Benefits of Back to School; working with fibromyalgia
It is that time of year when school supplies are lining the store shelves and proud parents are posting first day of school pictures.
I have said it time and time again that I am lucky because I have found the right combination of medicines, supplements & integrative therapies to be able to keep working outside of home. I LOVE my job. I work as a paraprofessional helping kiddos (English as a second language) ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade. I could write a blog post talking about all of the things that I love about my job but the best thing is the kids and their families.
Today, is my last day of summer before going back to work. I have been off since the last day of summer school on July 21st. It is definitely time to go back. I miss my students and quite honestly I miss money.
If you do not have fibro you probably do not have a clue the struggles of working. Just because I am able to go to work does not mean that I am feeling great or even good. The levels change but everyday I am in pain and fatigued. It is a struggle to get out of bed, take my meds, get dressed and drive to work. By the time I get to work my meds have kicked in and my body isn’t as stiff and sore as it was when I woke up. It isn’t always easy being at work. We all have those triggers that can increase the pain, fatigue & brain fog.
However, for me on most days the benefits of getting up and getting out of the house are worth the early alarm and forcing myself to get going on my worst days.
How can a job help you feel better? Certainly this is not the case for most but for me my job helps me get exercise, keep me from isolating myself, increases “happy” feelings & able to pay for my treatments.
First, we all know that exercise is important for many reasons but for someone that is in pain walking I am limited to what kind of exercise I can do. Low-impact exercise often reduces pain and fatigue, creates endorphin’s that help to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.
It is important that fibromites balance movement and rest. My work schedule ensures that I do both. I follow the student’s schedules which means that each hour when the class bell rings I am up and walking to my next class.
Secondly, Fibromyalgia can be very isolating. The pain and fatigue can limit how much activity we can do. It is easy to withdraw from social life and stay at home. Even phone calls can be too much. Although, social media offers connections to others it isn’t the same as in person. I have spent the majority of my time off not leaving my house or yard. Partly because it is my time to rest, mark things off the to-do list, by the time others are off work or ready to do something I am tired and getting ready for bed and financial reasons.
Third, working with the kids has the same effect on me as volunteering. Creating positive learning experiences has a positive impact on me as well. Helping someone else can help you change your own outlook and attitude.
Lastly, $$$ – Enough said?
Fibromyalgia is not cheap. In addition to the normal bills that everyone has fibro adds a huge expense. I have found through trial and error things that help to manage fibromyalgia and the “evil sidekicks”. On a daily basis I use medicine, supplements, ice packs, heating pads, kt tape, essential oils, and pain relieving devices. Each month I possibly could add having appointments with a doctor, my chiropractor or my acupuncturist.
Back to School means all of those wonderful things to me. It helps me to take care of me so I can continue to be a Fibro Warrior ~ Living Life.
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