Lifestyle Uncategorized

Why I Quit My Job

Yes, you read that right. I just quit my job as a high school English teacher.


The answer is simple: my health.

As you probably know, I have a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis. I also have fibromyalgia and need knee surgery for plica syndrome. We recently changed the timing of my treatments, which were two infusions of them every six months, because it was running out of my system a month and a half early. So I now have one infusion every four months. Except this hasn’t been as strong, the plica syndrome issues irritated the arthritis to make it even more active, and the past couple of months have been pretty miserable.

Basically, things started going downhill (and fast) once I majorly dislocated my knee back in May. I knew I was most likely going to need surgery, but figured, “I’ve had worse. I can manage. After all, I’ll start to feel better this summer.” That was the plan. I was going to go to physical therapy, do a lot of yoga, have my infusion, the infusion was going to kick in, I was going to rest, and I was going to get better.

But then I didn’t.

Am I feeling better than I was around my infusion? Absolutely. But it has been very small improvements. And, quite honestly, my knee gets worse and worse every week even though I’m in physical therapy and doing everything I can do to make it feel better. My physical therapist told me that she has never seen my knee act like a knee is supposed to. I need surgery, I need rest, and I need

Last school year, I worked 40-60 hours a week. That’s a lot for anyone, let alone someone with a severe case of an autoimmune disease that destroys joints and creates a large amount of pain. This was absolutely not what I wanted, but at this point I have to consider my future. Is it worth it to work another year and potentially hurt myself permanently to the point where I can’t teach full time ever again? No. Without a doubt.

(Heads up – about to get real Catholic on you.)

I have also felt like this is the path God is pointing me down. Maybe you’ve heard this story before – There’s a big flood, and a man is on the roof of his house trying to avoid it. A guy on a canoe comes by and tries to save him. The man says, “Don’t worry. God will save me.” The flood rises. A motorboat comes by. The man says, “Don’t worry. God will save me.” The flood rises. A helicopter comes by. The man says, “Don’t worry. God will save me.” The flood rises and the man dies. He goes to heaven, and when he gets there he asks God, “God, why didn’t you save me?” God says, “I tried! I sent a canoe, a motorboat, and a helicopter!”

That’s how I’m feeling. I’ve felt for a while like I’m drowning in pain. And then my parents asked me if I thought like I should teach this year. And then I asked my medical team what they thought, and the response was unanimous. I felt overwhelmed with pain and my medical issues, and God opened a door. He has always been there for me and carried me through even the most difficult of times. He has a plan, and I have to believe that this is it.

So, this is a really long post. Tomorrow I have a post explaining what I’m going to be doing now that I’m not teaching. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and helped me during this really difficult time. I feel so incredibly lucky to have you.

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  • Reply Kenji is Here

    I am so sorry to hear this. If there is one thing I have found with RA is that your health comes first. I had to quit my job a couple months ago and while I struggled financially this summer, I had another job fall right into my lap that paid better and I can absolutely due with all my health issues. I know this is something you would not do without considering all options and you need to keep your health first. I will be praying for you. I hope this all works out and that your health will take a tuen in the right direction.

    July 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm
  • Reply Shanda G.

    Wow Kate I am so sorry to hear about your health. My prayers go out to you. I hope you are able to get where you are comfortable again. xoxo

    July 29, 2014 at 12:37 pm
  • Reply The Grits Blog

    I am so proud of you for putting your health first! The line where you said "Is it worth it to work another year and potentially hurt myself permanently to the point where I can't teach full time ever again? No" is so so accurate – and so clearly thought through. I am not Catholic but I am Anglican and totally get what you are saying. God always does have a plan – it's having the faith to follow that plan that's the hard part. You've got this!

