Teacher here wishing I was going back to school next week

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pepper, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. pepper

    pepper New Member

    This time of year has been very hard on me since I became ill in 1993 and couldn't go back to work in Sept. I had finally, after 25 yrs of various grades and teaching jobs in the schools, found what I absolutely loved doing - teaching Special Ed.

    I was happy. I knew that was what I was meant to do. I worked so hard, bringing work home, working on weekends, taking a Spec Ed course at night. In retrospect, it was too much and probably contributed to my illness.

    After 4 1/2 months of this, I became ill and haven't been well since. I was feeling better a few months ago and actually thought that I might be able to return to school on a very part time basis this Sept.

    But it has all fallen apart in the past 3 months. I don't think that I will ever be able to go back. They will force me to retire first.

    I am not going to spend Tuesday feeling sorry for myself again. I will start Arthritis Aquafitness that day and try to feel good about that.

    Sorry. Just needed to vent after reading the post about teachers and support staff going back to school. I just wish that I was one of them.

  2. Smiffy

    Smiffy Member

    Hugs from another special education teacher; I haven't been able to work for 18 years.
  3. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I work as a special ed asst., I'm going back on Tuesday after a long medical leave for cancer. I'm really looking forward to it, though I know I'll be tired. I know what you mean about finding what you love.

    Is there a possibility that you could volunteer just a couple of hours a week with special ed kids? There are so many kids needing services in my district---I would think a volunteer with past special ed. education & experience would be a big bonus.

    I'm glad you have your aqua class to look forward to, too... I'm sure it's hard when the going back to school time rolls around. You never know, though, with these illnesses---you may be looking at it differently next year...might be well enough to return at least part-time.

    Is subbing a possibility if you have days when you feel up to it? When we have subs in my classroom, they generally are regular ed subs...a sub who's a true special ed sub is really an asset.

    Just some thoughts rolling around in my (limited) brain. I hope you feel better. You need to remember sometimes taking care of yourself & getting better is a fulltime job; I've tried to look at it that way over the past few months of my treatment.


  4. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    This time of year is hard for me, too. I taught high school students for about fifteen years, including nine years at a school for Navajo students. I also taught adult GED classes and college English and communication classes.

    This is the second fall that I won't be going back, due to disability from CFS. Like you, I truly miss teaching.

    It is hard, isn't it?

  5. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    I know the feeling. When I worked I knew the routine of everything and now sometimes miss it.

    Yet: I justified the whole thing remembering the reason why I had to leave.

    It is a delicate balance.

  6. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Thanks for your prayers, prickles. It is one thing to retire or quit when you want to, quite another to be forced to stay home as I was and your friend as well. September used to be my favourite month - my classroom would be all ready, new curriculum ready to go, new books and pencils all set out. Sigh.

    (((Smiffy)))Hugs back to you. You must know how I am feeling.

    And (((Kholmes))), you do too.

    Pam_d, I am so glad that you are able to go back to work after your treatment! I hope that you have a successful school year and can tolerate the exhaustion.

    One year I did volunteer in the spec ed room in our neighbourhood school, but had to withdraw. I am no good in the mornings (IBS issues) and there were so many afternoons that I just couldn't make it - and didn't even know that until the last minute. I felt I was letting everybody down.

    When I did make it, I was so exhausted that all I did was think about my bed! I was not doing the job that I knew I could do and hated myself for that. Very very depressing.

    The arthritis aquafit is even a commitment I don't know I can make. It is 45 min twice a week and I will probably miss some classes. But I hope to get to most of them!

    Lately looking after myself has become a full time job - physio 3 times a week for recently dx DDD, massage, chiropractor, naturopath, not to mention my various doctors for all my different body parts!

    Thanks for the encouraging words. You are right. Maybe things will be very different for all of us this time next year.

    Thank you, Carla-NL. I have never looked upon my situation in that way. That is a totally different perspective and I really like it.

    I appreciate your kind words and am hoping that I am one of the ones who does make progress. Heck, I WAS one of them a few short months ago!

    Yes, Nyrofan, I miss the routine. For 39 yrs September had been back-to-school time with all that entailed. Now I am sad watching the kids in the neighbourhood get on the bus knowing that I should be on the other end waiting for them!

    But, remembering how hard those last six months of working were and remembering the fact that I could not do my job properly does bring it all home. Not to mention my above-mentioned attempt at volunteering!

