Sunday Post with Berls | I’m back!! #fingerscrossed

Posted September 2, 2018 by Berls in The Sunday Post / 20 Comments


News at Home: I’m back!!

OMG I haven’t posted since July! Sorry for dropping off so suddenly! Things got intense fast and I really haven’t had time to pull my head above water until now. And I’m really crossing my fingers that it stays that way. I really don’t want to write a book for y’all here, but there’s a lot to say. I’m going to give you the highlights week by week since my last Sunday Post, which was July 8th. Eeek! Thanks to my Bullet Journal I do know what happened when though πŸ™‚

Week of July 9-15

You may remember (though you probably don’t) that I had JUST gotten my car back from the shop July 6th. Well I took it to get an oil change on the 9th or 10th and they tell me it has a leak! UGH! So I had it in the shop AGAIN from the 11th – 13th. I swear, it’s like I spent all summer stuck at home πŸ™

The 11th my mom took me to my Cosmetic Surgeon’s office for my pre-op appointment for surgery. There we got all the instructions and paid the astronomical amount of my surgery. Like $19k y’all. Was it worth it? Yeah I think it was. But that’s why with my free time I was not blogging. I was doing transcription work trying to make as much extra money as possible.

The 12th I went with my mom to Shakespeare in the Park which as a blast and definitely something I’d do again.

Week of July 16 -22

Not a lot happened this week. I think the stress of the upcoming surgery, combined with cost of said surgery just kept me away from the blog. Again I was transcribing a lot for extra money. I also was officially hired to work at my gym this week, which was a huge YAY!

I worked out a lot this week trying to finish the gym challenge of 22 classes in 22 days. I got sick the 16th – awful stomach ache – but I had my interview with the owner so I went anyway, with the intention of taking four classes after the interview. Had to throw up before the warm up was over, so there went 4 classes. I finished by the skin of my teeth though and we had a fun challenge finishers party on the 22nd with free drinks, an oxygen bar, snacks, and fun. Love my gym!

Week of July 23 – 29

Since they needed someone for the front desk on Monday evenings pretty immediately, I actually worked a training shift at my gym on the 23rd! The job is so easy, the hardest part is learning everyone’s name. I love it and love being there with such positive vibes. If only it could be my full time job!

The 25th I had my surgery. So I don’t think I went into details before… As y’all know I’ve lost a lot of weight (more than 300lbs over the past 8 years) and that has left behind some serious skin. So on the 25th we did an arm lift, breast lift, and limited medial thigh lift. He took a pound of skin from each arm, a pound of skin from each side of my torso (with the breast lift), and 14 inches of skin from my thighs.

Okay, y’all, I’m gonna be real. The surgery was 8 hours and I did not feel good when I woke up. Everything ached. I’ve had knee surgery (2005), my gallbladder out (2015), and gastric bypass (2017). This was by far the worst. When it was time to get up and walk – because you need to in order to prevent blood clots I kinda freaked. It was so hard to move – I didn’t have my arms to push me up, I didn’t have my legs to leverage with and even though I had my core, it felt weaker due to my chest also being all bandaged up. I managed to get up, very slowly and with a lot of pain. They said I did great, I did not agree. I walked about 20 steps before feeling light headed and having to turn around to get back in bed. I didn’t complain, but I freaked. I was staying overnight, but the next day I had to go home and I live on the second floor. My mom lives on the second floor. My brother lives on the second floor. I had to be able to climb a flight of stairs the next day and I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to do it.

After a mild freak out, I made my plan. First, I was going to get up and walk every hour so that I would be strong enough to climb stairs when I went home. And, if for some reason that didn’t work, we would stay at a hotel around the corner from my house one night. So I had a plan and that helped. And I buzzed that nurse every hour to get me out of bed. And then I slept for like 45 minutes and buzzed her again. By time the doctor came to release me on the 26th I was walking for a solid 30 minutes at a time and capable of getting myself up and down from the bed with little difficulty and less help.

So I got home and climbed the stairs. It was slow, but not bad at all. And my AMAZING husband had setup the whole apartment for me. He had our sofa on risers for me so I could easily get in and out of it. He had a walker for me. He had a toilet riser. He had bought disposable gloves and bandages to take care of all my bandages. If I ever doubted the man, I sure as hell can’t now.

