Fibromyalgia, Education, and Full-time Employment – part 1


When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia my specialist warned me college would be exceptionally difficult, if not unattainable. At the time I just thought something young and honest like, “He clearly has not seen my flawless GPA,” or “He obviously has not spoken with any of my adoring teachers.” No, not really.  I didn’t think the latter. But I did think something like the former.

At the time of my diagnosis I was attending the junior high school formerly known as Walton. My parents and I had recently made the move from Idaho to Arkansas and I was seriously unimpressed with the simple curriculum. Despite missing two weeks of school during the move, and despite the Arkansas schools starting two weeks before Idaho schools, I had missed nothing by the time I started attending WJHS.

My English teacher was a vegetarian softy with a knack for mincemeat pie. My computer teacher was named Cracker and loved archaic databases. My health teacher was perky and effective. My civics teacher wore purple and pink crocheted vests. He and his aid were carpool buddies. My science teacher was decent but was not confident enough to command the respect of teens. My speech teacher… I think I had a speech teacher. I can’t recall. And my geometry teacher was a teacher. She challenged her students and taught how I learn best… with high expectations.

Anyway, I wasn’t feeling challenged. I excelled in my classes with little effort. And the suggestion that school would one day be particularly difficult for me seemed unrealistic and was totally unwelcome.

Graduation K8Just over a year ago, on my Grandpa Hal’s birthday, I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Construction Management. I was proud of myself for making it happen, grateful to my family for making it possible, and grateful to my friends for making it fun. But most of all I was relieved. College had kicked my butt up around my neck almost every weekday for five years, and now I was done.

I had a wonderful job waiting for me in my hometown, Daniel had accepted an exciting position at a local academy, and we had been blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime – living, rent-free, in a lovely home owned by some dear family friends, and neighbors to my parents.  I had not only conquered one of the things I had been told I may not be able to do, I escaped with my fibromyalgia mostly under control.  I was excited for a Mexican vacation, a non-basement address just doors from my parents, and a paycheck from my favorite company…

To be honest, I had no idea what I was in for…

2 Responses

  • harvey on June 30, 2009, 09:44:47

    found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later ..

    Reply to harvey

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