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New low

eajosepheeajoseph Posts: 315
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Depression and Coping
I had a call with my mentor at college today. I had been doing so great and working really hard to finish my degree and become a teacher. Then my back had to revolt. I toughed it out and finished my fifth term before surgery. I worked my butt off to finish in time. I would go to the school that I was doing my pre-clinicals at and observe and/or teach lessons. Then I'd come home, pop pain pills, ice my back, and write the required papers. There were many days that I didn't think I would make it but only through a lot of determination did I make it.

I signed up to take a break from school so I could recover from my two level fusion. The doctor told me that recovery would be 3 to 6 months. Damn him for lying to me! A few months after surgery my PM said recovery is 6 to 12 months. I had placed so much faith into what I was told originally. I had planned to return to school this fall and finish my pre-clinicals and student teach starting in January 2010. I would then graduate in the spring.

Nothing has gone right since surgery. I have more pain than before. Numbness, burning, and tingling in both feet that will go up my legs if I push myself. I can only sit, walk or stand for 45 minutes max before I hurt like crazy. Then I have to lie down with an ice pack.

My mentor is a wonderful woman. She's understanding and supportive. Her role is to help guide us through the courses and to find resources when needed. Today we talked about my situation and what it means regarding my degree. Long story short is that I'm completely screwed. I physically cannot do the work I need to in order to graduate. Unless a miracle happens, I'm going to have to drop out by August 1. This completely kills me. I did over 3.5 years of work in 2.5 years. My future and that of my family was based on me becoming a teacher. It's what I love and what I want to do. I've looked into virtual schools but they all want somebody with a license and most want classroom experience. I cannot do either unless I student teach. If I should get better one day, I can return to school and finish my degree then. But there's no guarantee that I will be able to go back.

I've held out hope until now that there would be a way to get my degree and finish what I've started. And now, I don't feel like I will ever accomplish this dream. I'm trying not to think about it but it's hard not to. I break down into tears when I do. With time, I hope it gets easier to accept this situation but it feels like a raw, open sore in my heart. I would've been the first one in my immediate family to earn a bachelor's. Frickin' pain, not being able to be the mother and wife that I want to be, and now this. I would've been a damn good teacher as my mentor said. I was a great corporate trainer before kids and I cannot return to that work because of my back.

Sorry this is so long. I need to get this out right now. And eventually, I guess I'll have to let it go. I'm struggling to see what my life is going to be like now. If you read all of this, thank you. Beth


  • I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this. I hope that one day, you can realize your dream, and that you won't have to drop out. Sending you warm wishes and big hugs!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • It breaks my heart to read this, all I can say is dont give up hope...no one knows your ultimate limats but you, you pushed and it didnt work, rest a little and then push again harder, thats my first instinct to tell you. But... it also gets you in trouble. Its all inside you, all the tools you need to achieve. I wish you the best.
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • I sorry to hear your surgery didn't go well. My second I had last June didn't either but I still do things, and then pay afterwards! It's very tough but try & hang in there and learn your limitations.
    The main problem you'll encounter is others who DON'T understand your limitations. Try & be patient with them for they know not what they do...;>)
  • You worked so hard for this only to be sideline by your back problems. My heart goes out to you and others who have had to let go of their careers and dreams because of chronic pain. Maybe something will come along that can use your expertise, and it could be home based as well. Whatever happens, try to remain strong and keep your chin up. I think you have accomplished so much and I admire your perseverance working through your pain. Take care >:D<
  • Wow, I'm going to use my kids lingo, because it is so fitting: That blows!

    It's hard to put your heart and soul into something so important to you, only to have it ripped out from under you because of your health. I know nothing of the process of becoming a teacher, but is it not possible to put it on hold indefinitely? Or at least for a year, and pick up where you left off? I don't get that all that time and work would just be discarded that easily! :?

    I am so sorry you are going through this. >:D<
  • Thanks guys! I'm still struggling with accepting that this is what I need to do now. I can go back to school later to finish my degree. In that aspect, my efforts won't be for nothing.

