Listen while you read.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let's Get Physical

I have my list of all of the things I have to get done. So many calls have been coming in from the hospital for preregistration to my physical therapist for setting up my first appointment, which will be on the Tuesday after surgery. Well, I woke up Saturday morning and realized that I hadn't scheduled my presurgery physical which has to be done 7-14 days ahead of time. I thought I was doing such a great job getting everything in order. So this morning I am headed off to get my physical. Something that I think is a little peculiar, I don't have any lab work that has to be done. I'm not sure if I should call Dr. White's office just to be sure, but it just says a physical.

Yesterday I spent the whole day cleaning and organizing. I know, I know, it seems like that's all I do lately. It is all done. I finished the girls' bathroom and Marc did cords and an old sound system in the basement that hadn't been working. He is so good about purging too! I didn't know what worked and didn't work, so I asked him if he would go down after dinner and clean it up. Gladly. I think because Chewy, his dog, (Tuff is mine, Chewy his, but they are both of ours as well!) had surgery yesterday and I did all the running around for him. He had a tumor on the back of his leg that we didn't think was any big deal. Apparently it was a pretty big deal, 15 staples later. The vet is our friend, so Marc had stopped by earlier in the day to see him, and Marc casually said, "Well, it's not like he has cancer." They shrugged. The vet was concerned and sent it to be biopsied. Chewy is on pain meds for 7 days and confined to a small room as well. After that he can go outside if monitored closely. Anyone that knows Chewy, knows this will be torture on him...and our family. He is very active and loves to run and play - A LOT! Come next Thursday, doctor's orders for Chewy will be going out the window. Tuff had his skin biopsied in January...Tuff is a white boxer and has allergies. He is on allergy medicine, special shampoo, and antibiotic perpetually, so I went ahead and picked up mroe of his mediciation as well. After the day was all said and done, we spent $500 on our dogs, AND THIS WAS THE FRIEND RATE! Believe me, I saw a quote sheet for Chewy's procedure alone yesterday, and it was $500. The meds and biopsies are something he can discount, but he still has to pay for it, so he helps us as best as he can. I don't know what we'd do without him! Well, I'm headed out for the day. First, doctor's appointment. Then, cooking with Scheri to freeze some meals.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ups and Downs

Today started with a spin class, then going to the storage unit for ADTM (the marathon that I direct), then to church, to the mall for Christian's free Build-A-Bear, and finally, back home! We were going to hang out at the pool this afternoon but a storm came in, no complaints. Today was our "down" day after a day of working around the yard yesterday. I drove around with Marc while he picked up rock and mulch. He shoveled, and I worked in the garden. I have notice that I think I'm okay until I'm a little into an activity. I started my weeding by bending over which didn't work. So then I grabbed my stool. By then it was too late. I ended up on the couch with ice for about two hours last night. So to make a long story short, I ended back on one crutch today, voluntarily. I guess I feel a little better today, but I can still feel all that I did yesterday. Since going off of crutches, my pain has gone from about a 2 to a 7-8. I can only imagine what it would feel like if I tried to run. I'll pass.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Let the Nesting Begin

I am a big time nester. I always have been. Well, ever since my first daughter was born 14 years ago this coming July 8th. So I find it ironic that 14 years ago, I was probably beginning to nest around this time for her arrival and now I find myself doing it for my surgery. I have mentally been gearing up for it, but now that I am off of crutches I feel capable of accomplishing the world, physically. And this only means one thing: my house! In summer, I organize here and there, but I kicked it into high gear today with my girls. I told them this morning before they left for their last day of Skribble Camp that when they got home we were tackling their toy room. Since my youngest is going into 7th grade and my older into high school, I felt it time to go through those toys and get rid of the ones they haven't "played" with in the last, oh, three years. We had bags all over the room: three bags of trash, one bag for a little girl down the street with Polly Pocket goodies in it, and two bags with clothes that had been sitting in a dresser (who knows). I let them keep all of their Build-A-Bear things, because half are their baby dresses from when they were one years old or younger. Christian ended up with a hat on...a baby hat that I said they couldn't get rid of. We ended up playing tug-of-war with a bag that I was making Christian get rid of...she would be a hoarder if I let her. We all laughed and laughed and laughed. It was so much fun. They were dreading it, but in the middle Halee said, "Mom, I think we should just do our bedroom too." Speaking of middle of it...they got a a text from an acquaintance at school. This girl is was having her birthday party and only person had shown up. She was wondering if Christian was going to come. Christian did not want to go, but after talking about it, all three of us, they felt like it was important for them both to go. Of course this girl was thrilled when Christian said Halee could come to...a big 9th grader! Plus, then she would have a few more people at her party. We talked about how they were doing something that was selfless for this girl to make her day special. I was so proud of them. Because it was short notice, we didn't have a gift, so Christian put some of her money in a card that I had on hand, and gave it to the girl. We dropped our "organization" project right in the middle of it, you can imagine (at the part where it gets worse before it gets better), but I couldn't be more happy to do so. I am headed up to go finish the project alone. I want to get going on this whole nesting thing. But most importantly, it is days like these where I feel blessed that I get to spend every day with my three very best friends, Marc and our two girls! (He's on his way home as I write.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

14 Days Until Surgery

I titled this post with a number because I am actually excited for two reasons: first, I have 14 more days OFF of crutches (today was day two) and secondly, I have waited for a while for the big day to come. I was able to speak with Dr. White for about 30 minutes last night on my way home from school. He had a lot to tell me. He started with my stress fracture. He said the report stated it was "resolved" and he would be able to do my surgery. So I said, "My super huge question is can I go off of my crutches?" He follows up with, "Well, they haven't sent me your films yet and I would like to see them before I say for sure." The MRI images were sent with me because they said it would take 7-10 days for them to get them there, so it is up to me to mail them. So I asked him if he wanted me to overnight them...and he said, "Just put them in the mail." I pleaded with him for 16 days of freedom from crutches and he finally said it would be reasonable, but if I felt pain to go back on them. (Today I overdid it and I have been sitting for the last two hours.) In the meantime, I asked him if he would "freak" if I asked him if I could go for a jog. At this point, I got total silence. "Are you going to do okay with your recovery post surgery Sara?" I explained that my friends were wondering and i just needed some Dr's orders. He said, "I'll be the bad guy...Yes, I would freak! You can't jog!" I told him I would do whatever he wanted me to in recovery. So he proceeded to tell me more details for surgery...
1. I will not be able to run for 6 months.
2. I will not be able to get on a road bike for 3 months. I will be able to spin without resistance.
3. I will be able to swim AFTER 4 weeks with a pull buoy. No kicking.
4. I will not be able to drive for 3-4 weeks. (Right hip thing.)
5. I will be on crutches for 2-4 weeks most likely, but he can't guarantee that I'll be off in 4 weeks-the day I go back to school.
6. I stay overnight in the hospital. For some reason, I thought I came home.
7. Will I ever run a marathon again? He doesn't know.
Those are all of the questions I can think of right now. Dr. White takes as much time as necessary to answer my questions. He called me at night to give me my results...something no other doctor has done. He is very down to earth. I'm glad that I ended up with him. Thanks again Noell, and congrats on your race!

My Classroom

I have been busy working in my classroom to get it ready for next year. I have some new ideas that I was excited to put into action. I am doing subject bulletin boards...a basic idea, but something that I haven't always done. I am also going to have places that the students interact with the boards by taking things off and writing on them or using the pieces of the board. For my reading board, I will change it every couple of weeks, depending on what concept is being taught, and it will be right up at the front of the room so the students will utilize it.

My math board will be used as a review each day. For example, the students will be required to complete problems a, b, and c on Monday, and so on. They will change constantly. I am going to be creating this board, and all of it's details, during my recovery. This will ensure that I do not forget to get in those review problems, daily.

I am working on my science wall where the students will use clothes pins and paper plates to move their way through the scientific process, just like I do with the writing process for my writing wall. I wanted to show you my poetry wall that Lori and I made at the end of last year. It has all of the types of poetry with examples. The students each make their own book with all of these same examples.

I am excited about 2010-2011.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I can check my stress fracture off my list, it is officially healed according to my MRI that I had yesterday morning. I actually received the call from my doctor at 6:50pm last night. For some reason, I didn't have my phone around me and he left a message. I didn't think he would call the same day I had the test and I sure didn't think he would call at 6:50 in the evening. I was disappointed that I didn't get to talk to him, but that faded quickly when I heard the message and he said we could proceed with surgery. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs! He asked me to call the office and let them know a good time for him to reach I will be on that first thing this morning. My big, huge, gigantic question right now is, "Can I forget about these crutches for the next 16 days?" Anyone reading this blog that is on or has been on crutches knows why this is priority. I would love to vacuum my house or weed my yard. Scheri's first question was, "Does this mean you can jog?" She did use the word jog to make it more reasonable, but I have a feeling he will tell me to not introduce any new activities. Most runners that recover from stress fractures, who aren't getting ready for surgery in a couple of weeks, have to start back slow-one mile at a time. I can hear his frustration with my question now, "You want to run? Are you thinking of trying a marathon in the next two weeks?" This would all be completely sarcastic of course, and then he would say very seriously, "How serious are you going to take your recovery?" I guess I will wait to see what information he offers up to me as far as what I can and can't do, before I start asking too many questions. It is only two weeks, and being off crutches will be the best thing ever...if that's all that changes!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Let the List Begin...

I have a list of things to do, from getting my classroom ready for next year, to making sure I am caught up on ADT, to getting the backyard cleaned up-it looks like a jungle since it rained while we were gone. So I am home in Colorado again with lots to do. One thing that I always appreciate on our drive back into Colorado...the colors are gorgeous. Our sky is bluer than any other state I have visited. Our mountains and the rocks are redder and greener. The water was flowing with rafters enjoying themselves. It is a beautiful state where you wake up to sunshine almost every day of the year. For those of us that live here, look around today and notice the beauty. For those who don't, come visit! Now, onto my list.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I got "the call!" The doctor's office calls my insurance approximately three weeks out from surgery, and well, that's now. They called me while I was laying on the beach...relaxing. But to make a long story short, they will cover everything. Dr. White's office had me call back myself to verify because it was too easy. I said earlier that I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield, but what I failed to mention was that the insurance I have is self-funded by the National Automatic Industry Welfare Fund (NASI Fund). Marc is a union sprinkler fitter (fire protection) and we have always known our insurance is great, but I was expecting some hang-up. Nothing. They will cover the Game Ready Ice machine and the CPM machine too. I am all set.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

MRI is on Monday

I have my MRI this Monday, and I am not going to lie...even though I have been having a blast on vacation and staying busy, I always think about what the results will be. I know I can't control it, but I am always behaving and staying on the crutches. I have some pain, but it is so limited now. If the doctor clears me, I will ask him if I have to still use the crutches and what kind of exercise I can do. I will have two weeks before surgery, so I would love to do SOMETHING different. I am not going to say I want to go running, but okay, "I want to go running!" Back in May, he said I would have to stay on crutches all the way into surgery because he wanted it super strong, and a couple of extra weeks on crutches would allow the bone to strengthen that much more. For some reason my mind is telling me that he will clear me to run for two weeks. Or go for a super hike, or something great! Dare I ask?

The pain I have changes frequently. One day it will feel like a match, the next like annoying elastic snapping, and the next, the dull ache in my rear end. Not sure what I am feeling or if some of it is phantom pain now. Dr. White said that if I ran, even after the stress fracture clears, it will hurt because of the tear. Curiosity has me wondering how bad. I will never know what injury I felt during any of this. I just know it hurt really bad to do anything. I know that I am just a few days from finding out if that July 8th surgery date is really going to happen.

Never a Dull Moment...Kayaking

at Newport Harbor! We enjoyed a little splish splash out on kayaks today.
Halee & Marc

Me & Christian

Grandpa & Grandma

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The girls have dreamed of visiting Hollywood ever since they saw it in the movies when they were little girls. We finally made the trip to the Kodak Theater, where the Oscars are held each year, Sunset Strip, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where the famous stars line the sidewalks. We weren't discovered, as the girls and Marc had hoped, but we "may" have seen some famous people...still not so sure! But it was fun to make up sightings as we went along.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Beach

Every time we visit California, we make a trip to the beach. We are lucky enough to get to go twice during this visit. Yesterday was a great day to enjoy the waves and sunshine!


Halee & Grandpa

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Students

We sometimes say things that we don't realize exactly what we're saying, "How far along are you?" "Oh, I'm not pregnant!" My close friend gets asked frequently, "Where did you get your children?" Her husband is from India and since she is blonde, her kids couldn't possibly be hers. So when I hear people indirectly talk ignorantly about my students, I attempt to be forgiving. Being in Southern California, apparently, several are annoyed with the Spanish speaking population out here. "They should learn how to speak English. I would learn how to speak Spanish if I went to Mexico." I would like to ever-so-calmly ask, "How many Americans learn Spanish when they take a trip to Mexico?" If they did, there would be a whole lot of bilingual speakers in this country.

Instead of going on and on...let me give you some insight about the lives of my students.

Many of them were born in Mexico and at home, only Spanish is spoken. Their parents struggled to get here, to have the same opportunity that we were lucky enough to be born into. Their parents work very hard, for a salary that they can barely survive on. They want the best for their child, and more than anything, several of them want to be able to help their child, but they can't because they don't know how. How can they explain English grammar? If they work hard all day and take these so-called classes to learn English at night...when do you suppose they should help their children with their school work? Or when should they spend time with their family? I majored in Spanish in college, and after 43 credit hours (4 years), attending school in Mexico, translating at numerous conferences and in conversations with parents, I am still not comfortable with speaking Spanish. It takes a normal person 7-8 years to acquire a new language. So when my students show significant growth in their language development, I jump for joy! And so do they! And so do their parents.

I love teaching my students, because they work so hard and appreciate what I have to offer. Unfortunately, I am not sure even my own girls appreciate a good education. Hopefully you're not one to put minorities into a "category," but before you do, think..."What would the world be like if we were all exactly the same?" Pretty boring.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Road Trips

I am in the middle of a family vacation right now. We took a road trip to see our family in California. Both, Marc and I, are from California, meeting back in high school, so when we decide to visit family we take a trip back. Sometimes we fly, but most of the time we decide to drive so that we have our own car while we're here. Lately prices of plane tickets have been so inexpensive, we could almost fly for as much as it costs to drive. I started doing the math on the way here and thinking, wow, it might have been even cheaper to fly; however, the memories that are made on road trips...priceless. We began our trip with little giggles. They turned into laughs. Which turned into belly cries! Hours and hours of endless experiences repeat and this will never happen on an airplane. So would it sometimes be easier to fly? Absolutely, but the memories can never be replicated. Memories that I hope my daughters will cherish. Memories that I hope they will pass onto their families...possibly during one of their road trips.

Monday, June 7, 2010

65 Days and Under Repair!

I have made it 65 days! I am not going to lie, today I was not good at all. I am under the excuse that one needed repair before we leave on vacation. So I hobbled on one for some of the day, or for a few hours, none-shhhh. I did lay around too, so I wasn't all bad. If you haven't figured out what I am talking about by crutches!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Mall

When I shared my last trip to the mall with friends, they so eagerly told me about the carts that are available to ride around on...I replied, "Where?" "When you go in!" Well, considering there are about 20 entrances into any given mall, I am not sure I ever really got an answer and once again, yesterday, found myself asking where are those carts? I'm not sure it would really matter, because the mall is one place I would probably opt out of the embarassment.

Christian is turning 12 in a few days and she decided she would love to go on a shopping spree for her brithday. Since we are going on vacation this week and will be gone until her birthday, and actually because she had a $10 off $50 or more coupon, we went yesterday. She brought her fashion consultant, Corina. She had a gift card for Target (which by the way are limited on motorized carts as well) and then wanted to venture into the mall. Marc offered to stay home and clean up the house while we were gone. Target was okay, but since I had such a rough day on Friday, my armpits were already tired when we began our journey. And yes, it was a journey - for me anyways.

The mall: first, where should we park to minimize walking? They wanted to go to Aeropostale and Old Navy. We decided to park outside of JCPenney which was the closest department store to these two stores. We had to park pretty far out because it was Saturday and the mall was busy. Once we were in the store, I told them that I would meet them in Aero, so that they didn't have to wait for me. Of course, they carried the keys and my wallet for me...something else that can be a pain on longer walking trips. As I walk, I guess that's what it's called, girls handed me samples...which is very nice. They would suggest I just slip them in my pockets. I guess it was that obvious I wasn't going to be carrying anything. Once I met up with Christian I unloaded my samples onto her. (Bath and Body Works is very generous these days.) Then I stood around Aero because she actually wanted my advice too. Nice to know I am still needed. I stood, and shifted, and moved over when I was in someone's way. And then stood some more. I was exhausted and so ready to go back home; however, I didn't know how I was going to get from the store back to the car. Christian was on to Old Navy. I asked if I could park on a bench and wait. I had given her cash, thank she had money. She was understanding.

Finally, after some more waiting, but on a bench this time, Christian came around the corner with a huge smile on her face. I had wanted to do everything I could to make it a special time, but was worried that I was ruining it. The smile helped me know that her time shopping had been a success. Although we only went to three stores, she got 4 complete outfits and a super Diva pair of sunglasses. I am glad that I was able to go with her and give her what she wanted, but I am also happy that shopping trips to the mall are over for a while. While I was sitting on the bench I posted to facebook, "I will not come back to the mall until I am able to walk on two legs." That is the truth. So for anyone who googled, "Mall and Crutches," my advice is to wait until you do not have those crutches. It isn't worth it unless you are going as an unselfish gesture for someone else.

This leads me to my final thought. As I read blogs about hip surgery, it seems one of the biggest hang-ups post-op are the crutches. How do you open doors and keep them open? How do you carry your food to the table? Just two examples. On a positive note, I have worked out all of these kinks and know how to do all of this now. You open the door and hold it with your right crutch while you move through it quickly...your crutch works as a stopper. If the door opens away from you, use your butt and back into it. Carrying food...this is why my armpits are sore. I hold the crutch between my arm and body and carry the food with that hand. Usually it's only a few feet. If I do it too many times in one day, I am sore the next. Sometimes water bottles have loops on them to carry them. (I am thinking of purchased sports bottles.) I use those so that I can hold it with a few fingers and walk at the same time. The palms of my hands hurt every day and I do not want material cushions on the grips because I am around water so much...any ideas for that? I am looking at about one month until surgery if all goes as planned. With vacation just a few days away, time will pass by ever so quickly.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday and 85

It's just about the weekend, not that it matters too much for me; however, I love spending time with Marc and so, it really does matter. I woke up early to sweep out the garage, water some flowers in anticipation of a warm day, 85 or higher, and then came in to clean up the house. Everything in the yard is growing and filling in.

I wanted to get some yard work done today and when I mentioned it to the girls, they moaned. It quickly turned around when I said I just needed the lawn mowed. Christian jumped on it and had it done in no time. Thank goodness for little helpers. Speaking of little helpers, Chewy is always right there to be a part of everything we are doing. Tuff usually sits under the tree for shade and observes.

I finished up my morning with a ride and once again, I am surprising myself with how fast I am getting. From last year, I about 1.5 mph faster on each ride, on average. I still feel like I am in the beginning of riding season, so it is nice to know there is even more room for improvement. I will finish off my day with a swim at the outdoor pool with a friend and probably an evening with my family. What could be better.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Doing Too Much

As much as I want to say that I am being perfectly good, I am not. I am staying on the crutches as much as possible which means about 98% of the day. However, I cooked with Scheri yesterday: we successfully made 6 meals for each of us, and then I worked in my classroom today. I would like to say I have one more full day in my classroom, but I know that I have a whole day of getting things put back to normal after my room is cleaned tomorrow, and then another full day finishing up my "interactive" bulletin boards.

