Forced to Sit Still

For the second time this summer, I have sprained an ankle, which means that I am once again being told to stay home and ice my foot while it is propped up on pillows. While I am lucky in that I have multiple spaces in my living room where I can set up shop with my pillows, ice, gadgets, and books, I have learned a few things about myself while (literally) sitting around doing not much of anything:

  • I don’t actually sit still for all that long. Sure, my job and hobbies involve a lot of sitting in front of a computer, but I get up a lot to move around, get a drink, whatever. Not being able to do that drives me a bit crazy.
  • While I’m good at offering help to other people, I hate asking for help.
  • Pain makes me whiny.
  • Health care in this country is beyond messed up. I have good insurance and still had a $50 copay for urgent care — NOT the emergency room. Apparently my insurance only allows one to go to the emergency room if one is about to die. For everything else, you head to urgent care, which is open 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on weekends. I hurt my foot yesterday afternoon around 4 p.m., so got to wait for 16 hours before I could see a doctor. And remember, that’s with good insurance.
  • I really do love my job. I may complain about it often, but the thought of missing the first day of class makes me truly unhappy.

On the last point — I’m torn on what to do. On the one hand, I have never missed the first day of class. Ever. On the other hand, all the medical advice I’ve received/tracked down on the web says I should avoid putting weight on my foot for 24-48 hours. Even with crutches, I’m bound to put more weight on the foot if I go in than if I stay home. Since I’m teaching a first year seminar this fall, I’m especially conscious about being a good role model, which to me includes not modeling workaholic type behavior. Thoughts? If you were in my shoes (and be glad you’re not at the moment!), would you cancel class or head in?

4 thoughts on “Forced to Sit Still

  1. That is a conundrum, Brenda– I do not like missing the first day of class, especially if I’ve set it up and am looking forward to it! But I think your desire to not model workaholic behavior should win out here. Letting your ankle heal is important–you want to stay strong and active until you’re an old crone–and you need time off it to do that. The students will deal. You can email them and be all communicative in that way 🙂

  2. @Rolf–the thing is — there’s a fine line between dedication and workaholism and I’m not sure where this one falls. Also, I tell my students that it’s OK for them not to come to class when they’re sick (and in fact that I’d prefer they don’t if they’re contagious). So doesn’t showing up when I clearly shouldn’t be on my feet send a “do as I say, not as I do” message?

    And Jennifer’s right about wanting to make it to my old crone-ness in one piece 🙂

  3. Please stay home! You’re no good to anyone, least of all yourself, if you make it worse. Take the 24-48 hours and share the valuable lesson of work/life balance with your newbies. It’s an important one they won’t hear elsewhere!

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