How Do You Teach When . . .

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by RainStorm, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Sep 4, 2019

    Do you have Amazon? Can you make an Amazon wishlist? Then people could send you items that may make your shopping trips easier. You can even make it so that your address stays hidden. You can even put giftcards on the wishlist, especially for food delivery places.

    I've bought items off of several teachers' wishlists for their classrooms. I'd be happy to help out with some small items to make things easier for you!
     
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  2. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 4, 2019

    RainStorm, I'm so sorry to hear about all of this. I'm also sorry that you don't have a support system yet at your new location. It's not much, but know that you have a support system here, even though we aren't nearby.

    I like MissCeliaB's idea; I would contribute as well. I've "known" you for a long time!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
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  3. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Sep 4, 2019

    I've been thinking about this...How do you teach when....your school doesn't believe in teaching?
    My thoughts are these...it's 170 days of doing the best you can with the limited tools you have. It's 170 days of writing down your small victories in a bad circumstance and publishing a book at the end. You can call it Data Drove the Teachers Out. It's 170 days to find something good to do for yourself every day. You can include that in your book as well. It's 170 days to show some kids that someone loves them despite their schedule and school structure. It's 170 days to find all the great places where you live.
    I echo a previous poster - a church can often be a great place to find people who will support you. Hope today was a good one.
     
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  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 4, 2019

    Thanks for all the support. I haven't been back to school. Since the trip to the ER, I'm in no condition to teach. I followed up with a doctor, like the ER recommended. My scheduled appointment took 3 hours! I was with the doctor a total of 15 minutes. She wouldn't give me anything for the pain -- said they aren't allowed to give narcotics to new patients, (The ER said the same thing.) I did get a steroid injection, which helped a little. The ran blood tests, but said the results won't be in until the end of next week. So here I sit, trying to get by on Tylenol, and its not working. I'm in too much pain to even consider going to work. So I'm just sitting in the house alone, all day.

    Long story. But I'm really struggling right now. The pain is horrible. I know what the problem is -- it runs in my family. I've watched my mother and both my aunts go through this. It is obvious by looking at me in an exam what the problem is. The doctor said until the blood work comes back confirming it, there is nothing she can do. If the blood work confirms, THEN they will give me a referral to a specialist. I tried calling the specialist to at least get on the waiting list but they said they couldn't do anything until they have the referral in hand, and once it is in hand, the average wait time to get in is 2 months. The doctor told me to come back NEXT Friday.

    I honestly don't know how I'll make it for another week, but I have to.

    The hole keeps getting deeper.
     
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  5. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 5, 2019

    Could you contact your doctor from before you moved? Perhaps they could contact your new doctor and speed things up.
     
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  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 5, 2019

    Already tried that.
     
  7. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 5, 2019

    Okay, so the steroid injections seem to be helping a bit. I'm still in a lot of pain, but I'm more able to mover around. I'm planning to try to go back to work on Monday.

    My yard at the new house is so overgrown, and I heard a mower outside next door -- so I hobbled out there and talked to the man. He didn't speak much English, but he said it was too long to do today, and he'd come back over the weekend. I reached in my pocket and took out some cash, and he smiled and said he'd stay tonight and do it! I'm so grateful He's finishing now.

    My new next door neighbor came over to introduce herself, and she seems quite nice.. We exchanged phone numbers. So I'm started to get to know people. I just have to hold on til this stiffness and pain passes.

    It will work out! It will. I know it will.
     
  8. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 5, 2019

    Sounds great!
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 6, 2019

    RainStorm, it's good to know that you're getting some relief from your pain and beginning to make some connections where you are.

    I'm glad you reached out to us of A to Z, too. And this little moderator's heart rejoices at how this community has been doing community for you.
     
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  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Happy to hear you are starting to feel a bit better. Steroids can be wonderful in taming inflammation and pain. I'm happy you were able to meet a neighbor. As for school, focus on what you can do, follow what they want, rather than what you would like to do. You need to focus on yourself for now. I know it would be nice to be able to teach the way you want, but stressing yourself about what you can't change won't help your body heal.

