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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Health update

Back in January I had an ovarian cyst rupture.  That was the most painful thing I have ever felt.  A few days later, I went to the doctor, she gave me different birth control and sent me on my way with order for an ultrasound and complete physical.

Monday of spring break (March 17) I went to the doctor for my complete physical.  I got 9 vials of blood taken from me (stupid vampires!) and went on my merry way.

At my physical, the doctor prescribed me Spironolact, Metformin and Seasonique (on Friday Lipitor).  These are for PCOS, PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome.  I am currently on 6 medications :(

Later that day, I went for a transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound to check on the status of my ovarian cysts.  I was given no information about what was on the ultrasound.  I would have to wait for that.

Fast forward to Friday:  I had received an email stating that my lab results are in.

My A1c results are high, testosterone is very high, total cholesterol extremely high, Triglycerides very high, LDL cholesterol is high and Vitamin D low. 
Not the best picture, sorry about that but you get the idea. 

Friday afternoon I get a phone call about the high cholesterol.  Now I had already read this in the above notes but it was still nice to hear it from a person.  

Friday afternoon/evening, I decided that I was going to feel sorry for myself and pout in bed.  

Saturday I got myself out of bed and went to lunch with my friend Brittany and her son.  It was great to get to talk to her and giggle/laugh.  We got all caught up!  Her son, the monkey, played on at McDonald's while we talked.  

All was good until I got home... I checked my mail and found a very nicely worded letter from the Imaging Center.
In case it is difficult to see... Left ovary is 2.3 cm in length with is normal, the right ovary is enlarged with a dominant 3.6 cm right ovarian cyst and additional smaller subcentimeter right ovarian cysts.

Left ovary 2.3cm or 0.9 inches
Right cyst 3.6 cm or 1.4 inches
To give you an idea about size...

more of a comparison
Needless to say, I've been down and depressed the last few days.  I'm pulling myself out of it but I'm still down.  Honestly, all this is just overwhelming and I've been trying to figure out how to get this all down on the blog. 

At first, I didn't want to to write things down, I've got to keep something private.  But, I realized that getting it down and telling my real feelings about this would help me.  I know I'm not the first person in the world diagnosed with any of these health issues, but it's a first for me.  

If you see me and I look down or sad, I probably am.  I just have a lot on my mind and need work out everything.  It's a lot for a girl to digest :(

I hope no one has to deal with health issues like this but I know many of my readers have.

I don't want scary health stories or anything that will freak me out.  Please be respectful of my fears and feelings.  That's all I ask...

Today's thought:

“Self pity becomes your oxygen. But you learned to breathe it without a gasp. So, nobody even notices you're hurting.” 
― Paul Monette

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

At it again

Started counting calories again!  I was so hungry yesterday!  I thought my stomach was going to eat through my skin and devour a student!  LOL!

I hate being hungry but I also know I have to train myself to eat less again.

Since it was so hard yesterday, I woke up with a new attitude today.  My body was telling me that I need a change... so I changed. It won't be easy to get back into it. I will do what it takes to get healthy and prove to myself that I can do it!

I will be having a health assessment tomorrow for my health insurance.  Not something I'm completely looking forward to but necessary.  I want to get the perks from it.

I want to feel better, I want to be happier with myself.

The cyst rupturing scared me, but I was in denial about how bad it was until I had another one rupture.  I go to the doctor on March 17th to find out more about this health scare and to hopefully get some answers.

My smaller clothes don't fit anymore and I'm finding it tough to get dressed in the mornings.  I feel like I'm wearing the same things over and over again because they are the only things that fit.

I'm depressed, my body hurts and I have no desire to do anything.  It's time to make the changes again and be the healthier me.

I have a 5k in May that I want to be able to do without being winded.  Right now, I don't think I can do that.  Time to lace up my tennis shoes and head for the hills!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

losing patience

I would say that I am not losing but have lost my patience today.  Nothing seems to be going right and frankly, I need to start over.

I have The Beatles station playing on Pandora to sooth the beast (my lack of patience).

I have 4 students at my table all working on different things, I have others at their desks working quietly, and some working together.

I thought my day sucked and that nothing was going right.

And then...

Student D (Spanish speaker) was helping Student L (Laotian speaker).  He did so without prompting and then proceeded to use English.  It brought tears to my eyes!  The compassion Student D showed toward the frustrated Student L was amazing!  My day wasn't bad, it was just temporarily broken.

If two students that barely speak English and don't even speak the same language can communicate and work through their problems; why can't I work through my weight loss struggles?

Just some thoughts for today... well, yesterday!  I had every intention of posting this yesterday but time got away from me and it didn't get done.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Hello again...

To get myself back on track, I've been reading through my blog... holy crap!  I've been way honest!  I've opened up more than I probably should have. Wasn't that the point though?

