Thursday, February 26, 2009

How I Deal With It

I deal with sickness in many ways.  It evokes a plethora of feelings and responses.  However, I can pretty much narrow them down to the following:

 Railing Against An Unjust Universe:

This is where I howl to the heavens and compare my trials to that of Job himself.  There has never before been one so persecuted as I.  I defy anyone to name another person so put upon.  I have been selected from billions of possible targets to suffer that which no one has ever faced before.  I will do this for the merest of sniffles.  It is amusing at first.  Then it gets irritating.  But I can't seem to stop...

Whining Pathetically Until Someone Finally Agrees To Coo At Me:

  Much like an infant, I am capable of great fussing.  Fussing allows me to make it clear to people that I do not feel very well and helps them to clarify their own roles in this process.  I demand nurturing and will make that unpleasing keening sound until someone gets with the program and asks if I need anything.  This is never amusing and only works with people who don't know me very well.  Anyone who has been in my presence for any length of time will have developed a tolerance to this kind of thing.  

The Brave Little Soldier:

Here I am the very definition of a Trouper.  I am a martyr to the ideals of Worker Elves everywhere.  I refuse to give in to the symptoms that are so blatantly obvious to anyone bothering to look at me.  There is a reason why these symptoms are obvious.  I am making certain that they are so.  That way people will see how sickly I am and offer to assist me.  They will often send me home to lie down.  That is the goal.  You wouldn't believe how often I can fool people into thinking that I am really brave.  The downside of this strategy is that you have to work kind of hard while you don't feel very well and I am not capable of this for any length of time.  If no one steps up to the plate to play the game with me, I often find myself in quite the pickle.  I am now at work.  I have resolutely agreed to perform my assigned duties no matter what the universe throws at me.  I am committed to this course of action and my credibility will be shattered if I break down and admit that I really don't have it in me to be a Brave Little Soldier.  I break down a lot on this one.  The best I can hope for is that the witnesses have had no experience with my other techniques and think that they have managed to convince my hard-working self to take it easy.


Have you ever found yourself so sick that you actually scare yourself a little bit?  You start to think that you might be in some trouble here.  You begin to realize that you have made a judgement error of epic proportions and that you should not have let yourself be fooled into thinking you have a cold.  You are really, really sick and maybe a little bit incapable of doing all the things you used to do back when you were healthy.  I've been that sick only twice that I can remember.  It is chilling in its ability to make you realize your own limitations.  You even find yourself calling people to Make Them Aware Of The Situation Just In Case.  If the worst happens, it might be nice if someone noticed you were missing...

I am not at the fourth stage of coping.  But I am starting to see how things could get to that point in the very near future.  Now, before you all start scampering to the comments to tell me I should be at the doctor, please know that I am aware of this fact.  I knew it a while ago and tried to get in for an appointment, but then things got better.  I've felt better for two days.  Markedly better.  Well enough that I believed I was on the mend.

Today was awful.  It reached the point where The Husky Red-Headed Kid Who Reminds Me Of My Cat sat me down to point out that I am sick and have no business being at school, much less trying to teach.  When I told him in no uncertain terms that I was most certainly not sick and that I had no time for this nonsense, he explained how sometimes telling yourself this can offer a bit of a placebo effect.  (I'm paraphrasing....he doesn't know what "placebo" means)  He then told me that I was fooling myself and that I was really, really sick.  He also recognized that I might be thinking I couldn't stay home because he and his classmates don't behave very well when I am not there.  He didn't think this was a very good reason for coming in to work sick, though.

It is a humbling experience to be taken to task by a fourteen year old, much less one who has every reason to not be empathetic.  It tends to make one defensive and less likely to listen to reason.  Who is the grown-up here, anyway????

By the time I staggered out of the building, I felt like every inch of my body was being pummeled by hammers.  I set the heat on 90 and blasted it the whole way home.  I could feel the skin on my legs burning and was even starting to smell cooked Sheepie, but could not bring myself to turn down the heat.  I was shivering so badly that I feared I might drive right off the road.

I checked my temperature when I finally got home (after stopping for a big bottle of Mountain Dew) and discovered that it was now back up to 100 degrees and change.  Within an hour, I was roasting nicely at 102 degrees.

