A couple of weeks ago, I seriously began to wonder if I was going to be ready to return to classes this semester. Even though I love teaching, the mechanics of the situation just did not seem to be cooperating. If I wasn’t able to get out of bed, I certainly wouldn’t be able to make it back into the classroom. My concerns ultimately proved to be unfounded, though. Earlier today, I returned to work!
I’ll be teaching two classes this term…they are scheduled back-to-back, in the same ground-floor classroom. (Last semester, I learned how paying attention to these details, and making requests ahead of time, makes teaching with RA just a little bit easier.) I’m also off to a staggered start, i.e. one class started today and the next class starts next week…this is just one more method of allowing myself a smoother transition back into my professional responsibilities.
When I last saw my students in December, I struggled to perform the simplest tasks (there were days when I couldn’t even remove my backpack by myself) and my pain was very visible. Today as I stood in front of my class and lectured, yes I still had a considerable amount of pain, but it wasn’t nearly as noticeable as before. (A lot of credit is due to an awesome pair of comfortable dress shoes that I purchased just a few days ago–they were so affordable that I ended up buying two pairs, one black and one brown. As an added bonus, they’re slip-on…no laces required!)
When I returned home a little after midday, I was exhausted. While my RA continues to show improvement over the past few days, I’m still recovering from a full-blown cold that started this past Thursday and that kept me up most of the night last night. I allowed myself plenty of time to rest, and then got up and continued with my day. I am sure that this cold will soon pass, providing me that extra bit of energy that I’ll need next week when I’m on campus for an additional two hours each day.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!