Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Should I or Shouldn't I?

"Kristi, how are you feeling?"

The answer to this should simply be, "Better, thank you". So why do I continually find myself launching into an explanation as to why I wasn't at school? I have found myself reflecting on both my actions, and my reactions to those actions, for the past couple of days.

The calendar called for a "Teacher Work Day". Generally I am responsible for at least one session or leading some form of teacher training. This is the first time where I had no responsibilities. There were committee meetings I was scheduled to attend and a chunk of time allotted for recording data. However, there were no students (fifth grade nor adult) expecting me. No lesson plans were needed. In essence, the perfect day for a teacher to miss school.


3:38 a.m. is what the clock said when I first awoke with a migraine. I took my first round of pills, propped myself up in my recliner, tucked the fleece blanket around me, set the volume to low and pressed play for Whittington on OverDrive, and settled in, waiting for the pain to subside to the point that I could lie down again.

I will spare you the blow by blow - by the time my alarm would have gone off I had yet to go back to sleep. My husband came by to kiss the top of my head and ask if I needed anything. "Are you going to school?" he inquired. I grunted some sort of non-committal reply.

This was not the first time the question had crossed my mind. Usually the medicine kicks in after 20 - 30 minutes, if the first round is going to do the trick. When we had passed an hour, and a subsequent dosage, I had started to think through the upcoming day and realizing that I really could not go in. 

I spent the next chunk of time trying to justify to myself why it would be OK to stay home. I then wondered if this was typical of all teachers or all women or... - noticing that at no point did I think it was outside the realm of normal. 

The thoughts continued.
If I had a fever, of course I would stay home, I thought. I
'm not contagious so what's my excuse?
am functional, this is normal for me and I never even consider staying home. 

And so on.

I found this distinction to be very interesting; if others were counting on me I would go, yet at the same time realized that being able to sleep off the migraine hangover would be what was best for my health. 

And the internal debate continued.

It was about this time that I was medicated enough that I could lie down again and go back to sleep, so I went up stairs and crawled into bed while my husband was in the shower. I still hadn't made a decision. When I rolled over it was 1.5 hours after we leave for school and I was alone in the house. "I guess I'm not going to school." I 'WhatsApped' my husband. "Should I send a driver?" came his reply.

Ugh. Now I went through the entire cycle of should I vs. shouldn't I again.


  1. I'm glad you stayed home and took care of yourself. I get migraines too, and I know how painful they are. If you had forced yourself to go in, you wouldn't have been able to do your best.

  2. Migraines are the worst! I know you've written about yours before. I'm wondering if I ever shared with you what has helped me enormously with mine through the years? A daily dose of Singulair.

    1. You hadn't mentioned that before. The neurologist has me on a beta blocker and as we increase the dosage I am noticing less frequency and less severity, so that is progress.

  3. I never understood migraines until I married my husband who suffered from them. You needed the day to rest and restore. Glad it came at a time when you could stay home to recove . I hate those little voices that I argue with.