The Easter break. Two weeks holiday. A teacher’s reward for working so hard during a term that has included an Ofsted inspection on top of the busyness that is school life! But what happens? Illness! Now, it’s actually a predictable pattern for me that for the first few days of a holiday, at the end of a whirlwind of a term, and actually most half terms too, I inevitably ‘crash’ and typically get a sore throat and a cold of some kind. Which is frustrating more than it is anything else. But this time, I’ve fought intense pain in my lower back and a rather harsh cough which has had me feeling pretty run-down and exhausted the whole holiday. Why am I sharing this? Because, as always in most things, there are lessons to be learnt and I’ve learnt yet another one!
Now, it’s not been all doom and gloom! I’ve had a great holiday really – filled with friends, family and fun. The holiday began with our staff ‘Outstanding in Ofsted’ celebration party, I went to the Exceptional Women’s Conference at Carmel Christian Centre in Bristol, we then travelled up to Northampton on the first Sunday to be with some very special people at Christian Celebration Church and the next few days sleeping, catching up with friends, drinking lots of coffee and celebrating birthdays. Over the Easter weekend I went for lunch with my auntie, we attended an evening wedding reception followed by an Oscars Award themed 30th birthday party, a great morning at church on Easter Sunday and an evening pub quiz and catch-up with more friends before spending the second week on a little break on the Dorset coast.
It has just been very frustrating that in the midst of it all I’ve struggled with pain so great I’ve been in tears, at times unable to walk unaided and a cough that’s caused me to struggle even getting a sentence out and given me a deep gravelly voice only useful for cinema trailer voiceovers or late night radio! And why? Because I thought I could handle it. I knew some people were praying for me and I asked a coupIe of times for prayer but I thought if I persevered through by myself I’d get better and although, yes, I hear you all telling me to go to the doctor and get some pain relief and medicine, thank you very much but I’ll be fine without!
Why do we so often think we can handle every thing ourselves? Why do we carry on and insist we’re fine, rather than admit we need help? Why do we carry stuff around with us that we really don’t need to? Probably because we start off trying to handle it and then we forget there is an alternative, that we can seek help and lay it down! And I forgot.
Which is why I ended up in A&E seeing an out of hours doctor on Easter Monday. And then, why another four days later, I finally totally gave in and hobbled in to see my own doctor, feeling exhausted and physically at the end of myself to be told I had bronchitis and sciatica. Emerging a short time later, clutching three prescriptions for antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and painkillers I succumbed to the fact I was ill, medicine was very much needed and to the fact that I was very much feeling older than my years!
My lesson? I am not invincible! None of us are. We all need help at times to handle things, carry things, cope with things and face things, whether it’s health related or anything else related! And what is paramount is that we keep humble and realise that sometimes we just need to accept that help, in whatever form, so we can overcome whatever we are facing and live life to the full, happy and free.