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Teachers who have had SAH


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I'm just curious if there are other teachers who have had an SAH and returned to work and how you did it.

I returned five weeks after mine and I think it was huge mistakes. This isn't a job you can "ease" into or take light duty. There is no way to work limited hours or part time. Now I am 11 weeks post with about 70 days until the end of the school year. I am out of sick leave. I haven't made a single week where I've worked five days. I am very seriously considering asking the doctor to write me a note for more time off.

I love my job, love my kids. As far as teaching jobs go, mine is relatively "easy". I teach an advanced program in IT where my students have applied to be in the program. I have a total of only 48 kids; 45 boys and 3 girls. I teach two "periods" a day, each one is about 3 hours and 10 minutes. I write all my own curricula because it changes so quickly, and have always prided myself in being *ahem* an outstanding and driven teacher.

Right now Mondays are good, Tuesdays I start to feel tired. Wednesday is a struggle and if I make it through that, I don't make it through Thursday. I try not to take Friday off because I don't want to be "that" teacher who is gone every Friday. Friday is spent trying to just make to the end of the day. This Friday on the drive home I realized I couldn't make it; I was not driving in a safe manner and everything felt like it was coming at me too fast. I had to pull over and find a friend to come get me. That left the car in another city so my husband had to take a bus back to retrieve it. (He was very happy to do that since it scared him so much that I pulled off.)

I work on Saturday morning (I am also a personal trainer and running coach) getting my run classes going and off, and then I go home and usually spend much of the day resting and watching TV trying to deal with the headache. Sunday I sleep late and rarely plan anything in hopes that I will have a good day Monday.

Monday I get back on the hamster wheel and start over and I swear it's killing me.

My kids have been awesome...it isn't them. My staff has been awesome, but they can't "fix" it. HR has NOT been awesome. They've been jerks. I had sick leave donated to me for my hospital stay and after I got out, they didn't want me to use any of it for additional days off...so at first if I didn't make it through the week (which I didn't the first week, I only made three days) I had to make a decision "Do I go in and suffer through it, or do I lose a day's pay?" My boss fought for that and they capitulated, but needed a note from my doctor that I did not do a 2 point mount off the balance beams and "TA DA!!!" I was healed after my stay. My GP actually had to write "She will continue to deal with the effects of this for up to three months and may need additional time off."

My current way of dealing is to put a picture of a zombie on my board when I'm having a "Zombies are eating my brain" day. The kids are great...they come in daily and ask "How are you today?" but that shouldn't be their concern.

Even thinking of asking for more time off makes me feel like the worse teacher in the world because they whine if I take even a day. I know they need me, but I need me to be better.

Of course it may all be moot. I see a new doctor on Wednesday (my neuro surgeon though I should be better by now) and he might not go for it. I've tried to work it out to see if I can figure out a way to make it through each week from here until June working four days with just minor loss in pay, but right now even working four days feels like too much because there is no "down" time on this job except my half hour lunch. (We get prep time either before or after school, and I can leave as soon as the kids do on days I feel I need to, so take my prep time and go home. But what I need is time DURING the day not before I'm tired or after I'm exhausted.)

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Hi Teechur! Hugs to you, I wish I could say something to make it all better.

Laura (Tennismithy - I hope I got her pseudo name right) did exactly that! She is back teaching full time. Hopefully she will peek in and see this soon.

Sandi K. Xoxoxo.

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Hi Teechur,

Was going to mention the same person as Sandi did. Also Skippy works in a school (not as a teacher I don't think but school hours amongst all the kids too). I'm sure one of them will reply. It's worth remembering, also, that it may be hard now but in the future it would be achievable again. Maybe time to recover more is needed just now?

I don't think anyone who has followed your posts would doubt what a great teacher you are and you WILL be again when the spiders stop annoying your brain :wink:

Be proud of what you have achieved so far - you are inspirational in your determination.

Michelle x

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Hi Teechur,

All I can say is I'm with ya all the way. I went back to work after 2 months and it was too soon. So 5 weeks was probably too soon. Your brain and body need rest and they're not getting it. If you can do the 4 days or even take some time off, you should do it if it doesnt jeopardize your future.

