOM!โ€

Now heโ€™s happily lounging on the couch ๐Ÿ˜

We drove home yesterday and my biggest body complaint has been pain in the back of my legs/knees. It makes it super hard to get up or sit down. Once I start walking, they loosen up, but I literally look like a bow legged tin man when trying to go from sitting to moving.

So Iโ€™ve been trying to stretch my legs throughout the day, and itโ€™s been helping a little. But I had a good idea on the way home to try to get in a peloton workout before bed.

I wasnโ€™t even sure if I would be able to do it without hurting myself more, but I tried a 10 minute workout and was able to complete it ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป (Candence never went say, above a 40, but I was still ecstatic). And my legs felt a little looser ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

The only hiccup is that I have an foot insert that I need to use sometimes- other times it hurts to use it- my darn feet are SO finicky!! Well I used it and felt my foot hurting midway through my ride. I wasnโ€™t going to stop a 10 minute ride to take it out so I just worked through it. A little while after the ride, I noticed that my ankle had swollen into a giant cankle. I didnโ€™t panic, put my compression sock on and vowed to never make that mistake again.

Today I woke up happy that my legs/knees were less stiff. After getting my dog and having some coffee, I did a 20 minute ride (stats were so much better than yesterday- and I was able to keep up with instructor for most of it ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป) without the insert. It felt good! And walking up and down the stairs was so much easier afterwards.

The importance of movement was never forgotten, but this experience has solidified it in stone. Iโ€™ve known for awhile the importance of it for my mental health, but this put it in a new perspective.

Something else has been on my mind; the idea that my body issues have less to do with the food and medicines I’m taking and more to do with my beliefs, inner pain and resistance.

On what would be the last day of the Heavy Metal Detox Cleanse (for right now), I was talking to my sister- and I asked her if she had talked to our dad.

“No, not yet. I plan to call him today- but going to wait a bit. He’s usually cranky in the morning because his hands hurt when he wakes up.”

Jaw drop.

It was so familiar- and icky to hear! It was so discouraging, because while I could relate to the pain, my lifestyle is so much different than his and it just didn’t add up.

For example, he drinks, smokes and has such a poor standard american diet (SAD, I know ๐Ÿ˜‚), that he truly believes that a quaker granola bar is a healthy snack.

He listens to his doctors, and asks no questions about treatment. He’s on prescribed pain medication, and a slew of others- and truly believes they help him- or that he needs them (and maybe he does- who am I to judge?). I could never see him paying out of pocket for alternative health care, or to see someone who is holistic- he believes that he has fine medical care that his (pristine) health insurance pays for.

Movement is about the only thing that we do have in common (he keeps himself busy with constant home projects & walks on the treadmill whenever he is strong enough).

It feels great to be home. It feels weird to anticipate going to work tomorrow- especially knowing that Iโ€™m brand new. Wish me luck please, I hope the week isnโ€™t long, I like my new coworkers & that my body cooperates ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Mountain Vacation Day 4

It’s a day later, and yesterday I got everything I needed after I wrote my post. My new director called me to let me know that I was okay to start on Monday and she set me up with a text group of my new team, including my mentor who has been so supportive so far. I also got a call from the new hire lady, who also told me that I’m okay to start on Monday and that I can now set up my email account- but have to do it on the school’s network, so it’ll have to wait until Monday.

My previous job was also posted shortly after writing. I was worried that our numbers were too low and they would try to save money and not hire someone. That would be a ton of extra work for my work-mates, so that’s a relief!

I still have a few things to do to wrap up my old job- like sending their new teachers their information at a glance, and to put together sub plans in case they don’t hire someone before the start of the year. I’ll get it done, and not feeling too stressed about it. Also, I want to email my parents and let them know that I’m leaving, but should get my principal’s approval first, I suppose.

I feel so crazy, excited- totally nervous- all wrapped up in one big tornado funnel of emotions!

The new hire lady forwarded me the schedule for Monday. It starts with the entire district staff meeting at the high school. We do the same thing in Royal Oak on our first day-the entire district gets together and celebrates the start of the year. It’s always such a nerve wracking event, for someone who has a bit of social anxiety. It’s only going to be a zillion times worse this year, going into a new place with all new faces. I can’t even believe that’s gonna be my reality on Monday ๐Ÿ˜จ

I’m going to keep taking deep breaths and keep being thankful that where I have to go is within walking distance from my house- and I don’t have to drive 35+ minutes to get there. I’m also going to keep reminding myself that change is necessary sometimes, and makes room for even bigger and better things.

Our vacation is going pretty good. We climbed a tower yesterday and saw a long ways. We drove through the smokey’s and stopped at numerous viewing areas and streams. At the house, I saw two bear cubs hours apart, but from a distance and they never made it near the house.

We had to walk uphill .5 miles to get to the tower. Overall, my body felt pretty good yesterday and my feet did awesome during the walk. We soaked in the hottub afterwards and again this morning. My whole body is a bit more achy today, so we just stayed home and relaxed all day.

Tomorrow I think we are going to go into town and hit the shops (there are a ton). I can’t believe we already leave in a few days, but that’s okay because I really miss the pets. And I’m a little eager to jump into this new job, lol.