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First time here

Hi

I’m new to this forum so will start by introducing myself. I have rrms, first two relapses were in 1999 (transverse myelitis) and 2001 (optic neuritis) and I was then really mild with no relapses for 10 years. Lulled myself into quite a false sense of security over that time and I don’t honestly think I thought it would ever get much worse.

Then I changed career and started teaching, which does not turn out to have been my greatest idea as I find it really stressful and it has started triggering relapses - one was 18 months ago (which was mainly numbness so I ignored it for months as I didn’t want to admit relapsing after so long being fine), and then another more severe one in February this year. In February I lost the use of my right arm and some use of my right leg, and had dreadful pain in my head around the ear and jawline. That lasted about three weeks, had to have time off work, fatigue was bad for longer but last couple of weeks had been back to normal more-or-less. I have since started Rebif injections.

All was starting to go fine again, have asked at work to reduce hours from full time to two days a week, but realisically it will be September when that gets arranged (and financially that would be better anyway) and I have been able to manage full time (just) since just before Easter.

And then Ofsted phoned last Wednesday. Stress levels went through the roof and by Friday my legs were significantly weakened and fatigue getting worse.

Today I only managed half day, am numb to the waist and haven’t the strength to walk much, which is not really ideal in my job.

I am just so fed up as I was doing lots better after the last relapse, and now I feel I’ve just gone backwards again.

And today is my birthday :frowning: and here I am, sent home and currently in bed feeling grumpy!

Hi, sorry to hear you’re not feeling well :frowning: Happy birthday , hope things are better soon. Lynn

Oh dear…not the best of birthdays, eh?

The relapses sure are taking their toll on you. Perhaps you need to reduce your hours before September.

Have you got DLA sorted? if not, it is now PIP. Not sure if it will be any easier to apply for.

rest well.

luv Pollx

hi zedzee

have you told your employer about your ms?

maybe now is the time you should as you have realised that stress makes your symptoms worse.

there is the access to work scheme which sorts out what adaptations need to be made for you.

for example a good chair that is right for you. maybe a device that types for you - i know it exists but dont know what its called.

above all you need the head teacher to be understanding. perhaps you could send for some of the ms society’s booklets so that he/she can understand your illness more.

i was a nursery/reception class teacher and since my medical retirement i’ve wanted to help out in school

but the big problem is that i can’t get onto the floor and back up again so thats not do-able for me

osted is enough to make anyone feel weak but especially with ms

take care

carole x

I’ve not applied for dla/pip as when I’m ok I am fine, I am having a bad run at the moment and I think if I can cut down hours/stress I think I will be.much better. I don’t think I am bad enough folr any benefits as on a good day I would pass the test. School know all about my ms, and are trying to find someone to reduce my hours sooner, but there aren’t many secondary maths teachers around wanting part time hours. They are recruiting for someone full time from septempter and I will take small groups doing numeracy support (I can sit doing that). They have given me a couple of extra free periods, and swapped some if my lessons for easier ones so I think they are really trying. I was in this morning but found I couldn’t manage so they sent support in, and let me go late morning. I have just orders a Chinese takeaway though so not all bad :wink:

Sounds like you`ve got great employers there!

Hope things work out well for September.

Dont forget…if you do apply for PIP (the new DLA), you need to say how things are on your WORST day. They expect that.

luv Pollx

Hi

Snap! I am off work today as I couldn’t move very well today. I am the Attendance Administrator in a high school and we have just come out of special measures so you can imagine the stress levels. Our attendance was previously quite poor but we have been on a drive to raise attendance and achievement so I am constantly producing data for the leadership team and sending letters home to parents :(.

My employers have also been quite understanding (well, once I switched immediate line manager ;-)) and I now have my own office and focus on attendance only. This also helps me to keep cool and concentrate. They arrange for others to take on some of my workload when it all builds up and are understanding when I have to come home early to rest. I normally just plod on though, like yesterday, and today I was in a lot of pain when I woke up. I hate being off ill, not least because I know my pigeon hole will be full tomorrow and only the basics of my work will be covered.

