Reply to "What makes us special"

Thanks Maddie,

As we get older (and more medical time and experience) we become more attuned to other people's pain.

I teach. I am a teacher. I see my kids and know when something is off, when they ask for too many bathroom breaks (not just to check their phones) and when they just look wrong. 

I talk about it in class, I ask them how they are feeling discretely, ask if they need help, if there is something that I can do...I know what it feels like to feel isolated and lost in a disease that has no face and that you dare not mention to your classmates...So I listen and watch.

I also talk very openly about desperation, depression and suicide. 

I wear a Red Nose in class that starts the conversation going. 

While teaching in Belgium last month, I saw some students had set up a table that sold fresh waffles and these red noses...I asked about it and they explained that is was a program in schools to get kids more aware and talking about the dangers of depression and suicide among students...so I bought one.

I put it on in each class, at the break, and get a conversation started. We share feelings and stories...some kids cry (then come to talk with me later) and some hide their faces behind their hair...others couldn't care less...they surf and text and ignore the subject...but if I can touch just one kid, let them feel less alone, feel like they can talk to someone who will not judge them then I have done my job well...I am privileged, I teach 750 kids per year...and I have a responsibility.

I talk to them about U.C and Crohns. I talk about IBS and hidden disease. I let them know that they are not alone and that there are places that they can go, that they need to get checked...before we had a school cafeteria, the kids would eat in the classroom and I would check-out their lunches...What they ate and how they ate...mostly incredibly well but some, no so well...and I would teach them about nutrition and balanced diets. 

We are sensitive to these things and if and when we can, we need to teach or help.

Just my opinion. 

Sharon

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