And then the healing began. First night was rough because they had me in these compression pants with a big hole at the crotch to use the restroom. Well, using the restroom was not easy y’all and a couple of my bandages got wet — because I have stitches all the way to my groin. And my mom hadn’t shown my husband how to change bandages yet. So at 10pm I had to call her, my husband walked her back to our place (she lives in some apartment complex), and she had to do a quick bandage change. The only positive was that my husband now knew how to do the bandages.

Which he did. Every day for a week. Each time took about an hour because we had bandages from the knee to the groin on each leg, elbow to arm pit each arm, plus under my breast and around nipples. A shit ton of bandages and antibiotics.

The first night I also woke up in serious pain and having to pee around 3 am. My husband had left me the pain medicine right beside me, so I tried to administer it to myself — he was sleeping in bedroom with our dog (poor Buffy had such a hard time the first few days because she had to be locked in the bedroom for fear that she would jump on me). Y’all I couldn’t even open the bottle πŸ™ So I finally gave up and called him from my cell phone at 4am. I hated it because I had to wake him up in the middle of the night, but I couldn’t get my pain medicine and I couldn’t get up to use the restroom by myself. Hell, this is TMI but I really couldn’t even use the restroom myself.

So I had planned to do a lot of blogging and reading while I was recovering, but I had really underestimated how difficult my recovery would be. Every time I started to read, I fell asleep. And my arms hurt too much to type or use a computer much. My routine was a lot like at the hospital really, wake up, walk, pain medicine, sleep, walk, sleep, walk, pain medicine, sleep, walk, etc. I gradually felt a bit better, but not enough to do any real blogging or reading yet.

Week of July 30 – August 5

This was just more recovery basically. On the 1st I had my 1 week post-op appointment and they said I was doing really well and to just keep it up. Friday 8/3 I noticed one leg a lot more swollen than the other, so I messaged the Surgical assistant – as that could be a sign of a blood clot. They expected it wasn’t because I was being really good about walking but just in case, I started blood thinner shots the next day.

Saturday 8/4 I had to move all my classroom stuff out of my storage. Obviously I was in no condition to do this and I was incredibly blessed with friends who helped. 5 ladies from my gym, and another friend I know through book club showed up to move me out of storage. I shared the storage with my partner teacher and her family came to help to. It was fairly amazing a storage that took Rosa and I several trips and about 6-7 hours to pack in May was unloaded into our classrooms in 1 trip (Because we had 2 trucks, 2 large SUVs, 2 mid-size SUVs and 2 cars) and just over 1 hour. I couldn’t have been more thankful, as I still had a lifting limit of one hour and was still moving pretty stiffly. Couldn’t have done it without them.

Week of August 6 – 12

On the 6th I went in for an Ultrasound to confirm I did not have a blood clot. All was good and I got to quit the blood thinners. Yay!

I had to go back to work on the 9th — which also happened to be my 1 year Gastric Bypass surgery anniversary — and it was awful. I spent the 9th and 10th in training that I DO NOT NEED. It was a waste of time and frankly, offensive. The only schools in the district there were schools where we didn’t meet test score objectives and the message was clear – our kids didn’t pass because we don’t know how to teach. SUCH UTTER BULLSHIT. We also just happened to be the poorest schools in the district. Isn’t that interesting?

And because they gave us absolutely no time in our classrooms, I spent the weekend working. On the 11th my mom and I were at the school by 8:30. And since I was moved rooms I inherited a room full of shit from all over the school. My mom and I spent from 8:30 – 11 just trying to clear out cupboards that were full of stuff that shouldn’t be in my room. My brother and his boyfriend joined at 11 and started moving out furniture and bigger pieces that didn’t belong. I think we actually really started on setting up my room around 3. Until then we were clearing out. We left at 8:30pm. Yes, 12 hours. I still couldn’t lift so I was mostly directing efforts. I went back on Sunday, by myself, to do things that required no lifting but still had to be done if my classroom would be ready for back to school night on Thursday.

On Sunday I also had training for new front desk staff at the gym, which was fun and painless πŸ™‚

Week of August 13 – 19

Another fairly awful week, honestly. We had training Monday all day, going over new requirements for the 2018-2019 school year with our new principal. It became very clear that yeah he sucks and our AP, who seemed pretty great last year, is so far up his ass that she’s not great anymore either. Then I had my second job at the gym that night.

