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.