Surviving School

Hey readers!  I don’t have a lot of time to devote to writing this week, but I did want to answer this question really quick.  If any readers have suggestions of their own please feel free to comment on this post!

“Thanks for writing. I am hoping that you can give my daughter some hope. Although the pain started two years ago, she finally got diagnosised a month ago. She is a junior in HS , besides fighting for a 504 and elevator pass, any suggestions for making HS easier?”

First thing’s first, get a note from your rheumatologist and give it to the secretary of your high school (if you haven’t done this already).  That way when you have to miss several days due to RA flare ups, you’ll be excused.  Since I had that note, everytime I missed school I had my mom write me a note to take to class the next day.  That suficed and excused my absense since we already had a doctor’s note.

At my high school, we did a lot of walking in between classes outside.  Walking on the grass as opposed to the cement sidewalks was easier on my feet.  This is very beneficial to me now that I’m in college, too.  Generally, walking on the grass instead of staying on the side walk gets me to class faster, saving my knees a few steps.

Good shoes are also a must if you walk around a lot.  Shoes like converse are stylish (I have so many pairs!) but they do nothing to help your feet out.  If you’re a fasionista like I am, look into finding some comfy inserts to those uncomfortable shoes.

If carrying books is a problem, ask to keep each book in the classroom and for a second set at home.  If not enough books are available, ask if it would be okay to share books with friends in class so that way you can keep your set at home for homework.

Communicate with your teachers about how you are doing lately.  This doesn’t have to be during class.  I didn’t want any of my classes to know about my RA, is usually my parents or I would email my teachers to let them know if I was having a severe flare up and that I would be gone for X amount of time.  By doing this, my parents could pick up my homework and I wouldn’t fall behind in class (In fact, even though I missed a ton of school, I graduated with a 4.2 gpa and received an honors diploma).  In order to help teachers understand RA, you can show them this.

Look into online classes.  This is more of a college tip rather than high school, but if you flare constantly, it’s a good alternative to live classrooms.  They’re usually really, REALLY easy too.  And who doesn’t love a gpa booster?

If morning stiffness is a problem (like it still is for me) see about adjusting your class schedule an hour or so later.

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