As I sit here and reflect on the last 2 years of my professional and personal life, I've realized that the blog became 2nd fiddle to everything else in my life, just like my weight loss.

I had a health scare on New Years Day that landed me in the ER.  I had the worst pain in my abdomen.  I thought it was a number of different things but mostly thought I could just ride it out.  When I couldn't even lay down due to the pain, I took my happy ass into the ER.

Blood work said I was fine.  X-ray said I was fine.  Urine test said I was fine.

No one had any idea what was going on!

They decided I need to have an ultra sound done.  As someone that has never had one, I have to say that it is a weird goopy feeling.  There was something there but they needed to be sure so I was "wanded".  If you have never had a vaginal wand ultra sound, consider yourself the luckiest person alive.  Imagine someone jabbing a wand up your private area and moving it around like a hand mixer.

Great visual right?!

So in March I get to do it again!  I'm so excited *insert eye roll*!  At least I don't have to fast for that one but I do have to drink gallons of water.  Fun!

So why are you getting this information... well, other than being way too honest, it is also about weight loss.  It was suggested that I lose 10-15 pounds by March 17.  All kinds of fun tests need to be done on me... oh joy!  The preliminary diagnosis is PCOS.  http://women.webmd.com/pcos-directory

It is something that I will definitely have to watch.  I will have to have regular check ups and now that I know what the pain is, I don't have to go to the ER and spend $1200 just to have an IV put in.

My weight loss is now even more important than it was.  I am really stepping up and will be working go make myself healthier in order to help myself.

As I have in the past...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


It has been way too long since I've done a good update.

Life has gotten crazy in my new position at work.  I now have 15 (soon to be 16) students from all walks of life, countries and languages.  I have students that have seen or have been raped, seen murder of loved ones, starved, been shot at, nearly killed... I am a counselor of some and a safe place to all.

That weighs heavily on your mind, body and soul.  I believe that without them, I wouldn't be where I am today.  I feel strong and confident in my own skin because if I am not, the students will see right through me.  Their strength and determination help me to get through the most difficult of times yet my strength and determination help them get through difficulties.

This isn't like teaching in an elementary school classroom; I have my students all day but there is something more magical and special about this.  It is so hard to explain that you almost have to be here to witness it.  I am not a miracle worker by any means and I really don't want to the attention.  I just want others to know that even though it may seem simple, teaching that is, I leave school each day exhausted and broken.  I am not broken because they are winning, I am broken because of stories I hear and the tragedies that have occurred in my student's lives. Each and every day, I get a little more information about their lives before the US.  One student made his way up from Central America to New York ALONE!  I hear that and just want to cry.  Another student witnessed her brother being executed.  How I wish I could take those memories from my students!

I think Eleanor Roosevelt said it best...

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.

Even though I can not take those memories from my students, they are strong individuals that give me hope for our future.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Life Update!

I really got away from posting!  Life happens and some things just have to be put aside.

Life in middle school is going well!  I really love it!  My kids are great, the staff is great and everything is working out well!

I was award the first Crystal Apple Award at school.  It is an in house award, not the Fox 4 Crystal Apple.

It gets turned over to the next teacher in October but I'm pleased that I got it first!  After 6 long years of teaching, I've finally been acknowledged for doing something.


So life got in the way and my food intake got bigger.  I've gained weight :(
I'm not proud of it, I got lazy.
I confess that I started eating more and moving less.
I feel sluggish, stressed and depressed

On Monday I went to the doctor and what I saw on the scale sent me into tears.  I've decided I need to get back on track.  I'm mad at myself for letting it get this far gone.  I ate breakfast this morning and regretted it the minute it touched my lips.

Back to changes!  Time to move forward, not look back!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

*knock knock knock*

Hello, lo, lo, lo, lo.....

Anyone, one, one, one, one.....

Hello, lo, lo, lo, lo.....

Yikes!  I have missed all my readers!  I have missed blogging!

I waited way too long between posts and to be honest, I'm a little mad at myself!

Oh where oh where to begin!

After I did the Dirty Girl Mud Run, I spent the rest of my summer anticipating the arrival of my niece Alivia. 

Alivia made her appearance after 4 days of teasing us!  Stubborn little thing already! 

Unfortunately I haven't seen her since she was less than 24 hours old.  They live about 100 miles away and it's been hard to get away.

I made her this little bear!  Her name is Alivia and she has Liv's birthday!  So much fun!
Proud Auntie!

A little bit of a cone head but she has a cute face!  Even cuter now!

Family of 3!  My brother was wrapped around that cute little finger a long time ago!  The poor sap!
More News!!
So you have probably gathered by now that I am a teacher.  For 2 years I taught 3rd grade and then spent 4 years teaching English as a Second Language to kindergarten and 1st graders.

This year I'm trying something a little different. I was invited by the ESL Dept. to pilot a program. 
I am teaching students in MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!!!!!

