Thursday, October 22, 2009

Proof of Invisibility

We've all felt it.  That feeling of being completely alone and ignored even in a room full of people.  It was one of my biggest challenges with my job.  I am a para-educator (teacher's aide).  I am part of the special education team.  I am part of a group of other para-educators.  But because I follow a single student, I am often "forgotten" or overlooked when there are department meetings or trainings.  My contract runs differently from the other aides.  If my student is absent, I am sent home.  I fought endlessly to be recognized and included in meetings and trainings.  I am required to have 20 hours of continuing education, yet my contract reads that if my student isn't in attendance, I am not to report to work.  I've had to be my own advocate and demand that I be paid for mandatory inservice hours.  I've had to demand to be compensated for working through my lunch break because the administration didn't see it as a priority to find coverage in order for me to have my mandated break.  My many requests for coverage went ignored so eventually I finally stopped making them, and insisting I be paid for the half hour break I was denied.  You can imagine the resistance I encountered.  A gentle reminder about labor laws and mandatory breaks changed their minds about paying me.  It's been a struggle....

I was delusional and convinced myself that the reason I was "ignored" was because I wasn't a regular classroom aide.  I didn't have the same schedule or duties as a typical aide, therefore I was often overlooked when memos and information was shared.  I even had to have not one but two meetings last year with our new principal just to be put on his staff email chain for daily updates.  It took him 3 months to do that.  I was never informed of department meetings.  What makes this worse is that my own sister is a teacher in my department! 

My surgery was on September 10th.  I came back to school in August in order to prepare my student for the transition into the new school year, get her comfortable with her new schedule and teachers, and ease the switch to a long-term substitute aide.  I had already lost 50 lbs at the start of school, and had my once long, curly hair cut short and straightened.  I saw almost every teacher at our small school at our back to school inservice meetings.  I passed many of them in the hall when classes started.  I spoke to many of them individually before taking my leave of absence.

Only 3 people bothered to call/check in with me while I was out.  My sister did say many would ask her about me, but only THREE bothered to call/email themselves.

Imagine my shock when I returned from surgery having lost another 25 lbs and these same teachers whom I had seen just 5 weeks earlier were coming up to me and commenting on how "good" I looked.  Many of them were aware of the surgery so it wasn't unexpected.  The biggest shock, however, was how many of them commented on how much they loved my hair cut!?!  I had the same hair cut for the two weeks I was here before having the surgery.  At least 4 of the people who commented on my haircut were ones I talked to EVERY DAY before leaving.  Did I miss something?  Obviously THEY did. 

So that is my proof of invisibility. Nobody even noticed my haircut until I came back and they KNEW about the surgery.

Makes me wish I was still invisible....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bronchitis: Knew it wasn't "just a cold"

Two weeks ago I went to the doc with flu-like symptoms.  He said it was just a cold, and gave me cough syrup with codeine.  Worked for a while, started feeling better.  Went to the gym one night and the next morning I was worse.

Monday I went back because it just wasn't getting any better.  Saw the new doc (my PCP is leaving the practice) and she called it "double ear infection, sinusitis, and URI".  Gave me amoxicillan elixir to try. 

This morning I woke up and could feel the congestion in my chest and the rattle when I cough.  Called for another appointment...

Saw the new doc again.  She did a flu swap and strep swap, both negative.  She decided this time to call it "severe bronchitis".  Gave me a breathing treatment which helped.  Ordered a chest xray to rule out pneumonia (will have results tomorrow but I bet it is positive, I've had it before). 

So I am out of work for the rest of this week as well.  I was supposed to go back last Friday after my surgery leave, but that never happened...

I hope I still have a job after all of this! 

I just want this to go away so I can enjoy how good it feels to have the RNY!  I was feeling great until I got sick two weeks ago!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A size WHAT?!?

Well! Wednesday I went to Salvation Army to take advantage of their half price sale. I needed new clothes to go back to work. Found some great buys in several different sizes. Bought some 22's and some 18's.

This morning I decided to try on some of the smaller sizes just to see how far away I was... OMG the 18s FIT! Granted they are super tight, but I got them over my butt, buttoned AND zipped without straining!! Too tight to wear yet, but they were on! How the heck did I go from a 26W to an 18 in a month???? OMG I am SO EXCITED!!

Yesterday was my one month surgiversary. I'm down 26 pounds since the surgery! Five of those just the past few days! Definitely broke that stupid stall!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Frustrated aka the 3 week stall

Pre-op I sat here reading all these posts on OH about the "3 week stall" and told myself I wouldn't let it freak me out.  Well, no matter how prepared you think you are, some mind games still aren't preventable.

I lost 20 lbs in the first two weeks following my surgery.  I was SO excited!  The third week hit, and NADA.  Well, not exactly nada, but I've managed to gain and lose the same stupid 2 pounds for the past two weeks.

I know in my head that it is normal, and that my "monthly friend" has a lot to do with it, but it's still frustrating. I've also been fighting an "upper respiratory virus" for the past two weeks, so haven't been able to exercise like I want to.  I've only been to the fitness center once in the past two weeks, and felt terrible the next day.  I had thought I was completely over the virus, but guess not.

So this morning I weighed 257, which is 22 pounds less than what I weighed a month ago the morning of surgery.  In one way I am thrilled I lost that much, in another I am frustrated feeling the last two weeks have really derailed me.  I'm frustrated thinking that this is it, that's all I'm EVER going to lose, even though I know it will start back up.  I've read so much info on what to expect and what to do to break the stalls, but it doesn't seem to be helping.

I do go visit the nutritionist today for my one month follow up.  Hopefully she'll have some words of wisdom for me.  There is also a support group meeting at Dr. T's, but I don't think I should go and infect anyone.  The last thing I want to do is give this to anyone who is pre-op or newly post op!

If anyone has any tips or words of wisdom, please kick me in the butt!