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.