100 lb. Club - I really didn't need this news today!

08-18-2008, 09:57 PM
I am posting this here because it was my inability to cope with stress and thus medicating with food and wine, that got me in the 100 club to start with.

I am returning to work after a 28 month disability leave. I am already struggling to quell the panic associated with that, as it was job stress combined with medical problems that got me on disability in the first place.

The one bright spot is that I had an unusually kind and supportive case manager and having heard the horror stories from other colleagues about their battles with their case managers, I thanked whomever/or whatever you thank just about every day. BUT today, with two weeks to go, and a few important meeting and decisions still in the future, I find out he is leaving the company on Thursday. My first reaction was they fired him because he was too nice! So here I sit with my file about to be turned over to someone who doesn't know me from a rock on the road, my ability to continue in my career long enough to earn my pension (teacher) on the line, and my stomach in knots and pretty darn close to tears.

Well at least I haven't been able to eat since I heard the news and so my Fitday is at 800 calories. I guess there is a bright side to everything but I am still so scared and upset!:cry:

08-18-2008, 11:16 PM
Breathe!!! I'm a huge worrywart, and used to medicate for it. There are some things you just can't change or influence. Your new boss may be awesome and very compassionate; you haven't met him yet. I wish I had something wise and profound to say. Just know that we're here for you!

08-18-2008, 11:41 PM
Oh honey! I'm so sorry! Don't worry yet... I know that's easier said than done but try to be optimistic! Its all about the power of positivity!

08-19-2008, 12:11 AM
Hi - I'm a fellow worrywart. One thing I like to do to get out of the deep pit of worry is remind myself of all the sleepless nights that, in the end, were unnecessary. The time I thought I wouldn't have enough money for the gas bill, the mortgage, the times I "knew" the kids and I would be homeless. The nights one or the other of the kids were late coming home and I "knew" they were on the side of the road somewhere. None of those things every happened, thankfuly. And maybe, hopefuly, your new caseworker will be fantastic. I truly hope so. Stay calm, and stay healthy.:hug:

08-19-2008, 05:57 AM
I am sorry that you have had this news, and I truly hope that your new caseworker is as wonderful as your current one.

I too am a teacher and I have taken stress leave on a couple of occasions, each time for one school term. One was because of the way a principal dealt with a situation that could have been handled MUCH better than it was. Needless to say the whole school breathed an enormous sigh of relief when he left. The other time was when I had a VERY interesting class of special needs students that included a couple of extremely violent boys who were left in my care every minute possible, as they wouldn't work for anyone else. They swore, smashed in walls, climbed out of windows... etc. When I had someone come to assess my compensation claim I was very worried that they would see me as 'weak' and I was SO relieved when they sat me down and said that their only question was "How did you do it for as long as you did?" I actually cried because someone totally understood what I had been putting up with for the last 18 months.

Anyway... that is a long-winded way to let you know that I understand how important it is to have someone on your side who is sympathetic and who you trust. I will be sending positive thoughts your way that you will be able to build a strong relationship with your new caseworker.

Take care,


08-19-2008, 06:13 AM
Mollymom - I am sorry you are faced with this stress. :hug: Hopefully, this new caseworker will be as good as the first. Perhaps, you can see how it starts to pan out with this person and then go and be your own best advocate - by talking to her/him. Right now worrying isn't going to change anything (I know it's easier said than done - I am a huge worrywort).

I am a huge proponent of deep breathing and meditation. It is a wonderful way to get thru stressful times. If you can get a CD to listen to - it will help. At first it seems hard to get the hang of - but, it does help. Hang in there.

08-19-2008, 08:05 AM
He's leaving on Thursday...today is Tuesday. Give him a call. Thank him for how competent and supportive he's been...and talk to him about your concerns about the transfer. If he wasn't walked out the door he wasn't fired! (Take it from me, as an administrator you don't keep someone around who you fired, they are angry and do bad things.)

Ask him if he could do a conference call or meeting with your new case manager, or how else the transition could be eased. That kind of linkage can make all the difference.

My other thought is that perhaps some of the difference in the way you have been treated has to do with you and the way you interact. If so, that is a real asset. Use it. (I had a colleague in a children's hospital who said she was going to write a book "it pays to be cute" to teach folks how to engage health care workers.)

The best news is that things are getting better for you, you had your terrific case manager for most of the time you were out, and your response to stress this time has been to not eat rather than to stuff yourself. (As someone who could crawl to the refrigerator in times of stress or illness I have always envied those who could honestly say "I was so upset I just couldn't eat."

Good luck

08-20-2008, 12:13 AM
He did call me this morning, as he wanted to see what he could get in place for me before he left. I have to say I have been a stellar client...I was told to lose weight for surgery and I did, when given the opportunity for very expensive one on one rehab and physical conditioning, I went to every workout. I answered every request for updates, maintained good communication.

Anyhow, he is trying to ensure that I get at least a year's gym membership covered, five more sessions with the psychologist and an ergonomic keyboard when I return to work...resource teacher = mountains of paperwork...god forbid we actually have time to work with a kid anymore...BOOO ONTARIO GOVT" WHO PROMISED IT WOULD GET BETTER..it got worse!

I know I am a worrywart...maybe we should start a worry support group! But my motto is "One who can keep his head when everyone around him is losing theirs..just doesn't understand the situation";)

I am determined when I return to work that I a) will work halftime as I am being paid to do..not still be there long after the fulltime teachers have left b) make sure my principal gets this concept c) schedule my workouts and Tai Chi sessions as religiously as I am to schedule my teaching day...and learn to take deep deep deep breaths! Thanks for the support..I know I would get what I needed from posting and I did! THANK YOU!

08-20-2008, 02:15 AM

When I worked a schedule that called for me to leave at noon one day a week I was frequently late or asked to attend meetings and such. I would do it, and then I resented it. What worked for me to change that was to schedule things outside that were motivators that occurred at 12:30. It forced me to leave on time. Also, once I had left on time for 3-4 weeks folks started to accept that I wasn't around on Thursday afternoons.

No one will watch out for you if you don't! Think about what half-time means, define it (number of students, number of hours, specific schedule, however it works for you) and put it in writing with your principal. That gives you the leverage to go back and say "You know we said 14 students was a half-time load and I have that, so I can't see any more unless you eliminate some of the current students. If things aren't defined it is easy for him to keep redefining what the expectations are...and I promise you that they won't get smaller!

You can manage this!