Back To School

classroom_1Over the past few days I received quite a few emails from different people, asking me how I was doing (as I had not posted in a few days). I really appreciate this outpouring of concern and support!

In a previous post, I had mentioned that I was going to lower the pace of my blogging due to numerous reasons…so this is part of the reason why readers might not have seen many posts from me last week as they are accustomed to…but there’s more to the story.

To be honest, I am once again in the middle of a flare. My feet/ankles and hands/wrists are taking a beating, and every now and then my RA decides to pay a visit to a knee or an elbow or a shoulder. Early last week, I once again returned to the health clinic for an anti-inflammatory injection. Two days later, when things got worse (I usually get better two days after one of these shots), I returned for another injection. I am currently two days past this last injection, and am hoping that there is indeed a bigger improvement.

I’ve been trying to break away from the habit of labeling certain pain episodes as “the worst ever” (even though they would certainly qualify) because I don’t think it helps me move through these rough times. What I do try to do, though, is try to think about how long it’s been since my RA has been this active. (November.) This little mental activity allows me to more accurately asses my current pain, and also reminds me that I have been through this before and will get through it again.

This flare, however, is not the reason why I did not post much this last week.

A few months ago, at the beginning of September, I committed to taking a foreign language class at one of the local universities. The course met three times a week, and even though it was something I was definitely interested in, I was slightly hesitant at the thought of being able to actually attend something of this nature while living with rheumatoid arthritis that seems to peak on a frequent basis.

In the end, I proved that I was able to do even more than I had expected, despite my pain and disability.

The reason why I did not write much this past week, and why I will not be writing as much in the near future, is that I am once again going back to class in a couple of days. Unlike last semester, where I attended three times a week, this semester I will be attending five times a week. (Gulp!)

There is also one other major difference that I would like to share. This time around, I won’t be sitting in the classroom, taking notes…I will be standing up (as much as my RA allows me to) in front of the classroom, teaching the class!  I will be teaching the Advanced English course at one of the local universities, with the possibility of teaching more design-related classes in the future.

So while my syllabus is complete and the course website is set up, I still have a lot of work to do – much more than I have had during the past year (discounting all the work and effort that was required to bring my rheumatoid arthritis under some semblance of control, of course). Am I (once again?) slightly hesitant with this commitment that I have made? Yes. I also have no doubt, however, that a few months down the road I will once again be able to look back and smile at what I was able to accomplish.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

19 Comments
19 comments
  1. Millicent says:

    This is WONDERFUL news!!! I am so happy to hear that you will be teaching. While I know that it will be time & energy-consuming, I also know that you will find it to be very rewarding & enabling. Congratulations on taking that leap!

  2. Connie says:

    How Great! Best of luck to you. I have also returned to school to do the LPN to RN program. Although I am almost done, it has has been a painful ride. How great it would be to have a teacher who understands the silent pain of sitting for hours and trying to keep up with the note taking!

  3. jodi says:

    congrats on the new job! wishing you all the best and looking forward to reading your posts when you some extra time to write them.

  4. Wren says:

    You know, I had a feeling you were taking on more, given the way you handle your RA with such overall positivity. I’d have been very surprised if you didn’t. So this is FABULOUS, RA Guy! You will shine as a teacher — you’ve already taught many of us who share this disease how to live with it more gracefully and with a smile, while not feeling bad when we just have to cry. What an inspiration.

    I’m happy for you in this decision. And like you, I think you’ll handle it just fine. If not, well, I believe that everything happens for a reason — I only have to look for it. Perhaps that’s a bit Pollyanna-ish, but it’s helped me through some very tough times with grace. Here’s wishing you the very best of luck as you launch into this new, steadily opening door in your life. Bravo! RA Guy!

  5. Laurie says:

    I am so glad you got the job! I am praying for your RA to behave so you can enjoy the experience! In the meantime, I better start writing something!

  6. RA Guy says:

    Thanks for all of the support and well wishes – they are helping me to calm some of my jitters. I actually didn’t raise the fact that I live with rheumatoid arthritis until after I was hired…and I was pleasantly surprised when one of the deans – who is a few years older than me – shared the fact that he too lives with RA. It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it?

  7. Terry says:

    Sorry about the flare but this is awesome news about your job. I know your excited and I will be watching for posts from the classroom. This is one big step for someone with RA, but one little step for a super hero.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Very happy for you RA Guy. I think you will be a wonderful teacher.
    Just remember to continue to look after yourself especially when you have a flare. :-)
    However I am sad that you won’t be writing as much on your blog (sorry being a bit selfish here) but just think of all the new thoughts and ideas you will be able to write on.

  9. Helen says:

    That’s wonderful news! I’m so happy you’re taking on such an exciting new challenge. I taught a history course a few years ago and loved every minute of it, despite the time and effort. It was such a rewarding experience – I hope you find the same.

  10. RA Guy's Mom says:

    I KNOW you’re going to be a wonderful professor!…and a great addition to the university! Your father and I will continue to pray for you on a daily basis. We love you very much and like any other parents we’re always wishing the best for you.

  11. Marcella says:

    I am so pleased to hear and wish you much success. I have been trying to attend online classes and the keyword here is trying. I am having real bad episodes of brain fog where i cant even concentrate. I really want to continue my education but I am finding it so hard to concentrate.

    It does however, gives me great pleasure to know that someone is achieving their dreams.

  12. Carla says:

    This is terrific — and SO, SO much better news that I’m sure many of us were concerned about (that your situation had badly deteriorated). Having a reason to get up in the morning is sometimes all that gets me going in the morning, but once that’s accomplished, the rest of the day tends to fall in place. You’ll do super, and I’m glad that you’ve got a new purpose in your life — and one that helps with the income situation. Sounds like you’re working your plan. Congrats.

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