Crackle in those joints: A year later.

Warning: Imma talk about my hysterectomy so if you do not want to know about it…GO! Leave now.

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Alright I promised a year later update and I didn’t think I would but then I thought there are some important aspects of talking about getting an earlier in mid-life hysterectomy that I needed to talk about so I will.

My first thought and maybe question from others is about regret. The answer is no way no how. Most of my symptoms of post tubal ligation syndrome have been eradicated. They are gone. I have one cystic ovary that will occasionally cause me some trouble and only avenues is total hysterectomy and I am not about that right now because the hormonal imbalances that immediately followed my surgery were tough.

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July 2017

For those that don’t know there are two types of hysterectomies. One puts you into menopause. One does not because you keep one or both ovaries. I still have my ovaries. It did take them a little longer to wake up and they definitely do not always function as they should but I am pretty evened out with the help of my oils. I use progessence plus to help keep them regulated. As well as, just being in tune to my body aka getting enough sleep, eating as healthy as I can and watching my weight.

I should also credit the keto diet for regulating my hormones as well. If you remember it was recommended by my doctor to help with surgery recovery and hormonal imbalance. Of course, I cannot prove that keto or the oil worked. But I also cannot prove that they did not.

I feel amazing for sure. My body is way more balanced than it was before as far as emotions, fluctuations in mood and energy levels. My acne that I struggled with and the massive amounts of pain caused by PTLS are gone. So yea no regrets.

There is a downside though. My joints aged quickly. Ortho doesn’t know if that is symptoms of surgery or just years of being overweight, highly active now and on my feet all the time. They literally crackle all the time. They did before, but now they really crackle.

I also found out I needed surgery due to floating piece of debris. I can do that whenever I want and I did not want to do it this summer like at all. If it gets terrible during the year then I will do it because recovery is not terrible. Otherwise, I just baby it (aka I don’t really get to run long distances anymore) and if it is bothering me I take it easy. I also will get steriod shots in it every six months. I was freaked out by the shot, but it really, really helped. Now I noticed my hips and shoulders are joining the crackle party. Grab tissue paper and wad it up. That sound is my joints.

My tolerance for BS is super duper low. Like I have none and I may be a tad grumpier than usual.

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June 2018

But it is all good. I always see the positive. The positive is that the pain from PTLS is gone. The positive is I am forced to pay attention to my body and give it what it needs. In my book that ain’t bad. And last and final positive is that I did not gain a ton of weight as is sometimes common with the surgery. In fact, I lost 40lbs since last year. Wahoo! Oh but I do have quite a few additional wrinkles. Oh well!

-MR

 

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The Long Road and the Shadows

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“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious,and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
― Walt Disney Company

A few weeks ago I wrote about this ridiculous notion that a “healthy journey” has a beginning and ending. Add in if you are a part of the “fitness social media community” I feel like sometimes it is set up with beginnings and endings. A new program is a beginning and weight loss or inches loss hold with this a magical ending point if you let it.

IMG_3422But I would like to entice you (really myself) to think about it taking care of yourself as a privilege and something you should be doing all the time. I don’t take care of myself and show up because of all these false pretenses that I usually think I am. I do it because at one point my health was so bad that my teeth were rotting, my health was at risk and I felt terrible.

I remember a time when that shadow made me hate myself. I hated how fat it seemed. What I noticed over time is I never looked at it ever with much love, but instead complete disgust no matter the size. No matter how “thin” I got or where my shadow fell.

I looked my three daughters and my guy in the eye every day and I usually did it on an empty tank where I often felt mad at myself and resented them because I thought they took that time from me. But the truth is…I did not make time to take care of me and I used them as an excuse.

I also romanticized this ideal that I had to be super fit, super skinny, and fit in a size 0 to IMG_4268be a success. Truthfully, that is never gonna happen and not realistic and it isn’t even really what I want because it sets me up to never be happy because the end is impossible to reach as I said in the above post.

So instead I am trying to shift my perspective and thinking. There is no end goal. The end goal is being happy in my skin, taking time out for myself and treating myself with more love. They love me no matter how I look. They being all the people and things that really matter.