    July 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm
  • Reply Brittney, Breaking Free

    I am sorry you are quitting your job but it is very wise to put your health first 🙂

    July 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply jess buckley

    Hope things start looking up for you! One of my best friends has RA, so I've seen first hand just how much pain and exhaustion you're dealing with. It sucks so much, and I hate to see my friend going through it. Like her, you have a wonderful attitude about it, and I'm glad you're taking steps to help you conquer this bear! Sending positive vibes and hope for many better days ahead!

    Much love

    July 29, 2014 at 2:44 pm
  • Reply Cece

    I don't know how you were managing it! I couldn't handle that many hours without medical issues. It was a brave and bold move and I'm sure you haven't made this decision lightly. Hopefully this will allow you to rest up and get your health to a better place.

    July 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Katie Conigliaro

    I'm so sorry that you had to make this decision but I am so happy that you are deciding to put your health first. Listening to your body is so important. And like you said it is better to take time away from teaching now so that you can safely return later.

    I honestly laughed out loud at that flood story. I've never heard it before probably because I'm not the religious type, but I love it. Great story for anyone to learn from I think, regardless of beliefs (:

    Happy to have found your blog! Much love,

    July 29, 2014 at 6:04 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    I am so sorry you are in so much pain! Your plan of action seems like a good one and after all, you are the most important thing there is!

    July 29, 2014 at 7:01 pm
  • Reply Sarah Farris

    I am so sorry to hear that you're feeling that badly! I'm glad that you are putting your health first–and can't wait to hear what you're going to do now. I had to quit my job (40 hours a week reading/writing/analyzing behind a computer) two months ago. It was after I quit my job that I realized how much of my identity and self-esteem were in the job that I worked so hard to get.

    I love what you said about God opening new doors, but you have to accept them. I am still waiting to find God's final purpose in pain, but the little nuggets along the way have been a (painful) blessing. Praying for you, Kate!

    July 29, 2014 at 8:34 pm
  • Reply The Girl who Loved to Write

    I'm so sorry to hear this, but I'm happy to know that you came to this conclusion by realizing what is right for you and this season of your life. Prayers your way! xo

    July 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm
  • Reply Jenn @ hellorigby!

    So sorry your health has gotten in the way of your original plan, but I'm sure big things will happen regardless… like a second book, I assume? 🙂

    July 30, 2014 at 12:02 am
  • Reply City Lights Lead to Champagne Nights

    I love you babe! Prayers from my family.

    July 30, 2014 at 1:03 am
  • Reply Emily

    Glad you are putting your health first. Best wishes.

    July 30, 2014 at 2:40 am
  • Reply White Lace and Promises

    Good for you for taking care of yourself. Stress makes it worse I know. My mom had RA and my grandmother. My daughter has something that just hasn't been diagnosed and I am beginning to believe to have some real joint pain. I'm much older than you but my daughter started this when she was 14. I think I've told you this before. When she's under stress it's worse. So go girl and take care of yourself!

    July 30, 2014 at 3:26 am
  • Reply blue eyed girl

    Hey girl, I follow you on tumbler and am so encouraged by your perseverance. I am going through the exact same thing, except I never got the job to quit. I just got my engineering degree in the spring and instead of getting a job I moved to my parents tiny town and into their house which is super tough. But I felt that this is definitely what God is directing me towards. There are more doctors that I can explore and work on getting my chronic migraines under control. It's super tough to accept that I'm not on 'my plan' for life. I'm not going in my direction that I planned. I hate been praying for you for awhile now (please don't take that in a creeper way, but there is not much to do around here so i'm looking for SOMETHING productive to do with my time). If you have anything you want a specific prayer for, please, please let me know! PM me, i'll be here for you. I'm so proud of you for listening to God and your body. (

    July 30, 2014 at 11:09 pm
  • Reply Marla Rogers

    You made a very courageous decision. I am really struggling to pluck up the courage to quit H&M and that's just a stupid part time job that I don't like that much. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to quit a career that I love. You did the right thing choosing to take care of yourself and do what is the best for you. I'll be thinking about you and let me know if there's anything you ever need or someone to talk to ♥

    August 6, 2014 at 3:53 am
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