Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 296 of 365: Getting Sick

When I worked with young children, getting sick was the name of the game. I got everything, from ringworm, to strep throat, to flus and viruses and fevers. By my third year, I stopped getting sick as much. I'm not sure if this was due to a boosted immune system or the paralyzing fear I had for trying to get a sick day in a school with very few substitutes (but that's a rant for another time). Regardless, when I quit the teaching world, I immediately thought of how wonderful it was going to be, not dealing with a the petri dish that is a school.

What I can only assume to be a post-run, "Finally, I can breathe," response, I am achy and painy all over. My throat has been sore for a few days -- which I chalked up to living in a town surrounded by the flora (and the fauna, but my allergies to animals are slim to none). But I woke up today with exactly one thought on my mind: DayQuil. Get me my Tylenol, get me my tea, and get me a nap.

My mind is boggled by how I could even catch a cold in the first place. Compared to the hundreds of people I would interact in some form with as a teacher (especially if I had the misfortune of trying to walk down a hall when class got out), I really have minimized my interactions with other germ-filled homo sapiens. Granted, a lot of these minimized interactions include things like working with a makeup artist (who will be about two inches from your face as she paints you up), but still. I spent so long in one of the most germ-infested places around (save for a doctor's office) that it shocks me when everyday life gets me sick as well.

But I have one big thing going for me now: getting sick means I can actually take it easy. One of the biggest ironies we have in the modern, civilized world is the fact that early education teachers -- who are tied with nurses in the "most likely to get sick from their livelihood" department -- have a pitifully low number of sick days. Even when I felt secure in calling up to call out, I knew that I had to choose between using my vacation days or getting docked in pay. This leads a lot of teachers to go back into work when they are obviously not feeling good, which makes the place an even bigger breeding ground for disease.

So today, I am going to brew up as much tea as I can muster, settle down for work that can involve a whole lot of ass-sitting, and wait for this bug to take its course. I might be turning my own home into a bit of a petri dish, but at least it's only my doing.

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