    (((HUGS)))and many thanks to you all.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/02/2006]
  7. horselover2

    horselover2 New Member

    hi pepper -
    i feel exactly the same as you. i taught kindergarten for 17 yrs and loved it! this will be my 4th sept. not returning. last week it was a rainy day and i was thinking , wow, this would be a great day to get my room ready. even though sept, was a tough month, it was fun to set everything up, and look forward to a new yr.
    i remember alot of exhausting, bone tiring days, but i also remeber alot of adorable, happy, motivated childrren who benefited by having a child centered, developmentally appropriate start to school. what fun we had! i miss all the projects and planning.
    i have a 3yr old and enjoy doing "storytime" with her and doing projects, she loves it!
    then when i'm wiped out, we rest together on the bed.
    now, i know i couldn't do that at school!
    i am most confused about retiring on disabliity. it is a very scary idea (or reality) to me. i keep hoping i'll be well enough to return to teaching.
    i still feel like i have so much to give to the children. maybe i'm just kidding myself, but without that little glimmer of hope for recovery, i will fall into a deep hole of darkness, and fear i'll never get out!!
    so anyway, when the buses drive by this week, i will try to count my blessings and continue to find a way to improve each day.
    sending good thoughts your way!!
  8. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Carla, you are a sweetie. Thank you. I am getting my hair done this week and that always makes me feel better. Then there is the gift certificate for a manicure and a pedicure....maybe this would be the week to use that up if I can.

    Giving up just isn't in my nature although I sure do get discouraged at times. It helps having people like you around as a cheerleader!

    Anne, I taught Kindergarten for 5 yrs in one of my many self-inventions. It was a wonderful experience. I also discovered that there are no people in the world like Kindergarten teachers. Every one I met without exception was kind, caring and very hard-working. I am sure you are one of them.

    One day last week I drove by the school where I taught last and saw all the teachers' cars in the parking lot. They were all inside setting up their classrooms and chatting I am sure. I ached to go in.

    You are lucky to have a little one around so you can share your teaching skills with her - or as my boys say, "practice on" her as I did on them!

    I too need that glimmer of hope that some day I will go back to work. I could retire now and make more money than I do on disability but I won't do it. I want to get well and go back to work. I sure understand that feeling of still having more to give.

    But reality tells me that it may or may not be in the classroom. There might be other ways for us to give. I hope that next week isn't too difficult for you.

    Melissa, you are so lucky to be able to tutor! If I were able to be in my own home and only had to be upright for a short amount of time, I could probably do it during my better spells.

    However, any money I made doing anything would be deducted from my disability cheque. Does that not happen in your case?

    Unfortunately I gave away all of my teaching "stuff" a few years ago. My DIL had a friend who was a first-year teacher. He filled a van with all the stuff I had accumulated over the years. I cried like a baby when he drove away.

    But if I were to tutor I could get new stuff! I wish there was a way. Just curious as to how it works with your disability. You are wise to keep your hand in it. I think I would need a refresher course.

    [This Message was Edited on 09/02/2006]
  9. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Thank you for your encouragement. Maybe I will make new friends and can help them in some way.

    I have done some thinking after hearing from my friends here and realize that I have been putting my teaching skills to work without realizing it.

    I helped friends whose kids were having trouble in school by suggesting what to do, where to go, who to see.

    I have helped several people get their disability by organizing and editing their applications. I have even helped some people on this board with that. So all those years of English essays didn't go to waste.

    Maybe some day I will be able to go back to the classroom. Or maybe I will feel some better and be able to do something else in the field. We need hope, don't we?

    Thanks, Donnaeil
  10. zion1971

    zion1971 New Member

    this post is wonderful! i too am a teacher who had to leave the profession. i left two years ago this august (live in the south and we start before labor day). this year was a lot easier than last. but i too feel like all of my skills, talents, and gifts are being wasted. i taught for 9 years before having to leave. i was sick the last 7. i always thought my great success would be in education. it has taken 5 years to accept that it probably won't be. i let my teaching certificate expire. it was the only way i could truly let it go.

    blessings to all of the teachers on this board! hang in there pepper. good luck with the classes.
  11. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Blessings to you and all other teachers who are missing their life's work right now.

  12. Kayleen

    Kayleen New Member

    My heart goes out to all of you that are suffering so much that you are unable to work. I am so grateful that I found a Rheumy that understands FM/CFS. I was in horrible pain and so tired I would have to go home and take a nap several times a day. A few months ago my doctor gave me an IV that had a high dose of Magnesium, Vitamin C, and B-Complex. It has made a world of difference for me. Yes I am tired at night but it is very rare that I have to take a nap during the day.
  13. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Thank you for reminding me about the IV Vitamins. When I was feeling so well in the spring, I thought about re-starting the IV Vitamins. They did make me feel a little better but perhaps on top of the other things I was doing they might make me feel a LOT better.

