Okay so that’s a little bit of a lie. I did run for a short time on Tuesday at the gym. It was starting to get unseasonably cold and windy (for Arizona) and rather than freeze my tushy off, I opted to hit the treadmill instead.
I just ran about 2.5 miles with my Ease into 5K app. I should’ve known something was going on internally because it was a really difficult run. I thought maybe it was unfamiliar equipment (new gym for me-story for a different post), or the fact that I’ve only been running on the road lately. Plus I just abhor running on the treadmill. It’s SO boring. Luckily I was able to get a treadmill that faced a window so I could watch the giant paloverde tree in front of me bend and twist in the wind. It was like an elegant dance choreographed by Mother Nature. It was entertaining for a little while. Instead of trying to get a picture of myself running on the treadmill, perhaps I should’ve snapped a picture of the gray sky that was unusually thick with clouds. It made me cold just looking at it. Just for giggles, I went and sat in the dry sauna for about 8 minutes to get rid of the chill that had invaded my body. I also tried out the wet sauna just to experience it. I looked like a drowned rat in about 30 seconds. I think I like the dry sauna better.
I was feeling a little run down on Monday and Tuesday of this week, but thought it was just because we are 3 weeks away from spring break (the end of the 3rd quarter!) and in desperate need of a break. I had actually just expressed the fact that I’d love to have a day off from both jobs where I don’t have to go grocery shopping, do lesson plans, do anything for anyone else, or pretty much just leave the house. I wanted to just lay in bed all day and read or watch movies and stay in my pjs all day. After spending the last 3 days in bed, I’m totally over that desire now.
I woke up Wednesday morning, a very important day as I was to sit on a committee to help interview potential candidates to replace my principal of 10 years (who is retiring at the end of the school year) with a nose that couldn’t decided if it wanted to be stuffed up or run. I figured okay, our weather here in Arizona has been giving people whiplash with all of its ups and downs, no big deal, it’s probably allergies. Everything is blooming. I had just looked out into my neighbors yard when I got home from the gym Tuesday evening and saw one of their trees covered in white blossoms and knew they’d be starting up soon. Allergies on my mind, I stopped at the store on the way to our district offices and picked up a few boxes of tissues.
I made it though the interviews (and a full box of tissues) and went out to dinner with two of my friends from school who were on the committee with me. By the end of that dinner, my head was pounding, my nose was hurting, and I was beginning to swallow razor blades. I decided to head for school and do sub plans just in case I felt worse in the morning instead of better. I hate doing sub plans. I’m not one of those teachers who just gives my kids busy work and leaves a skeleton lesson plan for an under-qualified substitute. I always hope for the best that I will be assigned a substitute who loves what they do as much as I do, and who wants to do their best for the kids they will be sharing for the day. So in other words, it usually takes me about two hours to write sub plans because I literally put every aspect of our day in there including behavior expectations and expectations for specials, transitions, and routines. I also wrote my kids a note on the whiteboard letting them know why I was out.
The next day my alarm went off at my normal school day time at 5:30am and I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. There was no way I was going in to school. I was so thankful I had done lesson plans the evening before. Thursday passed in a blur as I basically slept all day with maybe 15-20 minute increments of wakefulness in between. It was a day I would normally have enjoyed having a lazy day in bed. It rained steadily all day and the high didn’t go above 43 degrees. I was all warm and cozy in my sweats, two blankets, thick socks and long-sleeved shirt, but I was bundled up because my body was wracked with chills from whatever bug had attacked my immune system rather than the freaky weather that was pounding Arizona.
I woke up again the next morning feeling like I was swallowing razor blades. I really didn’t want to leave my kids with a sub again, as rainy day schedules are not fun, but I knew I wouldn’t do them (or myself) any good coming to work. The school rule is “24 hours fever free” for both students and staff. I was still running a fever of 101 so I figured I should stay home again rather than give the gift of germs back to my students. I happened to wake before my alarm, so I grabbed my thick coat and drove to school at 5am to do lesson plans again. I probably shouldn’t have driven myself as my head was so stuffed up, everything felt lopsided and I was dizzy. But being the strong independent woman that I am (ha!) I had no one to take me so I had to do it myself.
