Monday, August 31, 2009


Frustration doesn't even BEGIN to explain how I feel. I am in pain. I have been to the ER twice now and all I am told is to eat bland foods. The percocet was helping, but I am hoarding them because I only have two left from the latest ER visit. Last night I threw up and the pain was so severe I actually passed out, I could not even yell out for help. The pain in my chest is getting worse and has not let up in 15 days, yet I can't get help. I had an upper GI last week and I still don't know the results. I am refusing to give up, I have to get this fixed before classes start again. Yet I am at a loss as to what I can do, going to the ER doesn't help and my surgeon's office says to go see this other doc, who won't help with the pain because he has not seen me yet. I am functioning at a pathetic level and need some stinkin' help already!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Such is life...

My spirits are up in spite of the pain trying to get the best of me. I had most of my speech function today with only slight delay when I was talking for more than a min. or so. My cohort classmates signed a card for me and it had such a wonderful affect on me. I was reminded why I am pushing through all my issues. I created an awesome lesson plan with Melissa (thank you, girl!) who came over so I could stay home and on pain meds. My daughter was wonderful this evening in letting me get things done. Joy is out of the hospital today (yes, already!). I got a wonderful book from about using young adult literature and Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. All in all, I will be up til about 2 am writing a paper, but I have to admit....I am going to love writing this one because I get to use my new book. Well, enough of that...back to work....

Monday, August 17, 2009

More ER

Because I felt that enough crap wasn't happening in my life, I up and had to go to the ER yesterday. Same old stuff. Ulcers acting up big time, possible twist in the bowel again. I see my surgeon on Thursday. This routine is so familiar, I could do it with my eyes closed. Once again, I am on Percocets. PEACHY! I feel as though there is too much going wrong for my life to even be real now, as if some twisted writer is making it all up, poorly, as he writes. At what point does the main character get to heal or learn to deal with stress without ending up in the ER? I am soo frustrated with myself and my own inability to cope like a rational person. Instead, I get bleeding ulcers, go back on pain pills only to find myself right back where I started a few months later. I feel so utterly alone because so much is going on that I feel like I can't bother people with my issues because they are simply too out there. Buck up TROOPER BRANDI!! Right? How am I supposed to function when I am such a mess? Too much too soon too close together. I haven't even had the time to art journal this stuff so I lay it out here and send it out into the cosmos to be healed and dealt with and sent back to me as warm fuzzies, back rubs, and giggles.
Waiting to Exhale-

Friday, August 14, 2009


Well, they did not operate on Joy yesterday because she refused treatment, even knowing she would be gone within 3-5 days...yes days!! So after my nap, I went to OHSU to try to get her to go ahead and have the mass removed. She agreed and her surgery is just a few hours. I am waiting for the phone call letting me know she came out of it ok. And until then, I can't seem to function. It has been a rough few days.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Yet again

I lost a friend yesterday. Tried to go to school today, sat through half a class and just could not home now and I am going to take a nap and have some art time for Jax a little later tonight. We also have other friends who are hurting; Wade and his wife, Joy, who suffers from cancer went to the ER yesterday where they found a mass in her brain and she was taken to OHSU from Good Sam for surgery this morning. It doesn't look good for her. I am tired....I see people go on about their day as if the world didn't stop for a while yesterday. They don't know....they just don't know and I resent that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Taking a break

I am taking a break from my homework to get my thoughts out so I can begin to focus once more. First off, I am slammed!! Whew!! Second, I am loving nearly every second of it. I am collecting a lot of valuable information, yet I find myself hungry for the action, the practical applications of what I am learning. The last month has put a wedding band on my finger in Maui, my mother in the hospital, and has seen both my husband and my daughter sick sick sick. I am continuing along the path laid out before me with gusto and praying I will not get sick. I presented my art journal project today in class, but didn’t get much feedback, so I am hoping to get more once I get out there. Art journaling is such an important part of who I am and has had such a profound impact in my life, I just can’t wait to see what it can do as a tool for learning, understanding, and loving literature and poetry.
I sat in the park blocks today at lunch and read, for the first time, my first art journal from beginning to end. Something happened as I did that. I realized I was good at this writing stuff and that some of the things I said were so intimate and profound that I can’t help but be proud. Then something else happened; almost before I could stop the thought, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I could publish parts of it along with a autobiographical account of the entries and prompts for people to do there own. Then, as if by magic, I am walking to my next class and there is the best professor in the world (hi, Susan!) and I start in telling her how excited I am at my discovery. Before I tell her my thought, she tells me I could publish my journal! How groovy is that? Of course, why stop at that? I wonder if I could take my story to teachers and get them to integrate journaling into their classrooms. I wonder if I could use my own experience with my own students as research for my dissertation? The gears are grinding…..
Ok…maybe now I can focus.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Copyright Question for GTEP

So......for an assignment I am posing a question and would love your input. I need at least three people to respond (hint hint). Should teachers be allowed to disregard copyright laws for educational purposes? In other words...photocopy chapters of books, play movies, entire songs??? Input? I am withholding my own thoughts here, but I would encourage you to speak freely. :) In your response it would be helpful if you put your occupation or let me know if you work with copyright issues regularly or not. I am sending invites to answer this question to a variety of people. Anyway.....Thankx!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What day is this?

To say that I am a tad bit overwhelmed would be the understatement of the century. I imagined grad school to be different. Different how??? I will let you know, but for now, let me just say it isn't what I imagined. For some reason, and I hope I am not alone in this, nothing is clear in any of my classes. Constant changes and vague assignments seem to be the norm. That being said, I like (a lot) 4 out of my 5 classes. I find myself getting confused at the same time though. I am up late every night doing some sort of assignment. I need so badly to do a photography outing, I am thinking Eagle Creek. Maybe I can make it there over the weekend. I do some of my best thinking while taking pictures or making art.
My sweet little Sydney has strep throat, but she is on the mend now, but my heart breaks when she comes up to me saying she is sick. Her eyes just looked so tired and out of it. Shelby, my wonderful husband, is pretty much recovered from his heart attack and is showing vast improvements in his attitude and outlook on life. I, too, am healing well from my surgery in March, and am totally off the pain meds and the withdrawal is over. I wish that those dozens of ER docs over the last year would have given me a heads up about those pills though. Guess that is it for now.....I leave you with pics of my trip to Hawaii once more. :)