Monday, September 29, 2008

Rounding out the month.......

So......Last day of September tomorrow. My husband has been sick with a cold for the past week. Not sick enough to call off work. But sick enough to really bother his joints. He has a rheumatoid condition, and when he gets a viral infection, his joints are always really sore.

I woke up this morning feeling "sinus-y" and immediately began taking Airborne. Hope it works, because my youngest already has caught my husband's cold. If I get it, it's almost sure to become pneumonia again. Have had it twice in the past year, and feel like my resistance is really down just now.

If you are keeping score, we have been in school for five weeks now, and have not had even ONE week (or ONE DAY) where at least one member of my family was not sick. This is really wearing me down. Trying to keep the kids healthy enough to go to school. Trying to recover from my own illness. Trying to keep the family ship afloat. It's wearing me out, I'll tell ya! If one of the kids isn't sick, one of us is fighting a new illness.

Just found out yet another of my students has strep! Of course, he was back in school bright and early this morning. Fell asleep on his desk this afternoon. A LITTLE HELP HERE??? KEEP HIM H-O-M-E!!! None of us need to fight off those germs, and he doesn't feel well enough to be in much for administrative policies on illness!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

If this is September, what's JANUARY like???

So.....YES, I did have a strep infection. Took until Thursday afternoon to figure this out. The strain of strep is called "group C" and is not commonly diagnosed. Just to give you some idea about this form of strep: It kills MOOSE in the wild. It also causes an illness in horses called "strangles" and is often FATAL!!! GRREEEEAAAAT! I am currently just finishing up my THIRD round of antibiotics. Yes, third. It took that many tries to find one that would kill this organism.

I finally got back to work on Tuesday. That very morning, the firstborn wakes up with a 103 degree fever! Will this never end??? She's been off school for four days now! I took her to the doctor late Tuesday afternoon, told him my whole sordid tale, and he sent us on our way with the whole "it's viral" crap! Friday morning, and she's still got a 103 degree temperature, and tonsils that look like she storing walnuts for winter. So.....back to the pediatrician, and lo and behold, NOW we're going to test for strep! (Who'da thunk it???) Just TWO doses of amoxicillin, and she a-febrile, and off the couch! Call me crazy, but given the nature of my illness last week, couldn't we have saved this child three days of suffering and just done the strep culture on Tuesday? Plus, TWO $20.00 office visit co-pays!!! We won't find out what the culture shows until Monday, but I have my money on Strep Group C!

We have not had even one week without illness since school started. If things are this bad in September, what's it going to be like in January, when the REAL cold and flu season starts? HELP!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The latest and greatest....

So. I'm still sick. Not just with pink eye. Now I've got tonsillitis. Can barely swallow, and the whole thing is completely covered with a layer of pus! Yech! So, there's also suspected strep at work here. Won't know that until tomorrow. But at least now I have an antibiotic to start helping me fight this junk! If this isn't significantly better by Thursday morning, I've got to go to an ENT guy to find out what the NEXT step is in this odyssey that's become my life. HELP!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's that time again!!!

We've officially been back in school for eight (count 'em EIGHT) days, and I 've already got a rip-roaring infection. This one had me up all night with itching, burning, watering eyes. I woke up this morning with a swollen, burning, tearing right eye. So, I call my eye doctor, who informs me that I have to call his "on call" team. The doc. "on call" is one of the poorest excuses for a human being I've ever met. The moment I meet him, I can tell he HATES working weekends (or maybe he just HATES women, can't really tell, because he barely speaks to me.) Turns out, I've got VIRAL pink eye!!! NO TREATMENT FOR IT!!! Tell THAT to my eyes of death!

I can practically tell you the exact minute when I was infected last week. One of my little petri dishes (um, students) comes staggering up to me to tell me that his eyes burn (no shit, they're BLOOD red) and that he doesn't feel so good. He then proceeds to SNEEZE DIRECTLY INTO MY EYES!!! Take him to the school nurse, and within TWO MINUTES, she bounces him back to my classroom. BECAUSE MOM WON'T LEAVE WORK TO COME PICK HIM UP!!! GRRRREEEEEAAAAT!!! Send him back to continue to INFECT the rest of us!!!!


P.S.: Went in to school today, (Monday, Sept. 8) and didn't get any farther than the nurse's office. They took one look at my eye, and said bye-bye! So, because I am part-time, I have NO benefits, no sick time, and no substitute in my absence. My work with struggling readers goes un-done when I am not there. I also go unpaid! This is VIRAL pink eye, and will take its own sweet time clearing up. Most likely, it will last 7-10 DAYS, but could go on as long as 3-4 WEEKS! As long as the eye is red, and weeping, I am out of work. SHEESH! Yet, the kid who infected me??? HE'S IN SCHOOL!!!! TELL ME HOW THAT MAKES ANY SENSE???!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

That inner voice.......

If you hear a voice within you saying "You are not a painter," then by all means paint...and that voice will be silenced.

-Vincent Van Gogh

I love this quote! Wouldn't this be true of many things? If the voice says, "You are not a _________," then by all means DO IT, and that voice will be silenced!

I wonder if it really works that way, though. Because, I would then have a SECOND voice that says, "Maybe you are doing __________, but you are a fraud!"

Ahhh, the eternal quest, to silence the voice within.

Monday, July 28, 2008


1) Bold: I have read.

2) Underline: Books I love.

3) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down those people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. The Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7 . Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 . The Complete works of Shakespeare (I've read some of them, but not all.)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit --J.R.R. Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler's Wife
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 . The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (all seven books)
34 . Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune- Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine de St. Exupery (in English AND French)
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town like Alice- Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet- William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

The most recent series that I have read was by Stephenie Meyer. Called the Twilight Saga, these four books are among the most compelling contemporary literature I have read in recent memory. (I am such a slug, I read all four novels last week!!!) Another contemporary series that I have read in the past year was the "Pretties" trilogy (but actually four books - go figure) by Scott Westerfeld. I highly recommend any of these books for a terrific summer read!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rice Redux

This has not been a particularly good week for me diet-wise. All I can do is begin again from where I am. My most successful period in the past three months has been when I was eating vegan on the Rice Diet. I think that I shall pick up where I began in June, and try for as many consecutive clean eating days as possible. The loss of fluid would feel wonderful in this awful heat. I also long for the clear-headed feeling of losing the excess sugar/salt/caffeine of the past week or so.

Another happy by-product of the Rice Diet is the initial exhaustion/sound sleep that accompanies the detox. Not that I enjoy being wrung out. But that was some of the best sleep I have had in a long time! (I have long thought that if we could get all of the insomniac peri-menopausal women together when we were not sleeping, we could rule the world!)

The other component that I simply MUST add is daily exercise. This mountain will not be moved unless, and until I decide to exercise consistently. Hopefully, that will not only help with the weight loss, but will also contribute to better sleep, and improved mood.

Ever hopeful........