Changing Schedules

Last updated: May 2018

Believe it or not, our bodies have internal clocks. That is why we sometimes wake up a few minutes before our alarm clock goes off. When we get into a routine, our bodies seem to understand. When we are out of our routine, our bodies get confused.

What does that have to do with my Crohn’s?

My internal clock is used to the schedule I have. My work schedule is the same all week. I work Monday through Friday, and have off on the weekends. Since I’m never doing the same thing on the weekends, I have a harder time controlling my bathroom frequency.

For example, when I started teaching this past school year, my students would have prep at 9:33 A.M. Prep are classes such as Art, Music, Gym, and Computers. So I would have to use the rest room a few times during the fifty-minute break. My students would have lunch at 12:03 P.M. every day. My body knew it was time to use the bathroom again. It took a good month to train my brain to get used to the schedule. I was happy, I was content, I was in the routine.

Then our staff got an e-mail from our school’s administration saying that they were changing the entire schedule for each class, to accommodate the older students and their “whole class rotations.” Immediately, I started to panic, because I knew what was going to happen. I would now have to run to the bathroom at the times that my body thought it was on prep. And on top of that, I will already be anxious about having to use the bathroom, so I would just have to go more and more. I was not liking this.

Our prep time (9:36 AM) has stayed the same, but our lunch as moved from 12:03 to 11:15 A.M. So that means that I am with my students in my classroom from 12:00 to 3:09 every day. That is a very long afternoon, and no chance to use the bathroom. Sure, I can call down to the office and ask for them to send somebody up to watch my class. That is if the office has the manpower to send somebody up.

I could get a “504.” A 504 is a legal document, verifying that I can have an accommodation. But I have seen this backfire, and I don’t want to go down that road.

So it has not been two weeks into the new schedule.

Is my body used to it? Nope. Am I struggling with the long afternoon? Yep! But will I get through? You better believe it! I worked too hard to stop now. I will continue to train my brain, and body to be able to persevere through this change. Change is hard for everybody, especially for people with Crohn’s. I don’t like the switch in schedules. I think if I had more time to adjust, that it would work out for me. Our staff literally found out on a Thursday, and had to change for that upcoming Monday. In time, I will adjust!

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