Monday, 23 February 2015

Two Days Off? What?

I spent the weekend in bed. Not in the lovely "laze around in my PJs because it's the weekend and I can" kind of way, but in the "if I move I might puke or pass out" kind of way. Blurgh.  It ended with a    trip to the local emergency room last night for some emergency rehydration.  According to the kids I was having trouble fathoming why there were eyes on the rubbish bin (there aren't), and why they wanted me to blow out the birthday candle (they didn't). Apparently dehydration can lead to confusion. Who knew?  Long story short: I've spent today working hard to keep down steamed rice with the goal of stretching to dry toast later tonight. Party animal right?

Actually, the hysteria I experienced on being 'allowed' to come home from the hospital bordered on a party:
"You want me to take how many days off work?  I can't do that! Are you mad?" I could feel my head starting to spin again at the ridiculous notion that the doctor was suggesting I stay home for TWO days.  I turned to my husband with a 'who does she think she is?' look.  He merely nodded.
"Not you too! I can't stay home for TWO days! That's insane. Do you know what's going to happen in my classroom in two days? Do you know how much work I'll have to catch up on? I have meetings! I have assessments! I have... Oh! Oh!" And I sat down at that point. The stress what just too much.
Of course, the fact that at that point I still couldn't keep down water wasn't playing into my thinking. Why would it? Minor point right?  The fact that whilst I've been persistent in pursuing my lofty goal of digesting steamed rice today I wasn't ever likely to be overly successful wasn't even a consideration. Again... Minor point!

I know I'm not alone in resisting taking a sick day.  It's just one of those things that we, as teachers, do. Sometimes it seems like the act of planning the day and writing up the notes for the relief teacher  makes it all too hard. Sometimes the idea of what you'll 'come back to' is too much. Sometimes there's just too much to do. None of these are good reasons to not take a sick day. And yet I've heard them all already this year.

I can't think of another group of professionals that does this to themselves.  So why do we?  I don't think there are any easy answers. For me, it's partly a control thing, partly a workaholic thing, partly a  desire to fit in as much as I can into my time with my class, partly a need to feel needed and a whole bunch of other things.

This week resistance was futile. The doctor handed the medical certificate straight to my husband and they shared one of those knowing looks.  And so I'm at home. I couldn't have gone to work today and unless a miracle happens overnight I doubt tomorrow would have been an option either. I WILL be going back the following day though. I will. Probably. I hope.

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