27 and counting…

Tomorrow marks my 27th year in a classroom.  I’ve had many different roles over the years.  My current role is as an speech-language pathologist in a public school system.  I love what I do.  Every job has it’s positive and negative aspects.  I love my helping my students become effective communicators, but I despise the paperwork.  Alas, I do struggle to find a balance at times when it comes to my health.

Last week, I started my 8th biologic drug.  I’m back to giving myself shots.  I thought it would be easy-peasy because I’ve been giving Georgia shots of insulin twice a day for months, sadly, it was not.  The needle was a bigger gauge and I just couldn’t get it to work.  I finally found a woman on YouTube who reminded me about the 45 degree angle and BAM, in it went.  I decided to switch drugs because my last biologic was fine as long as I worked 1/2 time. When I work full-time, I didn’t feel it was supporting me enough.  So I opted to switch two weeks prior to the start of my new school year.  I took half of the loading dose last week, and in three more weeks, I’ll take the second half.  How is it going?  Um, so far, not so good.  It’s funny how you live in pain but when it changes, you forget how much worse it can be.  Right now, my pain level is around a 7-8 when I am not working.  To say that I am not nervous about starting work with pain this intense would be a lie.  I’m nervous, but I am going to try to remain hopeful that the second loading dose will make a big difference.  That is really all I can do is hope.

At least I was able to set up my offices.  Big part of the process out of the way.  Wish me luck.  Ice packs are in the freezer in case I need them tomorrow.

Dog is not normally included in the job contract.



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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

4 thoughts on “27 and counting…

  1. Two other things that might help. Place an ice cube on the injection spot for about a minute. That will deaden the spot for injection. Second, be sure and use the tip of the needle as the point of insertion. Many people use the flat edge inject of the tip and that hurts much more.

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