Saturday, February 16, 2013

And On Top of That...

Hi. I'm sitting here pouting about cancelling our trip to Arizona today. Is it called cancelling if your husband still goes without you? Ollin got roseola last week, and we didn't realize what it was till yesterday. He had a high fever with no other symptoms for four days. Our doc thought it was a virus with the mucous just a bit delayed. Then when the fever broke, he broke out in a red bumpy rash all over his body and major fussiness. A textbook case, but I'm glad I didn't know at the time that the high fevers can lead to febrile seizures, because that would've freaked me out. 

We were going to see Ollin's tias and his great grandmother, who's met him once before. We were soooo looking forward to seeing them, to enjoying the 75 degree weather, the showering of affection, the good food, the delightful family connections. Shannon went anyway but I don't know if they'll accept him as a consolation prize. Then he's going to SF on a business trip till next Friday, so I'm single parenting for seven days. And I'm not super thrilled about it. 

Knowing that some people do this full time, and even work full time on top of it, I feel like I am whining. Yes, I am. Also, reading my amazing friend Jill's blog about her journey with Sylvia, all about mindfulness and overcoming incredible struggle, I feel a bit silly saying this next part, but this is my bubble, and this is how it is for me right now. It's been a hard month, the hardest I've had in a while. Now that I've said that, I can think of some of the recent events as a comedy of errors, and a bit ridiculous. Take yesterday:

I knew that Ollin was sick and was relieved that my mom and step-dad were home with him. He had the rash, and was fussy when I left. I left reluctantly, but having taken off two days the week before due to childcare woes and one day earlier because of his fever and my clogged duct, I was trying to be a good teacher and show up for work. Upon arriving, I realized I was exhausted from being up with a fussy baby for four hours in the middle of the night. I planned and taught one class with more patience than I thought I had, then checked my phone to see that Ollin was worse. My mom thought we should get him into the doc to help us decide about our trip in 16 hours. I called the doc from my classroom on my precious 30 minute lunch break in which I must fit eating, pumping in a private "lactation" closet, travel and cleanup time, and was on hold for 10 minutes. Being a rule-follower and hating to be a hypocrite, I was reluctant to walk down the hall of the no-phones school while on hold. While stressing about this I started to get the tell-tale visual aura of a migraine. Now, my migraines tend to be very debilitating, involving loss of chunks of vision and plenty of puking.  I chugged four ibuprofen and hoped for the best. In triaging the current situation, I realized that if I didn't pump, I would likely have more clogged duct/mastitis issues, if I didn't eat, I was risking more imbalances to my pre-migraine body, so I fit in a little bit of pumping and just heating up my frozen-solid lunch. I considered using some of this precious time to track down an administrator, plead my case and see if someone could cover the rest of my classes, but I didn't. When I returned to my locked classroom just before the bell, all the students were waiting outside the door, as was an adult who I'd forgotten was there to observe my next two classes!

Okay, that's the gist of it. Actually, the visitor worked to my benefit. I told her that I had a migraine, but would do my best. I didn't tell that particular class of misfits, as I knew from past experience that some of them would react with less generosity than I was hoping  for. The nice thing about having an unknown observer is that many students think the person is there to observe them, so they are on their best behavior. Since my eyes were bugging me, I did something I'd been meaning to do for a while, I called individual students to my desk during independent reading and had them read aloud to me. The migraine didn't fully materialize, but one side effect did: dislexic speech patterns. (I swear, migraines are similar to strokes in some ways, which is kind of scary.) After teaching a lesson for about five minutes, I started noticing I couldn't say certain words right. So I just stopped and told kids to get out the "lasptops." I tried to say it a few times but it kept coming out the same way. Either they didn't notice or they thought I was totally losing it. The rest of the lesson was easier, because all students are more engaged with a laptop in front of them.

At the end of all this, I found out that for a second day in a week, there was a sub shortage, and we were missing 14 subs for teachers who were out. Other teachers gave up their preps, so did counselors and administrators, to cover the classes. Luckily I made it through without needing to add to the burden, and I turned out to be Grace under pressure. Who knew?

We met at the doctor, Ollin was diagnosed with what we were pretty sure he had. Even though this was the tail end of the virus, it could last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and he was not a happy camper. I guess it doesn't itch, but it is obviously uncomfortable because he has a very short fuse, and keeps putting his face down on the floor in a whimper after crawling a few feet. I can't imagine flying with him, and transferring planes, too. We got a note to use for the airline, if there was any chance that a non-paying passenger could be the reason for a cancelled flight. In the end it cost $250 to preserve the miles for a future flight, but it would've cost Shannon over $600 to change his ticket, so he went without us. Not sure what my lessons are from this, yet. I'll let you know when I figure it out. Do you know?