Monday, October 10, 2016

Transverse Myelitis…My story

About a month ago I was a typical healthy mom and teacher.  We were just getting back into the swing of school.  Things were busy as they always are that time of year.  I had spent my summer working VERY hard to lose weight and I was feeling great.  I had a ton of energy at school and was enjoying having a nice new home to be taking care of.  I worked out every morning before school in my basement gym and was always running up and down my stairs doing house work.  Then one day it all changed…..

It all started with my left leg feeling a bit numb one morning.  I thought I just slept wrong but it never came back all day.  Monday I went to school and told our AD that my one leg was numb he recommended it see the trainer.  I thought it was silly but he offered to watch my class as I went to meet with him.  The trainer noticed that my right leg (that was not numb) was weaker.  He recommended I see a Dr.  I went back to my room and made a phone call to the local clinic.  They turned me down and said they were not accepting any new patients. So I called another clinic and they said they could see me the next morning.  Tuesday morning my left leg was still numb/tingling and I had a hard time moving my right leg but I was able to walk with a little assistance (wall, hand rail, holding a hand).  The Dr was unsure what was causing this but made me an appointment for a neurologist that Friday.  He did think that my weight loss may have triggered a vitamin deficiency so he ordered a bunch or blood work to be done for that and a multitude of other things.  They all came back negative I had no answers but every day I was waking up with less and less movement in the right leg.  By the time I went to the neurologist on Friday I was barely able to move my right leg at all.  She immediately sent me for my MRI’s.  I had a lesion on my spinal cord and I was diagnosed me with Transverse Myelitis.  They originally wanted to admit me to administer hard core steroids but luckily I was sent home with a home health nurse to put an IV in and Dan helped me administer the steroids with a infusion ball for 4 days (I was even able to go to work with the infusion ball).  Seriously it was the coolest thing ever.  I got worse before getting better….but I got better, which after reading up on my diagnosis I am VERY LUCKY!!!!!  I am not back to where I was but I have made major improvements.  I am now able to walk with almost no limp and I can also take stairs again but I have to go slow and be careful.  My knee still gives out on me occasionally, my strength is not back yet, I get fatigued very easily, and I also have random numbness throughout my body. I am doing physical therapy and still seeing improvements! I go back to December for more MRI's.
This little ball kept me out of the hospital
So what exactly is Transverse Myelitis???  Well I have done a lot of research after being diagnosed.  Transverse Myelitis is a rare autoimmune disease causing injury to the spinal cord with varying degrees of weakness, sensory alterations, and autonomic dysfunction.   Normally, the cells that are a part of the immune system have the ability to distinguish an infectious agent from a person’s body; however, sometimes some of these cells become ‘confused’ and mistakenly attack an organ within a person. This is known as autoimmunity and when the spinal cord is affected it is called Transverse Myelitis.  The signals are not able to be sent correctly and the person has numbness, weakness, and difficulty walking (or completely paralyzed).  1/3 of individuals recover with little or only minor symptoms, 1/3 are left with a moderate degree of permanent disability, and 1/3 have virtually no recovery and are left severely functionally disabled. Most show good to fair recovery!

Transverse Myelitis is very time sensitive!!!!!!  The faster you catch it the better chance you have for a full recovery.   Anyone who knows me knows that I never go to the Dr!!!  It still amazes me that I went when I did but if it were not for our school AD, Trainer, my coworkers, and my husband I probably would have put off seeking medical help.  This whole experience has been very humbling!!!!!  To not be able to physically do the things I was able to do the day prior has been a crazy experience.  I no longer take my basic health for granted and praise God for teaching me this lesson.  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

it's that time...Outside my classroom

It is officially time to stop denying that soon school starts! since teacher report this coming Thursday!!!!! 

I have started working in my classroom and have actually made a lot of progress but finished very little other then my door and hallway display.  Every year I do a yearlong theme outside my room.  I don't change it (other than for Christmas) because I am always rotating out artwork displays.  So I figure I get a free pass on doing monthly bulletin boards like other teachers do!  Or at least that is how I justify it to myself.

