Yesterday I went to the doctor’s. Two weeks ago, I had a bad ‘cold’, I was exhausted, and I stayed home from work. The next day was Friday — the last day before vacation — and I went into school, and gutted it out. I figured I’d rest up in the coming week. I got better…. and then I got worse. FInally, I’d had enough (and more importantly, so had my colleagues). Doctor’s office, here I come.
The news was both encouraging and discouraging. I’d beaten off a viral infection, the doctor thought; but then I’d laid myself open for a bacterial infection. Hello, sinusitis! Hello, amoxycillin!
I’m now 16 hours into the 10-day regimen of big pink pills, and while the cough has diminished, I feel weird. I don’t take drugs at all except for severe pain, and I greatly limit even alcohol, so I’m aware that antibiotics are mood-changing and sense-perception changing drugs. Not in the extreme, I think… I’m just aware that it takes me longer to marshall my thoughts, that my vision shifts in funny ways from time to time, and that my hearing and sense of smell don’t function the way they do when I’m completely clean.
It makes for interesting teaching. Technically, I’m healing, right? I’m not coughing so hard that you think I’m going to spit a lung into the kleenex, my nose is running and draining my sinuses, and the pressure on my eyeballs is easing — all, in some sense, cause for celebration.
But I don’t have the energy to marshall students, or direct their efforts, as I do when I’m well and functioning on all cylinders. I’m not able to raise my voice much when a kid starts talking in ways that drag the class off track. I’m less my exuberant, joyous self, when I feel like this.
Any other teachers feel like teaching when you’re healing is almost worse than teaching while you’re sick?