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On Cimzia and working in a Primary School?

I resigned from my fabulous but very demanding job as a teacher at Christmas because I could no longer work the long days with the pain and exhaustion (both physical and emotional) that my RA causes. I used to crawl in through the door at the end of the day and collapse in tears - and I still had two hours of marking to do! However, I am now finding it really difficult to adjust to not working, not using my brain and I desperately miss the social contact with everyone at school. Although I have to admit that not getting up at 6:00am and being able to rest throughout the day, has made me feel much better. But here's my dilemma - I have just been offered a teaching job working one hour a day, every day teaching a small group of infants.

Along with all the other meds I take, I have just started Cimzia, which the nurse explained to me in no uncertain terms, will leave me with very little immune system and make me very susceptible to infections which I will then have difficulty fighting off.

So I was wondering if anyone else out there has experience of working in a primary school (a hot bed of coughs and sniffles) whilst taking biologics? What has it been like for you? I'd really appreciate any information so I can come to a decision about what I should do xxx

5 Replies

How wonderful to be offered an hour a day. It will certainly keep your brain active. I would ask your Rheumy nurse on their thought. My uneducated ones are why not try and keep loads of hand gel with you? We can pick up infections anyway but should we wrap ourselves up in cotton wool? I think if you white cells went down very low that it caused concern it would show in your bloods?

Would you let us know what the nurse say, very interesting dilemma for you. XxA



I am also a teacher but know I could no longer manage whole class teaching. I did a post-graduate qualification in teaching children with dyslexia and it is the best thing I have ever done. I only teach one to one or very small groups which means I am sitting down. You can focus on actual teaching without worrying about discipline. It is really interesting and rewarding and I really recommend it.

It is not really possible to lock ourselves away from all germs. I am on mtx and hydroxy and don't find I get more colds etc than anyone else, but don't have any experience of biologics.

Good luck



Thank you allanah and Sue for your really supportive comments. I have left a message for my rheumy nurse today and I found your comments about training to teach children with dyslexia really encouraging, Sue. I guess you don't really know what you can do until you try.

Many thanks, you have been really helpful xxx


I work in a special needs primary school as a teaching assistant. It is hard work and at the end of the day I am exhausted but I don't really get too much in the way of colds but I do use hand gels and wash my hands frequently during the day. I'm on enbrel and methotrexate.


Hi, I can readily understand your concern. I too am on biological meds (Tocilizumab) and am very susceptible to infections. This being the case I use Vicks Frist Defence nasal spray (Boots do one too) and I have found it really really good. I have had no colds in the past year! I use it before shopping, flying or parties - anywhere where I am in close contact or bugs get handed round. The other thing I do Is obsessively wash my hands and try not to touch my face at all. I know all this sounds mad but it keeps me safe. I would think long and hard about turning down such a great offer, and remember your Rheumy nurse is trying to keep you safe - but she has got a job to do! You can't lock yourself away as a previous member has mentioned.

I hope this is helpful.



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