I teach k-12 art 
and my room is located all by itself next to the lunch room, at the end of the Elementary wing, opposite from the High School, and room across from the Gym (I am kind of on an island and I LOVE IT). My room is actually the only room sport patrons see when they come to games.  So I decided to do a South Loup Bobcat theme this year!  I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.
My bobcat door hanger.
I drew the bobcat on a piece of underlayment and the hubs cut it out.  
Then I painted it up and added the ribbon.  
(I have one more drawn up I'm thinking art club fundraiser!?)
A friend of mine from high school cut out the vinyl for me. 
I LOOOOVE how it turned out!!!!!!
I also painted up this chair bobcat blue and covered the seat in some left over fabric from the oldest cowgirls nursery
(yes she is almost 8 and I still have it laying around!)
I also added my schedule, a logo, and a saying I really enjoy.
Now to tie up ends inside my room!!! 
It will all come together.  It always does!!!!

Have a great school year to all teachers, students, and parents!!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

end of year teacher gift

School is out for the summer!!!!!
Once again this year we had amazing teachers for the girls.  
We chose to give a little parting gift.
So...What do you give a teacher for an end of the year teacher gift?
This year we gave beach towels.  
Rae's teacher spends a large portion if her summer at their lake house.  
Hers said,  "Have a great summer at the lake".
We often see AJ's teacher at the pool.  
Hers said, "We hope to see you at the pool this summer".
The gifts we gave were not expensive or anything fancy 
but the girls were so excited to give their teachers a gift to say thanks.

Now that school is out I am planing on blogging regularly again.  
I can't wait to give a home tour!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

the importance of the arts in education

I love my job.  I get to do what I love every day.  I am blessed by this but not only am I doing what I enjoy I am also making an impact.  Last year I wrote a blog post (you can read it here) about how I feel as an art educator.  All of these things still hold true but just yesterday I came across this visual and I LOVE IT!!!!  I knew my job mattered but it was awesome seeing the actual statistics.  Pretty impressive!!!

I know the arts are not everyone's passion but I truly believe that everyone can benefit from some aspect of the arts in their life.  Visual arts, music, theater, and dance are all great healthy outlets for our youth AND adults.  I ask you to please encourage these in the young people in your AND I encourage you to incorporate some aspect of the arts into your own life!  I promise you won't regret it!

Friday, January 1, 2016

In 2016 I will...

It is that time of year again.  
Time to reflect on the past year and time to look forward to the new year ahead. 

This year my overall goal is to see everything as a blessing and not a burden.
It is easy to get overwhelmed and get bogged down by it all 
and have those blessings feel like burdens.

All my stresses are really my blessings....
3 busy healthy children
Amazing husband
We are building a new home
I have a job {that I LOVE}

Each year I set goals or resolutions for the upcoming year.
This year I am making "I will" statements

Do you make resolutions? 
What are yours?

Have a fabulous year!!!!!
~ Suzi

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

We had another busy year 
Everyone says that right? 
I’ll quickly hit the highlights and let you keep moving with your own busy life! ;)

The Hubs is still at the lumber yard.  He has been with the company for 15 years now.  
He is keeping very busy working on building our new home!!!  
He still tries to fit in golf whenever he can. 

Suzi is in her 2nd year of being a k-12 art teacher in a small rural school.  
She and her friend have started teaching painting classes/parties. 
She is also excited to start working on the “fun stuff” in decorating their new home.

S is a Sophomore in High School.  
He is probably the busiest of us all.  
Between football, wrestling, track, lifting, camps, working, 
and fitting in time for friends an family he is always busy!  
He is doing great in school and we are super proud of him.

The oldest cowgirl is a 1st grader and is excelling in school!  
She loves to read.  she is becoming quite the talented artist!  
This year she started  gymnastics and basketball.  
She is also helping mom decorate the new home and is excited to have her own room soon.

