Saturday, March 8, 2014

Thanks for the gum on my shirt

Sorry I've been quiet the last couple of days.  I was reviewing for the CBEST that I took this morning.  If you're not familiar with that test, it is the one given to people who either want to become teachers or who are going into professional degrees within education in California.  In my case, it is something that is due by the end of my first semester of grad school so I thought this time would be great since I'm not taking classes until the fall.

I am extremely grateful I decided to study because many of the math concepts were things I haven't touched since around 1986ish, when I was a freshman in high school.  There were parts of the test that I had to read over again a couple of times because I couldn't concentrate very well.  Part of that was because I couldn't sleep at all last night and so I was super tired.  Another huge part, however, is because the girl next to me was constantly shaking her leg because of her nerves and her shoes rubbed together.  Normally that isn't a big deal but when the entire room is quiet and you hear the click-click-clicking of patent leather soles, it made it harder to concentrate.

I did take note of the desks as I walked into the room.  They were the typical self-enclosed desks with a writing surface wrapped around a chair.  My heart dropped because I wondered if I would fit in my assigned seat.  This is always one of the things I worry about when I walk into a classroom.  I have never had the unfortunate situation of not being able to fit in my chair, and I certainly didn't want this to be the first time.

I barely fit into this desk.  Not only did I notice that, but the people around me did, too.  They either just stared at me or gave me a sympathetic half-smile out of pity.  That's just great ... not exactly what I wanted to deal with while taking this important test.  While sitting in the desk, it was really cutting off my circulation and I had to move around quite a bit to adjust.  As annoying as the fidgety girl was next to me, I could have been just as annoying for people around me.  Sitting in that desk for nearly four hours probably heightened my uncomfortability.

When I was excused, I struggled to get out of the desk to the point where other people around me looked up to see what all the commotion was about.  I felt my legs shaky and I was just silently praying that I wouldn't lose my footing and that I would be able to walk out of that room with some dignity.  I finally made it back to my SUV and sat in the seat with relief.  When I looked down at my shirt, it had wrinkles from where my tummy was fighting the desk.  The pressure of the desk laying right on top of my extra weight was pulling at my muscles and I surely was in pain.  I also took away a lovely parting gift - gum.  We were testing in classrooms at a local high school so I had somehow taken some kid's chewed up gum that he stuck under the desk and collected it on my t-shirt.  That's just great!

Now that I think about it, I really believe my nervousness was about fitting in the desk.  The questions weren't necessarily hard per se.  It had things on it like probability, inequalities, converting fractions to decimals, finding perimeters, reading comprehension and writing two on-demand essays.  One essay was on the idea of classroom instruction on computers versus a teacher and the other was to describe an important decision in my life and the effects of that decision.  There were a lot of questions, but they weren't terribly difficult.  It did hurt my injured wrist from all the writing, but really the negative experience was about me fitting my body into the desk. It was just another case in point for me that pursuing the weight loss surgery is a good decision.  This isn't about vanity, it's about things like fitting in a seat comfortably.  The humiliation I felt this morning of barely fitting in that seat stays with me and I don't want it to stay in my head.  In fact, I'd rather not have those experiences.

I pray that, as I move forward with continued weight loss, I do so with courage and conviction to speak up about what my desires are instead of potentially being told what to do from my insurance company.  They haven't done that yet, but I have been warned that a surgeon may want me to go in one direction when I want to go in another.  I need to stand my ground.  As I spend time doing research and educating myself on my choices in the two types of surgeries that are options for me, I am realizing more and more where my heart and what I want to see happen.  I am gravitating toward the vertical sleeve and away from the gastric bypass.  Of course I'll keep you all posted as I continue my long journey toward the surgery, but that's where I stand right now.

Water Challenge Day 49:  Drank 118 of 182 ounces 


Caitlin R said...

I just wanted to say Well Done to you. That sounds like a really awful and uncomfortable (physically and socially) thing to do. I really admire you for not letting those things stand in your way. You still did the test. And you are more determined than ever.

Beth Ann said...

My heart goes out to you because that does sound like an awful experience. But amazing kudos to you for persevering and getting it done. Some people wouldn't have made it, but you did.

happyinca said...

Way to get through it Kathy. I'm sorry for the pain that you had to endure during this important test, but I'm glad that you got through it, and with more determination to boot. Hugs and high-fives to you.

Kathy said...

Thanks for the support ladies. It's so hard to walk through these moments, but it also reminds me that I do have the resilience to keep pushing forward no matter what.

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