    I am having a hard time with my limitations right now. Pain now controls every part of my life. I had hoped that I could at least finish my education. I wasn't really thinking about the physical demands; I was only thinking about the mental aspect for the most part. If I am completely honest with myself, I probably knew deep inside that when things didn't go as planned that I would end up dealing with this reality. I probably shouldn't say that I am dropping out of school; I should say that I am leaving until my body heals enough to complete what I started.

    I push myself (like the family outing to the carnival last night for 2 hours) and have suffered like crazy all day today. I will say it was worth it because the look of joy on my children's faces was priceless. My 6 yr old son giggling on the roller coaster and my 4 yr old daughter "flying" on the swings. :X

    And Jim is so right about non-spineys. They seroiusly do not know what they do or say.
  • I saw ads on TV for an online education site for homeschool type kids. Once you get stable, perhaps you can finish your degree and work online to teach!

    I Hope you can find an answer that lets you teach or at least work with kids since it means so much to you. It is indeed hard to grasp the loss of ability.

  • Thanks! I checked out the online schools you are talking about. They require all their teachers to be 'highly qualified'. Which means licensed, a minimum of 3 years in a classroom teaching kids, and meeting all the requirements set out in No Child Left Behind. For me, that means that a degree only won't be enough. *sigh* Maybe one day.......

    I'm coming to terms (slowly) with all of this. It completely stinks but at this point there's nothing I can do. I haven't given up completely. I am such a planner that needing to delay all of this drives me nuts. Plus I want my husband around on the weekends. Our kids deserve that and so does he. He's out of work starting tomorrow so he's been job hunting like crazy lately. We determined the $$$ that he needs to get so he can quit the weekend job. Or I get disability through.

    I don't like it when all of my perfectly laid plans blow up in front of me.
  • well, I tried! There has to be a way you can get to help kids. You just need to find the loophole! There will be a way if you look hard enough.

    I know how hard it is to not be able to follow "the plan". We all get stuck here sooner or later. Maybe you are just delayed and things will turn around and you can finish it and do the work?
    Lets hope so, I hope your husband finds a good solid position that allows you all to spend more time together.

    I see you said you can only do 45 minutes istting to or I would suggest the possibility of using a scooter or chair to finish your degree. I'm still tring to figure out what in the world I am going to do for the next 15 years until I can retire! I was a very active 45 years old when all this happened. Used to bike 20-40 miles a day on weekends. now, ugh. I am only still working because my boss is the best guy I have EVER worked for EVER! He has looked past my limitations since the accident. Stalled his superiors in rewriting my job until we get me stabilized and know I can do what is in the job description. I have worked many different positions from a Certified master tech at a new car dealership to a stay at home dad for 11 years. Except for the dad thing all the other jobs I have done would have long ago fired me in my current condition. but not the current boss!

    My problem is as yours. Not knowing how far I will get in my recovery. What will I really be able to do? How long is it going to take to get there?

    I guess we will just have to keep pushing and hoping it is going to get better and soon!
  • I really think God either hates me or is truly trying to prove a point. All I can say is enough already!

    After my husband was home for a little while, he told me that he is worried about one of our two cats. They are 11 years old and brother and sister that we adopted as kittens. The girl, Laylu, has always been shy so it's not unusual to see little if any of her until the kids are in bed. I went with him to check on her. She is not well at all.

    She'd lost weight over the last year but she had always been the fat cat so it was good that she lost some. But I didn't realize how bad it was until tonight. I'm allergic to the cats now and if I touch them I react badly so hubby does the petting so my eyes remain open. Anyway, I think she had a stroke today. The way she moves or should say doesn't move.....

    The vets office closed at noon today. Hubby is taking her in at 8:30 in the morning. I think this will be her last night. Praying that she has an easy night. We don't want ther to suffer. Even though I became allergic, having two kids did it, I will miss her. She's been a good kitty.

