Last year I decided on a career change. Actually the decision was made for me a little over two years ago when I lost my job, but last year was when I settled on a new direction. I would be an elementary teacher. But here’s the thing, for the entire month of January I’ve been sick.
It all started the end of December when I got a sinus infection. Monday January 3rd, found me in the doctor’s office getting yet another prescription (I had already had three the previous year for the same thing).
This time around the doctor gave me a new medication that I’d never had before. I started taking it and after a week, started having some reservations. Sure I felt better than I had the day I had been at the doctor’s but still didn’t feel all that great. Then came the side effects; headaches, fever, abdominal pains, irritability, mood swings (aka hormones going crazy), and nausea to name just a few. Super fun stuff to have especially when you work at a preschool. But since I had never had a reaction to medication before it never occurred to me that was the cause.
This also happened to be the same time school started up and a couple personal things were going on so I thought maybe I was stressed from all that, though I should have known better because stress has never caused me to have any of those reactions either.
I finished the medication and felt better than I had in the beginning and a lot of the side effects went away but I still never felt 100%. I was still tired and irritable and frankly, just worn out. And being around kids, as cute as they sometimes are, wasn’t helping.
Then this past Thursday I started feeling it again. The slight, scratchy sore throat and I knew I was headed for another sinus infection. Immediately I started doing whatever it was I thought would prevent a full blown infection. I even took the doctor’s advice on a home remedy of basically snorting pickling salt up my nose. By the way, that burns but it does clear it out immediately. It doesn’t last for very long though. Ahh, good times.
So here I am on a Sunday night having already called in to work saying I won’t be there. Not only do I have a sinus infection but an unofficial inspection of my throat has revealed strep. Which would account for my lack of voice. Fantastic.
I get to visit the doctor again tomorrow and once again pay out of pocket (no insurance) for him to see me for 30 seconds and tell me the same thing I already know. Then I get to go to the pharmacy where once again I get to pay out of pocket for medication (that had he given me in the first place rather than something new) to clear this all up.
So I start to wonder, do I really want to be an elementary teacher?? And have to be around sick kids day in and day out?? Kids who can’t seem to grasp the concept of sneezing or coughing into their elbow rather than in my face?
Kids who think my shirt is their own personal tissue?? Tonight I’m beginning to wonder. And wonder if as a teacher I can get away with requiring my students to wear these: