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In Crisis

I have not slept for two nights. I have lost 3 lbs in 3 days. I can’t eat more than two half-portioned meals per day. I am 7 weeks pregnant.

This isn’t healthy.

So far, I’ve kept my spotting and bleeding of clots quiet from our RE. But today, I just felt sick about it all and emailed my primary nurse and told her what has been going on. Hopefully, I hear back from her tomorrow and maybe I can get an ultrasound to find out what’s going on.

Previously, I had been against taking a day off work (they highly discourage teachers taking sick days in my board- even though they are part of our compensation), because I’m a relatively new teacher (third year permanent), and it looks bad when you use them (even though we encounter hundreds of dirty teenager’s germs daily). Right now, my seat mate is sick with the flu, and I’m secretly angry at her for touching my stuff and coming to work at all!

Anyways, my new role is very physical. I have to travel two floors and across the length of the school to get from my first period class to my office and other two classes. Often, I am carrying 40lbs of textbooks and student binders, as well as other supplemental equipment from floor to floor. Today, I was carrying a stack of 40 magazines from the basement, up to the second floor, and felt a cramp in my abdomen. I stopped and waited until I saw two kids on washroom breaks and had them carry the rest to my classroom. I then had to go back an grab a class set of scissors, glue sticks, stack of cardboard poster boards, and a bin of markers. I had to make two more trips for that. In my classes, I am working with kids with significant developmental and intellectual challenges. Our kids are high school aged, but function at the reading and cognitive level of grades 1-6. They also have significant behavioural and maturity issues- so I am never sitting down at all in my classrooms. I am on my feet all day, dealing with students who are difficult to reason with and can often become violent in the classroom. Today, a student swore at me because I tried to help him brainstorm “other words” that he could use to express how he felt (rather than “fuck”).

It is physically, and emotionally taxing. I have been bleeding, and haven’t eaten or slept in two/three days. I am taking tomorrow off to re-group, but all I feel is the dread of having to go back there and managing my stress from my less-than-perfect pregnancy symptoms.

I am in crisis, and can’t seem to find a way out.

26 thoughts on “In Crisis

  1. I’m so sorry the pregnancy is,being so rough to you. I hope you get good news from your doctor and that your day of rest tomorrow proves usefully. Go get some boost or ensure to supplement your eating habits. It’s always helped me.

  2. I am sorry your having a rough time. As someone who has left there job to reduce stress to help improve our next pregnancy, I understand how hard the balance is. I really hope taking tomorrow off helps and that you can focus on your health and your babies health.

  3. I’m so sorry. Let’s just call it what it is- it’s sh$t and I’m sorry that you’re going through it! Can you get a little rolling cart or something to help at the job physically? I know there’s probably not much that will help from an emotional, mental perspective. I’m glad you’re taking a day off to rest. (And I hope that’s what you do).. Let us know what the RE says. Try to eat even if it’s an unhealthy shake!

    • Thanks. A rolling cart won’t help because I have to take stairs down to the basement (my classroom is a converted kitchen). There is no elevator for me to get down there easily. Yes, I was thinking that maybe I should get some greens powder and sneak in some protein powder into a healthy shake to make up for eating only rice noodles and broth in the last 30 hours.

  4. That’s a high stress kind of job. Do you have any free periods during the day where you can go to the teachers lounge or maybe just rest your eyes in your classroom and regroup during the day. I’m sorry you feel so crappy. Maybe you can also designate jobs for the kids at your school. A “helper” of sorts that can work 2 ways (they feel empowered by helping, and you get a break and someone that can assist you). I know it’s hard to take it easy but you have to hun. Keep us posted on the dr, and i hope you feel better.

    • I have them hand things out for me, and try to set a routine of cleaning up our activities together. But other than that, there aren’t really any jobs that they can take on. Many of our students are Autistic, so are physically challenged. Others are so behavioural that they cannot be trusted to go to the bathroom unescorted by a teaching assistant. Because of the special population of kids, there are so many more legal liabilities that we have to work around. I have a kid who I can’t take my eyes off of in class because he lights things on fire in the classroom. In that same class, I have a student who gets violent when he gets bored (I teach science- there are boring moments even though everything I do with them is hands on). Actually many of our kids are FAS kids, and kids put in the foster system because of various reasons- and will likely never live independently because of their cognitive and behavioural skills. I’m sure you know the type, as you girls are foster moms.

  5. Not sleeping makes everything soooo much worse. I’m glad you’re going to talk to your doctor about this. Your fetus will do just fine getting nutrients from your body whether you’re eating or not, but I’m worried about you (and your mental health) with this really stressful job. I think after you have a chat with your doctor, you may need to have a chat with the principal and let them know what’s going on. Not sure you wanted to reveal your news this early on in the pregnancy, but carrying on the way you have been isn’t working. :<

    Sending you good thoughts and energy and prayers.

    • Thanks Lindsay. I emailed my vice-principal last night, and briefly mentioned that I am in my first tri, having some symptoms that warrant a visit to the doctor. I didn’t mention the stress/anxiety. Unfortunately, mental health of staff really isn’t a priority for them. It’s kind of a suck it up and do your job, or we’ll find someone else who’d love to do it. Even though we’re unionized, I know so many people who have been bullied (by other staff and admin), forced to teach the worst timetables (as a method of driving them to quit), and had their reputations tarnished by needing to take a semester off due to mental health challenges.

  6. I am so sorry things are so hard right now. My wife is a teacher too, and my mom works with an association of charter schools, so I completely understand your school issues. I know your hands feel tied. I really, really hope your doctor gets back to you ASAP and I hope you lay this all out on the table when they do. Something’s gotta give. Try not to stress about being home today and take really good care of yourself. You are in my thoughts.

  7. Oh, that sounds miserable. The fact that you aren’t getting support from your administration is even worse. I’m hoping your doc will come up with some ideas to help with the physical stuff so you can get your energy up to deal with the anxiety. Thinking of you and sending all the good energy!

  8. Hi there, I just read your post (haven’t been checking WP lately) and I’m so sorry to hear how much you’re struggling. First tri sucks. It’s like having the flu every day, not being able to tell anyone and having to function anyway. Yuck. Your job sounds stressful both physically and emotionally. I hope you get some help and feel better soon.

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