Monday, April 16, 2007

You Don't Swallow When You Sleep

I feel compelled to explain my blogging absence. 1st thing is that I've been working through a cold. Kerwyn was really sick with it and so I felt quite fortunate to only feel low-grade crappy last Sunday, Monday & Tuesday. I felt a lot better Wednesday, but had laryngitis which got worse on Thursday and improved a bit Friday. Amanda thought that I sounded like the Gingerbread Man from Shrek "Yes, I know the Muffin Man." It just didn't stop being funny for her. Saturday I sounded a bit better, but my throat was starting to be sore & my ear was plugged and if I tipped my head to the right gave me a stabbing pain for my efforts. Needless to say I didn't do that anymore! (I'm trainable) I decided to go see the Dr. (now that we have a family doctor up here) on Monday if things didn't improve.
They didn't.
Sunday was horrible. Swallowing made me almost cry. And between the grating on my throat and the pressure on my ear, coughing made me want to die. And it wasn't a raw, scratchy throat that you might associate with a normal cold. It was a swollen, achy, ping-pong ball in your throat sore throat. I woke up long enough at 6:00AM to call in sick (which was a drama in itself. You know what I mean Jocelyn!) and at 9:00 to call the Dr.'s office. 4:10 appt - better than nothing. I tried so hard to get/stay asleep because you don't swallow when you sleep. It's true.
I dragged myself out of bed around noon and tried to eat. By it's very nature - and to be of any effect - requires much swallowing. That didn't last long.
Believe me, I tried rinsing my throat with hot water and a bit of lemon juice, hot tea - earl grey & mint -, I tried cleansing & anesthetizing the wound with alcohol - in generous quantities and varieties.
Waited an hour in the waiting room - thank God for knitting and tennis. Gotta love a doctor with the foresight to have cable tv in the waiting room!! Definitely an infection, she suspects strep and I had to endure the dreaded throat swab to prove it, and an ear infection. Ha!! FYI Stock - I'm not faking!!! "Oh, you sound better today Wannietta." Whatever - I'd rather feel great & sound like the Gingerbread Man ... Trust me. I have antibiotics and with any luck I should feel significantly better by this time tomorrow. Which means I'm going to have to brave the dispatcher & call in sick again tomorrow. But really, would you want a bus driver who is in pain with every swallow and hacking all over driving a bus? I thought not.

That's the next thing that had me down & out. We had 3 school bus accidents last week. 2 had injuries, one had a fatality to a student and another a fatality to the bus driver. I had a really hard time coming to grips with all of it. My empathic powers are as much of a curse as a blessing. I'm can handle hearing about it on the news a bit better now but it can still hit me hard.
I am so sad for the Pham family who lost 10 year old John, but my heart also goes out to the bus driver. The accident is still being investigated, but no matter what, she is never going to be able to forget that day, that moment and 2nd guess it.
On most days the responsibility that a school bus driver takes on is balanced by the smiles of the children, the happy reunion of children with their parents and the feeling of a job well & safely done. On a bad day there is no counterbalance. The responsibility is a crushing weight. And when it happens to one of us, we all feel the pressure. Thank God the bad days are few & far between.
I'm not sure that seat belts are the answer - there are studies that say not. I think that seat belts would probably give parents a peace of mind if nothing else. If the matter is studied further and seat belts are deemed necessary, hey - I'll be all for it.
Time will tell. And heal.

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