I am a 1st grade teacher with 32 years of experience. I was diagnosed with PD 12 years ago and had DBS to control tremors on my right side 4 year ago. My tremors are gone however the symptoms that I do have such as swelling in my feet and ankles, knee pain, small handwriting, soft voice, and balance issues have made it extremely difficult to function as a teacher at the level that I have in the past. I complete tasks slower because of fatigue and also because I seem to have become very random in my actions.
Stress is a big trigger for me. I reached the point that I felt that I was not the teacher that I would want for my grandchildren so I have been on school disability. I tried to qualify for social security disability but have been turned down twice "because my symptoms don't prevent me from teaching." I am preparing for my final appeal through a hearing. Short of turning the stimulator off, does anyone have words of advice for me. I loved teaching but getting up at 5am to have time to get dressed (it is a process since I can't lift my leg up high enough to put on pants). By 9:00 it is all I can do to stay alert and not curl up under the reading table and nap. I can't sit on the floor any longer and I can't climb inclines or stairs without difficulty, I can't sleep at night and medications that I have tried cause nightmares.
I wish the people that are voting for me to return to the classroom had know me before PD.