And that shadow looking back needs to believe just a little more that love wins. It will always win, but you have to let it. That includes loving yourself a little more and a little bit harder.

So that road…it doesn’t end. It is called self care and I am on it. – MR

 

Kasey Tuli and E Party of 5

You see around last September my heart strings started to be pulled. The pull got harder and harder. Many years ago my guy and I decided to be a 1 dog family. Our oldest had dog allergies and we were just too busy. But then back to September….and let’s talk about my heart strings again.

We have gotten our dogs from breeders. We looked and looked at breeders and it just never felt right. We have the amazing opportunity of having a rescue a mile from our house. We kinda talked that it could be an option and finally decided to fill out an application as the rescue was very selective of adoptive families. We never heard back, so I assumed we were not accepted. I kept seeing dogs moving through their rescue and my heart was sad. My girls and I watched those dogs needing rescued like hounds (lol).

But come January we saw a breed come through of sibling puppies that had been rescued and we just couldn’t let it pass by. So we got more anxious, and I contacted the rescue saying we were REALLY interested and she invited us to come meet the pups. We didn’t really think we would be coming home that day with a pup. Based on the conversation it was a meet and greet and we went in with our hearts not ready to attach.

Well we got attached. We came home that day with Tuli. She was 1 of 5 siblings (I think) who had been rescued. She was so skittish and not at all wanting to trust us. But she kinda had to to get the basics. She attached pretty quickly to myself and my oldest daughter. She loved us all, but when scared or wanting something we were her go to.

Here in is where we fell in love with our Australian Shepard chocolate Lab mix. She is a fancy breed of Aussiedors that most would pay lots of money for. Gorgeous Aussie eyes coupled with the irresistible chocolatey color. Her fur so soft she feels like a stuffed animal. She had to trust us even though she didn’t want to.

It took lots of time and persistence and just continually showing up for her. But now she is so woven into our family. I remember when we first got her she wouldn’t walk anywhere but between my guy or I’s legs. Partially because she was so afraid of the world and partially because she herds. Oh yes we have quickly learned herding dog language. They steer. She steers us all the time usually to her food.

When we got her she was super skinny and small. 4lbs at roughly 9 weeks. She had only not nursed from her momma 1 day. In the 6 months we have had her we have found out she has a super sensitive stomach and has to eat a pretty high quality diet. We think she has some allergies in general to outside and to certain foods.

But my goodness watching my girls fall in love with this rescue dog has melted my heart. It hasn’t been the easiest transition. My older pup (my best friend in the world) has struggled with the transition and I feel like we are just now getting to point where they will co-exist maybe even cuddle via a butt touch (lol). They even share food and water sometimes.

But creating trust and and realizing how needy and insecure a rescue pet is has been eye opening to me and I mean that in the most positive way because those qualities have a way of demanding you live in the moment and give them what they need. But what we get back is massive amounts of unconditional love and cuddles. But there were a few times we almost threw in the towel because it was just so time consuming and demanding and we would take two steps forward and 57 back. But the match is made in our hearts forever.

Imagine leaving a room to grab a drink and coming back and your dog fawning over your return like you were gone 10 years. Yes this happens multiple times a day. She always seems genuinely shocked we decide to return to her. Add in that you get actual hugs daily a ton of times. Yes she hugs.

She now weighs a healthy 27lbs. She loves, loves, loves her food. She cannot have dog treats (or at least we haven’t found any she can have that don’t upset her stomach). So instead of treats we make her ice cubes for good behavior and she thinks that is pretty darn amazing. She is what I have called a kitchen sitter. She loves to be in the kitchen cooking with us. Not begging…like genuinely just hanging out. The funny thing is the person running the rescue says she did the same thing there, so it must just be her personality. And finally she is a retriever so she loves water. We play in the hose and the sprinkler because she burns up a ton of her energy by doing so. Sometimes her energy seems boundless and exhausting to us…but we also love it.

