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Friday, 14 June 2013

A 'Letting Off Steam' Post

WARNING - THIS IS LITTLE MORE THAN A RANT!

One way and another I've just come to the end of a really grotty week.  The 'grottiness' didn't just come out of the blue - it's been brewing for several weeks.  Unfortunately once it hit me this week it sort of settled and I'm feeling pretty down.

Basically I have a really dodgy neck. Over the years, I've learnt how to manage it.  I avoid pushing shopping trolleys and packing the food shopping completely (first instance of how I couldn't manage without my lovely husband).  I drive an automatic car.  I do a job that rarely requires me to carry anything and allows me to 'prowl around' - thus keeping my back loose.  I also walk as much as possible the rest of the time for the same reason.  I don't even carry wet washing around (lovely husband again) or do the ironing or vacuum (more lovely husband).

At this point I should point out that Mark is incredible about all of this.  He is my rock - literally!

There are three reasons for this on-going problem.  Firstly I was born with the first vertebrae fused to my skull.  It wouldn't have been an issue, except that I had a major motor-racing accident in 1999.  Reason number two was a full 360 degree barrel roll at racing speed in an Off-Road Racer on the moors above Burnley.  (Hmmm - I should have had more sense!)  Thirdly, in 2005, I tried to picked up an amplifier which was way to big for me.  My poor neck sort of 'gave way' and I had quite a period of time off work.

Anyway, I've been back at work and managing everything for years.  Occasionally I get terrible headaches and painful muscle spasms, but I'm functioning and OK.  Lovely husband has learnt how to massage and manipulate my neck to keep everything moving.  In fact there have been weeks when I haven't need any work on my neck at all.

Then - just before the half-term holiday - Mark was working on my neck and he said that it 'felt different'.  There were huge lumps of muscle knots right up behind my jaw line.  On the left hand side of my face the muscles affected the nerves in my mouth and it felt like I had an abscess.  I couldn't open my mouth properly in the morning and eating was painful.  We slowly worked on the muscles and my mouth finally became less painful (it took about two weeks).  At the end of last week I started to get 'tunnel vision' and all the other symptoms of fainting.  I was also far more emotional than normal, which I recognise as a symptom of muscles and bone pushing and pulling at the back of my skull.

On Tuesday I gave up and phoned in sick.  I went to the Docs to confirm that it was nothing more sinister then have spent the last three days trying to find a functioning level again.  I'm so annoyed because I'd worked so hard to get rid of the 'Teacher with the Dodgy Neck' label.  My immediate (and much younger) colleague is quietly horrible about stuff like this.  She plays the martyr to the Senior Staff - one of those people who really knows how to work a situation.

Reading through this, I know that I'm doing the right thing by staying at home, taking the pain killers and following a programme of stretching exercises that will get me back on my feet.  It's just the unpleasantness of my school that upsets me.  The only person to ring and check on me was the lady in the office who does all my admin.  She's lovely and very kind.  Otherwise it would be fair to say that my school doesn't care at all.

Rant over.....!

18 comments:

  1. I feel for you Jan. K has experienced similar problems at work. There are days when I really wish that she wasn't a teacher, and feel that I had a lucky escape :(

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  2. It sounds terrible. I know it's easier said than done, but you need to think about yourself and your health and forget about those who don't seem to give a damn, there really are some selfish, uncaring people in this world. I hope you're feeling much better again soon.

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  3. Jeez!I feel annoyed!!!
    not at you Jan of course but because your comments here remind me of a similar situation I went through awhile back and also reminds me of how utterly insensitive some people can be. Lets just say briefly it was to do with being off work,having an op and getting back to work to find that a conniving bitch was trying to take over my classes by spreading a rumor that it was unlikely I would be returning to work there because of my bad health. The worst of the worst though was the fact that none of my colleagues (who I have known for years) who knew I was returning bothered to speak up for me. Its a long story! So Jan I'm annoyed for you and I'll echo what Jo has commented here....you and your health are the most important things at the moment. Just rely on the people right next to you who do care.