Tuesday and Wednesday we had to go to district training and it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t as awful. It was just, once again, stuff I already know and do (or already stopped doing because the research shows it outdated and my district needs to catch up).

Thursday & Friday we had this training called Capturing Kids Hearts and it was… yep, awful. Again, insulting. I’m going to start calling these things lectures, not trainings. And they are such a waste of time and resources. And since we had Back to School night on Thursday, you know I was multitasking. I mean, she was teaching us things like how to shake hands for goodness sake. That does not require my full attention. But apparently my table – the Kinder table – was reported by the other principal as being the “negative staff members.” Excuse us for being frustrated by the way you’re wasting our time and insulting us by giving us worthless training. This profession is so disrespected and I’m so tired of it.

We had a bit of a scare too – one of our teachers has lung cancer and is carrying an oxygen tank. I won’t digress to discuss what’s wrong with our country that someone that sick has to work… but she passed out in the middle of our training lecture on Thursday. She stopped breathing and they lost her pulse. They had to administer CPR and use one of those machines to try and bring back her pulse while the EMTs were on the way. It was so scary – her face was blue. She made it, though she isn’t back at school (yet? I’m hoping she’s able to take the year off because clearly she doesn’t need to be teaching). That led to a couple really frustrating moments though. They had not one, but two prayer circles at school that day. I’m sorry, but the imposition of christian faith in a public school is not okay. It’s a problem at this school and I’m so sick of it. I’m not Christian and that does not make me a bad, uncaring person. In fact, the fact I would NEVER think to impose my beliefs on others like that makes me a lot more considerate than them.

Anyway, we still had Back to School night that evening and I met all but 4 of my parents that night. It went great and I felt really good about my kids at that point. None stood out as being problems like they had in previous years. I have the sibling of a student I had two years ago, and the mom was there telling me (in front of all these parents who don’t know me), “the first day I could enroll him I was up here at the school requesting you. I told them anyone who could do what you did with [student’s name] was teaching all my kids if I could help it.” When I told her that I was thrilled (and I really was, she was a great mom to have and her son had been challenging because he came to me unidentified autistic) but that things were a little different in my classroom than they had been 2 years ago, she said “I don’t care. I trust you. Tell me that you’ll be teaching on the moon this year and I’ll find a way to get him there.” So that was really nice, especially in front of all these parents. Talk about a great way to boost their confidence in me!

I also had a couple parents who’s friends’s kids or cousins’s kids had been in my class in the past couple years and they were saying that when they got my welcome email the day before telling them about our Back to School night they were so excited and calling friends/cousins saying “I got Carmona! Yay! I got Carmona!” Again in front of lots of parents who don’t know me πŸ™‚

I also had so many kids come visit from the past two years, tons of hugs, and lots of nervous parents because our first grade is like all BRAND NEW and they kept just saying they wished I had come to first grade. Needless to say Back to School was a real confidence boost. It’s nice to have been at the school long enough that I have a reputation and people requesting me to be their teacher. One parent even gave me a $100 gift card because they were so excited to have me as their daughter’s teacher and they had “heard great things.”

Because we had NO TIME to plan during the two weeks before school started, I spent Saturday and Sunday at school getting ready for the first week. Plus they screwed up setting up the cafeteria, so a coworker and I spent about 2 hours fixing that – moving 32 tables (on wheels but still)! So if you’re counting I worked from August 9 – 24th without a day off. Yes, teachers really need a pay raise. And more respect.

Week of August 20 – 26th

So school started this week and things went really well. I’ve changed my classroom concept this year. I have almost no tables or chairs in my room and I was a little nervous about it. But I’m loving it and the fact that the kids seem to do a lot better working this way. Overall, I LOVE my class. I have 14 boys which is a LOT of boys… only 8 girls to balance them out. Shouldn’t matter, but since as a society we’re much harder on girls and say “boys will be boys” by time they get to kindergarten, girls are better behaved (generally) and boys are pretty rambunctious. I honestly have only 1 student that’s a problem and he won’t be in a few weeks. Part of his problem is he’s too young – he just turned 5 two weeks ago! His other problem is that he’s VERY LOW. I don’t know if we’re talking lack of exposure, processing problems, or just very low IQ, but he’s going to need some additional support I’m sure. I once again have the SPED classroom it seems – 5 IDENTIFIED SPED kids. And it’s fine, it’s just a lot of extra work. But I love them and it seems to be my specialty at this point! Overall, my class is a few super high kids and a lot of really low with no middle :/ that’s going to be interesting!