    I also hope the specialist can find a great therapy for you to help you keep your symptoms at bay.
     
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  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I hope you get some relief soon. I wish I were your neighbor so I could help out!
     
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  12. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 7, 2019

    Rainstorm my heart really feels for you. I wish I could do something to help you out. I understand how it feels like to move to somewhere new and have no one to turn to. I hope things turn a corner for you soon. I will say a prayer for you tonight and every night till it gets better. And even though you are physically alone, know that us here on this forum, even those in a different continent to you, have you in our thoughts.
    I hate your teaching situation. The way they expect the teachers to teach, it really isn’t teaching. You could pick anyone off the street who is literate or maybe even a robot and it would do the job since it’s literally reading a script. It’s not teaching content, it’s not enhancing self confidence it’s not doing anything positive for the students. And I thought that was the whole point of our line of work. It makes me so mad that this is allowed to happen.
     
  13. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    I am thankful the steroids are helping. That is awesome the guy got your lawn for you too. Meeting nice neighbors is a fantastic. It takes time to build up new relationships. I am kind of surprised that you are going back to work on Monday. I hope you are not pushing it too early. It is smart to keep telling yourself , "It will work out because it will." Please make sure the pain is gone before returning to work. <3
     
  14. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Sep 7, 2019

    Well, I will rejoice in the tiny blessings with you, and continue to think of you and pray for you til all is well. :)
     
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  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 7, 2019

    Thanks everyone! Your support means more to me than you'll ever know.

    I'm going to give it a try on Monday, but I've already decided that if it is too much, I will go home.

    I'm so far behind now. Progress report grades are due on Wednesday, and as a grade level, we still haven't graded anything yet. No one has told us about the grading scale (which is not a letter grade or ENSU, so I'm a bit lost. No one has explained what we are supposed to grade yet (only things we aren't allowed to grade -- like homework.) I'm not going to stress. If they want me to do it, they'll need to explain it. Friday (the one that just passed) was the deadline for DRAs for the city, and of course, while I was gone, none got done, -- I'm not going to stress. If they want them done, they'll have to help. I'm only allotted 30 minutes a day to give DRA's (while still supervising my entire class, no assistance, ) and I have 8 children with no starting point, so those take a while. *Shrugs* I can only do what I can do. I'm only managing 2 a day, so that means it will take 11 days if they provide no assistance. They gave me 8 days to do it, and I was absent for 4 of those. I can't make it magically get done.

    I'm feeling much better now -- still in pain, but more able to get around. But I'm not going to push it.

    I won't lie -- being stuck in my new house for a week alone has been difficult (and lonely.) I spent my birthday alone. Except for a couple of Facebook greetings (and I get those because FB says "it's my birthday!") no one remembered. I didn't expect anyone to, and I'm an adult, so it really shouldn't matter, but somehow, it did.

    On the positive side, I have a new church I'm going to "try out" tomorrow. It will be the second church I've tried. I want to try at least 4 churches before I make a decision. Choosing a church is an important decision -- I don't want to just rush into it because I'm alone.

    I will make it! I keep telling myself this is just a minor set back. A year from now, I'll laugh about this. I'm trying very hard to believe that.
     
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  16. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    Rain, I am so happy for you because you are taking the right steps despite the pain. You are right, finding a church is an important decision. Once you've found the right one, you'll know it! <3 I think you'll make some new friends quickly and that always makes life better! I am keeping you in my prayers and things will get better.
     
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  17. skyline

    skyline Companion

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    Sep 9, 2019

    Hi Rain, I'm sorry for all you've been going through! I hope you're feeling better? You're an inspiration with staying positive that things will get better! They will! I was in a toxic student teaching placement (I'm an older career changer) and found out what that kind of constant stress can do to a person. It's important to take care of yourself in those kind of situations. You're in my thoughts and prayers!
     
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  18. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 9, 2019

    Well, I went back to work today. The morning was tough, but I got through it. I felt like I did a pretty good job. The afternoon -- well it was really tough. There were several subs there last week while I was gone. I appreciate all the work they did, but I came back to find all my desks moved (students are all now sitting in different places) and my class acted like they had never been taught anything about how to behave in a classroom. I kind of expected that. However, in the afternoon an instructional specialist came in to help deal with a behavior issue with one child (who is on a specialized behavior plan and has been for two years.)

    While she was there, she put me down in front of the kids. She jumped all over me about my "sub plans" not being sufficient, etc...right in front of the kids. She yelled at my students, and contradicted me while I was teaching. I was asking the students to transition from their desks to the carpet, and asked them to be in their spots in the count of five...four... then she blurted out We don't have all day..you don't need the count of five, get to your spaces NOW! It was very embarrassing, and totally uncalled for.

    As to the lesson plans, I reminded her I was in the hospital -- and she glared at me and said "It's still your responsibility to have complete sub plans!" They are lucky they got any sub plans at all! And mine where exactly the same as all my grade level teachers. It was ridiculous. I had COMPLETE plans. She felt that I should have put in the math section that the math test was to be read aloud to the students. (I don't even write that section of the lesson plans, a colleague does. I do the writing section.) The sub didn't know that, and didn't do that, and all my students failed the test. I asked to be allowed to re-give it. It never occurred to me to write in a lesson plan that I planned to use for myself about reading the test aloud. I already knew that. It wasn't in any of my colleagues either. And while I was in the hospital, it really was the last thing on my mind. The specialist made the copies of the test, and handed them out to the teachers. It would have taken 2 seconds to have said "oh by the way, read the lest out loud." to the sub. But I digress.

    I went to the P and said I would not be treated in such an unprofessional manner. I'm glad I stood up for myself. I would never do that to a colleague. I also mentioned that a little thing called "compassion" can go a long way. She listened, but I feel like it fell on deaf ears.

    But its looking less and less likely that I'll be able to stay at this. I pushed through so much pain today to "be there" for my kids. I didn't deserve to be treated like that.
     
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  19. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 9, 2019

    I am sorry. I am amazed you were even able to have sub plans with everything going on! Your team should have stepped up.
    It sounds like you can get a medical excuse to get out of your contract if necessary.
    Take care of yourself; first priority.
     
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  20. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 9, 2019

    Missy,
    I may have to. I'll see what they say at my appointment later in the week.

    I got word around 6pm that my test results were in early. My appointment isn't until Friday (which is after school.) I asked for an earlier appointment and got one for Wednesday morning. They had no other appointments available. They would not give me the test results over the phone (which in and of itself has me concerned.)

    I asked for the time off to go the appointment and my P said yes, but put in for a sub. However, when I tried, the system would not let me. It says I have exhausted all leave time available at this point and am not eligible for any further leave time. I emailed my P back and told her this. I'm waiting for her to tell me what to do next.

    I guess they will end up docking me for the time, because I am definitely going to that appointment. It seems wrong to be docked when they owe me pay for 8 extra hours of mandatory paid meetings, because "the money is not available yet." They have told all of us to "hold on to those hours and they'll let us know when the money is available and we can submit them then." So they owe me money from August, and can't pay it to me until "sometime in the future," but I'm going to have to be docked so I can go to the doctor. Doesn't make much sense to me.

    So, I have no more leave time until January, I'm not eligible for Family Leave Act because I haven't worked here long enough. I'm not eligible for the short-term disability insurance I signed up for, because insurance isn't available to new hires until October (and even then, I'd have to be absent for 15 days without pay before it would kick in.) I'm not even sure short-term will be available since this happened before my short-term policy went into effect. I'm not eligible for the sick leave bank because you have to have been employed for at least a year to be eligible.

    I think this is what they call "a no-win situation."
     
