Change is a constant: how I am learning to adapt and overcome!
It started while I was dealing with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis, when the uterine cells are embedded in the uterine walls. I had a fibroid tumor the size of a 4 month fetus in my uterus and cysts in both ovaries. After jumping through the hoops to meet the insurance requirements for a hysterectomy, I was finally able to have that taken care of, almost ten years after the initial diagnosis! My gyno told me that I "would feel better within 6 months" and I did feel better initially while I was on hormone replacement therapy. Unfortunately, it didn't last. As soon as I turned 50 they took that away.
About a year after my hysterectomy I began to notice my energy was depleted much faster than I thought it should and I was experiencing some sleeping issues as well. Though I was exhausted, when I went to bed my mind would not shut down. I no longer had the energy to walk across the field and monitor my students after teaching all morning. Something that I took for granted just months earlier. I began to fall asleep in my chair shortly after arriving home, napping for an hour before I could even find the energy to grade papers and plan for the next day.
I could not keep up with my grandchildren any longer, my back and knees were constantly aching and I gained more weight. I went back to the doctor and went through several more rounds of blood tests only to be told that I was "fine" and that I needed to get out and exercise more.
During this period I also experienced loss. My step-father passed, after several years of dealing with dementia and Alzheimers. My 16 year old pet cocker-cross, Buddy, passed away. I brought him home when he was just 6 weeks old, the loss was expected but my response was unexpected. We lost 3, very good friends in that year. It seemed that we were constantly mourning. I began to suffer from anxiety and uncontrollable crying jags. The job I loved, teaching, became a lifeline and it was just about the only thing that kept me focused and putting one foot in front of the other, though it was not without it's stressors. The emotional roller coaster was mostly lows, I do not think I found too many highs during that period. The world became a very dark place for me.
I finally insisted on a referral to another doctor and, after some back and forth, it was granted. The new doctor immediately diagnosed depression and anxiety disorders and prescribed meds. They helped but not a lot. Thankfully, she also ordered more blood tests, a more complete work up, and discovered that my thyroid was "cranky". At least that is what she called it.
I was given the lowest dose of thyroxizine she could give me, to "see if there was any change." Thank the Lord it did help, however, that was not the end of the story -- as I was given to believe. I thought I was on the road to feeling better, I felt better in small increments, I began to find more energy and my evening "naps" began to happen less frequently and were of shorter durations. Then my world crumbled around me again, the job I loved and the students who were my reason for moving forward, the reason I was able to get up each morning, was unceremoniously jerked out from under me. I floundered. I questioned myself and my calling.
I struggled and I persevered, I refused to just give up. I found a new reason to get up. A new reason to move on. I went back to waiting tables. I found myself again and I found my husband there waiting for me to stand on my own once more. He never told me that he worried, he never told me that he was scared, he just quietly propped me up when I couldn't do it and bravely, gently, prodded me forward.
I found my feet, rediscovered my love of teaching with a class of high energy fourth graders. I began to believe in myself once more and I began to trust again, though I am not where I once was, it was a beginning.
I found a new place, a place that needed me, a place that valued my skills, solicited my input and wanted my knowledge for their district. I found like-minded people, professionals who wanted to improve their students' education. Professionals who wanted change and believed in our ability as a team to make that change happen.
I speak, of course, of my new home, Sanders, and the exceptional people I have come to work with, not for, but with -- because together we are more than we are on our own.
While the transition has had some hurdles to jump and some mountains to climb, I believe that I have found a wonderful group of people who believe in me and that I believe in. Friends that are there for me and who will support me, as they have already lifted me up, when I needed it.
I have learned about the Circle of Trust, and The Beauty Way. I have learned to always look for the beauty around me, beneath me, above me...there are so many beautiful people here.
I have many lessons to relearn and I am learning so many new things, about me, life and my passion.
I look forward to the journey. I have promised myself to write more often and from my heart. Follow me, if you dare. :)
Labels: behavior, changes, chronic illness, depression, education, educator, family, hypothyroidism, learning, living, new school, personal choices, professional, relationships, stories, stress, struggles, teacher