I started assessing kids and one was hilarious! He had to give me commentary on every letter he didn’t know. For example for C, “well, that one’s had because it’s got a hole right there.” or for J, “that’s a candy cane!” LOL! Oh and when I asked him what sound sit starts with he was like, “Oh I know that one. listen.” He stood up and sat down. “did you hear it?” LMAO! Keeping a straight face while assessing can be quite challenging!

On the first day of school my Principal’s boss apparently saw me yelling at a kid. I do not yell at kids. Not even on the first day of kindergarten which is SO HARD y’all. These kids haven’t got a clue on the first day. Just the simple process of walking in a line is mind blowingly difficult for them (and hence me). It’s really truly like herding cats. But she told my principal I was yelling and he felt the need to come to me and say, “I told her it wasn’t consistent with what I know of you or what I’ve observed, but I think you should reflect on it.” Well talk about bringing down your teacher’s morale on day 2 of school! My old principal would have told her to shove it, Carmona doesn’t yell, and I wouldn’t have ever heard a thing about it. But I did think about it, because it bugged me and I figured out what she saw… me trying to help my child who is deaf in one ear and knows very little sign (which I know and try to use with him). But it’s just another instance of my admin not respecting or supporting us. When he told me that, I made up my mind for good. This is my LAST year at this school. I’m done. I may be done with teaching until I can open up my own school. The disrespect of our time, our profession, our abilities, etc is just too much and I’m sick and tired of it.

Week of August 27 – September 1

Another good week with the kids, another awful week with admin. Basically the motto for this year – I love my kids, I love my team, my school sucks and I’m so fucking done. I feel bad because I have parents who plan on requesting me to teach their kids in the next two years, but I can’t continue to subject myself to this toxicity.

So Friday was a PD day, which should mean useful training and some time to do our work. What it actually meant was convocation. AKA a REQUIRED PEP RALLY. And because my district sucks at planning they decided to use a facility that required everyone to be bused in. And instead of starting at a time that would allow for people to be bused in, they required us to be at work 1 hour early to get on the bus. I said fuck that, I’ll get dropped off at the location. Y’all me and a coworker who also refused to ride the bus left the school 45 minutes after everyone else and arrived at the same time as they did!! And then we sat through this pep rally where we heard the President of the board speak – Barf, you’re making my life hell! – and the superintendent speak – Barf, you couldn’t do my job if your life depended on it! – and one of the kids from Freedom Writeers speak – Barf, you’re using the fame of that movie for self-aggrandizement. Not to mention I have a huge problem with the message that movie (and those like it) send… it’s mired in the white-savior complex for one. And two, yes, the teacher did great things for her class … at the expense of her marriage, her personal life, and taking on second and third jobs. That’s not okay. That should NOT be the expectation of teachers. We are professionals who deserve a decent wage for what we do and the respect afforded professionals. No lawyer or dentist or doctor would be expected to do the same things she did because it saves lives. That we’re expected to sacrifice everything is just another layer of disrespect.

The summary

So if you want to skip all the above… summary is – I had surgery, recovery was hard. I started work, my admin sucks, my kids are great and I’m pretty pissed off about the state of the teaching profession. Really glad to have this long weekend.

Oh and I had my 5 week post-op appointment on Friday. Went really well. They apparently call me the “Rock Star” and asked me if I’m still feeling “tough as hell” because of the way I got up and pushed so hard after surgery. I’ve been FINALLY given full clearance to workout and no more compression garments. I’m feeling really good πŸ™‚

Blog News

Well I’m trying really hard to be back as of this week fingers crossed

And COYER is over πŸ™ But it was great. Sign-ups for Winter will be in November.

#FitReaders Update

This past month was all about recovery and I’m really glad with how I did. This month I’d like to get back into my routine and lose 10 pounds.

Coming Next Week From Me

We’ll see πŸ˜‰

And that’s it — haha as if I didn’t write a TON — from me for now. Hoping you’ll see me around a lot more this month πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

How was your week? What are you Reading?

Berls is back and has lots of catching up to do! Read about her past 2 months in The Sunday Post with Berls Share on X

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 2 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 22 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!