The most amazing thing which I think is somewhat breed specific and somewhat rescue behavior she literally lives to please us. She just wants to make us happy and constantly looks to do that. We are so incredibly blessed and lucky to have found this sweet little nugget. It is not always perfect. But we love ‘bubbas’ as we call her.

So dear blog….I should have introduced you much sooner to my new baby girl. Meet Kasey Tuli. Kasey is now 8 months old and was rescued from Lennox’s Legacy Rescue, a volunteer rescue that runs on donations alone, so if you are a pet lover think of giving. They also advocate for all the local animals in the area to have safe homes. I am so grateful to them for connecting us with puppy girl. (Edited to fix my numerous typos…grr).

Sometimes I cry.

This one today….This one every day.

“Her goal to conquer the loneliness that comes with feeling like you are the only one to feel loneliness. If only just for a moment she hopes to make those around her know the world is a good and safe place and that with her in it the world does care even when it feels like it does not.”

I will always unapologetically be me. -MR

Mommy Rhetoric

I want to tell you the story of a woman. A woman who puts others well before she puts herself. She hasn’t quite mastered the art of selfishness. Though I am not even sure she wants to. Every morning when her eyes open she prepares her heart for the day. A heart that is kind and full of empathy.

She talks to more than 100 people a day. She always smiles and usually manages to add in a meaningful “How are you?” Not the kind where you don’t want an answer. The kind that comes with it eyes that shine a little brighter because she actually expects an answer. When she says, “I hope you have a good day” she is one of that actual rare souls who actually mean it.

But that heart, it beats mostly for her people, her selected few. She does what most mothers do. She…

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It is just life y’all.

IMG_0411I have a friend whose husband is in the thoroughs of the unbearable pain that is trigeminal neuralgia.  I have been sitting on the side trying to be as supportive as I can be. But hearing the amount of pain he is in just takes me back.

The images, the sounds, the feelings. They were all so awful and I was not even the one feeling them. One day a week or so ago, we were texting back and forth and I was quickly reminded why this is called the suicide disease. There can sometimes feel like there is no out and like no one believes the incredible amount of pain your spouse is in. It is awful.  An emotional gut punch again that had me pulling over to the side of the road. A lump in my throat and tears.

TN is the bane of my existence and just because I don’t talk about it doesn’t mean it is not there. It has moved into my home in a different way now. My guys TN is now what you could call livable. He functions in his daily life. He works full time (plus actually), he goes about life as best he can. He exercises moderately…not at all like he used to. He just cannot. He celebrates birthdays, he laughs and plays games. But he isn’t the same.

The TN pain is not gone. He lives daily with pain and takes medicine to live as normal as a life as possible. What plagues all of us now are the side effects of his daily meds IMG_6025to make his life manageable. He hasn’t been med-free except for a very short time soon after the MVD. He moves around dosages according to his pain tolerance. He adds in meds for when it is really bad (December – February). But the meds he takes….they are awful.

Look up anti-seizure meds, side effects and long term effects. You will get a distinct picture of the life we live now. It is hard to say, but he isn’t the same. We are not the same. It is not always easy or even pretty all the time. But I love this man. He did not ask for any of this. But none of that makes life easier for my girls, my guy or me.

And sometimes he gets bitter, or I get bitter or my girls get angry and thankfully we are good at reminding each other of the whys in those times. Our normal is a new normal and an okay normal because it is still so much better than where we have been or where we could be at the drop of a literal hat.

My friend. Her husband had an MVD a year after my guy. He was perfectly normal and fine. Then one day he wasn’t. That is just how quickly it can change. Remission is NOT guaranteed or promised. TN SUCKS.

We search frantically still for answers, pills, supplements, oils and look for laws to change, the right organizations to notice. He used to see his neuro in Indy once a year and we are now into twice a year. He winces his pain in his face and it makes us all nauseated or sometimes we just have to ignore it all together because it hurts him we notice his pain.

But more we live in fear of that hat dropping. That takes it toll on him more than me. The anxiety of not knowing if or when it reaches that state again. Or fear of the time his pain shifts from a daily 3-5 to a daily unbearable. To scared to hope for a time when you don’t have to rank his pain.

