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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Teaching with Fibromyalgia

I have mixed feelings about writing this post.  Part of me wants to hide behind "everything is fine."

Teaching is not an easy job but it is an extremely rewarding job.  I love teaching but last year was a rough year.  I've had some health issues.  The best thing that happened to me was becoming a mommy. It was rough returning to work leaving my beautiful baby to teach other sweet babies.  It has changed my perspective dramatically.  I knew i would be more tired this year.  With the new baby, there was less sleep and more activity.  I was especially drained because I had shooting pains in my abdomen.  My doctor said it was an umbilical hernia from the pregnancy and to wait a few months.  The pain will lessen.

It did not and it was so excruciating, I had to go to the ER after school one day.  Tests were taken and I needed to have surgery.  With this surgery, I could not lift my daughter for a whole month.  I missed about a week of school in September I believe...

This should have fixed the problem BUT I still had pain.  My doctors said I should lose some weight and that the pain should improve.  It was in my back, abdomen, and hip.  One day I was fine, the next I couldn't walk.  If I did any activity at all, I would suffer the next few days.  I was running on empty at school and at home.  Everyone thought I was tired because of the new baby but it was more than that.  Anyone who has had chronic pain understands how draining it is.

I went on a diet and lost 37 pounds and I still had hip problems, back problems, abdominal pain, and my knees and ankles hurt.  I went back to the doctor.  More tests...nothing.  More tests, more waiting...nothing.  

In the meantime, I gave the children my all.  I pushed forward because this had to be temporary.  

In May my rheumatologist diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia.  After a year of chronic pain, I was excited to be diagnosed.  It explained why I was having more difficulty concentrating (Fibro Fog).  It wasn't the sleep deprivation.  I knew it wasn't because I've had many periods in my life when I was sleep deprived and I could still concentrate.  I've worked two jobs or taught and went to school for the majority of my career.  It's only been the past few years that I have just taught.  Having the diagnosis meant that I would live.  It's not life threatening.  More importantly, I wasn't crazy.  There really is a problem.  It wasn't all in my head.

June- Reality hits...

Fibromyalgia doesn't go away.  

The pain doesn't go away.  

I have to learn to live with it.  

In my case activity aggravates it.  Then end of school caused me to be in major pain where I could barely move.  

It's debilitating. 

My doctor put me on a medicine when I was diagnosed and I was hopeful.  I felt better the first week.  Then the pain retuned.  I talked to my doctor and he said I had to wait six weeks for the medicine to work.  It's been almost six weeks and I have still been in pain.  That's why I haven't posted as much as I would like.  My doctor prescribed a second medicine and it's only been two days but I am hopeful.  

If it doesn't work I pray for the strength to give my all to the children and my daughter.   I have to be more conscious about the physical aspects of my job and ask for help from time to time (very hard for me to do).  I have to keep pushing forward.  

If you know any teachers with this, I would love hear their story.  

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