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20 responses to “Sunday Post with Berls | I’m back!! #fingerscrossed

  1. Berls, you are amazing! I’m impressed (but not surprised, since I follow you in Instagram) at how hard you worked during your skin surgery recovery. And I know you’re a terrific teacher. I’m so sad that the problems with your administration are undermining your love for the profession and making you want to leave. It’s something I’ve heard too often, from too many teachers. We need more support for teachers all around. I hope your school year goes well despite the challenge of your administration.

    Take care, and welcome back to the blogging world!

    • Thank you πŸ™‚ I really appreciate it. I’m so disheartened right now – I actually considered walking out of my job today – and not because of the kids. It was during a meeting after school. I’m trying to figure out how to get through this year and just enjoy my kids. And then, I don’t know what I’ll do, but it won’t be at this school.

      It’s good to be back!! Hope you have a great week πŸ™‚

  2. Whew sounds like you had a few crazy weeks with the surgery and recovery and then prepping for the new school year. I am glad to hear your recovered well,but that surgery sounds really hard. I am glad to hear you think it’s been worth it tough. That’s nice you have a nice class at least. Have a great week!

    • Thanks Lola! Yeah it’s been a whirlwind lately. I do really love my kids, it’s the school that’s getting to me.

      Have a great week too πŸ™‚

  3. Yikes, the surgery sounds so major. 8 hours – ack! Sorry the recovery was so tough.And that “training” at school – of less than no help. That’s terrible about the teacher passing out. She certainly shouldn’t have to be there. πŸ™ I would have taken issue with the prayer thing, too. I know people’s hearts are in the right place, but there’s a time and a place. And public school is not it. Glad the post-op appt. went so well. They can obviously tell you’re a tough cookie! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Tanya πŸ™‚ I’m trying to get some of that toughness to get me through this school year. I keep saying focus on the positives, but it’s getting harder and harder to do. At least I have a pretty great class 😊

  4. Jen

    Great Big Giant HUGS!! I’ve missed you so! I’m glad your recovery is going so well. But I am so bummed about school – I was really hoping something would happen over the summer that would be a positive.

    • You and me both Jen! I kept hoping for it and trying to find positive things but you can’t will something to be positive on sheer determination, it has to have something positive to begin with. My positive is my class and my team. The rest is just fuel for my fire to change this system.

      HUGE HUGS back to you!!

  5. Wow you’ve had a ton going on! Sounds like you’re kicking butt though w/ your recovery- yay! Glad you’re enjoying your kids even if admin sucks. πŸ™‚ Welcome back!!!

    • Thanks Greg!! It’s good to be back and yeah admin sucks but I’m going to do my best to ignore them and focus on my kids πŸ™‚ Have a great week!!

    • Thank you Samantha! They are the worst and so not worthwhile! We need a better system, so I guess I’ll have to make it πŸ˜‰ have a great week!

  6. Huge respect on what you’ve achieved. As an ex-state school teacher, I know only too well just how much work gets done during the summer break – but it sounds like they are making an already challenging job far harder than it should be. I, too, used to get heartily sick and tired of ‘consultants’ wheeled in to tell us how we should be doing the job, many of whom hadn’t been in the classroom for years… All the best for the next week – and the next school year:))

    • Thank you! And yes!!! I just don’t understand why we allow this profession to be so devalued and demeaned with these sorts of practices! I’m going to focus on my kids and my goals this year, trying to ignore the admin as much as possible!

    • Thanks Laura! I’m loving my kids and just trying to stay focused on them since they are what really matter anyway 😊

  7. I am so glad you are back, Berls! You have been missed. It sounds like you have been through a lot the last couple months. Hopefully your car troubles are behind you. I am glad the surgery went well. Recovery sounds like hell, but, wow, you did amazing even with all that pain. And what a wonderful compliment to you that so many parents were so vocal publicly about having you as their child’s teacher! I always knew you were a good teacher. πŸ™‚ I am sorry though you have such a bad administration. That can make such a huge difference, unfortunately. Take care of yourself, Berls. Have a great week!

    • Thank you so much, it’s good to be back ☺️ fingers crossed that the car behaves for a good while now! I’m feeling really good and am back to the gym, which is great for 5 weeks recovery.

      It was amazing having so many parents praise me like that! I love teaching and it’s nice to get the recognition, even if my admin doesn’t get it, at least the parents do. They’re more important anyway!!

      Have a great week too πŸ™‚