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  21. Surviving the Classroom

    Surviving the Classroom New Member

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    Sep 9, 2019

    Ah, yes. Great point! However, I will add that despite the sped teacher being the primary expert in how services are supposed to be delivered in a gen ed classroom for a specific number of minutes, the services are still supposed to be given if it's spelled out in the child's IEP. So the absence of this is a legal problem. A teacher may be most effective implementing accommodations if they actually have the list of accommodations provided to them up front. It can save time. You need to know the testing accommodations, instructional delivery accommodations, just to name a few. Also, you may have students who require modifications to assignments as well, not just accommodations. Teachers definitely need to be aware of this. Lastly, once the IEP meeting date arrives, the gen ed teacher may be called to participate. You have to make sure you are well prepared for those meetings with supporting documentation. I hope there aren't any IEP meetings in this first part of the school year that you have to attend. Documentation in email to admin showing efforts to attain IEP (and/or 504) info would be something I'd suggest if it hasn't already happened.
     
  22. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 10, 2019

    Its almost 2am, and I can't sleep because the pain is so bad. I have to be up in a few hours, and tomorrow is one of my "long" days -- 7am until 5pm! I barely made it through today.

    Im out of leave time. I'm in pain. I feel like I'm out of options.
     
  23. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 10, 2019

    If you can afford it, take a day off without pay. If you can’t sleep due to pain, no way you can teach a long day.
    I hope you get some help at your dr appointment.
     
  24. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I’m so sorry your first day back was awful. You don’t deserve to be treated like that.
    I say put yourself first and let the chips fall. No one else is going to put yourself first if you don’t. No job is worth any health sacrifices and this school certainly isn’t.
    If there is an upside to your health problems is maybe you can get out of your contract because of medical reasons without burning any bridges in the school district?
     
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  25. skyline

    skyline Companion

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    I agree with Missy to take care of yourself first and let the chips fall. You don't need that kind of stress (unnecessary) when dealing with health issues; it could be causing your health to decline. Sometimes you have to surrender in order to live to fight another day. I know that comes with a lot of worries and feeling badly about having such problems, but it's not your fault. I was in a somewhat similar position during student teaching. I'm sorry you're going through that! I can sympathize. I had to have faith, learn to deal with only what I could control, and let go of the rest. You're in my thoughts and prayers!
     
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  26. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Sep 10, 2019

    Interesting that a school on a script needs lesson plans. Did the other lady who yelled at you realize that her statement wasn't on the script either? ARGH!
     
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  27. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I stayed home today. I took tomorrow off too. Tomorrow morning I get the test results. I'm hoping they are clear cut -- my mom's RA never showed up in the blood work. If the blood word clearly shows I have RA, then I know what I'm going to do.

    I think it is pretty clear to me now what I must do, regardless of the test results. I'm going to wait until I get the results to make up my mind 100%, but I can clearly see where this is going.

    I think I'm going to have to cut my losses, and take the rest of the year off while I deal with my medical issues. It's not what I want to do, but I think it is what I'm going to have to do. I don't think I'm going to be physically able to work consistently for a while. Maybe if things get better after a while, I can do some online teaching to fill the hours.

    Please pray for me. Tomorrow, I'll know more.
     
  28. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 11, 2019

    Prayers that your diagnosis will lead to new treatments that are making the illness easier to live with.
     
  29. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    What is the treatment for RA?
     
  30. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 11, 2019

    The results are in. I do, indeed, have RA. I also have type 2 diabetes, and a severe vitamin deficiency. None of these were noted in my last physical.

    My spine is so inflamed, I was rushed to a specialist for that. Those results will be back sometime tomorrow. I've lost all feeling in my feet and ankles. My fingers are numb, and I can only type with one finger.

    I came home with a bag full of drugs, and a stack of referral forms for specialists. The nurse copied a page from a catalog and put a star next to the two kinds of wheelchairs my insurance will cover -- and was told to pick out which one liked the best -- just in case. I sat there, stone-faced, for quite a while before I could get the strength to even move. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

    When I got home, I sent in my resignation letter, along with a medical note from the doctor that said I'm no longer capable of working.

    In a weird way, I'm sort of relieved. At least now, my pain has a name. And there is hope for some kind of treatment, once I get to see all these specialists.

    The doctor arranged for me to see a social worker this evening. She said I'm going to need help dealing with this.

    She may be right, but I know inside that I'm tough, and I've survived a lot in my life. I'll survive this too.
     