I just had the worst week of my recovery. Each day at work was a struggle. Saturday I spent in bed with brain tingling (spiders maybe). today a little better but tomorrow back to the grind. I am indeed a walking zombie. 7 months post SAH.I feel like if I could just take a week or two off to build my stamina again, I might be better. But I am out of sick time as well.

I'm sure your doctor would write you off if you explain to him/her your symptoms. Will that be enough for your bosses. My work has been great and don't even ask for a doctors note, but that wont last forever.

Please slow down and don't end up like a walking zombie like me.

David

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Thanks. I appreciate your input. If nothing else, I am living for Summer break. I work during that time as a trainer, but that's like two hours a day three days a week.

I talked to my husband about bringing up more time off if I don't. I am writing down all I need to talk to him about. A note will get me off work. We can't take more than three days in a row without a doctor's note. it may still be no pay if I don't get leave donation. I guess that's a bridge we will cross later.

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I am 7 month post SAH tomorrow & I simply cannot work and do anything more. I barely make it through a week. I work Wed, Thursdays & Fridays 8 hours and 5 on every other Saturday, I also do all the Sat P.M. & Sundays treatments. Depending if Wednesday is stressful or not I am trashed after one or two days. I simply cannot push to do it. I asked Saturday if I was making a bunch of mistakes & they assured me I was not making more than anyone else but I certainly have messed up at home with bills, appointments and chores. I got lost driving to the Dr.’s this week, I did not pay some important bills, I paid some twice, I can’t figure things out most of the time. I have a hard time reading anything or doing any fine motor skilled project. I relied on the mechanic to not rip me off, etc…….I can’t make decisions. So if you can get some more time off take it. I carry the insurance for my husband and I, I have to work at least 30 hours a week. I simply cannot afford to take time off of work either so that stinks as well. Take all the time you need and when you come back leave the crack in the door that you may need more time. I am sick of explaining to people that I cannot do this or that as well. I need a “smart” pill!

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Hey Teechur

I work in a Primary School Office - we have 363 children and its busy busy busy from the moment I walk in at 9am to the moment I leave at 4pm. Before my SAH I worked for my my hubby as his Office Manager/Finance Manager - I worked 9am - 6pm everyday all year round!! I eventually moved part time to a nursery school from 12.00noon - 6.00pm but was still working for hubby in the mornings. I can honestly say that now I'm doing 9am-4pm in a primary school and having the school holidays its great. It was my first day back today after having two weeks for easter and even though I've had this job since November 2011, I've come to cherish those school holidays :lol:

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Thanks Skippy and Mary. So appreciated! I feel like I'm whining all the time, but I also feel like here is a safe place to whine. No one in my real life (except my husband and a few friends) wants to hear I'm not 100%. Not even my doctor wanted to hear that (or at least that's what it felt like).

What I wish I could do is work Tues-Thurs and rest on Mondays and Fridays...not for an extended weekend. Heck, my current weekends aren't very fun to be honest. But just for a concrete amount of time I could be off, with a concrete amount of time I can lecture, teach, test, etc. and prepare the students for the material. I don't know if that's an option, although I have been gone once a week regardless.

Today is Monday and generally it's my really good day! For some reason today it's only "meh" but oh well. Not bad enough to stay home but not good enough to get as much done as I normally do. Just tired already. I have a conference/workshop to go to tomorrow...bets on how long before I fall asleep?

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Hold your head high Teech...you will be okay ( I have faith in you) I remember a Teacher when I was at school and she made a

lasting impression on me...Some Teachers never did.

Only 2 did one was Miss Quayle and the other was Miss Crowe,Miss Crowe well, she knew the woman who was captured by Japanese in WW11

Film was called Inn of the 6th happiness I think..was that about a teacher who saved children? Anyway I bet when your kiddies get older they will remember you ...so head up and influence your children with your bravery xx

Was the film about Gladys Aylward ? I think it was hmmm .... Anyway on old girls night ... I went back to school to visit my

Teacher Miss Crowe... She was happy to see me and asked what I was doing...I told her I work in a nursery...She said come

with me...marched me across to a teacher who never understood me..and I her.. She said "Guess who this is why this is Win and tell her what you do Win"...

