I’m Ready to Recharge After an Unusual School Year

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by Karen Del Vecchio |

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Well, it’s official. The COVID-19 school year is officially complete! For students, at least. As faculty, we still have a few weeks left, but I still can’t believe it’s over already.

This year has felt both like it’s lasted an eternity and gone by in a flash. There have been a lot of ups and downs and enormous stresses, but also some bright spots. The resounding theme from my fellow teachers and administrators is that we’re just exhausted and ready for a break. I certainly agree!

While summer provides me a break from my “day job” of being a teacher and college counselor, it doesn’t generally mean I’m less busy. I tend to pick up extra farm work over the summer, and despite the fact that I’m not a fan of the humid summer heat, spending more time moving around is good for me.

One of the tough things about my job is that I spend a lot of time at my desk, which tends to make me stiff. I actually do better with physical tasks that keep me moving without overly challenging my body.

With Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), I feel like I’m always trying to find that elusive balance between too much physical exertion and not enough. Too little, and I get stiff. Too much, and I make myself sore. I almost always land on the side of too much, though, as I seem to have been born with an inability to keep still. If I had to pick one, I’d rather be too active than not enough.

Activity, especially outside, is also how I relax and let go of stress. For as long as I can remember, physically working off my frustrations has been my go-to.

Growing up, soccer was an easy outlet. Being physical and aggressive is part of the game. Now, with contact sports off the table since my EDS diagnosis, it’s a little more complicated. But mucking stalls, dumping wheelbarrows, and scrubbing water troughs still allows me to let things go.

I don’t know that I’ve ever looked forward to the summer change of pace more. Even when I was a student, I don’t think that the end of the school year ever held as much appeal as it does this year. I’m lucky to be able to switch gears, even just for a few weeks. Most people don’t have that ability, no matter how exhausted they are from dealing with the pandemic. I’m thankful to have a few weeks to pivot and recharge, and hopefully be refreshed for another school year in the fall.


Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.


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