It's one of the toughest things to do. Sometimes it is admitting a flaw or mistake to another. Sometimes it is admitting you don't know something. Sometimes it is opening yourself up to someone else. And Sometimes it is asking for help.
Today I had my bottom wisdom teeth extracted. They were impacted and I had to be put under to have it done. I booked the surgery for a time when my husband was booked to be home. Of course, shortly after I booked it, he was called to go to a course for two weeks, over my surgery date. Living 2000 km from your family is not a bad things some day (less drama!) but other times, you just want people around you to lean on when you are showing your worst side. *sigh
So I started racking my brain for someone who would be available, for starters, in the middle of the day to spend a few hours helping me out. I also needed someone I wouldn't feel strange being vulnerable around. I found that person in my pastor's wife Janice. She is recently retired from teaching (she use to call me to supply for her class when I was on the list). She has a daughter my age, so her mothering instincts are great. She knows exactly what it is like to be away from family, as she and her husband lived in Newfoundland for a few years early in their marriage. We have had lots of heart to heart conversations. And she said yes right away when I asked!
She drove me in this morning. I was feeling fine about the whole thing. I filled out the paper work and they took me in. She squeezed my hand and told me to relax. I wasn't stressed until they started putting the heart monitors on me. Thankfully, it didn't take long to go out when the needle went in (always the worst part for me!)
I woke up in recovery and they brought Janice in. They gave me lots of instructions, which Janice remembered for me! They sat me up and I felt nauseous. Janice saw the colour leave my face and called a nurse to get me a bucket. They let me lay back down and gave me a shot of gravol (which bruised, by the way :( When they tried again to sit me up, I was feeling a bit better. Janice asked for a bag for the car and held my arm all the way to the car.
We got out my applesauce which I ate ravenously (I am the kind of person who eats as soon as I get up and this was noon). The last bite went in and the rest came out. This is the most humiliating moment in your life. Throwing up in front of someone. Even couples avoid this for years into their relationships! But Janice was great. She told me that she knew I was either going to toss my cookies or faint on her, by the look of my face. She also told me lots of stories about that same things happening to her with anesthetic. That did help.
She dropped me home (tucking me into bed with my puppies to cuddle) and then ran down to the drugstore (less than a block away) to get my prescriptions and jello. She had to come back for my ID and I decided to eat some broth while she was gone. Bad idea. I was cleaning up when she got back. I got the pills into me and tried the broth again with soggy crackers. It stayed down and I felt much better. She stayed with me a while longer, commenting on how much better I looked!
When she left, she said "Don't be a little hero, Jenn! If you need anything, CALL ME!" and she gave me all her numbers! She only lives one street over, so I knew she would drop everything and come if I so much as needed juice! I slept all afternoon and ate supper without a hitch. She called to check on me and was happy to hear how good I sounded.
I know this isn't about teaching, but it does apply sometimes. I think as teachers we build ourselves up to be competent and self-reliant in order to present well enough to get a job or impress that principal. But then we are thrown into our classroom, given a bunch of books (sometimes!) and a bunch of little minds to shape. I know that there is no teacher training program that can truly prepare you for your very own classroom. You need to show your vulnerability to your coworkers. ASK FOR HELP! Ask for ideas and suggestions! Tell the principal when you are at your wits end with that student or parent or subject. The good ones are there to help, no criticize. I have had a few fantastic coworkers that have really shaped the way I teach and interact with my colleagues. I try my hardest to offer help and open lines of communication, especially to new teachers or new faces in our building. Try it from both sides of the coin!
Oh, and in case you were wondering, my teeth are doing great! The stomach is fine now and I am handling the pain. Sleeping and ice cream tomorrow and then back to my darlings on Friday. One of the little ones told me he would switch places with me so I could come to school today. So sweet!