But I live for and with love. I cannot live in the what if. I am so miserable there and when I am miserable I make everyone around me miserable. But it is easy for me because I don’t live with the chronic pain. So I try and remain positive and try hard to not dwell on the side effects of the meds as best I can. I try and love my guy the best I can.

SAMMY KERSHAW – LOVE OF MY LIFE

As we stand together
I promise forever
‘Til the day that I die
You are the love of my life

You are the love of my life
You are the reason I’m alive

He is the love of my life… – MR

Pursuing my why.

IMG_4309Boy do I ever get tired of the games I play with myself in my head. This idea that every thing I do has a starting and ending point. Only to be shocked, sad, disappointed, frustrated, angry and mad when I have the obvious realization that no there are often not endings or beginnings in a lot of things.

Health and wellness I am putting you on blast once again because I should know better. You would think after years of pursuing it (you) that I would recognize there is no finish line. This is a battle, a journey, a process and each of those words indicate there is an ending. One I will likely never find. But here in lies the issue.

I keep pursuing it like it is there. I think sometimes it a number. I think sometimes it is a feeling. I think it is the end of a program. I think it is a certain dress. Or a certain size. Or when I don’t crave donuts or tacos.

All of which if I am honest have yet to happen. Then I get I start the whole process over. When the real issue is finding happiness within myself and whatever all those things are. It isn’t about any of that. It is about being clear in my why.

But if I am honest lately it is less about why and more a have to. A routine that supports my health and well being and I hate when I get caught up in the hoopla. The keto diet, the 21 day fix, the program that is the hottest and trendiest. But ultimately guess what happens in the pursuit of that.

I lose my why. I am doing it cause I saw it on instagram. I am doing it for my coach or herIMG_9425 coach or her coach. Or worst feeling yet doing it because I want to look that good. Yea I am embarrassed to admit that. But sometimes that is my why. To be better than someone else and that is not a good reason why.

The reality is I will always see the 215 lb me in the mirror. Her chubby legs, her double chin, her smile and her love of donuts. I will always be that girl cause she is me and sometimes I think I get so caught up in running from her as if it were a chase that I forget why this all started.

It started for me:

  • my health
  • my mental well being
  • how I felt in my skin
  • living a longer life
  • Being a better wife, mother and all other labels I call mine
  • self love

Instead of pursuing a why, instead of chasing something it is likely I will never reach why not just be who I am in this moment. Maybe it is runner, maybe is a Shaun T groupie (always have been always will be), maybe it is sit on the couch and gorge myself on Dunkin Donuts. More than anything just being okay with who I am in this moment.

Love Yourself – MR

 

Not Having Something to Say.

IMG_0501Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. – John Kennedy, former President, USA

Blogging has been the last thing on my mind these days. Actually, that is not true. Blogging has been on my mind more than it ever has. But having something to actually say that feels worthy of the ‘publish’ button may be the problem.

I have read a lot of books. I have done a lot of graduate school work. I have been scheming and dreaming of what a principalship would look like for me. Afraid to dream to big, but also afraid to not dream big enough.

Principal E has a nice ring to it, does it not? Assistant. Curriculum. Athletic Director. Possibilities. Or I stay Mrs. E in my classroom and teach what I love with students whom I love. Ever wanna pinch yourself and ask how this is your life? You get to do what you love every day. I do.

But this summer it is essential that recuperate, renew and refresh. I needed to find me again. Somewhere I lost my footing a bit. My confidence was shook a bit. I have been trying to contemplate why that happened or how and I am not sure I can pinpoint it. ButIMG_5710 it did.

I easily slipped back into old habits and poor self talk. You are fat. You are ugly and why would anyone want you as a (insert whatever it is). I know better and I know it is phase. I am trying to be patient with myself. I also know graduate school does this to you as well. You feel like an imposter or like you don’t deserve the seat you occupy.

But I am grateful that the program I picked is faith based. I am not Wesleyan. However, I know this calling I am answering to is a gift from God. It is important to me that my path be lead this way and I am purposeful in my walk.

