Sometimes I feel grateful to work in schools- I notice friends and family around me catching various forms of sniffles and colds while I generally remain healthy. I am sure this could be contributed to a myriad of things, but I always believe that the constant exposure to the stickiness that is an elementary school has built up my immune system to the point where it must get bored.
Unfortunately, this week my little white cells must have been on a (probably well earned) vacation. I felt the “pre cold” symptoms immediately. My mouth was dry, my throat scratchy, and I had a headache that throbbed steadily right behind my eyes. I am not one for the drink mix remedies- I go straight for the heavy hitters, popping a cold pill immediately and try to work through the symptoms.
This time, however, whatever got me knocked me out cold. I ended up missing multiple days at my site as I struggled to retain a sense of humanity amid the coughing, sneezing, achy mess that I had become. When I finally was able to return I had multiple items to catch up on, students to see, and parents to contact. On top of this accumulation of tasks, my head was still a bit fuzzy and my energy level was somewhere between a tortoise and snail. Which only made the amount of work I had more overwhelming.
I have been fortunate enough to be a happy, positive person who genuinely enjoys a sense of accomplishment for doing good works. Those first few days back, though, reminded me of what it might be like to suffer from a form of depression: body aches, low energy, lack of focus, and a feeling that there is no relief from the work. I, at least, could console myself with the thought that my cold would pass. But I as the symptoms leave I find myself left with a renewed sense of sympathy and understanding for those suffering with depression.