So things have been going really well albeit hectic offline. Although I have some financial concerns with working part time, overall it’s been better in terms of the balance between work and life.
Or so I thought…
What I have been forced to realise since yesterday is that I have allowed my main part time job to creep into my so – called ‘me time’. This particular time is the very small zone between the kids all falling asleep and me following after. This ‘me-time’ would be the occasional 45 mins to one hour on the weekend when I am able to sit in a silent house. It is the spare days off that I have until the supply teaching starts to supplement my low income. It is so very precious and it was suppose to be the time when I devote my ideas to the book, my blog and my vlog.
Since September I have been working part-time as a teacher and initially I slipped into the biggest mistake which was to take advantage of the extra time in order to catch up with the work that I physically cannot do during work time. I started by bringing marking home to work on during the spare couple of days that I had off. Then on top of those days I began to continue with work over the weekend. Bed time turned into late night, coffee filled jaunts purely because it is exceptionally difficult to mark work when a 4 year old needs to practice phonics (and quite rightly so!!). But pride made me press on. I had to prove that a single mum could most definitely do all of the above and then some.
Yesterday morning I woke up not feeling myself. Mentally I was more than alert but physically I felt dizzy, exhausted and confused. I had the beginnings of a thudding, thumping headache. The usual thoughts entered my head at this point, “Ahhhh get over it pop some pills (again) when you get to work!!! A cup of tea in work and you’ll wake up!!! Grow a pair and get to work!!” But I couldn’t help but ignore that my body was screaming at me that I needed to get checked out. At 5 am I swung myself out of bed and reluctantly dusted off my blood pressure machine. I had purchased this machine at the indignation that a nurse at the surgery had noticed a high reading after some bloods were taken earlier this year. I had ignored that reading due to the fact that after a good night’s sleep and a Half Term break, my BP levels were down to what they were throughout my pregnancy. So I dismissed the one off reading.
Yesterday morning I checked my blood pressure and it came out at 131/95 which was abit on the high side. Still conflicted thoughts went through my head. The headache of getting this investigated, plus supplying cover work, against ignoring this and having something worse happen (I seriously need to sort out life insurance for the sake of the kids). In spite of feeling tremendously guilty, I rang in sick and tried to relax.
The morning started ok, I still felt ill but thought that talking to my sister (who is also a nurse) might put my mind at ease and it did partially when she said that the reading was within limits. But the thudding head would not go away. The nagging ansgt about something not feeling right would not leave me at all. I chastised myself but decided that I would not trouble the surgery but I would instead get my BP checked at the local chemist. The reading came out at 149/95. This got my attention.
Two weeks ago a family member who suffered from high blood pressure died suddenly from a stroke. This along with the fact that my older sister plus my mother all have to manage their blood pressure medically, made me arrange for an appointment with my GP towards yesterday evening. Initially he did a quick check ( I was the last patient that evening) but when the reading spiked above 177, he booked to see me this morning. He immediately signed me off work.
My GP has checked my blood pressure quite a few times since yesterday and I left the surgery this morning with a BP of 152/95. He confirmed the obvious which was I was doing too much and it is now affecting my health. Having the black coffee so that I could push myself to complete just one more student’s work had now affected my health. Doing just one more class so I can at least be closer (not on top of things mind you) to not having as much to do just in case OFSTED calls….. has affected my health. Juggling quality time with my son with one hand while the other hand is marking level 3 coursework ….. has affected my health.
This sounds like a bit of a dumb remark but it has taken a blood pressure reading of 152/95 for me to sit my backside down and re-evaluate what is actually important to me. Do I seriously need to battle a career in teaching if it is going to eventually shorten my life span?
I have just about a week, having been signed off work by my GP who is insisting that I do nothing linked to work in that time, for me to formulate what I need to state to my employers in order for me to not spend the rest of my life on blood pressure regulating tablets like my mother and my older sister.
I also have a week to reduce my blood pressure reading by trying to relax and even think about doing above and beyond school related stuff.
I also need to stop checking my work emails….