I said I work with Children.... how nice for you she said thru clenched jaw...Miss Crowe said "I told you Winnie was bright....

and would get on in life ....ahhhhh She was brillint and so are You TEECH..so go get em and be remembered xxxxxx

Love

WinB143 xxxx

Edited by Winb143
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Thanks Sandi for the message about this post.

Teech- I will definitely reply to you in length tomorrow when I can think and write in full sentences. I made exactly the same mistakes and did retire from teaching. HOWEVER, I have returned 3 years later and it is amazing- will expand on all this tomorrow.

Your story is exactly the same as mine though- forced back way too early and rubbish HR. Stay positive you are a great teacher, you do have to become slightly more selfish though and get some extra me time.

More to come tomorrow- big hugs

Laura

xxx

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Thanks Sandi for the message about this post.

Teech- I will definitely reply to you in length tomorrow when I can think and write in full sentences. I made exactly the same mistakes and did retire from teaching. HOWEVER, I have returned 3 years later and it is amazing- will expand on all this tomorrow.

Your story is exactly the same as mine though- forced back way too early and rubbish HR. Stay positive you are a great teacher, you do have to become slightly more selfish though and get some extra me time.

More to come tomorrow- big hugs

Laura

xxx

Thank you so much, Laura. I appreciate it.

Because I can "make it" through the days I feel like it's wrong to ask for more time off, but when I think about my current quality of life... Still, there is that selfish feeling because I didn't become a teacher to bag off on my kids, you know?

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Just a quick update.

Saw a neurologist on Wednesday and he felt I had gone back to teaching way too early, and the amount of stress caused by teaching and my side business is slowing my recovery. I have nothing "wrong" with me, just need time. So he took me out of work for two weeks, and then I go back half time for two more weeks and we evaluate at that point.

I can't tell you what a relief that was. Not only because I did feel work was slowing me down, but because he acted like something serious had happened to me, where my neurosurgeon (I felt) never really did. She just said "Take it easy for a few weeks". She asked if I wanted to return to work the Monday after I was let out of the hospital. I didn't know what life was going to be like after I got out, so I agreed and realized that I couldn't do it, so postponed it for a week. She felt I should be completely recovered by eight weeks and was surprised I wasn't.

I am so glad I "met" this board of wonderful people because it helped me to advocate for myself and seek a second opinion. My new doc said all the things I've been reading; I'm early in my recovery, I will get better but it takes time, rest is my best friend right now, I'm overdoing it.

So since last Thursday (my first day off) I have rested, napped, and not doing anything more than go for walks (which he said was the best exercise right now, and all he wanted me to do). I am in touch with my kids. My sub did call me Friday (and I was kind of irritated...you are doing the job right now, so do it...what don't you get about me relaxing...well I think she doesn't get that problem solving is REALLY brain intensive, and it's SO much harder by phone).

I just hope to start recovering again. Feel like I was doing the roller coaster thing, but making some headroom and it just stopped about 3-3.5 weeks ago.

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Teechur,

Hey I used to teach (be a therapist to) autistic preschoolers. Luckily, I stopped doing this right before my SAH! I can't even imagine doing what I did. I used to jump around the room make up songs and games take care of tantrums and keep all the kids from injuring each other with their very fast moves...a kid would be up on a table, and then I'd have to dash to make sure he got down safely! Whew. Anyway, No way now. However, I was in that 'What am I going to do next' mode and now that's all on hold. I was going to open an artsy-type theatre, but I can't even be consistent with our finances at home, so that's on hold. I have no idea what I will find to occupy my musings, but I know I will find something completely different than I have ever imagined. I guess the message is...don't limit yourself, but know your limitations :)

Hang in there!

~Kris

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Hi,

Your story sounds all too familiar. I also teach and the fatigue is shocking. I never thought of it in these terms before but by Wednesday I am like a zombie ...

I love my job but I do think that bit by bit it is killing what's left of me. And that is very hard to admit.

"Recovery" is such a subjective concept. I was so looking forward to getting back to work and being better. But now I'm not convinced that we do recover from such an insult to the brain. Yes, we are surgical successes as we are all still here. But ... well we all know the problems that some of us have had to overcome or are still struggling with on a daily basis including fatigue.