  31. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Sep 11, 2019

    Rain, I’m so sorry you are dealing with this, but I am so happy you have some answers and a plan to get proper treatment. My prayers are with you.
     
  32. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 11, 2019

    Knowledge always helps, but I am so sorry this is so difficult.

    Would it be of any help to move back to where you started, before you were a caregiver? Maybe you would have more support there. I am sure the thought of this is daunting right now.

    Can I do anything?
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 11, 2019

    Hugs and hugs to you, RainStorm, and healing.
     
  34. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Rain, RA runs in my MIL's family, as well as my dad's side of the family. The best news is that treatments are so much better than they once were. My MIL did have to go through various drug regimens to find the one that gives her the best relief without excessive side effects, but they were able to narrow down the treatments that give her the most relief in a relatively short period of time. In comparison, my maternal grandmother, decades earlier, got very little true help which left her pretty much reliant on a wheel-chair. My MIL responds well to infusion treatments that do a very good job of alleviating her pain and restoring her ability to be be mobile and able to function. I seem to remember that she, too, had a severe vitamin deficiency initially, which has now ceased to be an issue. What a difference a few decades makes! Fortunately, type 2 diabetes is initially a pain, but a manageable pain after education and lifestyle changes are incorporated. I'm no Pollyanna - there will be lifestyle adjustments to adapt to, and I believe you are right about needing time to make changes that includes withdrawing from teaching at this time. It doesn't mean that the withdrawal will necessarily be a "forever" change, but it is necessary right now.

    Best of luck, and hopes for finding a course of treatment that will alleviate the pain and give you freedom from the pain. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. :hugs:
     
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  35. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 11, 2019

    Rain, firstly I’m glad you were able to resign and that school doesn’t have to be a cause of stress for you any longer.
    I wish the news about your diagnosis could be better but I hope that new treatments are available now that weren’t before, that will make a difference to your every pain levels and what you’re able to do.
    You really are an inspiration the way you are keeping it together and being optimistic despite everything.
     
  36. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 11, 2019

    Thanks folks! I just sat down and took the 7 new drugs they prescribed for me. That was "interesting." (Not!)

    Tomorrow's goal is to track down the specialists that my insurance will cover, that can get me in the quickest. I now have the referral in hand!

    Since I'm not working anymore, I can go anytime -- so if they have a cancellations, I'll be there quick! I know how to play this game -- you set the appointment for "first available," which will be in about 2 months time, and then you call every morning just after the office opens and ask if they have any cancellations. You can usually get in much quicker by doing this. Eventually someone will cancel and you will get in!

    Also, someone I know made a fabulous suggestion. I've been so uncomfortable because I only have the one folding chair, and it is NOT comfortable with a sore back. I don't want to buy new furniture because eventually, my old furniture will be here, and why waste the money? So the suggestion was -- why not just call the medical supply store and rent a lift/recliner by the month? They are incredibly comfortable, and I won't have so much trouble getting up anymore. And when my old furniture gets sent here, I can just call and have them pick up the rental. I'm going to look into that in the morning.
     
  37. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Thanks for letting me know that. It gives me hope!
     
  38. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sep 12, 2019

    Well, we won't wish a hurricane on Florida, but maybe any kind of change in the weather would be sufficient. In NJ, the magic cancellation word is "snow", not likely where you are at! I think MIL was on methotrexate, but it didn't do enough, and then she was on the infusion treatments that left her as comfortable as if she didn't have RA. Hoping for some version of this happy ending for you, as well. Actually, those lifting recliners are kind of handy to have on hand. Many of the big box stores, including Sam's and Costco, have them very reasonably priced, should you decide to purchase one. Keep us posted about the appointment status, and we will keep fingers crossed for a fast appointment!
     
  39. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 12, 2019

    Renting a lift chair was too expensive. Also, I don't like the idea of having a used "sanitized" fabric chair in my house. Call me fickle.

    But I found a discount furniture store that sells them locally, and the price was right, so I'm having it delivered Saturday morning.
     
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  40. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sep 12, 2019

    I call that cautious, not fickle.
     
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