As I continue this unsustainable schedule of leaving my house at 7:00 am to get to school at 8:00, to teach five classes in a row until 2:00. Then wrap up my business, straighten my room, out the door to Northeast Minneapolis for my internship, starting at about 2:45 until 5:15. Then through downtown Minneapolis to arrive at home at 6:00 pm. No time to stop, now check the cats, make dinner, collapse into the couch.
Weekends are all I have for homework – but I must divide the time between grading my students – that takes about 8 hours – and all the work for class – much, much more than any time I have that remains. As, I am not unique in this busy schedule, I can see where it sounds like I am whining. I am. I am, but in the way I used to complain about not having enough time to set up my lab in the week before school. I complained, teachers agreed, but they had to make copies and hang up posters. I had to set up, and reconfigure a lab of misfit computers that worked or did not. Whine.
When I work my body like this, something will break – and it usually is me. I am “medically fragile” which means that I have (several) chronic conditions that require near constant supervision by medical professionals and if I stopped taking my meds, I would not continue to be alive. I am used to getting sick and staying sick for long periods of time, but I see I have no time for that this semester. So I fight to continue working on everything, keep all balls in the air, try to make it to the end.
The fever struck me at 3:00pm Friday. A serious arm infection – a cellulitis – I used to get these all the time until I underwent a year of painful “decongestive therapy” to remove the volume of lymph and scarred tissue that was the chronic edema in my arm. I was free from infection for a year before last year. The cellulitis hospitalized me, damaged my heart with excess fluid, made me more vulnerable. This infection was the first since then. I missed school Monday and missed two days of interning as a result.
I cannot “power through” my sickness like a healthy person. Instead, I get vulnerable and then I am a magnet for virus and bacteria. I complain a lot about being sick. Yes. I do. In the battle of mind versus body, body wins every time.