Speaking of these bulletin boards...I have been brainstorming these for weeks, but finally started researching how I was going to do them. I have so many great ideas. Instead of my bulletins boards having great posters, I am going to have them availble for the students to manipulate. Let me give you an example. I now a huge bulletin board that is completely devoted to math. On that math board, there will be review problems for the students, but the students will be able to pull the pieces off to look at them and work it. The money will come off, so if the students need to arrange it in a way that makes sense for them, they can. I will have a reading bulletin board that will highlight a new concept every two to three weeks. (It's a smaller board.) I decided to start with story elements. I will have white boards on it, so the students will have to fill it out for a book, in groups or pairs. I will have to be creative, but I want to use as much of the room for learning as possible. I had to paint a half wall, because my writing is and has always been an interactive process, and I will keep that going after the paint dries. Needless to say, I am very excited and will post pictures as soon as I am done. My thoughts are that I will work on the pieces of these boards while I'm recovering from surgery: type it up, put it on a jump drive, print it at school when I go back, and laminate for the beginning of the year.

But cooking and then, painting has gotten to my me a bit. Not sure that I have mentioned yet, but my deep butt pain went away last week, and my pain was feeling like a cut in the groin. I thought this was a good sign, more like the tear possibly. Today, my butt pain is back, so I need to lay around again tomorrow and be sure and rest.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Medical Bills

Marc does the finances and pays the bills. When I started working, my paycheck was completely extra, so we had a few "projects" that we wanted to do, but also wanted to start building our savings. It was fairly easy to do about 6 months into me getting a paycheck, because our big projects were done. So we saved and in the last few months have slowed down a bit. He keeps saying, "I am trying to stay caught up on the medical bills." It started with my MRIs. That is when we finished my deductible for the year. Just $300, but then you tack on the visits to my OS here and there was a bit of change spent. I've also had a visit to Denver now in which I had to put down a $500 deposit for my surgery. A deposit is inevitable with this surgery, and anywhere from $500 to $1600, so mine was the low end. If you don't end up having to pay that, ie. your insurance actually pays for the surgery, you get the money back. However, our insurance is a 80/20 plan in most cases, or if we are lucky - and I'm not sure when that is, 90/10...I guess sometimes they pay 100%, but I can't figure out when that is, maybe this will be that time - if I'm lucky. The letter I received from my doctor states, "...this type of surgery has not been given a Procedure Code...we will use the 'unlisted procedure code' 29999 to describe this case. The procedure code 29999 will describe the femoral osteoplasty, acetabular rim trimming, labral repair, and associated procedures. The 29862 code will be reported for arthroscopy of the hip. Our fees for these services are follows: 29999 $9,500.00 and 29862 $2,221.00."
Twelve thousand in that part alone which doesn't include the hospital, anesthesiologist, braces, physical therapy, etc. I decided to call my insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) this morning to see where things were at, and they were very friendly, but hadn't received any letters. They wanted my letters, and said they could send it for review with those, but I think I'll call the doctor and refer them to the lady I spoke with instead. After the insurance representative went on about the actual procedure, she added that the "Durable Medical Equipment" is usually covered once the surgery is, and even sometimes when the surgery isn't covered.

Remember the boots I have to sleep in?

I also have to sit in a CPM machine for several hours a day...

I would love to have a Game Ready Ice machine which continually passes very cold water through a cuff around my hip to keep swelling down. So if insurance doesn't cover this, I think I will pay for the rental.

I wanted to ask the insurance if we would hit our maximum out of pocket for this year, but after everything else, I figured it really didn't matter. I will be happy if they pay their portion of all of this. I am also curious to hear if anyone has had a similar experience, and what the outcome was for you.

I finally found a Calcium supplement that doesn't make me sick. I will be taking that every day. Vacation begins next week and I have hopes of being able to enjoy it and still be reasonable with doctor's orders. Just three more weeks until my MRI.