Tampa, Retirement, and this Dang Lupus!

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Audrey Ann
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 815
   Posted 3/18/2008 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Greetings!  Many of you may recall previous posts about my desire to just give up.  I seem to have more and more moments of sadness this school year due to my strange health issues.  I have trouble going off prednisone despite increasing methotrexate.  So, my rhuemy switched my meds to Arava.  As usual, I seemed to respond well to the Arava except now I am wakung up each morning all swollen again, the fatigue is coming back, and I am itching again - all over - and it is driving me crazy.  Today I went in to my family doctor for a kidney infection and he found protien in my urine so now I have to do another 24 hour urine test.  Yuck!
That said, I have also written often of how much I love my work at school with all my students and my teachers.  In the last nine years as principal I have been able to work with staff to bring about incredible change in our school.  Reading and Math scores have gone from 30-40% passing to 85-95% passing on our state tests.  The school is a happy place to be for our students and we do so much to make learning fun!  I have been fortunate to have a career where I can live my passion for education and actually see tangible results. 
Unfortunately, I have decided to look at all my options and I have found out something very interesting.  I started teaching at age 20 and I have accumulated 23 years toward retirement in Michigan and two years from Ohio.  I am currently buying 5 years and can pay it off whenever I want.  This is very expensive and it will cause us hardship because we have two in college right now.  But, if you haven't already added the years, I can have my 30 years by June of this year and retire with full benefits and pension.  I had not realized I was that close to being able to retire but I am considering this very carefully due to my health. 
And, if that is not enough, my husband's company has been bought out and the new company wants to promote him to a position in Tampa.  This sunny location sounds great (except for the sun!) and I could teach at a local university or something to counter-act my boredom.  If I didn't do something I know I would drive my husband crazy.  Even lupus and RA doesn't cure my AD/HD!
Hmmmm, do you think all this possibility of change could be causing me to flare a bit!?!  In closing, I don't really have aspecific question.  I am interested in your comments or any suggestions you might have.  My husband is very hesitant to move to Tampa since our kids are in college up here in Michigan, so that is not a done deal right now.
Thanks so much for your continual support.  My thoughts and prayers are with you!
Audrey Ann
Lupus and RA and LOTS of Medications!


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 3/18/2008 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Audrey Ann said...
Hmmmm, do you think all this possibility of change could be causing me to flare a bit!?!

Yes, I think anything that is stressful in any way can cause little flares -- like even knowing that you have no food in the house and not feeling up to driving to grocery store, cooking, etc.

Uncertainty causes me little anxiety attacks that are often accompanied by fever & extra soreness -- a mini-flare if you will!

So yeah, I do believe that thinking about change is enough to cause us to subconsciously somehow create stress & the crazy lupus starts a reaction....arg! Fun, huh?

Sounds like you have lots of options -- hope the right choices become obvious without too much indecision & worry!


Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum

Dx Lupus since '00, new Dr wants to Dx Fibro instead....
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Syndrome, SAD, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Piroxicam, Plaquenil, Prednisone, Xanax, Trazodone, Boniva(3mth shot), Wellbrutrin SR, Valtrex
Links: DIAGNOSING LUPUS (4 of 11), LUPUS INFORMATION, LUPUS RESOURCES, Donate to HealingWell, Drug Interactions

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 3/19/2008 7:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Audrey Ann, you have so much to think about and a lot of it is stressful. Even positive changes are very stressful and we all know what stress does to us lupies. I really don't know what to say except that hopefully you will be able to sort thing through and come up with a solution that will work out for both you and your husband. No matter what, it will probably be stressful.

I'm just sorry to hear how much you have been struggling with your health and that it might cause you to leave a job that you have loved so much. The thing I probably hate the most about lupus is all that it robs us of and how many things we have to give up. SO many of us have had to give up work and hobbies and sports, etc.

Well, I probably haven't made you feel any better, but I wanted you to know that I can relate a little to what you are going through and that we are here for you anytime you need someone to listen.

I hope you will keep us updated. ((((Hugs))))
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Doxepin 25-50mg; Prevacid; Evoxac; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Artificial tears



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Co-Moderator: Lupus and CFS Forums

Audrey Ann
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 815
   Posted 3/19/2008 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much Lynnwood and hippi! You both have such wise advice and comments. I really appreciate your insights.

I agree, Lynnwood, even positive change is stressful and I hadn't even thought about how all of this might just be working on me enough to get the lupus monster to start awakening! I am working with many parents who deal daily with extreme poverty. No food, no gas for a car to even go get the food, and barely enough clothing for the children to wear to school. I have learned over the years to not internalize this but it is difficult for me.

And, hippi, you are right, it is hard for me and all of us lupus sufferers to give up the careers and activities that we love. I am really thankful for all of the years I have had in my career to really make a difference for kids. I realize that I am actually very fortunate to have had this opportunity. This doesn't really make it less bittersweet, however, but I am extremely thankful.

Thanks, again, ladies! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Audrey Ann
Lupus and RA and LOTS of Medications!


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