Sunday, 17 April 2011

End of Term Madness

Remember my ‘off’ three weeks ago on Macquarie Pass? Well… the doctor in Accident & Emergency back in Canberra – the one who sent me home with Nurofen, a pat on the head, 3 days off work and a diagnosis of a ‘pulled muscle’ was WRONG. What I actually have is a stable, undisplaced fracture (yes, fracture) of the superior & inferior pubic rami. A minor pelvic fracture, certainly, but something a little more serious than a pulled muscle. Still gobsmacked that a person can show up in A&E after a motorcycle accident FFS, complaining of severe groin pain, and the bloody doc doesn’t bother to have the pelvis x-rayed! Am I wrong to be a bit worried about the standard of A&E doctors? Thank goodness for a switched-on GP!

So – I had a whole week off school. And what a shitty week it was. During that time I had my poor old cat euthanased. I cried buckets, tried to get as much rest as I could, borrowed an automatic car from Mrs Boomerang Boy, to get myself to x-ray & CT appointments, and felt pretty sorry for myself. My bike was officially written off by the insurance company. I went back to school for the very busy final 2 weeks of term, on crutches, unable to do stairs, and set up camp in my downstairs classroom.

The school, the staff and the kids were brilliant. A small and evil, but essentially, rational part of me says “well so they should be – it wouldn’t have been unreasonable for me to spend the remainder of term on sick leave!”, BUT – I'm also incredibly grateful for the way people were able to shuffle things around and step up to help me out. While bits of my body may have been a little bit broken, my brain wasn’t, and typing up lesson plans to send to school for someone else to teach, when I felt mentally capable of teaching the lessons myself, was driving me batty. I wanted to be at school with my students, dammit! Things like playground duty, however, were out of the question - and my busy colleagues covered my duties and swapped classrooms with me, and were absolutely wonderful.

It’s true what they say about adversity often bringing out the best in people - and I learned a LOT in the last fortnight!

Apart from having it reinforced that I work with a wonderful bunch of people, I also learned that:
  • Year 10 boys get a big kick out of taking a turn around the room on the teacher’s crutches – and will queue up for the privilege!
  • It makes students feel important if you ask them for help – whether it’s carrying stuff or scribing on the board for you – and they actually worry about their spelling when they’re writing it up in public!
  • Ex-students and students you don’t even know very well are keen to touch base and make sure you’re ok after something like a bike crash. I seriously felt so ‘cared-about’, there were times when I struggled not to get all teary!
  • Photocopying makes us lazy, and you don’t realise it until you can’t get to the photocopier and have to resort to low-tech or no-tech!
Having said all that – the last two weeks have been difficult, and the last week, with Basketball Presentation night, a Parent-Teacher evening and three full days of marking Yr11-12 Oral presentations was actually a sort of hell. There were times that I didn’t think I’d manage to hobble to the end of term – but I did! And now - thank goodness for school holidays! And thank goodness for Mallacoota – my equilibrium is in severe need of equilibrating (is that even a word???)


Geoff James said...

Bloody heck Sue, that's some shocking news all right and also bad news that you weren't checked more thoroughly.

Probably hard to figure the upside of it all, but at least it shows that there's a whole bunch of people out there who care, including the young spotties who you normally battle with!

Take good care of yourself, girl!

Sue said...

@Geoff - thanks for your good wishes! I guess the upside is that I lived to tell the tale at all! For quite some time now I've maintained that, if I have a guardian angel, he/she has really crap timing and is usually out on smoko when my disasters occur - but makes up for it afterwards by providing wonderful people right at the time when they're needed most!

Bought my new helmet last week, in readiness for the time when I have to ride my new bike away from the dealership :-) Hopefully, if the GPs estimate of my healing time is right, that's only about a month away...

JohnO said...

Hugzs Sue... If you are on the crutches, how do you serve the Coopers Pale?

Sue said...

Well, Johno, I think it would go something like this:
-Don the splendid Beer Witch hat.
-Put bottle of Coopers in the fab bag that I hang around my neck...
-Hobble to recipient
-Extract beer from bag, invert bottle, twist three times anti-clockwise.
-Tur bottle upright, remove cap from bottle.
-Curtsey without falling off crutches, ha ha ha
Too easy!!!!!!!!

lemmiwinks said...

Oh dear! Fractures suck, eh? In defense of Canberra A&E (at least the big public hospital), they done me good one time I hobbled in there.

I guess everyone has an "off" day, it's just scary when that person is a Dr.

See you in 3 weeks time. Better book my leave.

diary of an unfinished woman said...

Gosh you poor old bugger - hope you aren't in too much pain and keep your date with your new helmet clear in your mind sending you love healing and glitter x B

VStarLady said...

Glad to hear you're ok, well keeping your chin up at least - so sad to hear of the 'totalled' motorcycle though. They line up to try the crutches? ... Must try that as an attention getter in my class (will have to cut the bottoms off the crutches though, my students are 5 years old). Hope you'll be back riding soon.

Gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerry said...

Ouch! Here's to a speedy recovery. (hic)

Forgive my rudeness, Sue, but might I suggest that forging the interpretation that "having an off is a great way to get lots of love and attention", could have dangerous supernatural consequences?

Sue said...

aaaaargh, Gerry, what a thought! I am merely grateful for the kindnesses shown, and not drawing up some kind of karmic template between crashing and kindness! (Although I think I do believe that the kindness of others sets up a positive mindset that aids healing).

BTW, I seem to be mending well so far :-) Mallacoota has a magical atmosphere - the beauty and simplicity of nature - that is also very good for healing... and I met some great people there whose company was conducive to positive thinking!

leecofarm said...

been living a parallel life on the other side of the world. mature rider teacher. also took a spill with unnoticed injuries and had people call who i haven't seen in years.