How I went from kindergarten and 1st grade to 6/7/8 is beyond something my mind can comprehend. 

Anyway, these students will have been in the country for less than a year.  They will have little to no educational experiences and/or large gaps in their education. 

I get students tomorrow, I'm starting out with 12, could be more, could be less. As students transition in and out of my class my numbers will change. 

Hopefully I will blog more, exercise more and eat less!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I Want S'more

So I'm trying something different...

S'mores Cake!

I am obsessed with s'mores.  Have been for years and years.  It is a secret obsession.  Recently, Dairy Queen came out with S'mores Blizzards.  OMFG!  A mini does it for me :)

I am really wanting an actual s'mores though so I decided to do some online research.  I've seen a few recipes but none of them seemed perfect... So, I created my own!

Rebekka's I Want S'more Cake

1 box Chocolate Devil's Food cake mix
1 bag Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips
1 bag small marshmallows
1 bag large marshmallows
1 box honey graham crackers
1 13x9x1 pan

 Preheat oven 350. Make the cake mix as per the box.

Pour about 1/3 of the cake mix in the bottom of a grease pan.
The break graham crackers in half and place on top of the unbaked cake mix.

 Pour the entire bag of Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips over the top of the graham crackers.

 Place small marshmallows over the chocolate chips.
Break more graham crackers in half and place on top of marshmallows.

 Pour the rest of the cake batter on top of the graham crackers and spread evenly.

After 30 minutes take the cake out of the and turn oven to broil at 500 degrees.
Place the large marshmallows on top.

 It doesn't have to be pretty but try to space everything out.
Put back in the oven under the broiler but DO NOT leave!  It happens quick!

This gives the "fire" look to the marshmallows and warms them up enough.
Take the back of a spoon and smush them down.
The smushing isn't necessary but it looks good :)

Wait until it cools before cutting because the marshmallows will stick to the knife otherwise and destroy your pretty cake.

This will be a pretty rich cake so small pieces are recommended!  Let me know if you are making it and how it turns out!  I'm pretty sure it will be AWESOME!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Flavored Water

Some call it detox water, I call it flavored.

Whatever you call it, the flavor is great and fresh!

Here is the recipe I found....

3 quarts or 12 cups of water
2 lemons, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
10 mint leaves
Rinse everything really well. Slice lemons and cucumber. Add lemons, cucumber, and mint to pitcher. Cover with 3 quarts of water and refrigerate over night.
Okay, so I tried it.  I have to say YUM!  The flavor is great and there is a sweet/sour base to it.  
The cucumber flavor is subtle.  You can taste it in the background but it's not overpowering.  You can taste the lemon more than anything so next time I will cut the lemon back a little.  I can't taste the mint so I'm wondering if I need to muddle it first.  Just a thought. 
So you are asking yourself, "Why put all those things together?"  Well, I'll tell you why :)
1. A great source of vitamin c
2. Balances pH levels
3. Improves digestion
4. Aides weight loss
`Did you know that if your body is out of balance it is incredibly difficult to lose weight? Having a happy, healthy body and mind is one of the fastest ways to weight loss. A more alkaline diet makes for a happier person, and according to Eating Well Magazine, people with more alkaline diets tend to lose weight faster. Also, lemons contain pectin fiber, which helps set your body back to normal hunger levels. On board yet? If not, don't worry there are two more genius benefits coming your way. (My source)
1. Keeps body hydrated as it is 96% water
2. A good source of dietary fibers and vitamins
3. The high water content and dietary fibers are aide in clearing toxins from the digestive system.
4. Diuretic... 96% water anyone :)
5. Contains a hormone that is used in the pancreas to produce insulin
1. Relieves GI issues
2. High in antioxidants
3. Improves the movement of bile from the liver
4. Also aides in the relaxation of sore muscles
As a note of warning: 1. If you don't like pulpy orange juice, I would juice the lemon instead of let it just hang out in the pitcher.
2. Strain and drain!  I'm using an iced tea pitcher with a tap.  Things are getting stuck in there so it's not draining into the cup well.
3. The acidity of the lemon can break down the enamel of your teeth.  Alternate this "detox" water with tap water.  Also, don't "nurse" the "detox" water, the acid will stay on your teeth longer. 
I hope you enjoy this recipe.  I have been enjoying it today and I've been drinking more water because of it. 
I'm planning on trying others next week and will blog about them as well.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dirty Girl!

So I managed to do the Dirty Girl Mud Run!


It was so much fun!  My cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling so much.  It took me about 90 minutes to get through it.  5k's don't take me that long but you have to factor in waiting to do the obstacle, doing the obstacle and waiting for each other.

All clean... before!
At the top of "Girl Get Over It"
Climbing into the final mud pit, coved in mud!

Someone clean off my face!
I had so much fun!  I will totally do it again!  Unfortunately, I can't move!  My whole body aches, even right down to my toes.

I can't wait to do it again!