2018, as all years seem to, started off with a bit of a bang!
After lots of worry, stress, and paperwork, I got called to fulfill a teaching position, through the end of June. Full-time, prof principal, collège and lycée! The one downside is that it was a bit far, but hey, everything has a bit of a downside, so I figured I’d take it. There are 4 and a half weeks of breaks in-between, so, I figured I’d have some down time to regroup, prepare, etc as needed.
I went and saw the directeur of the school, got my schedule, the basic information on how the school works, they showed me where the teacher room was, etc. I was all set up to shadow the teacher I was to replace for a day, and then she decided she wasn’t coming back, at all, so, my start date got pushed forward. I contacted the teacher to meet her, to get her keys, tablet, books, sort out where she was, what she had planned, etc.
So, the Tuesday before I was supposed to start, we decide to meet at her house. I get there, realize I’m not feeling well, at all, but suppose it is nerves and try to focus. And after a few minutes I have to come to terms with the fact that, I am not well, at all. I had intense abdominal pain, was sweating a lot, couldn’t even really stand. Anyone who knows me, probably can see how horrifyingly embarrassing this was to me… The poor teacher I was to replace ended up calling the “15” (quinze) as they say here- basically emergency services. So I spoke to the nurse, then a doctor, who decided to actually send an ambulance to me to check me out. They arrived fairly fast, and decided they needed to take me in- I was freezing cold, extremely pale, and in intense pain.
So into an ambulance, speeding along to the ER, leave my car in front of the teachers home. Due to pain and partially I think due to riding backwards in the ambulance, I am sick on the way… Get to the ER and basically wait in line for a bit since there were quite a few people there, also waiting… They eventually rule out the basics, a kidney infection or kidney stones, it can’t be my appendix since that was already removed… Finally, around 9pm (I’d been there since 11am or so), they find the source of my pain (a cyst!), and since morphine is barely touching the pain, we decide to go ahead and remove it. This ended up being a wise choice since it was strangling an organ, probably why I had such pain to start with…
So down to the OR, an hour of laparoscopic surgery, I was up cyst-less and already feeling so, so, so much better. I don’t know if I’ve actually ever known such relief, in such an immediate fashion from something. I stayed the night and the next day through 5pm, when I got to come home. But, I was sent home with an arrêt, to recover, from both the anesthesia, and the actual operation…
And, so, I lost the job before I’d even started!
Since I was to replace a replacement teacher, so in short, be the 3rd teacher these students were to have in the year, starting in January, they found someone else to avoid have a replacement, for the replacement of the replacement for 2 weeks while I recovered… I really did need a good 10 days to recover, more from the anesthesia then anything else, and had a few nurse visits to remove stitches. I am hoping that maybe this one slipped away for something maybe better (closer?) right after the next few weeks vacation. I hope, at least. Something from the March vacation through the end of the school year would be really nice, the days are longer, they’d have hopefully done a large portion of the programme.
Sigh, as dramatic as all of that was, I feel so lucky- lucky to live here, where things like pain are taken into consideration, lucky to have run across that doctor who knew something was wrong and determined to find it, lucky to live in a place where things such as an arrêt even when you are job hunting, simply lucky, and thankful, overall.