I'm finally back to 100 percent after a bout with what turned out to be walking pneumonia. I had initially self-diagnosed my ailment as H1N1, succumbing to the swine flu hype. It took a visit to the doctor's office to confirm what I really had. When I first began feeling congested and fatigued, I assumed I had been bitten by the bad pig, and that a doctor's visit would prove futile, as media reports continued to say that doctors were turning away those showing flu symptoms because there was nothing they could really do to help.
After taking a couple of sick days where I did nothing but rest and drink fluids - and after showing no signs of improvement - I finally decided to call my physician. I was able to get an appointment that day. I went in, talked with my doctor, breathed through a machine, received a diagnosis, went to CVS, popped an anti-bacterial drug, and was on my way to feeling better.
Walking pneumonia really knocked me out. Since I started teaching high school students in 2004, I'd taken ZERO sick days until this faux-swine reprieve. While there have been times in the past six years when I've been sick, I always went to school and toughed it out. This isn't to say teaching when under the weather is something to boast about - it's not - but I suppose I wanted to keep my streak going as long as I could. Walking pneu was powerful enough to put it to an end.
It was a bit alarming how little I was able to do when I was sick. Simple tasks like taking out the garbage or doing laundry seemed impossibly arduous. Bringing in firewood or raking leaves were both completely out of the question. Now that I'm back to full health, I'm thankful for all of the things I can do, and I have a fresh awareness of the physical, emotional, and cognitive demands associated with teaching. Effective teachers need to bring it ALL to the classroom as they inspire, lead, explain, prompt, urge, and encourage their students.