These days, when folks get sick, the norm is to continue keeping on with life-as-it-were until one is no longer able. I don’t believe in following along with norm in this regard. For the benefit of getting healthy, and for protecting the rest from falling ill, I believe it is right to stay home and get well.
Not everyone agrees with me — especially when grades are at risk.
YaYa just got his two lowest grades up to an acceptable level, when illness got the best of him. On Monday, I sent him to school anyway, urging him to try to get through the day. I told him, “…just call me to pick you up, if it gets too bad.” By the time I took my phone out of airplane-mode, after my morning yoga practice, there was a call from the school.
At that point, his lungs were clear and his temperature was normal. The worst was yet to come, and I intended to do what I could to minimize it. He needed to get back to school ASAP. Immediately, I started pushing the fluids, medicating him with expectorants & the like, demanded deep breathing & coughing, and began percussion of his back & chest (just to be sure). Each day, however, I watched the progression of his illness. His temperature slowly climbed, and additional symptoms presented.
He did his best to keep up with school work, but was missing the teachings and in-class work. The number of tests he would have to make up was growing as well. I began feeling the pressure to get him back in school ASAP.
Mid-week, each evening, we would plan for him to return to school… and each morning, the plan would be abandoned. My values of health & wellness competed with the virtues of keeping up with a rigorous academic load. I wondered if I was doing my son any favors by giving in to his insistence that he could not go to school.
By the week’s end, the mucous had settled into his chest. The first hint of it, when he woke me up late last night to request some chest percussion (a process of opening up his airways which he resists, complaining that it is too painful). By morning, I wasn’t surprised to hear the change in lung sounds — and later the diagnosis of pneumonia.
Once again, we have a Z-Pak (antibiotic: zithromax) to help his body fight off the infection. He should be able to return to school on Monday. Then we can all breath easy.