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    Teachers with Fibro
    asillia posted:
    Tried this earlier with little result- are there any out there besides me? would like to xchange tips ect... for getting through the school day (without looking like too much of a fool )
    fibroinsd responded:
    HI...well, I will try and keep this going for you. I am a substitute teacher... I hope you will read the tips and toolbox section on the right right side of the page.

    What do you do? do you take meds? do physical therapy? do hot baths.???

    Let's put the fun back in dysfunctional !- Mary Englebright
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
    It's possible there just doesn't happen to be many teachers on this board but maybe others can still share their tips if they're working outside the home and have to figure out how to get through their days. That may help too.
    Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you'll help them to become what they are capable of becoming. ~Goethe
    mamawrobyn responded:
    Ah honey at some point in the day we all, Im sure look like fools!lol
    asillia replied to fibroinsd's response:
    yes to all of the above... but teaching just poses such unique problems and situations- so i was wondering how others deal with the fact that we have to be 'on' for the whole work day- hard to explain to people who dont teach- and i have teens- who can bo so so cruel!
    asillia replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
    as i was saying above- teaching is a very unique situation- you have to be on and perfect and going at 1000 miles an hour the whole school day=- you cant just stop in the middle of teaching and say- 'excuse me while I do 10 min of meditation!!' i cant even leave the room when i have students in class- also i have teens!! for 90 min per period... just wondering if there was anyone else dumb enough to try to teach and deal w/ this monster!
    asillia replied to mamawrobyn's response:
    just hat looking like one in front of a bunch of teens- who like sharks can sniff out weakness in a teacher in about 2 min and go in for the kill!! :-0
    suswannaq responded:
    Hello Asillia,

    I am not a teacher, but I know alot of people who are...and I do work that requires me to be "on", keep a smile on my face at all times, allows little time for rest, and is quiet laborious...I'm a massage therapist at a 5 star resort hotel. And it's not so much what I do during my time there, but what I do when I'm at home...

    At home is when I stretch and breathe, take hot baths and recharge, reach out to my loved ones who are kind and supportive...I know you probably have to bring alot of your work home with you, but taking as much time as you can to do things that rejuvenate your body and your soul are extremely important...

    However, there are things I do at work...In the 15 minutes I have between appointments, after changing the linens on the table and setting my supplies up, I do a little light stretching or I sit down and I breathe, even if it's just for a few minutes...I stare out the window at a pretty tree or any birds that might be flying around...or I drink some water and scarf down an energy bar...whatever I can get in in the few moments I have...

    I hope some of this helps...I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to teach teenagers, especially in today's world...I commend you for your hard work and your perseverance! Good luck and keep coming back for more knowledge and support!

    Soft hugs,
    Your strength is in how calmly, quietly, and peacefully you face life. Be kind to yourself and others.
    50FirstDates replied to asillia's response:
    Hello Asillia,

    I am a teacher with fibromyalgia, so yes, I do know the unique difficulties in getting through the days as a role model to teens.

    I must admit, however, that I do not teach in a classroom setting anymore. Thank goodness. (More on that later.) I am now an Independent Study teacher, so I meet with the students more on a one-to-one basis.

    When I did teach in the classroom, I often befriended my students. I explained my condition and difficulties. Surprisingly, they were actually quite understanding and helpful. We would joke about my "brain farts" in the middle of an Algebra lesson. So, that became an opportune time for one of the students to come to the rescue, to review what we had covered and where it was going next. Sometimes, we all groaned when I told them, "Sorry, I need a break right now, so it's worksheet time." Then, I would just ease up on everything until I could muster myself back up.

    Obviously, I made changes though. I saw that I was not going to be able to keep the neck-breaking, bell-ringing schedule. I don't know how anyone can really keep that pace for an approximate 30-year career. Luckily, I have the flexibility that I need in the alternative ed setting now.

    I might also mention that I get an ADA accomodation as well. Fibromyalgia is a qualifying condition. I currently have a schedule that gives me Wednesdays off, so that I can rest from the daily grind that can be so difficult to maintain. In your situation, it might be having 1st period prep so that you can have more time in the morning to get going. (Just a suggestion.)

    I don't know your climate and environment, but I had to fight for my rights. I got information from JAN Network on the Internet, got the backing of my union, and jumped through all the dr. and paperwork hoops. It took 1/2 the school year to do that. But in the end, for my situation, my request was reasonable and the district had to accomodate.