    Trying to figure out how to explain this to a 4 and 6 year old. The 4 yr old asks a lot of questions, is very sensitive, and extremely dramatic. Hoping the other cat, Filbert, does ok with losing his sister. I've heard pets that have always been together can grieve themselves to death. I hope not.

    I think I may need a margarita tomorrow.
  • Now that's a ton of terrible stuff!! But YOU will get through this and IT will get better.

    I too have put my career goals on hold due to all this pain $%^*. Just finished my EMBA (Executive MBA) last year while working full-time and home-schooling (because the school system here is horrible) my daughter, Melanie, who has Down Syndrome. I have a tutor for her too but we do a lot of the work together at night.

    I am a single mom (divorced with no support from ex-husband of any kind). We divorced when Melanie was 18 months old. She does not know her father.

    So, I just suffer in silence and hope that the next day I will feel a little better. There is no surgery for my condition.

    I have pets too. I have 2 dogs (a 9 y/o english mastiff & a 5 y/o min pin) and a 12 y/o cat.

    Take care.


  • What can one say when all this stuff seems to have piled on you? I am sending first a big binch of hugs >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< I know that you have been dealing with some of the same pain issues since surgery that I have. I think you have had alot of strength to do what you have done with your degree already. I know that is it awful to have to put it on hold at this stage. But, I am glad you do at least have the option of going back when you are up to it. I have had my share of set backs as well, not being able to work for 2 1/2 years at our convienience store. And now dealing with new medical issues, hang in there honey. We can be strong for each other. I am glad that you can do family things with your kids. I am 49 and have a ten month old grandaughter that is the center of my world. She has been a force to keep me going when I wanted to quit. Pain is a ugly thing. It keeps us from doing what we want, but we have to be stong and not succumb to it. I am there for you, anytime. I feel so bad for you, and know how hard this is on you. But you are a strong and determined person, you have to be to do what you have been doing. It will work out for you. And remember when life hands you lemons, make some lemonade and add vodka. (if we only could with our meds huh!) I am thinking of you and hoping this helps your spirits in some small way, we are in this together, and together we can be strong! :H >:D< O:)
  • Your post made me feel better. It helps to know that others can relate. Having everyone here to lean on really helps. Lemonade and vodka sounds so good!

    I am hoping this week goes better than last. I really think that God is testing me. I went to the drive-thru ATM tonight and found $40 hanging out the cash slot. It's not my money. I hadn't put my card in yet. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to the bank with my withdrawal slip so they can determine who the money really belongs to. It had to be the person that was there right before me. Maybe I believe too much in karma and such but I can't keep something that's not mine. I teach my kids this; best way to teach is by example.
  • When you become a teacher you are gonna be great. I feel like you do, if I found the money I would got to bank and see who's it was also. That is a quality I would want in someone teaching my children. I know what you think about God testing us. After this past month and having pnuemonia, I had another scary thing. My Dr thinks I had a seizure last week. I have tests tomm. I just get feeling better and POP there is something else. I feel like you, how much more can one person take. You are a special person. Keep the faith, its sometimes all we have. Things will work out for you, I know they will. Here's a hug >:D<
  • Oh honey, I can't believe you are going through all of this. A seizure? What the???? Please let me know what you find out. I'm defintely praying for you. >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<

    My hubby's job situation is looking up. Three big leads, serious interest, already this week. One interview tomorrow. The other two should be getting back with him in a day or two as well. The one is a perfect match for his skills; the other two are absolutely jobs that he can do too. Fingers crossed that he will have the right job at the right company with the right pay and benefits soon. That would definitely be a huge relief.
  • I am sending you a big bunch of Luck for Hubby. Hope it all goes well. I have my EEG test tomm(wed) at 1:00. Will take a hour or so. Will let you know. Gosh, dont know how much more I can take....Dont want to worry,but, loose licence...so much problems. Hey we are survivors. Sending you a hug back. They do help!
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