I managed to do lesson plans in an hour and a half this time instead of two hours because I used the structure of the plans from the day before and just changed the activities and the specials. Friday was supposed to be my easy day anyway because I have PE in the morning and then we had a makeup orchestra lesson at 12:30 (which about 3/4 of my class goes to) and then because it was “B” week, I had art for an hour at the end of the day. As I headed home it really struck me the odd weather we were having. The roads were so full of water and out toward the east under the emerging light of the rising sun, I could see snow on the Superstition Mountains. If you’re from Arizona, you know this is a rare occurrence. If you’re not from Arizona, just imagine that this time if year we are usually already in the mid-80’s temperature wise. Odd for sure.
Unfortunately my classroom did not get assigned a substitute. My Title One specialist and our part-time school counselor had to tag-team my class all day. They rotated in and out all day long to ensure my kids were being taken care of and taught what they needed to be. I was so grateful. I later found out that our art teacher was out with no sub as well, so the Title Specialist had to sub for her as well. She ended up doing double duty with my kids.
I felt SO guilty. Now that I’m working a retail job in addition to my teaching job, I see such differences in the way the two professions are not only viewed, but in the basic workings. For example, if I call in sick at my retail job (which of course I had to do if I wasn’t able to teach all day), they take me off the schedule. I don’t have to drag my ass in there all disheveled and prep whomever is taking over for me. If I call in sick for my classroom, I have to make sure my kids are taken care of, I have to make sure someone is there for them and then I have to write down in detail every aspect of our day, the inner-workings of my classroom, where we are academically and the flow of our day. There is a big difference between the two. I know one is retail and one is education, but it still amazes me that there is such a big divide between the world of education and everything else.
I ended up going to urgent care on Friday due to the fact that I was still running a fever and still felt terrible. The doctor told me she couldn’t prescribe me anything as I’d already had it for several days. She said she was pretty sure it was a mild case of the flu (thank God for that retail job that had a flu shot clinic in October). I’d hate to imagine what a full dose of the flu would have felt like.
Today is Saturday, as the day has progressed I’ve started to feel better. It’s almost like the reverse of Wednesday. My nose is no longer running, I can actually hear out of both of my ears, and I don’t feel like I’ve swallowed razor blades anymore. Maybe I feel like I’ve smoked two packs of cigarettes (I don’t smoke in real life by the way-my lungs are already tortured enough by my love of running) but no more razor blades. My kitty has been keeping me very good company and laying on my pillow as I snort and snuffle through my days. Today I actually got up to shower (it was needed) and it felt so amazing. Of course it wore me out, so it was back to bed right after that. I have spent the day with my Apple TV. I’ve been flipping between Netflix, Hulu and movies on iTunes.
I’m ALMOST finished watching the Harry Potter movies (remember I’m a nerd?) This school year I have discovered Harry Potter for the first time. Yes I know, I’m a late bloomer. I figured I should probably read the series since my students are at the right age for it. I fell in love! I’ve now read the series twice. I read it the first time and then started watching the movies. In my infinite wisdom I decided I should re-read the books before watching each movie. I’ve now finished The Deathly Hallows and can’t wait to watch the movies. I will probably attempt to watch the first one tomorrow when I’m (hopefully) feeling so much better that I can stay awake for a whole movie.
Needless to say, no running for me the last 4 days. It’s a good thing this flu bug hit me right at the beginning of my training when taking some time off isn’t going to be a huge detriment to me. I’m crossing my fingers that this weird cough I’ve seemed to develop today, goes away by tomorrow. So far this thing hasn’t gone into my chest. It’s stayed above the neck and that’s where I need it to stay. I DO NOT want this thing to morph into bronchitis. It’s time for me to hit the hay again (I’ve never really understood that expression, but my dad always said that to me and my brother when it was time for bed). Here’s to dreaming about amazing race finishes and fast pace times. Who am I kidding? Here’s to dreaming about breathing successfully through both nostrils.