So how is that for a rambly, doesn’t make much sense post? The good news is maybe the bad is out, so I can begin to work on the good.

Kindly, – MR

Keto Living For Now.

I like Keto for a few reasons. The biggest is the way it makes me feel. My mental clarity is amazing. But it is just so good to put restrictions in play when eating for me. I struggle so much with boundaries. I feel like the old me who could never say no but it is worse because I am smaller so it is okay. When it is actually not okay.

But I won’t lie. It is so restrictive. At times I feel deprived and that does bother me and that is also why it isn’t the best diet for me forever. It is the best diet for me for right now.

On that front. I made the best recipe up yesterday. It was keto bacon mushroom alfredo. It was soooo good.

IMG_4162I cut 3 slices of bacon up and sauteed till they were crisp. Then took them out of the pan and threw in some minced garlic, some button mushrooms and sauteed them in the bacon fat in pan. I added a splash of cream once they were close to soft. Then I added Green Giant zoodles frozen and let it go till zoodles were done. Once done I added 1/4 cup of classico alfredo (2 carbs) and mixed. Then plated with bacon bits added on top and sprinkle of parmesan. It made enough for two servings.

Keto is not something I want to do forever. I feel like it helps me so much in the summer though because I am mostly home and I want to just eat snacks all day. Add in my kiddos snacks and that I am in graduate school. Two reasons that I need boundaries.

 

 

Year End Wrap Up – Mrs. E Style

Ummm, Sorry about that I guess I am a month late. Sometimes you really do need to IMG_7700recover from the school year and that is certainly me this year. It is a was a great year professionally. It was amazing year in my classroom. However, there were a lot of sleepless and worrying nights of just being a teacher. I know at this point the saying that teaching is the only profession where you stay up worrying about other people’s children is cliche at this point, but it is so true. Our youth are struggling, exhausted beyond measure from pressure from the world and fighting to be heard.

As well, I am an empath teacher which means I often will take on their feelings and struggles. I learned this year I need to sometimes put boundaries on that because when I don’t my family is the one that suffers because there is nothing left for them. My empathy is what makes me a good teacher. My empathy is also my weakness.

IMG_3222 2But enough about that….I hinted at a different type of calling for the last year. This has been in the works for over a year. I was getting what I have deemed shoulder taps. Taps from the universe that I needed to add a new “tool” into my tool belt. The decision came with much urging from some important people to me most of whom knew my desires before I did. Many whom I told after I decided and said, “Well I saw that coming.” Even though the decision still shocks me to this day.

This tells me again that education is clearly my life’s calling. English is my path, rhetoric is my heart, education is my profession and serving others through that has become my passion. I have decided to add educational leadership to my repertoire. I started an accelerated program at Indiana Wesleyan University. I will graduate a year from now and hopefully pass the administrator’s licensure exam and add it to my teaching license.

I will answer the questions I assume most have because I have been getting them all along.

“What will you do with that?”

“But I thought you loved your school and teaching.” 

“Where are you going to go?”

The easy answer to most of them are again I am following where I believe God is leading me. I do love my school. I adore it in fact and know for a fact I would have never been lead this direction without my school. I don’t know what my professional future holds and yes I have goals. Right now I am a dual credit instructor/high school teacher in one of the best high schools in the state and one of the top (if not the top) early colleges in the state. I am not going anywhere.

All of my professional decisions have been made this way and none of them have been wrong or included any regrets and they have always landed me exactly where I was meant to be. I will never forget telling people I was going to be a high school teacher. They thought I was crazy. I heard a lot of, “Why would you do that?” Now I can say hands down, this was single handedly the best decision I have ever made and I made it on a whim and followed what I felt like my gut was saying to do.

This decision is exactly the same. I don’t know why I am doing it, but I do know exactly IMG_3891why I am. I am being lead that way. End of story. So my transition out of the classroom, if and when it happens, will work much the same. I will be lead there. So for now and my foreseeable future, I will still be possessing my “I am that crazy English teacher” persona that I have garnered and truthfully earned. I am right where I am meant to be.