I hope you soon feel better and that you can reduce your hours a bit earlier than September. Will things ease up for you when Yr 11 leave or do your Year 11s not have study leave? I am looking forward to Yr 11 study leave and Yr 13s leaving as that reduces my workload a fair bit. Every little helps …

Tracey x

My school only have years 7-9, so no reduced hours for that unfortunately! We have a weird system here where they go to college for years 10-13.

I am off again today, I find walking anywhere so exhausting with my leg this numb and weak and I know I wouldn’t manage in class - you just can’t sit at a desk and teach like they used to years ago! I just hate having to be off - I was a long time without relapses and am having to adjust to the idea that I need to rest when they occur (i.e. take time off). School are lovely, but the students will learn less as not all cover staff know enough maths. I could be tempted to go in and just try, but I have to be realistic as well.

Oh Zedsee, I’m so sorry you are having a rough time. I am a teacher too (Junior School) and it is such a stressful job at the best of times. I’m currently off sick after big relapse in January and having the conversation with Head next week re: my return but so tricky cause I’m now in a wheelchair and classroom upstairs with no acess but stairs and nothing currently in place to support me. It sounds like your school are being fab and I guess this makes it harder to feel you are letting them down but you must rest and take time off when you feel ill otherwise you will just lurch around, struggling on and never really recover. Why not sign off for a week as this gives you time to sleep and rest and make a plan and is also better for school - they can properly cover you for a week rather sending you home during the day and having to muddle on? I know it’s tempting to think it’s only 1 term I can struggle on until the summer and then I have the long break but I agree with the others - maybe you need to reduce hours sooner if you can.

DLA/PIP is for your bad days so don’t feel bad about applying. It can allow you to pay for things that help during times you feel like this - sending your ironing out, getting someone in to clean, paying for ready meals whatever it is that can help you conserve your limited energy (look up the spoons theory on the web - it’s helpful to explain how us MSers feel when we are like this) for things you have to do like go to work and enjoy your life!

Good luck with it all,

Max x

Oh, I’m sorry there is nothing on the horizon that will make things easier for you. In which case, you really will have to take some time off and concentrate on you for a change. My new line manager is very quick to spot when I am looking a bit peaky and she will send me home because she now knows that if I don’t give in I will make myself worse and then need more time off. You need to do the same …

We had a history teacher with arthritis in her feet and she did the bulk of her teaching sitting down (and still does, at her new school). When she had an assessment, a senior teacher gave her some feedback which included advice that it would be better if she stood up and moved around the classroom. She then informed him that she was riddled with pain and would be off for a couple of days at least if she tried that and he was most apologetic as he was fairly new and nobody had told him of this. He immediately backed down and said that was fine. She always got very good results and has recently been assessed by Ofsted as a ‘good’ teacher! You don’t have to do it all on your feet, especially when it’s going to do you more harm than good … What if your school got you a high perching stool for instance, so you could still be seen by most of the students? Would that help?

I hope you find some solutions soon. In the meantime, take some time off and look after yourself.

Take care

Tracey xx

I have a small table at the front that I sit on sometimes, and on particularly tired days I make the kids come to me (or help each other!).

I have been working on walking about a bit this morning, which is slow but doable if I don’t go mad. I am going to try tomorrow as I am bored to death (and feel horribly like I am somehow skiving whenever I am off). I have a lesson of music first thing (which is easier and I have support), and two classes are booked into the ICT room so I can sit for those. Not really sure about my year 9s but they are good kids. I may just have to be stubborn about sitting in lessons.

My current ideal would probably be to do mornings only but I don’t really know if they would do that, and longer term I want two full days so I get the rest of the week properly off.

I have emailed school to say I will come in but am not promising how I will cope all day and I guess they can decide whether they can manage that or would rather I didn’t go in at all. They have so far proved they will send me home if I find it too much part way through the day so I trust them - I wouldn’t risk it otherwise I don’t think.