Friday, October 7, 2011

D- for the Teacher

Well, it is only Friday, but the score on my Test for the Teacher is clear. This has been quite the week! It was the first week back at work, but so much more.

I am very grateful to my teaching partner and the substitute who was filling in for me during the first month of school. They did a really great job throughout a very, very busy time. My partner has been exceedingly gracious all week in picking up and delivering my students every 25 minutes, in an effort to save my leg all the walking on the concrete floor. The staff and students were glad to have me back, and I was greeted daily with hugs and well wishes. It was the first true week with students for my partner, too. Somehow, we both forgot the breakneck pace we must keep during our day. Several times during the week, we looked at each other and just let out a big sigh and laughed! Of course, when someone else is "cooking in your kitchen", things are bound to be out-of-place; and it takes time to get things rearranged to suit your needs. By the end of every day, my partner and I were both exhausted!

I went home at lunch time every day and put my leg up. It seemed to help a little, but it was quite sore by the afternoon. By Thursday, it was sore even when I was getting up in the morning.

Besides being back to work full-time, I also had places to be after school every day. On Monday, I went for a therapy session. By the end of the hour-long workout, the therapist informed me I was to go home and ice and rest. She said I could not swim and I could not go to the grocery store. I was told not to cook dinner. Since there was nobody else at home to help me until after 10 p.m., I went through a drive thru, to get something to eat. NOT on my food plan, and NOT good.

On Tuesday, my mother called and said I needed to come to their house to go through some stuff she was cleaning out. Saying no really isn't an option when I get a call like this. So, off I went, loaded the car with "stuff" she wanted me to have and then went to the grocery store. I drove the half-hour home with quite a bit of pain. I got home at 9 p.m, and threw a pre-packaged something into the microwave to eat for dinner. NOT on my food plan, and NOT good, and NO exercise.

On Wednesday, it was my husband's birthday. I informed him that I had a staff meeting after school, then a check-up at the surgeon's office, then I wanted to go for a swim, and then have dinner with him for his birthday. As it turned out, he got off work about the time I was headed to the surgeon's office. AND, he set up meeting his parents at a restaurant 15 minutes after my doctor's appointment. Not really much time to swim when I had to be at a restaurant that is a 15 minute drive away. Although I made a healthier food choice off the menu, NO exercise. I drove myself home at 9 p.m. The leg was extremely sore and stiff.

Yesterday, as I have already mentioned, my leg was sore when I got up. It felt progressively worse throughout the day. At 2:00, we had a fire drill. The day before, the surgeon had cautioned me; no uneven ground, no twisting, no turning. For the fire drill, I had to lead my students through several inches of gravel bed for the playground (read that uneven ground) at a rapid pace. Fire drills tend to make young children squirrely (read that twisting and turning.) By the time we got back inside, the leg was throbbing. Instead of driving to the gym/pool, I went home after school and elevated the leg for two hours. Then I ventured out to teach a little crochet class that I had promised to my knitting group. I got home at 9 p.m. I ate a warmed up hamburger for "dinner." NO exercise.

In previous blog posts, I have related that a couple of weeks ago I was fighting one of those infections that women tend to get. I finished a 7 day course of antibiotics. I felt that the infection wasn't completely gone, and went back to the doctor's office for a recheck. Although there were a few bacteria that showed up, the doctor felt they were dead bacteria, and that the antibiotic had done its job. Those who are teachers will know that in the normal teaching day, people in this profession have very little opportunity to sneak away for things such as refilling one's water bottle, and using the facilities. These are the types of things that one fighting such an infection should make efforts to accomplish.

I was awakened at 3 a,m, today by said infection reappearing; bigger, badder, and most definitely angry that I had tried to snuff it out with antibiotics. The scenario that I had presented to the doctor about NOT wanting to miss any more work after missing the first MONTH of school has happened. I have a fever, I have chills, and it will be very clear that there is a problem when I go in to produce another "sample." I am NOT happy with my doctor, although I understand his reluctance to prescribe more antibiotics when it had appeared that the other course did the trick. It does NOT seem likely that I will be up to going to the pool or the gym today with a fever and chills, and well, the inability to venture too far from certain modern conveniences.

It is now 6:15 a.m. Since 3:30 a,m,, I have written lesson plans for the substitute, I have called my principal, I have text messaged my teaching partner, I have chugged a glass of cranberry juice, I have made 6 trips to the facilities, and I have vented in this blog post.

The whirlpool of everyday life has sucked me in and spit me out--the worse for wear. I'm not sure how I could have changed things this week to make it better. My commitment to this lifestyle change remains strong, but my worry over how to achieve balance has been sorely tested this week. I am frustrated, but reassuring myself that next week will be better. I am trying to remain positive and remind myself that the lifelong journey, not just a single week, is the true test.

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