Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kidney Stones were NOT on my Christmas Wishlist...

I was pretty excited to go to school today.  We had a shortened schedule due to the after-school PLC meeting.  Half of my class period is taught by our media specialist (only for the 13 days of learning the research process), which only left me with 30 minutes of teaching per class.

For those of you who aren't teachers, you should know that any day when you are only responsible for a total of one hour of teaching is a dream of a day!

We have these shortened schedules once a month, on which day our team also has a CHAMPS (Consistently Having Amazing, Mighty-Positive Skills) celebration.  All students and teachers gather in our commons area and teachers present awards to one student per class period.  Awards are given to students who consistently exhibit outstanding behaviors in class, go out of their way to help others, or who show significant improvement.

It was about 9:40AM, and our team was gathered.  My team leader began the ceremony, and I made my way to the "stage."  All of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain in the lower left side of my back.  I keeled over in pain.  I turned to one of my co-workers and said, "I need to go sit down."

My resource teacher followed me into my classroom and suggested I go to the nurse.

I did.  But as soon as I got there, I darted to the bathroom and threw up.

I then went back to the nurse's office to lay down with a heating pad.  Ten minutes later, I threw up again.

I knew exactly what was happening, as this is not the first time I have experienced this.

I called my friend Kelli to see if she could come get me.  She didn't answer, for she was sleeping.  Who can blame her?  She's done with her law school finals, and if I didn't have anything to do for the day, I would still be sleeping at 10:00, too.

So, I called my friend Jeremy who came to get me.  I felt a little bit bad because I walked out of the building during my students' recess time.  They yelled, "Where are you going?" to which I replied, "to the hospital."  I gave no further explanation.  In hindsight, I recognize that I should've let them know that I would be OK.


So, soon enough, I was in Emergency Room #6 dressed in a stylish gown, laying in an uncomfortable bed.

They also gave me some cute, new accessories.

I had to give some blood, which is one of my least favorite things to do

And they gave me some magical pills that made all the pain go away.

Later, a C.T. scan revealed that it was, indeed, kidney stones that were the cause of my pain.  Three kidney stones, to be exact.  The first one that will be coming through is 3mm in size.  They only pulverize stones that are bigger than 5mm, so they sent me on my way with some nausea medicine and some hydrocodone (the aforementioned "magic pills").

While awaiting test results, I felt very defeated.  I resented that I had to leave work at a moment's notice (which is not easy to do in my profession), I knew that my worrisome mother would be a nervous wreck (I called my brother and gave him specific directions not to let my mother leave town to come visit me), and I resented that I would be spending much of my Winter Break taking pills that make me nauseous and dizzy while a 3mm rock tears through the lining of my internal organs.

On the other hand, I thought about how very fortunate I am to have health insurance that allows me to go to the emergency room and to afford two prescriptions that would otherwise be very expensive.

Upon my dismissal from the hospital, I called Kelli to come get me to take me back to school to get my car.  By the time I arrived, I still had one hour left before the medicine would wear off (and so that I could safely drive), so I ended up making it to the after-school meeting.

After the meeting, I was greeted with dozens of thank-you cards from students, past and present.  Today, before I left, we had SOAR time, which is a 30-minute block of time where students meet with a teacher to do character-building activities.  Today's activities were writing thank-you notes and new year's resolutions.  Although students were obligated to write the notes, their words did help to cheer me up.  Here are some of my favorites:

Although not perfectly written, this one holds special meaning to me:
"Thank you for making me turn good and help me starting to write good."

And this one might be my favorite.  Simply put, but well-said:

I have the best job in the world.

But now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to go take my magical pills.  Please pray that my stones will not pass while I am at school tomorrow!

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