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Teaching With Orthostatic Intolerance


ckteach
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Has or is anyone teaching with this syndrome? Any tricks to get by and how long have you been working like that? I'm still teaching but it's getting harder and harder... :)

Cindy

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Cindy

I'm not a teacher but depending on what kind of symptoms you have there are probably tricks that can be recommended to you unless you are dealing with the fatigue too.

Without knowing what kind of symptoms you are dealing with the only thing I can say is sitting on a high stool with a back might be beneficial so that you?re not standing for long periods in front of your class.

Cindy

Sorry just saw your other post stating your symptoms 

Do you ever have increased heart rate? Or just drops in blood pressure? Are they treating your Myasthenia Gravis and Lupus?

It sounds like managing your symptoms are going to be the best answer here. With little kids moving around under you and around you making your dizziness worse, I can?t think of a helpful hint to help you with that. I was going to suggest squatting but that?s really difficult to do in a class or hallway, you might scare the kids and you can?t see all of them.

I?ll have to think more about your situation and hope that others chime in here, sorry.

steph

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Cindy,

I am new to a POTS diagnosis, but in a way have a similar job and have found ways to deal with this before I knew what I had. I am a consulting SLP and do presentations for my about 60% of my job in the fall and spring. However, I am not doing this everyday. This week will be hard as I have a 1/2 day presentation Tuesday and all day Wed and Thurs. I find that not standing still is helpful. Thankfully my trainings on hands on with technology and I am walking around a fair amount. I do find in the afternoon I end up sitting off and on. I am recently diagnosed and had always chalked it up to being lazy. Good to know I'm not lazy. I think being able to sit is going to be important to keep your energy up. I thought the tall stool idea was great. I presented all day Friday and the set up was different. The computer was on a podium and not a table so I couldn't sit as there wasn't a tall chair. The afternoon was harder. I have always had such admiration for teachers. I worked in the schools and would work with the kids for 30 min to an hour, take them back. Teachers are the ones that keep them learning all day long.

My neuro has recommended granny stockings (I know compression stockings, but I am in my mid 30s and by calling them granny stockings I keep laughing!), they are only knee high but I have not found them to make a difference. Lots and lots of water seems to be a key for me while I am presenting. And here I thought it was just to keep my voice from getting dry. I find when I don't take the time to fill my water bottle it is much harder to get through the days. However, again I am lucky. I am running the presentation and just give the folks a break when I need to use the facilities. I know that is much harder as a teacher. Getting too hungry is also a problem for me. When I am presenting I make sure I have a good breakfast with protein to keep me full. Standing while hungry, even a little hungry, makes me more likely to get dizzy. I find I need to have snacks.

Good luck.

Amy

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I work with children w/ autism every day--I'm a behavior analyst, and I specialize in the kids with the most difficult behavior. It's hard work and without my meds and other treatments (see my signature), I wouldn't be able to work.

Nina

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I work with children w/ autism every day--I'm a behavior analyst, and I specialize in the kids with the most difficult behavior. It's hard work and without my meds and other treatments (see my signature), I wouldn't be able to work.

Nina

I teach at the university of illinois, and find that I have to change positions regularly. Because of joint pain, I can't teach standing, as I used to. I always make sure there's a good chair in the front of the room, and teach from a seated position. I also make sure that no individual class meeting is longer that 90 minutes-- so for example my colleagues teach grad seminars once a week for three hours. i split my seminar into two meetings. With grad students (older, more mature, more intimate group), I bring an ergonomic lawnchair to class. If I need to recline, I do. It was weird at first, but they got over it. don't think I could do this in a lecture hall, though. during the first class meeting, I briefly say that I squirm a lot, and that it needn't be disruptive.

One more practical thing. I don't write on the board because it's too hard on my shoulder and is tiring. i write directly on an overhead transparency, so I can make smaller movements.

I grade and read in my favorite recliner.

All these accommodations were put into place because of joint pain from eds. but they also work for ncs. I've just been diagnosed, am not yet on meds, but the compression stockings also help me.

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Hi Cindy,

I teach at a university in Hawaii and I am probably not on my feet as much as you. But I find that even 55 minute or 90 minute classes are a challenge. I usually try to move around as much as I can to keep the old BP up. If I stand still for long periods I get the swoons! If standing still, crossing your legs can help, although it is difficult to stand like that. Tipping my head back to write high up on the dry erase board can make me feel woozy so I try to avoid that and write at eye level--luckily I am not too short and my students can see my writing.

I try not to sit down during class for several reasons. First, I can't teach effectively like that. Second, when I get up I feel even worse! and third, I get dizzy sitting down for long periods of time without moving too.

You have to find out what works for you. Obviously sitting down works for other people. But I have found trying to keep active in class works best for me.

Luckily, I have only had to cancel a class once in the middle of a lecture when I felt just too awful to go on. But my students were very understanding and e-mailed me afterwards to check that I was o.k. As my husband keeps telling me, you don't have to be superwoman--although her support hose might have helped!

Good luck

India

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