I have had to build coping strategies into my life to enable me to carry on teaching.

L x

PS: I am sorry if that sounds grim. I am utterly exhausted today.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi

Another teacher here. I actually had an anuerysm burst in the middle of teaching......

I started back 3 and half months after my SAH. I am in an International School in Japan. I had been 7 years at my last school (in NZ) but only just started this job in August. Moving with my husband and 5 year old daughter to Japan was meant to be an adventure but 4 months after arriving here I was having emergency surgery.

The school got in a temp and I have picked up my classes one by one. For the first month I just had my grade 11s. Then 2 weeks ago I picked up my grade 9s. Monday I pick up my grade 10s (luckily the 12s are leaving to to do their external exams).

My headaches have come back but the kids have been really good and so has the school. My issue is with the odd colleague who:

a) thinks I look 'fine' and

B) wonder why I'm allowed to come and go during the day.

I feel like shouting at them 'I'm still recovering and I'm only paid part time......I won't of course.

I am also worried that when they do start paying me full time as of Monday they will expect me to do all the extra extra activities this school expects of us. We are also expected to stay on site 8-430 which never happened in my schools in NZ. They understood that teachers often work in the evenings and our days were slightly shorter.

I'm wondering if I ask to be paid less so I CAN come and go a bit more (we live across the road from the school......) without feeling guilty.

I know this thread was started a while ago but am wondering how any other teachers out there are going.

Cheers

Joanna

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Hi Joanna

Not sure how it would work in Japan, I work in a school in England and all of our teaching staff are on site from 8.00am to 4.00pm with one afternoon a week off for PPA (Planning etc).

As for the person who thinks you look fine - I remember someone once saying "I look well from afar but I am far from well". The only way to explain to this idiot is by telling them your brain has had a heart attack - it worked for me when I had to tell people.

Good luck with returning work full time and if it gets too much it might be worth having a word with the Principal there.

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Hi Joanna

I teach 9, 10 and 11 year olds in England and things are much better now although I am 7 years on. When I returned straight after my sah I had very similar comments and was forced back to full time after only 6 weeks of part time phased return. Needless to say my head forced me out and I was actually told I would never teach again.

Three years out of teaching doing education research and things got better. I then tried teaching again and absolutely love it this time around because I have support of my management team. My advice is talk to your management team and be honest! Fingers crossed all goes well for you xx

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I'm 2.5 years in and while things are definitely better, I'm to the point where I've told my husband that if next year doesn't get better it will have to be my last year of full time teaching. We have 12 sick days a year so I am missing too many days without pay. I still have too many days I can't get out of bed. Yet most days (4 out of 5) are manageable and I love my job. My kids are awesome, my staff is good. I'm sure some talk behind my back but I don't worry about it. I know my symptoms and my life so I can't let that bother me. (I still say the very best part of the SAH is my totally laid back attitude that came with it.)

I do sometimes get concerned that the administration will, at some point, say "Uh, okay. We can't carry you any longer." but when I start to worry I just remind myself that I can't control that. I still have so many blessings the main thing that makes me sad is that I hate the idea of leaving the classroom. Teachinig isn't only what I do, it's who I am.

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I'm not teaching now because I don't think it would be good for me and have no desire to do it, but I've always asked for accommodations in my past and it has always worked. If you are a good teacher, many places will accommodate. You won't know until you ask.

~Kris

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks so much for all the replies. I have 4 days to go and then 2 months break. Thinking about that has been the only way I have managed to survive these last few weeks of marking and report writing.

Time to rest. Hope any of you other teachers in the Northern hemisphere will all be doing this soon too.

Joanna

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Joanne

I went to school at ASIJ. Is this where you are teaching? It's a great school and I remember that most of the teachers lived across from the school. Is there still the Bochi bullet.

I am a teacher as well and had my SAH recently. I am now on vacation and trying not to worry about next year before I get there. It is difficult because I know how hard it is to find a replacement. I don't want to place the school in a situation but if I can't handle it then .......

I am sure the worry isn't good for me.

I am glad that the school allowed you to return gradually. I hope my school will as well.

Rest well! You deserve it now more than ever!

Kns

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