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Worried about Teaching with my IC

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  • Worried about Teaching with my IC

    Hello everyone,
    I have been trying to read as many posts as I can to get information about this condition that seemed to develop out of the blue. I have only had symptoms for a year and have been diagnosed since the end of January, I consider myself fortunate to have a diagnosis so early but am concerned about my career. Currently, I am finishing up my education degree and am a student teacher in a high school teaching grade 10's and 12's math. I am graduating in two weeks and am happy to be done but worried about teaching in September. Right now, the teacher that I am working with is understanding of my condition and does not mind if I have to leave during the middle of my lesson, but I am unsure how I will be able to get around this in the fall. I have only been on Elmiron for a few months and am aware that it can take awhile for major results to be seen but I am still anxious to begin feeling better. I'm considering going to my doctor to see if there is anything else that he can put me on to help me get through the day.
    The biggest concern that I have right now is that I begin my summer job at Michelin on May 14th and am worried that the physical work may be too much. My husband wants me to take the summer off to get better but I do not want to be sitting around all day when I could be out making money. I'm just so unsure how things will go since I work primarily with men who will not care too much about my pain or extra bathroom breaks, if it looks like I am not doing my share of work. I have bought bodiheat pads to wear during the day in hopes that this may help and I am on the IC diet. Does anyone have any other strategies? (I also take a really hot bath every nite and put heat on my belly before bed.)
    Any suggestions and strategies would be welcomed.

  • #2
    Are you on Elavil or Amitriptyline? Within a week, I had improvement of all my symptoms. I still needed other treatments, but this has been my #1 most effective, and it is for a lot of patients.

    I wrote an article on IC & teaching. I'll pm it to you. It's pretty long.
    I've been a high school teacher for 5 years, 4 of them with IC. It is manageable, with certain steps.

    First thing is that a lot of people have to pee often, not just us, so when you start, find out when other teachers' prep periods are, so that you can make a deal with them to cover your class in exchange for covering theirs when you need to use the restroom during class.

    Be careful about disclosing the IC, particularly during your "probationary" period, where you can be released without cause (before tenure). If you can avoid disclosure, do not tell. The diet can be covered as "food allergies". If you have to disclose, do so carefully (only to people you have to). And if there are repercussions, problems with administration because of it, take the issue confidentially to your union (if you live in an area where teachers have unions) & have them guide you as to how to manage it.

    You don't really mention if you think the Michelin job will be a problem with your IC. Does it get better with movement? Or worse? How much physical activity are you talking about? If the money is an issue, what about a summer school position or tutoring, those positions would build your resume & start you out with a little practice. For summer school, starting out with a 4 hour day might work out well. (Though high temps in a classroom without air conditioning mean that I don't do it anymore myself).

    All that said, I love teaching! I've been a teacher overall for 16 years (1 year middle school, 10 years elementary, 5 years high school) & still think it's a great career. IC definitely complicates it, but it can be done.

    I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

    New favorite quote: "God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I'm a bad-ass" ~Author Unknown
    Source - Pinterest

    Current treatments:
    -IC diet
    -Elavil 50mg at night
    -Continuous use birth control pills (4-5 periods/year)
    -Heparin/Marcaine/Sodium Bicarb home instills at night 3-4x per week, more often if needed
    -Pyridium if needed,
    -Pain medicine at bedtime daily, as needed during the day several times per week
    -Antibiotic when doing an instillation to prevent UTI
    -Colace & SmartFiber to treat chronic constipation from meds, Fleet enema as needed
    -Dye Free Benadryl 50 mg at bedtime
    -"Your Pace Yoga: Relieving Pelvic Pain" dvd, walking, treadmill at gym
    -Managing stress= VERY important!
    -Fur therapy: Hugging the cat!


    • #3
      I am also a teacher. I am a second year teacher and just developed this disease in January. I normally am okay with bathroom breaks, but I normally only go between 7-11 times in a day. I also know of a lot of other teachers in my building who seem to go just as often or more so then me.

      I am currently on Elmiron and Hydroxzine, what will the Elavil do? I am having problems with my urethra, urgency and vaginal problems. My vagina itches almost all the time.
      Diagnosed with IC - March 2007
      Diagnosed with vulvodynia - June 2007
      -Lots of prayer
      -Taking Elmiron and Hydroxzine (stoppped because of pregnancy)
      -Taking Prelief as needed (stopped because of pregnancy)
      -IC diet


      • #4
        Thanks for the quick responses:
        I am only on Elmiron but have been reading the success that others are having on Elavil so I have been considering asking my doctor about it. Anything to help with the frequency would be appreciated since I am going to avoid telling anyone about IC, it was bad enough having to inform the few that I have had to (since I had to miss my practicum last semester so I could get diagnosed).
        The biggest issue with Michelin is the unknown. I have worked there for 5 summers prior and am aware of the heat, long hours on your feet (12 hour shiftwork) and the heavy lifting (the plant that I work at builds truck tires and earthmovers). I seem to be ok if I keep moving but I am unsure if the heavy lifting and the 12 hours on my feet will become an issue. Last summer I was only experiencing the symptoms near the end of the summer so I have not really experienced a summer working there with the problems that I am experiencing now. Since the onset of IC, I have not really pushed myself that far so I am unsure if it may be too much to undertake. I am actually missing my graduation because of the fear of not being able to have access to a bathroom when I need it.
        Thanks Kadi for the article, I was really unsure whether I should mention IC to the administrators or not. The article was really informative and beneficial I needed to hear some insight from someone in the teaching field.

        It's nice to hear that there are teachers succeeding with IC and teaching. Teaching has been something I have been wanting to do for so long and really enjoy the short experiences that I have had and look forward to having my own classes one day.