Thursday, October 23, 2008

Decisive Thursday

Actually, I already made the decision a few days ago and in so many ways I already feel so relieved. I have been waffling and wavering over this for about a month and I've decided, along with some of my medical providers, that the decision I finally came to is the correct one.

I have been out of work since Monday afternoon when I began round trip number one to my PCP's office. The second round tripper was the next day when I spoke with my original physician. We discussed his partner's idea to cut down on some meds (Hey, why not? Don't I seem to be switching stuff up about every week here lately?) to see if that helps with the mental cognition. I am willing to make some tiny concessions with that and I am cutting the dosage on my Requip and my Seroquel, which I use for sleep and not for its other mental illness properties.

Then we brought out the big guns and talked about "it". It meaning taking a medical leave. I'm going to do it and I have no reason to assume that I won't be approved. Then again, in my world, you should probably never assume anything since I just forgot my PIN number at the grocery store.

I do not have short or long term disability through work and didn't purchase it separately when I started down this path because neuro (loser) #1 insisted that I didn't have MS and the brain lesions were from a teensy concussion I had in 1989 that justallofasudden decided to act up and make my body go nucking futs in 2004. (Highly likely, eh?)

We do have a sick leave bank which I have used before, about five years or so, right before I really started to get ill with my MS and the first big flare. The sick bank will provide me with 100 paid days of leave and my insurance after I use up 30 days of personal, sick, and perhaps unpaid days. I don't have 30 days to carry over this year so this means there will be a bit of a gap in payments.

I don't care.

I feel like my brain is going to fry itself and I'll be the old fat lady in a bathrobe (note to self, find a bathrobe that fits your gigantic body and buy it) muttering to myself about nothing. I sometimes catch myself at home doing the most bizarre things for no reason. Not to mention that marking papers still takes me forever and I have learned to use my calculator to double check my own math work as a 38 year old! I make stupid errors that I don't even catch. It's totally embarrassing.

Hey kids, your teacher is an idiot who can barely read aloud the correct words to you and needs to have someone check her math homework! That's just what every parent wants, right?

The sign from above appeared in note form from a parent on a 5-week report on Tuesday. I found it stapled inside one of my students' Friday folders. It said (in Week 8, by the way) that perhaps I should have more patience with the children and that her son appeared to be unhappy this year.

Well, shiver me timbers! This is from a parent I've never spoken with ever or saw at Open House. It's always amazing how when grades come out the nasty stuff lets fly in the universe. He's a good kid, smart, quiet usually, sick often, and he has some grades that are low for him.

Perhaps if I were more patient....

I'm probably one of the most patient people out there because I can relate to being ill and feeling crappy and feeling overwhelmed. That note, stupid as it was, just made me really think about all that I've put myself through for those children, children that are important and deserve good things but they are not my children.

I love my job normally and my class really isn't horrid, it's just different this year and more challenging. I'm not the me I was even a year ago at this time. I process everything slower, my speech gets messed up, I'm not as able to think on my feet, and I forget things I know how to do. My whole life has become work and how it's not working for me at this time.

Maybe others think it's a failure. I don't know. I'll have to go back and eventually finish out the year in 2009. That will be difficult. The kids will have had a substitute for more time than they will have had me by the time I get back in there. What if no one has confidence in me? What if the parents think I'm an idiot?

What if I get so much better on the Tysabri that I can think straight, feel more positive, become energized like I used to be? What if I enjoy my passion for teaching again?

What if.........?


Barbara said...

You do not have to answer to anyone but yourself! It has been quite a struggle for you to even get to work (driving on the line, ect) not to mention what you go through when you get there. It's stinks that people won't have any idea of what you are going through unless they themselves go through it, but YOU NEED THIS TIME and you cannot worry about what others think right now. You have to take care of yourself, and you need to be your first priority. You being at peace with this proves it is the right choice right now.

Denver Refashionista said...

I think you are making the right choice. It seems like you need time to rest and straighten yourself out. I am glad you came to this decision.