    I hope that gives you ideas for help and encouragement that things can be changed for the better.
    asillia replied to 50FirstDates's response:
    thank you- your words really help- i know what you mean about the bell to bell grind... right now my son will be entering his jr year- my plan is to stay at our school until he grads- he has his own issues... how did you get the ADA stuff? Like i really need 3rd period planning to rest and eat lunch before 4th- of course i end up running to the main building for copies...
    But i know the truth of having to change to a less stressful situaion- i feel hopeful to see that you have done so!
    Sad to say, when i have tried to bring the class in on how i am feeling- many of the boys used it against me- one even told me to 'get out of his face and go take my meds"- this was an honors 12 english class... am considering just not saying anything at all this year, and just dealing with situations as they arise. i am much better adjusted on meds, re dry mouth, etc... but i do still have A LOT of brain farts... it hurts to not be ' on my game' like i used to be....
    Anyway- sorry to be so long- just curoious about the ADA stuff, like do i have to register myself with some gov agency? if you can tell me more
    and thanks!!
    50FirstDates replied to asillia's response:
    Ok, let's see...
    I know that there are rules here about how other sites are posted, so I hope I am doing this right. If not, those of you who know better of how I should be posting reference, just go ahead and let me have it -- the correct info, that is.
    This site is called JAN for Job Accomodation Network. It has excellent references to ADA laws and information. I had to call them, and I actually got an expert on fibromyalgia. He was quite knowledgeable and answered all my questions. He explained what I needed to do, and what to do if I had any problems.

    Secondly, I would suggest you get a union rep to support you. Not only is there comfort in the comraderie, but they can go to meetings with/for you. Finally, the union rep needs to know what is going on, so if you do need an attorney, the union will be on board and supply one for you. Just a word of warning, most school districts do not give accomodation(s) without a fight. Or at least a little bluster.

    Finally, don't give up your career too easily. There are a lot of benefits that go along with that pay, like medical, retirement, and even tenure. My accomodation has made it to where I can function and not give up the life I worked so hard to do.
    asillia replied to 50FirstDates's response:
    thank you so much- i will follow up. the wonders of the other benefits has worn off as our pay has been frozen AGAIN for the 2nd year in a row- meaning hat i will make the same that i did in 08-09- with today's prices! and they have cut our med/dent benefits to the bare bones....
    BUT I won't give up!!!!
    tiger2 replied to asillia's response:
    I'm a fifth grade teacher and fight everyday just to make it through. I never get finished and sometimes it takes extra time for me to complete administrative task and extra explanations for me to understand new methods for doing things. Yes, I feel ignorant a lot and have to remind myself that I couldn't have made this far and long if I were as ignorant as I sometimes seem. I'm exhausted and always have to use my energy as wisely as possible to stay afloat. I have spent a lot of time wondering how long I will be on the job before getting fired. Nothing excites me these days. It just seems as though the more I work the more I get to do.Is there any whose experiencing the same thing. I think about quitting a lot, but I don't think that I can afford to.
    lb707 replied to tiger2's response:
    I knew I could never teach when I found out how long you have wait to go to the bathroom!!

    When I drove a school bus I just stuck with the autistic ones and when I made a wrong turn I just said we were taking the scenic tour.

    I had always meant to go back to school and teach but after fibro fog came along I am not sure if I could have ever kept the pace you teachers must so my hat is off to those who can teach with fibro. I gave up the teaching/driving instructions part of my job 7 yrs into fibro and was just a bus driver.

    asillia replied to tiger2's response:
    OMG- years later and I am SO where you are- without a doubt! My son graduated last year- so i feel a little freedom to come to school when i need to- at least 1 hr early to catch up, then leave right at the end of the day when i am so tired that i cant think... the trouble with the block system that we are on is that i have to go over this again and again with a new group every 4-5 months...i was thinking of pushing for a middle of the day planning so that i can get a break between classes- i may approach my principal about that later this year...but now it looks like i have a bladder condition- small wonder as no bathroom breaks- and may have to have surgery in the spring...but i also notice that a lot of teachers do less and seem to get away with it so i am trying to dial back my need for perfection and just get done what needs to be done ... the little pay and benefits that we do get i cant afford to lose so i have to do this for 16 more years before i can retire- IF i can afford to then... i feel pain- and i mean that in so many ways!!!

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