new things

Hi dear ones,

I have two news items to share, I’ll start with the newest- My braces have come off completely, and it seems very strange to have my mouth back. I had the top braces off last September, but the bottom ones were still there until this Wednesday. I have to say when I first got braces in June 2009 I didn’t expect to have them this long. But I’m glad that they are done and off. Visits to the dentist will be so much easier. I’ve learned a lot with braces too. Kids notice them and ask questions, like what’s wrong with your teeth? That creates conversation starters. I’ve learned that God provides for my needs in many different forms, and one way is  through the sharing of people to cover my orthodontic fees. And the the biggest lesson is patience, in waiting and adjusting to wearing appliances in my mouth.

Other news: I had some very strange feelings in my arms back in February that caused concern, because I had numbness and tingling sensations from elbow to little fingers and sharp pains in between my shoulder blades. After several doctors visits and trips to a physiotherapist (all these were helpful, but no diagnosis) I had an MRI on my neck to find out that I have “unconvertrebral disc-osteophyte complexes” on my C5/6 vertebrae. That means little bone spurs (arthritis) in the section where the nerve roots branch off the spinal cord. In other words, there’s a narrowing space that pinches the nerves when hindered with lack of upright posture, and heavy lifting. It is not as bad as we had feared.

Both Doctor and Physio were wondering if it was a disc problem.  I’m very grateful to the Lord that it’s not a disc. I do have many things that I need to do differently though, including some exercises to do each day. I need to rearrange how I carry things- smaller amounts and holding my shoulders certain ways to carry things properly. I need to lock my shoulders back so my shoulder muscles are doing the carrying not my neck muscles. Also sitting/ and limited bending over. Tell a teacher not to bend over a student to work on a problem, and that creates a different problem. 🙂 My class has been upbeat and fun and helpful, carrying things for me and doing tasks that I’m not supposed to do for a while. I’ve found getting on my knees to work next to a student works, or to pull up a chair and sit instead of leaning over is much better. Writing on the board is still a challenge since the pain is exacerbated by lifting/working above my head. I’ve also started encouraging my students to be more aware of posture because I’m not even thirty (not far away though) and  I’ll have arthritis for the rest of my life. They don’t want to be practicing bad habits (slouching over work) that will only make things harder for them as they grow up.

Classes are on hold for our two week break between terms, and I’m enjoying some catch up time with classwork and random papers/the boring stuff. But also looking forward to an exciting term with my wonderful class.

Please pray that I can be what I need to be to my students and that we can learn more about our Lord, and see how to live to serve and please Him.

Let me know how I can pray for you.

Love in Christ,

Beth


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