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Teachers with TTS

Posted by DonnaO on 3/04/04 at 20:02 (146048)

Hi there. I was curious if there are any teachers with TTS who visit these boards. I am a third grade teacher and am interested in hearing how long other teachers have taken for leave and when they return. I had TTS surgery on 2/13/03 and returned to work on 3/1/03. My doctor said I could return to work and limit my activity. I feel I definitely returned to work to early and notified my principal that I needed more time to recover and they have been very supportive. I am interested to hear other teachers' experiences. Thanks.

Re: Teachers with TTS

Terry D on 3/04/04 at 20:25 (146050)

I teach 5th grade and coach track, wrestling, and football. I returned to my classroom 3 weeks after surgery. But sat most of the time. I was lucky as we then had summer break. I returned to full time coaching football 3 months afte surgery.
My advice if you have the sick days use them...don't rush this unless you can stay seated most of the day.

Re: Teachers with TTS

DonnaO on 3/04/04 at 21:50 (146051)

Thanks for the advice. I am also glad that the summer break is near. I wish you continued luck on your progress. Have a good evening.

Re: Teachers with TTS

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/05/04 at 00:42 (146059)

Look for posts by 'Marie' -- I think that the search feature may help.

Re: Teachers with TTS

Margie B on 3/05/04 at 10:42 (146094)

I am also a 3rd grade teacher. I was on medical leave after a few of trying to teach in a wheelchair, boot and crutches before my TTS surgery.
I had the surgery 12/03 and still have some pain in the incision area.I also have heel pain and my PT says it's plantar fasciitis,( I have had problems with that before the TTS showed up last May. I have read here and in many articles that it can take months and up to one year to recover from the nerve release surgery. Teaching is so hard because we are on our feet constantly.(as you know)I taught for 20 years on concrete floors and feel this contributed to my feet problems. You may need more time off and should definitely talk to your doctor. I took extended medical leave and have been living on differential pay.(half my pay is given to my sub)Good luck and take the time you need to heal.

Re: Teachers with TTS

marie on 3/06/04 at 21:31 (146315)

Hi Donna.....Dr. Ed sent me here. It's tough teaching with tts. You're smart to have taken more time off. Your feet need rest and lots of it to get well.

I teach art. I spent a little over a year in a wheel chair. I should have been in it sooner but I was stubborn. Fortunately I had supportive students and a good principal who spent alot of time covering for me while I went to doctor appointments. I think he enjoyed being back in the classroom again. It's tough with little ones.

Good to see there are other teachers here with pf.

best wishes marie

Re: Teachers with TTS

DonnaO on 3/06/04 at 23:42 (146319)

Thanks for the encouragement Marie. I know now that I should have originally asked for extended leave before now but am glad I realized it now than later. I underestimated just how supportive the faculty and administration would be. Their understanding and support has made me feel good about when I do return from leave. It will also be nice that it won't be long until Summer vacation and I will have more time to rest. How are your feet doing these days? Have you had TTS and if so, could you describe how the recovery was, when you were able to fit into a regular shoe (and what type), and after the recovery period when you returned to teaching, what ways can you help prevent TT from returning and still be an effective teacher? Thanks and best wishes!

Re: Teachers with TTS

Faye J on 3/07/04 at 08:36 (146332)

Donna O, I just returned to work this last week from having tts surgery on 12/9/03. I'm a classroom aide and I too stand most of the day. My doctor released me to work with the stipulations that I be able to sit when ever possible, and not to lift more than 10 lbs. But.........everyday this week I've had to come home and put my foot up for the rest of the night. I still have pain but the doctor says thats normal. I plan on having the other foot done as soon as school is out, with the summer to recover. I also lost a lot of pay but I was out of work for 3 months. The administration isn't as supportive to the aides as they are to the teachers, we can be replaced real easy. Although I've had to have an associate degree to do my job. Don't rush into work again if you don't have to, It just might slow down your recovery. Faye J

Re: Teachers with TTS

DonnaO on 3/07/04 at 09:28 (146346)

Thanks for posting Faye. I hope you do get a lot of rest this summer. I am also sorry you haven't received as much support as you deserve from the administration. I feel that just as with teachers and substitutes, good classroom aides are hard to come by and are hard to replace. Many people don't realize how helpful aides are for a variety of reasons. I have never had an aide (I twish I had) but have heard that having an extra helper in the classroom allows the students to get more individualized attention. Good luck with the rest of your recovery. I hope you are able to start the new school year off refreshed and with much less pain. Hang in there.

Re: Teachers with TTS

marie on 3/07/04 at 11:23 (146362)

I was dx with tts in the summer of 2002. I had symptoms for a year prior to that. I didn't miss any work but realized after a while I needed to get a wheel chair if I wanted to continue. I reorginized my room and purchased a scooter last year. I got off my feet and that's what lead me to healing. I don't use a scooter or a wheel chair now.

I arranged my room so that my desk is in the middle of the room. That makes it a little easier for me because I was actually closer to the kids and could see what each of them are doing. I wear only birkenstocks. I rarely if ever wear other shoes. Easy Spirit is ok too...but birkenstocks are the best.

I have pasted my help list below for you. Hope you get to feeling better soon.

I went from a wheel chair and scooter to walking two miles in the Multiple Sclerosis walk. A cause dear to my heart.
My goal this year is to walk six miles. I may not break a record for speed but I know I can do this.

This is what has helped me.

Physical Therapy

Ice (frozen peas work well) for swelling. About 5-10 minutes per ankle. Two-three times a day as needed.

Light stretches......very light.

Medications: Neurontin 300 mg 3x daily, 50 mg elavil

Vitamins that I sware by: MSM, Glucosamine, Vitamin C, Magnesium. Some have had success with vitamin B6 and 12.

Compression socks and mens support socks.

Birkenstock shoes. I am especially fond of Arizona and other soft bed styles.

Progesterone cream on my ankles and knees twice daily. Helped with water swelling.

My hubby massages my meta tarsals, ankles, calves and thighs. At first this was done twice a day. Now I only ask for a massage once or twice a week. NEVER massage the tarsal area vigorously. My PT and I found that out the hard way. It was a major setback.

Some have had success with Ibuprofin creams.

Light non weight bearing exercises.

Distraction from pain. My brother, who has MS, suggested emmersing myself in activities or projects that would take my mind off my feet. It helped me maintain my sanity.

Everyone is different. What has helped me may not help you. Please feel free to add what has helped you.

best wishes marie

Re: Teachers with TTS

DonnaO on 3/07/04 at 11:46 (146366)

Thanks for the encouraging post. Yours is definitely a success story and brightens my spirits for recovery. Best of luck with the MS walk and I know you can meet your goal. You are also right about distractions for pain. Keeping your mind busy and active definitely takes my mind off the pain for awhile and helps me deal with it when it occurs. The list of recovery tips will be very helpful. Keep up the positive attitute and thanks again.