I also want to note that all of my students in my classroom the past 6 years have given me the courage and confidence to even think or dream this could be a possibility. I know I am the teacher, but they all teach me so much and I love them all so very much even though I am terrible at saying it.

And there are definitely some other people that also deserve some massive recognition for my strength and confidence in this decision. The first is my own principal. It takes great leadership to inspire and lead another person to that path. I am not only grateful for the opportunity to work with him, but even more honored he is my mentor through this next journey.

IMG_9368My work bestie going on 7 years strong. She is literally my rock when it comes to all things professional. Yes, I am married to a teacher, but this girl is in the trenches with me daily in almost every imaginable way possible. We do almost every thing together. Her friendship and ability to cheer me on from the sidelines is unparalleled. Rarely do I let my personal fears and insecurities out in the professional setting, but she is always someone who I can be me with when I need it. So thank you…..Mrs. D.

My guy….I could cry just thinking of his unending love and support. When I mentioned this was a possibility I thought for sure he would think I was crazy. I had my “speech” all prepared for why it was a good idea. I didn’t need it. He immediately said, “When do you start?” That kind of love is rare and I know that. But that is also the kind of love that pushes you to be your best self and yes heIMG_1158 has always had that effect on me.

And my baby girls who I am continually trying to show they can be anything they want to be in the world and that there is no dream too big or no goal they cannot conquer. They were not surprised in the least either. All of my family of five expected this and I think knew before I did.

Every year I look for my lesson of the year. This one was different and was way more personal than in years passed. Usually it some teaching technique or something that furthers me as a professional. This year’s lesson was two fold. It will move me more forward professionally, but personally I learned to draw boundaries as a teacher and a human being. But I also learned I can do so much more than I ever have given myself credit for. The funny thing about that lesson is I keep reteaching myself that lesson over and over and over.

So yea…year end wrap. Lesson for this year always push yourself further than you think you can go. Dream the impossible. It can happen. – MR

Hey Mrs. E…

As I walked out of the overly air conditioned building on the cool June evening I am in a rush, my principal just asked me to get something from the car. It is the end of the IMG_1641graduation ceremony and everyone wants to get on their way. As the sun hits my face I hear to the far left of me, “Hey Mrs. E” with a big, bright smile and the most enthusiastic hand wave. A student that only 30 minutes before this walked off the stage and I burst with happiness and tears at the accomplishment. He hugged me tight and I sadly muttered, “I am so very proud of all your hard work.” I know that is what I am supposed to say. But I truly meant it.

As I walked away from the building every where you looked there were families celebrating my students.  But in that moment, I saw families celebrating their children. I saw first generation students beam with pride as their parents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, and grandparents looked on in awe of their accomplishments. I saw so much diversity, love, and uniqueness that I thought my heart would burst.

I thought to myself. This is why I do this. This is my purpose. I have gotten to be such a fun and meaningful part of such an amazing school. But this year was hard. I emotionally struggled in a lot of ways I never have. The emotional toll of educating wore me down. The one thing that likely touches all educators, but most of us never really talk about for a variety of reasons most of which are private and we cannot share.

So we sit with it, sometimes it grows and festers, and sometimes we get lucky and we find a vice that helps us channel it in a healthy way. Sometimes the vice is eating tacos every Friday night and other times is a weekly shopping trip to Target. On a good day for me it is a 4:30AM work out and a night I can manage to stay up until 9:30. But on a bad day, I eat a little too much chocolate and head to bed by 7:30.

But I do it for students like him. I do it for the students who have no clue how much of my own self I put into my classroom and my job. I do it for the ones who sometimes make it hard. I do it for the ones who need me most either my teaching, my motherly style, my sassy self, the strong independent woman, or even just a consistent positive person. I do it for all of them that need a teacher like me because I needed and luckily had a teacher like me.

But in that moment in the parking lot, I heard, “Hey, Mrs. E…” I looked back at him. I waved as hard and emphatically as he did and as I walked away I smiled because it happened. I get to do what I love. I am a educator.

Gratefully, MR.