Solomon has been fighting one bug after another for months. Wednesday Jenna, school angel number 1 comes into my classroom and says, “Solomon is complaining of ear pain. I’ll cover your class. Go take care of him.” He barfs up the tablets I’m trying to get down him in the school kitchen; I have another class coming that I need to teach in 5 minutes. Pat, school angel number 2 says, “Don’t worry about that. I’ll mop it up later. I’ll take him to the school nurse. Go teach your class.” I’m overwhelmed because my head hurts but I think it’s just stress. In comes angel number 3, Carolyn, who listens to me with such compassion as I cry and gripe about how tired I am of single-parenting . . . blah, blah, blah . . .
A few minutes later, angel number 1 comes back to my class.
“Solomon is still in pain. I hope I wasn’t being presumptuous but I called a sub in for you for the rest of the day. (Presumptuous?!? I’d kiss her but I’m starting to blubber – again.) “Debbie (school angel number 4) is bringing your sub plans from Fort Jones. Your family comes first. Get Solomon to a doctor and take him home.”
I leave the room sniffling and looking for halos or feathers.
That night, antibiotics kicking in, Solomon is feeling better but I’m not. That headache has turned fever-y and my ribs hurt when I cough, which I’m doing a lot. Then I had the horrifying thought, “This feels like malaria!” After 12-15 cases of that, I panic a little. I take a hot bath which calms me, call Desiree, school angel number 5, who reassures me everything will be fine, and go to bed. I’m determined to power through the next day at work. Tamila, angel number 6, will be watching Solomon all day.
Thursday, I’m wearing 2 layers of pants, a double-shirt, wool vest, hat, and a jacket with a hood. My students tell me that my room is hot . . . Oh, Sorry, I’m also cranking both heaters on high. I ask them to bear with me as I’m not 100%; gotta whole bunch of school angels there as they didn’t complain, however they were probably scared by my appearance.
Part way through the day I get a message from Dr. Hess’ receptionist about a question (unrelated to my present condition) I had left on their machine earlier in the week. I return the call at lunch and tell her that issue is on the back burner. Can I see Dr. Hess today?
“Sure. We have a 3pm.”
“I’m there,” I say, refraining from adding “angel number 7.”
“Clearly pneumonia,” says Doc, after listening to my lungs . . . Really?! This is a new one on me – lots of malaria; no pneumonia. Doctor’s orders, I’m to stay home on Friday (yup, angel number 8). Solomon does a half-day at school, not so much for educational purposes, but so I can sleep.
Friday, I start coughing up blood.
ENOUGH! STOP THE BUS! I WANT TO GET OFF! MY ANGELS ARE OVERWORKED!