Hi! Heartsong, and everyone,
I am a teacher, too, and I have decided that this will be my last year, and only hope I can get through till June. I have drastically cut my hours over the past 10 years, I had to give up floor nursing and finally couldn't even work charge because I couldn't run unit to unit anymore and my 8 hour shifts were always 12 or 14. It took me 4 days to crash and become functional again, and it started all over. I took a .5 FTE but am forced to do almost full time work for half time pay, because, why, that's what teachers do. And my class size has doubled each of the past 3 years. I can get a small retirement with 30 calendar years when I turn 55 in May, but I just talked to my rheumy about permanent disability. I have had con't chronic and acute infections for the past 7 months, cellulitis in my fingers, a pilonoidal cyst, mouth and nose sores that just relocate, and a monthlong bout of "flu like illness", diarrhea and not getting to the bathroom in time, and confirmed strep throat twice. And it was my first summer not working a perdiem job since I was 11. I asked about needing a lawyer, and he thought it would be a good idea as lupus is very diffiucult to "prove". He did imply that my APA lab work was a start. I am going to have heel and hip xrays, some days I can hardly limp enough to manage to walk. Then do blood work in 6 months. I tried to wean off my 5mg of prednisone twice, figuring I was so sick I might as well be that sick off the pred. Never thought I could feel much sicker.... Boy, was I stupid and WRONG! And I am P*($*&%@#^ because I really love my job. My husband really wants me to stop working. It will be really tough financially, but with our faith in God, needing only one car..... and my quilting, I have promised my family to start the retirement paperwork. There is a really good thread here, a posting by Harley Diva that gives lots of info and encouragement for the process. My ANA is positive, but dropped in titre, and what if the prednisone suppresses the very autoimmune antibodies that would be enough to be elibible for SSD??????? So I feel like I am caught between a rock and a hard place. It has taken me 5 years to make this decision. It is a daily struggle to work effectively, multitask, and do what is required at school. Some mornings I can't find my computer monitor for the sticky notes! I worry about my self noted decrease in cognition. That scares me more than the physical issue of not heading down a hall where I need to go because I don't have the muscle strenght. It's time. And the dr. did change my NSAID, and I am blessed that I have a supportive husband and a good dr. And all you guys,
God knows, even if I don't....
CNS Lupus 2005, APS, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Meds: Plaquenil, Neurontin, Thyroid, Piroxicam, Aspirin, Atenolol and Norvasc, Prednisone 5mg daily and Paxil, Ambien every night.