Sunday, December 10, 2006

Trash Can Buddy

I hate being sick. I REALLY hate it. The aches, the cough...ugh.
I'm not sick now, but a few weeks ago, I was in really bad shape.
My son is currently in daycare, which means that he's bringing home colds all the time. He comes home one day and coughs. That night, my wife pulls me over and suddenly I'm on hair duty....As in hold her hair while she pukes.
The next morning, I'm hurting. I'm already tired, because I spent the whole night taking care of my wife.
As I walk out to my car to drive to school, I feel that wave of nausea. I'm going to be sick. I had to do something. There was no way that I would make it to a toilet, so I bolted to trash can in the garage. It became my buddy.
Having thrown up, I convinced myself it was just stress.
"Oh...I'm not sick. I'm just stressed. The end of the trimester is coming, I have so many grades to get in, and I have to write tests. That's all this is: stress."
One teeth brushing later, off to school.
First class: no problems. I think I'm in the clear. I'm wrong.
I head over to the Chemistry Lab in order to talk to a colleague about one of my advisee's grades. The lab the kids are performing has them attempting to replicate specific smells. My stomach becomes upset, but I power through it.
After the bell has rung, I quickly get to my classroom and start my Senior English class. The deaf and hard of hearing interpreter I work with comments that I, "appear to be very green." I'm feeling it. Immediately I get the kids to work in groups and bolt from the room. I'm thinking "get to the staff bathroom," over and over again in my mind. I don't make it. When I hit the second floor, my stomach says, "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more."
I hit...another trash can. Here's the embarrassing part: this very can is outside the teacher's lounge and near a classroom...that has it's door open. The kids can hear me. They can't see me, but they can hear me wretching into the can.
The teachers try to convince me to go home, but I can't do it. The logic part of my brain is stupid, because I'm sick.
My rationalization: I drove a half an hour to be here. I'm already here, so I'm not leaving. Made sense at the time.
I return to the class, but stop short of the door noticing that I'm slightly covered in my own vomit, but I hide that fact by spilling water on myself as I enter through the door.
The rest of the day was nearly impossible to make through, but I did stay. During my prep period, I had to vomit again, but I made it to the bathroom this time.
The final two periods of the day, however, were a test of strength. I was close to passing out during my fifth period. Had I not had a podium to lean on, I would have collapsed to the floor at one point.
Sixth period was worse. I told my T.A, "If I pass out, make sure I'm not bleeding...then call the nurse." She stared at me as if I had just told her that I had killed her mother.
"Why are you here?" she blurts.
"Couldn't leave," I respond.
Then comes the part where I show how I'm really an idiot. I stayed for the club I advise. Luckily the kids didn't notice when I passed out sitting at the desk. Fifteen minutes passed with me asleep at the desk, but no one noticed.
That night my wife and I each had a trash can with us. The unfair part was that my son felt great and had a ton of energy. It's hard to play with a baby when your shivering with cold sweats, and the room is moving at the speed of light (damn that's fast). I also had to take the next day off. That angered me more.
So what's the lesson here, kids? If you're sick, don't try to be Superman or Supergirl. Just roll over and let your body heal. might find yourself needing a trash can buddy.

1 comment:

Arthur Willoughby said...

Is it possible for you to get a break these days?

Sorry you've been sick, Leab. No truer word ever spoken: If you're sick, just be sick. Don't be a hero. Your body is telling you something. Listen, and enjoy the break as much as possible between trash can breaks.