I'm not scared.  Not yet.  Not like I was back when I had The Monkey Pox That Was Really Pneumonia But Monkey Pox Is A More Funnish Kind Of Word.  I think, however, it is safe to say that I am concerned.  I am concerned enough that I put together a few plans for tomorrow and went over them with my teaching assistants in case the fever remains.  I may have been shooting for Brave Little Soldier, but even I know that a fever means trouble for me.  I get them rarely.  They are significant.

I'm not the only one feeling poorly, I think.  When I checked the panda-cam today, I wondered if maybe my panda friend might be feeling a little sick, too.

He's doing my Pathetic Whining bit.  I don't blame him for stealing it.  It's a classic.  I'm willing to share.

Someday, this will become a knitting blog again and not just someplace where you get to come and listen to me rail, whine and be all concerned.  In the meantime, I'll just see if I can't sleep it off tonight and hope that tomorrow leaves me functional.  Or that the doctor has an opening so that I can get some of that sweet, sweet prescription relief.

I am not a Brave Little Soldier.  Not one bit.



Anonymous said...

Maybe that red headed 14 yr old was concerned that you may have been exposing him to some version of Monkey Pox. Could have been self interest more than concern.

I hope you feel better soon.

Sheila Z

kmkat said...

Hurrah for the 14-yo wise man. He may have a promising future, assuming he lives that long. Feel better, Sheepie. Let the kittehs do their nursey thing for you.

trek said...

Not sick.
No time for this nonsense.

Pish-posh: you sound like Mary Poppins.

Hie thee to the em-dee!

Mel said...

You are most indeed in need of medical attention, then. Grownups shouldn't get fevers that high. Unless they're me, of course, in which case 102 would be a mere trifle. Or at least par for the course and not nearly high enough to be strep throat.

JB at MM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanne said...

Good Lord, 102? Get thee to a doctor forthwith! Here I thought you were on the mend and out of danger. Do you have ReadyCare? If so, go now!

Beth said...

Okay, I'm scampering to the comments to tell you to get to the doctor! I'm all for waiting a day or so to see how something plays out, but you've been at this a while now.

scienceprincess said...

I do the sickness denial thing well and often, and it is dangerous. Let the little ones wreak havoc for a day and find the doctor. You've been ill for two weeks, and it sounds like you're relapsing. High fevers are bad.

When 14 year olds are more rational than you, it's a sign.

Feel better soon.
Sarah (scienceprincess)

Leslie said...

I'm so impressed and touched by the 14 yo who reminds you of your cat. Please take care of yourself.

BTW, when I'm sick, I plaintively bleat, "I doooon't feeel gooood", at frequent intervals. I know it's annoying but can't seem to stop myself. Maybe I'm hoping someone will put me out of all of our misery!!!

Kath said...

Even if you can't get an appointment at the doc tomorrow for the love of little green turtles please do not go to work! With that high of a fever you should not kid yourself. Just stay home and rest until you can see the doc.

=Tamar said...

That fever is within a degree of "dangerously high". I recommend taking your temperature every hour and keeping a record of it. It may be cyclic, and that information may help the doctor with the diagnosis.
Specifying on the telephone exactly how high your fever is might get some action, too.

Mia said...

That's kind of how I felt the other day shoveling - and gasping for air. And it ocurred to me that IF someone should happen to drive by and IF they happened to notice a grown woman laying in the snow...

.. they'd probably just think it was the stoned knitter makin' snow angels again and keep on their merry way.

Get to the doc sheepie. Admit defeat.

Karen said...

I miss a couple of days because I'm sick and I find you still sick!! I hope you feel better quickly.

Cursing Mama said...

Clearly the insights of the 14 year old speak volumes about your skills as an educator. There is no way, without your top-notch tutelage, that he could have been so wise.
Since you've done such a good job - I'm sure 1 day outside the classroom has been earned.
Get well soon!

Knitting Linguist said...

I am so hoping that you are at home right now (or at the doctor's). Hammered cooked Sheepie is not a good thing, and you know the world's coming to an end when a 14 year old sits you down for the health lecture!

Teri S. said...

I hope you stayed home today even if the fever went away. I thought it was school policy that kids had to stay out of school for 24 hours after a fever went away. Wouldn't that apply to adults, too? You aren't going to recuperate if you don't rest (and yes, I do realize you rested all last week).

Here's hoping for a quick recovery and that this relapse is not the return of the dreaded Monkey Pox.