I was thinking to myself last Sunday that I had not been sick once this year and congratulating myself on avoiding any germs, so naturally when I woke up Monday morning I had a slight headache and a bit of a scratchy throat. I ignored it as I bustled into school quickly to get out of the (still) frigid temperatures around here. By noon, I had to take a couple of Tylenol but I told myself I wasn't going to get sick. I had made it to February and I wasn't going to let it happen now. Besides, I haven't had any students out sick lately. How in the world could I have caught something? It couldn't possibly be the fact that I work in a building with 450 little germ magnets.
On Monday night I went to bed extra early in the hopes that some sleep would cure this approaching sickness. I drank three extra glasses of water to hopefully drown out any germs that might be multiplying. I even knocked on wood, but it was way too late for that.
On Tuesday morning I woke up and knew I was getting sick. My head felt like it was stuffed with cotton, my nose was running constantly, and my head ached. However, the thought of putting together sub plans seemed like more time and effort than just going into school, so I decided I would power through. I would take some DayQuil and everything would be alright, I told myself as I sluggishly got ready for school.
At noon, I was hanging on by a thread. The third graders were performing their musical concert that evening and I couldn't even imagine myself standing vertically at that point. As the students ate lunch I sat at my desk and ate some chicken noodle soup. One little boy approached. They were all sensing that something was wrong with me, but they hadn't quite figured out just what it was yet. He was the brave one to find out.
"Mrs. Jeppson?" he began as he watched me spoon some noodles into my mouth.
"Humm???" I responded.
"Is that chicken noodle soup?" he asked.
"Yes. It is. I'm not feeling really great so I thought some soup would help," I explained.
"But that's not enough. That little bit of soup won't make you better," he declared.
At this I picked up a bag of oyster crackers from my desk and waved them near him.
"Oyster crackers!" he shouted, with glee. "I love oyster crackers! But I'm glad they are not really oysters."
"Aren't we all?" I told him as I opened the bag.
And then he did something that made me feel better than any bag of crackers or soup ever could. He moved closer and he hugged me and he said he hoped I felt better.
I missed the performance that evening. I missed school the next day.
On Thursday, even though I was nowhere near back to 100%, I figured I could make it through the day. I apologized to the little ones that I was not able to see their musical performance. I mentioned that the other teachers had complimented them on their wonderful singing and concert.
Finally, today, Friday, I feel mostly back to my normal, healthy self. I'm thankful that I work with amazing teachers who always are there to jump in and help. When I knew I was too sick to be there for the concert, a teacher friend stepped in to volunteer to walk my class to the stage and be there for them. When I needed to make sub plans, a teacher friend offered to write my plans and gather materials for me so I didn't have to do it. When I passed my teacher friends in the hallway, they all asked if I was feeling better and I think they even genuinely meant it.
They say if you have your health, you have everything.
But, lucky me. I have my health and great teacher friends and amazing students and a wonderful parent community.
I guess you could say, I have it all.
To read another blog from last year read: