I have been pretty miserable for the past several weeks. First I had a flu that didn’t want to get better, until I dosed up on “Nature’s Flu Shot.” Yuck – that stuff was terrible; but it did give me a few days of respite before the next infection set in.
I have a pretty easy work schedule as a part-time instructor. I teach three classes, back-to-back, on Mondays and Wednesdays. I work from 8:30 until 1:00. Not bad, right? It allows me to volunteer in my kids’ classrooms three days a week. And, I don’t just work the nine hours – although that’s what I’m technically paid for. I spend twenty or more hours every week grading papers and preparing my lectures.
This week, thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I only had to report to work one day: today. I was feeling terrible and so were my kids. I couldn’t send sick kids to school – but there really isn’t much choice for me. I go to work: there’s no option to stay home. Although, today I wish I had cancelled my classes and stayed in bed.
I made it through the first two classes – in a fog. But, things went smoothly. My third and final class of the day started out okay, but ended in humiliation. It was ten minutes before the end of class and I was talking to the students about the difference between subject pronouns and object pronouns when I smacked the back of my right hand into the corner of the metal eraser tray on the white board. Yeouch! The pain tore through my body. But, I didn’t want to make a scene. Ten minutes to go. I could do it. Or, not.
Within seconds of hitting my hand, my vision was black and I knew I was going down. I stopped the lecture, said, “Class dismissed,” and bolted for the door.
I dashed into the main office heading back for the shared instructor workroom, but ran into unexpected obstacles. I was feeling incredibly dizzy, my vision was blurry-gray, and I knew I was going to pass out any second. Unfortunately, someone had left some boxes in the walkway, and there was a person standing at the copy machine. Swerve, smack, and Suzi hit the ground face first.
I heard someone behind me say, “Call an ambulance.”
That was enough to rouse me. I can’t afford an ambulance. Part-timers (adjunct professors) do not receive health insurance benefits. “Don’t call an ambulance. I don’t have insurance.” I said. And with the sound of water rushing in my left ear, I lost consciousness.
Thankfully, the ambulance was not called. I came to minutes later with my face in a pillow and several of my colleagues standing over me discussing what had happened, what forms needed to be filled out, the color of my complexion, etc. I lifted my head to look behind me and saw a group of students watching from the foyer.
I’m not sure how hitting my hand – it still hurts like heck! – caused me to black out and faint. I think it was partially due to the recurring viral illness. I went home and slept for hours, waking to read to my kids, write this blog, and then return to my comfortable bed.
Someone recently said to me, “Suzi, you’re still a faith healer, aren’t you?” I said, “Yes, I am. I will always rely on faith. But I only avoid hospitals and doctors because I cannot afford to go.”
I believe that faith and medicine are not mutually exclusive. But, until I can afford medical care, I’ll continue to be a faith healer by necessity.