    I cannot take Vitamin C or Mg orally (IBS issues) or B Complex (nausea problems). I am even having trouble with Glutathione lately. I know that I had all of these and more in the IV that I used to do once a week for a year or two.

    I am so glad that they are making such a difference in your life!

  14. pepper

    pepper New Member

    I had to use up all the sick leave I had saved up -the maximum 1 yr's worth. After that I had to go on LTD and have been on disability ever since. Of course I do appreciate the fact that I have some $$$ coming in to help with all my medical costs but it isn't much based on my income in 1993 and highly taxed.

    I am not complaining because I have seen the financial struggles of so many on this board and elsewhere.

    When I do eventually retire though I will get a big raise! That will be one good thing about it I guess.

  15. Kayleen

    Kayleen New Member

    I have only been diagnosed for less than a year. I was lucky in the fact that once I figured out what was wrong I found a really good doctor. My pain was horrible and I was tired all the time. This is what I am doing.
    Once a month at the Rhumy I get a Micro Current treatment IV and Novocaine shots where it hurts. I take one Aleve twice a day. I also drink Inflamax by Metagenics.(from the doctor). I take 1 or 2 Musinex DM a day depending on pain. Regular Musinex doesn't work. At night I take calcium, magnesium and potassium plus a natural HRT from a compounding pharmacy. My doctor believes in Holistic medicine. If I am having a lot of pain I get an Alpha Spa treatment. This is a dry heat sauna. If you can find one it is wonderful. For the most part I do not have much pain at all anymore. The weather however does cause some general aches and pains and of course overdoing it doesn't help either. I am worn out at night but nothing like I was prior to these treatments. Have you tried any of these? Kayleen
  16. pepper

    pepper New Member

    I'm sorry I missed your reply! Brain fog!

    I am trying to figure out what I have tried that you are doing. I have tried my friend's far infrared sauna and as soon as we can rustle up the $$$ we are going to get one too. Is that what you mean by a dry heat sauna? My ND highly recommends them.

    My pain is usually not my main concern - exhaustion is. That changed this summer with DDD but physio is really helping. I don't think my pain is ever bad enough for me to need the help that you obviously do. I need help with the exhaustion and after almost 14 yrs of trying everything, I haven't found anything that really helps on a consistent basis. Have you?

    I have never heard of Musinex DM or Inflamex but will google them and see what they are all about.

    I do find that this time of year is very hard on me. I am not sure if it is from the change in weather - or from the psychological impact of not being able to be part of the back-to-school crowd.

    Thank you for sharing. I am going to google.
  17. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Thank you for asking. Yes, I did make it through the week okay. Going to the Arthritis AquaFit was a good idea. I was totally exhausted and almost didn't go - but I did. I had a tough time keeping up with all those arthritic 80 yr olds!

    Yesterday I came home from the second class and wondered if I have taken on too much. I crashed on the couch and spent most of the afternoon and evening there. I sure hope that I can continue with it because I do think that it gives me a psychological boost.

    I drove by a schoolyard at recess time on my way home from physio today. A little tug on the heart strings there!


  18. anches

    anches New Member


    I wasn't a school teacher, but I had to read & comment on your post because I am sitting here missing working too.

    I worked in the Fashion busines in NYC, then in Virginia. It wasn't just like "The Devil Wears Prada", I had nice bosses and people didn't starve themselves.

    I did love dressing up for work. I got great designer clothes at sample sales. And the travel! Now I work at home about 2 hours a day. I am sitting at my computer all alone, no office buddies, no going out to lunch.

    I used to be able to stand in heels all day - now after 2 hours at my computer my back is aching so bad!

    My heart aches for you too.
  19. pepper

    pepper New Member

    It sounds like you had such an exciting job! No wonder you miss it. I can't imagine working in NYC - my very favourite city - and in the fashion business!

    I know what you mean about wearing heels all day in the past and now I bet your slippers bother you after awhile.

    Of course my job wasn't glamourous like yours but I did wear a suit or skirt and sweater every day with high heels and - pantyhose!!! The few times in the last few years that I have had to wear pantyhose, I just couldn't wait to get them off.

    It was a different life, wasn't it? It is comforting to know that I am not alone in missing my job.


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