Lately, I find myself wishing I would get let go from my job, which won’t actually happen. I know it’s the fatigue talking. I am just feeling worn out, and I dread this effecting the caliber of my work.It’s an especially stressful week. I have struggled with depression for a long time before this diagnosis. It has been controlled with Cymbalta for about 10 years. I keep wondering if I need to modify habits, medication, attitude. I guess I just needed to verbalized my anxiety to someone who would be compassionate without feeling burdened by my confession. I regularly wonder how much longer I will have the stamina for living with the stress of my job.

I found that when my PsA took a particularly bad turn 6 years ago I needed to change my antidepressant. I know it's just a tiny anecdote, but something to think about.

Marietta, a made a psych appointment shortly after my diagnosis to reevaluate. We’ll see!

Sybil, I do love teaching, and great satisfaction comes from knowing that I am good at it. My rapid decline in stamina keeps me wondering what else I might do with 13 years of experience & a Masters in secondary education. Thank you for the encouragement to consider other options.

It sounds like you're heading in the right direction as far as getting the care you need and realizing you may need to have another look at life from a PsA point of view. Some people find it helpful to think about things in terms of what is a "spritual gift" (something that feeds your spirit, energizes you for the most part, and leaves you feeling fulfilled) and something that you're good at, but that leaves you drained physically and emotionally.

For me, it's important to stay active and enjoy what I'm doing, so I take on only what I know nourishes my spirit and is compatible with where I am with my PsA. I'm not a teacher by profession, but love to teach and to learn alongside others. I couldn't imagine teaching full time at this point in my journey, so I am on the planning team for our "Tuesday Night Sunday School" and teach TNSS occasionally, and teach a class at our homeschool co-op on Fridays. I also homeschool my kids (and whatever kids are hanging out with us for the day! LOL).

A friend of mine with MS went from teaching middle school full time to teaching 2 classes a week at a homeschool co-op and tutoring homeschooled and schooled kids on her own set schedule.

I found once I found the right mix of medications my depression /anxiety lifted a great deal too. I also went into therapy. I figured if I didn't need before the diagnosis I sure as heck did need it after. I also would prefer to have a "paid friend" than burden my friends and family who don't really get it.

Having said all that I did leave my job. I had been a nurse a long time. I went to a desk job for 8 years, then went to part time for 2 years then went out on disability. But by then I knew the decision was the right one for me. I was 55, I had been saving for a while, my kids were grown and my employer was not willing to adapt at all. So I had no regrets. Make sure you have given the meds long enough to work and talk to someone you trust about your options. Much as my husband is very supportive I chose to talk to a therapist as my husband had to much skin in the game to be objective.

Good luck Pigeonfury. We are here for you.

Pigeonfury, you’re in what’s probably the most difficult phase of your journey with PsA – the no-man’s-land between diagnosis and finding treatment and self-care that works for you. We’ve started calling it “The Gap” around here, and I just posted about it under the Newbies’ Guide section of Discussions.

I taught high school before I retired. For many years, I had mysterious joint pain, fatigue and depression. Doctors suggested it was due to any number of psychological or physiological factors. You know, working too hard, being driven, being on my feet all day, menopause … yadayada. Finally my knees were sso bad they needed replacing. I was so tired and worn out and unable to cope with the demands and the stress that I retired as soon as I was eligible. I had the knees replaced, but still felt terrible. Finally, several years later, when they found foot erosions, I got the PsA diagnosis. At that point, looking back at my mystery symptoms, I knew that I’d had it for two decades. I am now on Enbrel, and feeling better than I have for twenty years. The most dramatic change is in the lifting of my fatigue and depression. I feel so well, in fact, that now I wish I could have taught longer.

Try not to despair about your job and coping with the stresses at this point. A lot can change once you get on therapy which works for you. I wish I could have had a diagnosis while I was still teaching: with the treatment I’m on now, I could have carried on happily, perhaps with some accommodations. I still pine for those days.

nym said:

A friend of mine with MS went from teaching middle school full time to teaching 2 classes a week at a homeschool co-op and tutoring homeschooled and schooled kids on her own set schedule.


This is an option, if you can no longer teach full-time. I've been homeschooling one of my children for 13 years, and though we've never used a co-op, I know that there a LOTS of them out there and they prefer certified teachers (it is a draw vs. parents teaching).

There are two different kinds in some states: first, independent homeschoolers who are doing it all on their own but may utilize an independent, parent organized co-op, and second, homeschoolers who utilize a few classes with a state-sponsored homeschool partnership program which is part of the public school system but usually in a different location while kids take just a few classes (like math, PE, or art).

Also, high school homeschool students usually want / need a certified teacher in some subject for tutoring. Some subjects just need extra help if parents don't want / can't teach it for whatever reason. We have paid an arm and a leg for my son to be tutored in Spanish 1, 2, and 3 (he's finishing this spring). My son also needed a tutor for writing, as I'm not a language arts person (more of a science / math person), and so I farmed it out to someone else at the high school level (my son is currently in 11th grade). The teachers work out of one of those 'learning center' type places, they set their own schedule, and get paid well.

Speaking of that, the Kumon type places hire certified teachers all the time, and though the hours are after school-time, it might be easier to manage that than early morning.

Nym started it! Now I can't stop throwing out teaching options for you! LOL!! I just wanted to let you know that there are SO many ways a certified teacher is needed other than the 7-3 schedule in a regular institution.

Nym: I know what you mean about teaching the kids. It is SO enjoyable. It's fun that the kids who are with you for the day get to enjoy that with you.

LOL - yeah - when you bring homeschooling into the teaching possibilities, there are many, many options! Eeep - time for Girl Scouts.