Charis’ Story

VOICE-OVER: I really believe teaching is a calling I just love being able to have that impact on these young people.

I’m Charis, and I’ve been living with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis since 2017. Because we’re dealing with communication, I have to be able to communicate with my students and to do that I’m going to be writing feedback and I...I need to be able to physically write and because of RA I have a hard time sometimes. My hands get tired and I feel like I’m not able to give the kind of feedback I really need my students to get.

When we finally got that diagnosis it was both comforting and terrifying. On the one hand it’s easier to deal with something that’s defined. But on the other hand it’s scary knowing what others have experienced because of RA. And to think that that could be my future was really frightening. Knowing what I know now, and knowing how my current treatment plan has helped me, I really wish I hadn’t waited so long to talk to my doctor.

I would love to get to a point where I don’t have to choose so that I could do the things I love to do and still have energy left over when I head home from the classroom. I’ve been teaching for a long time, but I have a lot of years left in me. I am not ready to let RA end my career—I need to keep going I have this hope that I will feel better, because I’m just not ready to sit down.

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