    Hope you get better soon

    Amanda xx

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  4. So very sorry for you. As a supply teacher, I am very conscious that the majority of teachers are working far too many hours, under way too much stress- and when one does [genuinely] go under, it is sad when that is seen as 'weakness' by other colleagues [we keep going, why can't she?]
    GET WELL and do not return to the classroom until you are truly fit. I hope that some of your colleagues realise soon that their attitude is not helpful.
    Blessings xx

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  5. I wouldn't think that your fellow teachers are cruelly ignoring you but, more likely they are thoughtfully give you peace and quiet to heal. I've had several leaves for surgeries and never had calls from associates. I'm sure they all wish you a speedy recovery!

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  6. So sorry to hear about your dodgy neck which is causing other health problems. You're doing the right thing by taking time out to get yourself fit again. Hope you feel a lot better soon.

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  7. Good Grief! I was almost scared to read what the doctor said, but--then I read it and could breathe again. As for the fellow teacher--reminds me of someone who used to be in my life--gr-rr. Sometimes we think that people we work with care for us--like we are family, but in reality--they couldn't give a shit--or whatever you call it over in the UK, LOL. I'll bet your kids miss you!!! Mark is a treasure for sure. So stretch and take the muscle relaxers and the pain pills and whatever else helps. I remember when you told me it is better to get it out then keep it in. All that tension can hurt your neck!!! Glad you got the garbage out!!!

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  8. Oh Jan take good care of yourself, you need to be your own best advocate of what is right for your health. It is wonderful your husband is so helpful.. Nice at least that the office lady at your school is caring. Be well. Hugs Willow

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  9. Oh, dear what an awful time you are going through. You are doing the right thing in putting your welfare first and getting back to health as soon as possible. It would have been easier if you had more support and understanding from your colleagues but I know from experience that it doesn't always happen that way and that there are some uncaring people around. Look after yourself and get well soon:)

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  10. Jan, I think you have done the right thing by having some time off. An odd few days can save much longer periods off.There are always people wanting to stab you in the back in whichever job you do, just be true to yourself and take care of yourself.
    P.S. Thank goodness you have a wonderful family, they are the most important things in life.

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  11. I'm sorry to hear what a bad time you're having. You are very lucky to have your husband to help! The headteacher at my school (the one I'm leaving) is really awful to work for - she isn't very tolerant of people who are ill or who have to attend hospital appointments and where she can, she makes people make up time they've had off for such things! Regardless of any trouble it causes at work, I think you are right to take some time off and rest. I hope you are feeling better very soon.

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  12. That makes my neck hurt to even think about it. Your husband is a gem. I think it's good to have the time off too, before it gets to the point you are hospitalized, and it sounds like you needed a break from the co-worker too. I hope your other co-workers had time this weekend to give you a call. People can get so caught up in their own lives that they just don't think about others.

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  13. Ouch. That sounds really horrid, and the last thing you want is people being snidey when you have a genuine health problem. I hope the stretching and resting up help. BTW, many thanks for commenting on my blog. More quilt pics tomorrow.

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  14. Just thought I'd pop back to say that I hope your neck is improving. You are definitely doing the right thing by taking time off and resting it.I hope your miserable co-worker remembers this if ill-health befalls her - nobody is immune to it or knows what is around the corner.

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  15. Hooray for a lovely husband and boo to selfish colleagues ( far better that way round though) really hope your time out has worked wonders for your neck. Sending lots of helping thoughts xxxx

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  16. You really should be home if you're feeling so poorly, I'm really sorry that you have a bad neck, but if you don't take care of yourself then you won't be any good once you do return to work, you have to take care of yourself. Your husband sounds like an incredible person. I will keep you in prayer about your next
    Tammy xx

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  17. I do hope things are improving for you. People can be a right pain the the proverbial can't they! Big thumbs up for Hubby. x

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