Sunday, September 25, 2011

Word of the Week... INSPIRED...

Each week when I go to work I know that I have lots of hats to wear.  I don't want to get into how I have to be the kids' mom, nurse, counselor, etc.  I just want to talk to you about the teacher part.  Sort of....

Each week I give my kiddos a vocabulary list.  It typically goes with the story of the week.  This past week we read the story "Weslandia".  It is about a boy named Wesley that is a bit of an outcast in his town and school.  He invents his own civilization and calls it Weslandia.  It's a pretty fun story that teaches the kids to respect each other's differences and to really be creative in their thinking.  One of the vocabulary words was INSPIRED.  I told the kids that I absolutely love that word.  It is a powerful word that basically means motivated by something or somebody else to do something GOOD.

While trying to help the kids understand the meaning of the word, I kept giving them examples of things that inspire me - art, colors, writing, people, etc.  I also tried to explain what I do when I am inspired by one of the things I told them about.   It is a hard word to really truly understand.  You have to feel it in your soul when you are truly inspired.  It is something that pushes you from the inside.  It is an amazing feeling.  And it got me to thinking...Who inspires me right now?
This is my Aunt Peggy.  She has been inspiring me lately.  She is a teacher that absolutely LOVES what she does and has a "pay it forward" attitude that I want to adopt.  See the pretty pink splint on her arm?  She recently began wearing that splint after spending nearly 7 weeks in a cast as a result of a bicycle accident that severely injured her wrist and arm.  Well, it should be the reason for her to be down in the dumps and crabby.  Now, I know that she gets down.  I know that she gets frustrated.  That's human nature. But, she doesn't let that emotion take over.  She has an amazing way of getting past the "stuff" that brings us down and get to the "stuff" that makes us see the bright side of life.

In addition to writing about her injury and the progress she is making in her recovery, she also writes about her Bucket List on her blog.  Through her I have learned that I need to be grateful for each day and to live life to the fullest.  Don't take the "little things" in life for granted.  I need to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to me.  It's all about perspective.  My prayer for her is that she continues to heal and gain use of her arm and wrist again and that she continues to live her life to the fullest.  I also pray that she continues to inspire others, at school, through her blog, and in her life in general.

Aunt Peggy, you inspire me and remind me each time I read your blog just how lucky I am to have you as an inspiration in my life.  Not only are you good school teacher, but you are also a great life teacher.  I thank you and love you bunches!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What dog pee will cost you...

It has been approximately 4 months since I slipped in dog pee and hurt my ankle.  (That still cracks me up... It could only happen to me...  If you haven't heard the story, check it out.  It's titled Stoking the Fire or Getting the Boot.  It's quite amusing...)

Since I learned my falling trick I have been back and forth to the foot doc.  I spent the majority of my summer wearing the ortho boot.  It was quite miserable in 100 degree heat and not exactly the most comfortable thing to wear.  On July 26th, I got the wonderful news that I didn't have to wear it any longer, but since it still wasn't completely healed, I needed to get an MRI to see if there was damage that was a little more severe than originally thought.  There wasn't...  So, off to do some physical therapy to strengthen my foot and ankle.

This has been the most interesting of journeys.  Physical therapy actually wasn't completely bad.  Sort of... The therapists decided that I was a prime candidate for dry needling.  Basically, they use acupuncture type needles in the areas of my muscle (that is connected to the injured tendon) to relieve some of my pressure points to help with the pain.  I had NO IDEA that the muscle connected to my injured tendon was so tender, but it really was.  Dry needling is the WEIRDEST thing I have ever had done medically.  The therapist, David, finds the pressure point and works the needle up and down in one spot in my muscle.  Like he sticks the needle in and moves it up and down without taking it out.  One side effect of this is that my muscles twitch involuntarily - kinda like when you go to the chiropractor and they use those electrodes on your muscles.  Not only do your muscles twitch, but they kinda burn too.  Weird thing about it is that it works.  It makes my muscle WAY LESS tense and tender.  That was cool.

I also did something called Graston.  They rub a cream on your affected area and use metal tools to basically give you a deep tissue massage.  It is supposed to help the fibers in your muscles realign themselves so that the pressure points don't form.  Neat idea.  Hurts like HELL when they do it and for at least a day or two afterwards. The last time they did it I ended up with a few bruises.  Looked like I had been in a fight.

After the dry needling and Graston, I had gym time. As out of shape as I am, I still enjoy working out once I get started.  I think I kinda surprised a couple of them with how strong this big girl is. I did some weight lifting and they very quickly realized that this big girl needed bigger weights.  Sister don't play.  (haha!  I have always had super strong legs. Still do even though I haven't worked them out like I should in a long time.)  In addition to the weight lifting, I did some lunges, squats, balancing exercises, toe lifts, calf stretches, etc.  You get the picture.

I worked on this from August 10 until August 31. I went twice a week and honestly saw improvement. At my Aug. 31 reevaluation appointment, my therapist saw a big improvement with my pain.  I could tell it was working too.  Not 100% yet, but getting there.  Yay!!!

On Sept. 1st, my insurance deductible started over at $0.  (School insurance kinda follows the school calender.)  Yesterday was my first PT appointment since it started over.  I already knew going into it that I was responsible for 100% of the charges up to $750.  I also knew that they wanted me to continue coming twice a week for the next 3 weeks.  We all felt that would be best.  EVEN ME...  Well, long story short, I asked when I got to PT what my charges would be for the day.  All I was going to do was exercise in the gym with a therapist assistant telling what my next "thing" would be.  After looking at the fee schedule the receptionist informs me that each session will only be $260.  WHAT!!!!  My response was, "Are you talking about for all of them or just one."  Her reply was "Just one."  HOLY COW!!!  I quickly informed her that wouldn't work.  Not even one time.  She was really nice about it.  We decided to just e-mail the therapist and have her put together a home plan for me to follow.  Made complete sense to me.  Everything I had been doing in the gym, with the exception of about 2-3 exercises were things I could do at home.  I haven't heard back what my home plan will be.  Hopefully tomorrow or Monday I'll have an answer.

So, I am writing this all to say, that while I have a great funny story on how I learned a new trick with dog pee, I did learn a lot about insurance.  I pay a lot for it each month and it absolutely STINKS!!!  It doesn't cover a whole heck of a lot.  It's really a shame...  I can say this though.  I am still improving.  While I'm frustrated that I kinda have a setback on the therapy I feel pretty confident that if I can keep exercising it then it will get better.  Cross your fingers peeps!  (And stay away from the dog pee!)