Brand New Job - Brand New Issues?

Brand New Job - Brand New Issues?

In the beginning of December, I found myself looking into the mirror saying, “I need a change.” I don’t know who was listening to me, because a few days later I got a phone call from the Philadelphia School District saying that they wanted to hire me as soon as possible. Finally, I got out of the private school sector, joined the teacher’s union and I am enjoying all the perks that come with it (benefits, pension, retirement, etc.). As I was driving to my new building in the Overbrook Park section of the city, to meet my principal it hit me! I have Crohn’s! What am I going to do if I have to use the bathroom? What are the bathrooms like? For the last five years, I was in my “comfort bubble.” I was used to my old school. My body was used to working there, and I was able to control my bathroom habits. What was I going to do now? All these things where flashing in front of my face, yet I didn’t even think about it until then! I was so caught up in the excitement of the new job, that I didn’t think about this disease that's such a big part of my every day life.

My heart pumped harder, and I started to get the sweats. I found myself shaking when I approached the front door of the school. When I entered I noticed that it was a very old building. My first mission was to see what the bathroom was like. I found my way to the men’s faculty bathroom and came across one stall with an old wood door. “I guess this is going to have to do!” I thought. That day I introduced myself to the faculty, and started teaching on January 4th. I quickly got used to the bathroom situation. Although I can’t leave my classroom, I alerted the teachers who are to my right and left of me, and of course they understood. I just pop into their room, and they shoot over to cover mine for a couple of minutes. “Rome was not built in a day.” It will take my body a while to get used to the new surroundings. But I really enjoy the job! If I am going to move on with my career, I have to learn to put Crohn’s on the backburner of my thoughts, and focus on the positive. I’ll admit, when I was driving to the school that one December day, I was going to turn around. I was going to call the school district, and kindly decline.

But who am I kidding? If I did that, I would not be practicing what I have preached! I wasn’t going to let the disease control my life! I was going to control the disease, just like I did in the past. Every day does get easier. I am becoming more familiar with the staff and students. The stress level is down, causing my stomach to relax. I have been getting to school much earlier than the rest of the faculty, so that I can get settled, calm my stomach and go on with my day. And I will continue to put my job in front of Crohn’s, just like I always have!

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