Working with Fibromyalgia

Wow! I was looking at my blog and until today I have not posted since school started in August. I feel horrible about that but this year has been a strange one. First semester of school flew by and I didn’t feel like I had any energy once I left work. My family can attest to that!

As I said in my last post I want to start blogging not just about my math classroom but also about teaching with having fibromyalgia. I am not good with dates. Yes, I can tell you the day and year I got married and the day and year that we adopted our son. But I never remember important dates related to medical issues. So, I am going to go with this. Our son Harley, came to live with us almost 10 years ago and shortly after that I was diagnosed with having fibro (shortened word for fibromyalgia).

When I was first diagnosed it was pretty bad. I didn’t walk as fast as I normally did because I hurt all over. I couldn’t make Christmas cookies without the help of my son mixing them because it hurt to much. I did a lot of sitting on heating pads and less playing with our son than I wanted. It took forever it felt like until I got diagnosed. Test after test with me feeling like all the doctors I saw thought I was nuts.

My doctor started me out with medicine that I only took when there was pain. I don’t have pain all the time but when I do I have crazy pain. I can’t have anyone touch me and it even hurts to wear clothes sometimes. After awhile the pain was becoming more frequent so I changed to a daily medicine and that has been working great until this fall.

This fall has been really hard on me. I have suffered from more bouts of pain where on the weekends all I want to do is sleep. I can be real good at hiding the pain when I am at work. You might be asking what kind of pain. A lot of times it starts in my neck and shoulders with just muscle pain but then works out towards the skin and it feels like a have a really bad sunburn (reason for no touching). A lot of times heat helps me out. I use a lot of rice bags heated up along with a heating pad on the sore spots. Anyway the pain usually starts in my neck and shoulders and slowly works its way down to my feet after a few days.

The worst episode I have had to date was right before Christmas break. I had been dealing with sinus infection off and on all fall (A down of fibro is that you catch sickness more easily. This is really not good working in a school.). I am not one to miss work but missed a day because of how I was feeling with my sinuses. I went to the doctor was given some medicine but things just weren’t getting any better. Headaches were getting worse; then pain all over my body started. Again I went to work but mid way through the day I had to ask for a sub to come in. I need to say that when I have pain I usually don’t take anything other than what the doctor already prescribes but I decided to take some tylenol to try to help with the headaches. I felt like I had taken way more than just two tylenol at work. I was so fuzzy in the head and hurt so badly that I just couldn’t take it anymore so I went home. This just killed me missing work.

Anyway, I went to my general physician the next day and she didn’t think it was anything with sinuses but my fibro acting up. So, I went back to work as it was our last day before break. Many at work were wondering why I was there. I was wondering the same as I was still fuzzy in the head and hurt like hell. I went because I couldn’t let my students down being gone again as I had already missed other days in December for sickness and a funeral.

That fuzziness I had in the head is called fibro fog. I have never experienced that before and hope that it doesn’t come back again. I did see my fibro doc this past week and have started another new medicine and we will see how that goes.

So, far fibro has not stopped me from working but after the last episode I am not sure what is going to happen. Work is my life outside of my family. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t teach or work with students on math everyday.

I try my hardest not to let fibro change who I am or affect what I do but this fall it has taken over at times.

The fibo fog is gone for now and most of the pain is too with just a few spots here and there. I have started my new medicine (I have to work myself into a full dose which will take about two weeks.). We will see how this goes.

I am ready for 2016 and what the new year will bring.
-Sarah

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About martinsarah

7th grade math teacher in Iowa

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