The little cowgirl started preschool this year.  
She is having a great time and enjoying it very much.  
She loves her animals and to be outside.  
She is excited to be a “big kid”.  
This year she finally gets to go to church on Wednesdays nights and gymnastics 
with her sister. 

God Bless You,

Suzi {and family} @ chores and chandeliers

Monday, December 28, 2015

step parenting {the blend}

I love being a step parent.
I honestly believe that having a bonus child is just that, A BONUS!
This video is a must watch...WOW
The biological parents are a great example!!!
I feel as if we have a similar situation and unfortunately this is not the norm.

The Blend
What happens to a family after divorce and remarriage?
Posted by SoulPancake on Thursday, December 24, 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

CHRISTmas time

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.  
WE SURE DID, although we are not done yet.  
We have another celebration tomorrow.  
Since I am a procrastinator we headed to town to pick up a few things for tomorrow.
The girls insisted I pull over and take their annual picture by the display at the town square!  
I love this tradition and I love that they look forward to it going up every year!!!!  
Before we left the littlest cowgirl had to clean the snow off of baby Jesus! 
Tonight I took the cowgirls sledding.  
I didn't get any photos tho!  
I chose to not take my phone (I didn't want the distraction!)
The Hubs and S worked over at the new house all day.
I hope to check in next week and do an update on the blog with the house progress!!! 
So come back next week and check it out!!!!

Merry Christmas
~ Suzi

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Teaching art IS my passion!!!

Today I was at a workshop and it has me reflecting back on one of my all time favorite teaching posts......

I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!  I honestly do.  Being an art teacher is exactly what I am meant to do.  I LOVE coming to work every day!!!!  That being said I look forward to every weekend, snow day, late start, break, and vacation. 

Here are a few of my random {art teacher} thoughts…..

I don’t just teach art.
I also teach history, vocabulary, manors, discipline, integrity, work ethic, respect, compassion, responsibly {and the list goes on and on}.

I haven’t made art since I became a teacher.
How’s this possible with all this art being created around me daily?  Well I just never have enough time to think of an idea, and execute it.  Unless you count the 3 minute Jellyfish I made yesterday when showing water color techniques?!?!

I spend a lot of my own money. A lot.
I don’t think a week goes by when I’m not at a store picking something up for my classroom. I don’t think a week goes by when I’m not scrounging through my personal supplies for materials to use in my classroom.  

I hate the question, “What are we doing today?”
It honestly makes me cringe.  Please don’t ask it because I have yet to forget to tell you what we are doing when you to came class. 

I love the naughty kids!
Yes they cause problems, act up, distract others, and say things that shouldn't be said; but they are also the ones who bring a lot of joy to my job. I love a kid with spunk!!! 

I have a name!
Please don’t call me “Teacher”.  I don’t call you “Student”.

I like a clean classroom!!!!
Pick up after yourself.  I know you know where the glue gun goes; you just got it out 40 minutes ago.  

I don’t like teaching every medium.
I have my favorites and I focus on what I like best.  Sorry all art teachers do it….Okay, maybe it has a little to do with the mess some mediums make.  

Sometimes I wish I taught a different subject area. 
It sure would be nice to have a set lesson plan and book to follow.  Then reality hits and I remember who I am and realize I would go crazy on a set schedule like that (but it is appealing some days).

I hate to grade!
I put it off as long as I can.  So my grade book is always behind.  I get not satisfaction out of grading work.  I wish I could have a TA do it but that’s not really an option in art.  

Art is not an easy A.
Please don’t take Art for an easy A.  Take art because you want to be creative, try hard, and do something different from your other academic areas.  Try and I promise you WILL pass….but I wont promise an A.

I show up for the students.
I’m not in it for the fame and fortune (because we all know that’s never going to happen).  I show up for the elementary students who hug me. I show up for the students who tell me they love art class. I show up for the students who express excitement and pride.  I show up for the High School students who use the art room as their safe place.  And yeah, I show up for the students who can’t sit still in their seats, can’t refrain from blurting out, don’t like art, ignore me, and who would rather be anywhere else but art class. I show up for the students.  All of them.