Thursday, May 13, 2010

July 13, 2007

This is probably one of the most difficult blog posts I will ever have to write.

On July 13, 2007 I woke up excited. Mi esposo and I were going to a Def Leppard concert with two of our close friends. I had always wanted to see them in concert. I'm a HUGE fan of 80's hair bands. That morning I woke up and got out of bed. I fell on the floor when I tried to stand. I got up and tried to take a step and fell again. Strange. My legs felt like jelly. I called to mi hija and mi esposo. We all thought is was funny and that I would be fine shortly.

I wasn't fine. After a few minutes we all knew something was terribly wrong. I had lost the ability to walk over night. Mi esposo rushed me to the ER. The staff ran several tests and discovered my CED rate was almost 200 (that's really bad, it's supposed to be around 20). All my blood work was off. I was admitted, given all sorts of medical exams and more testing. After a week I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Undefined Connective Tissue Disease, UCTD.

UCTD happens when your immune system attacks your connective tissue. In my case it attacked the muscles in my legs. I suffered severe atrophy of those muscles and had to take lots of Prednisone (a steroid), pain medications, and Plaquenil (to calm my immune system).

This is a disease that cannot be cured. In my case it was brought on by extreme stress. I'll briefly explain what was going on during the middle of my 2006-2007 school year.

In January of 2007 I was verbally and physically assaulted by someone I work with on a regular basis. He accused me of something I did NOT do and hurt me at work. I told my principal at the time, who has since been fired for misappropriation of school funds, and she took a full report. Nothing was done. It was my word against his best friend, the woman he was sleeping with and of course his version.

I was told by the administration not to go to the police or I would lose my job. I am the only health insurance carrier for my family. I had no choice. I needed my job, so I 'sucked' it up and continued to work with this person. It was a nightmare. I was always waiting for something else to happen (I still am). I had to talk mi padre and mi esposo down on a weekly basis from taking any sort of action against him.

Fast forward to the present. I still have UCTD. It affects every part of my body and was partially to blame for the cardiac event I suffered on Tuesday. I have to use crutches on a semi-regular basis and take 8 pills a day to keep me going. I have a permanent handicapped placard on my rear view mirror. I'm still here though. I'm still trying to smile and be my old self.

Taking one hour at a time,


  1. I am so sorry you are going through this, but I really really really want you to find your strength here. There are so many bullies here, it's insane. First, whoever that guy is, he needs to be brought down a peg or six. I find that when you speak with power and strength, they back the eff off. Call him out on his own faults, make sure to use your words very acutely so as to inflict the most humiliation and pain without resorting to mockery or low brow humor. It can be done, and is very effective. I am quite sure you have much material to work with. Let this man know that you are not to be walked on by him or his consorts.

    Go to the police and lose your job? Ok, go to a lawyer instead! What kind of nonsense is that? Go to your union! Here in NYC, they are hugely powerful. Go to your media, go to you local paper! Where ever! Just go! Because that right there is harassment and illegal.

    I hope you have a copy of that report, and as many other things as possible documented. They will be your greatest tools.

    This has gone on for far too long. Time to take your life back, your health back, and your dignity. This is truly an insane situation.

    Worried about your students? Any students you have deserves a whole you, not a broken you. You are letting these bullies take the best of you robbing it from the rest and most importantly you.

    I don't want you to just smile through it, I want you to do like all those super heroes in the movies. You know, where you think they're down for the count and suddenly they come back up with strength and vigor, determination and focus, and knock the shit our of the opponents.

    Do it! Do it! Do IT!!!!!! And BTW, if you find yourself in a world of insanity and incurable nonsense, find another home for your gifts and talents, because it is a pure sin to give your life to such madness.

    Happiness is ours to have, and here on Earth we have to prove we want it.

    God bless and may he grant you the strength you need. Just ask,you know he's got it ready for you.

  2. it's so brave of you to share your story - thank you for doing that

  3. Thank you Melissa.

    Our union is weak. Nothing has ever been accomplished. We are a small but wealthy suburban school district. 95% are complacent teachers who don't want to make waves.

    I was never given a copy. Everything our former principal wrote, did, or was involved with was mysteriously destroyed. I do have my journal I kept during the entire ordeal.

    Another key fact is the dynamic of our staff. There are 400+ teachers. I am one of THREE minority staff members. There are two African-American and one Hispanic (me). I am outnumbered.

    I suffer in silence because I have no choice. I am separated from my husband and am the only source of health insurance and income for mi hija.

    One day things may change, I thank you so much for always having such strong and excellent advice. I will try to do what I can, but for now I'm stuck.

  4. De nada Chennifer. I'm happy you took the time to read my blog :).

  5. Monica,

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    With regard to the man at work: The battle is God's to fight and you will have the victory. It hurts us to think of all the hurt that others have done unto us but gladly its His revenge to take! You are with us for a purpose and I find enormous strength in your story.

    Your inspired reader,

  6. De nada Rachel. I'm so pleased you took the time to read my blog post.

    I have left things in God's hand. He says that He will never give us more than we can stand.

  7. Dear Monica,

    Thank you for sharing your story. Having read some of your prior posts, I know the caring educator you are. It is already a struggle to be a caring professional in education arena, but it's even rougher when you are faced with an unethical and hostile work environment. What you endured is terrible, and I have to believe that better days are on the horizon.

    As they saying goes, what goes around comes around - lo bueno y lo malo - and it always does. Sometimes we are not there to bear witness to it, but it happens. Take strength and comfort in that, too.

    And as you said, God will never give us more than we can handle - and - you are His child and He will never leave you. Cuidate mucho, Ms. M!


  8. Muchas gracias Karen. Your words are an inspiration to me.

  9. This just goes to show, that you never know the struggles others go through. I would have never guessed you go through this on a daily basis had I not read this entry... And you still manage to smile. Que linda.

    I am sorry you have to go through this, but I am so happy and proud that you have taken a positive approach to your health condition when it's so easy not to. Your story is simply inspirational. May God bless.

    Abrazo fuerte

  10. I try to be as positive and happy as I can. God has brought me a long way and I'm still here :). Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog post querida aka future Mrs. Cano ;).

  11. Ay mija, I cannot even imagine what you have been going through and still you are so brave! I hope the time comes soon where your situation changes such that you can get away from this man -- and hold both him and the school accountable. Until then, please remember that you do not walk alone. (((Abrazos)))

  12. I don't know how I missed your post Chela? Lo siento. Thank you for always being so supportive and such a wonderful friend. Muchos abrazos.