Level of Concern

I’m a day late with this post. I have what I consider to be a reasonable excuse: antibiotics. Don’t get too worried here. Let’s meander through that explanation. See, everyone is different, and you can’t always tell what’s happening on the inside based on the outside of a situation. There were so many examples of that in my first week of school.

Eric and I are both experienced teachers and have watched each other deliver engaging and quality lessons. Eric also let me sit in on his parent night sessions, and to the untrained eye, there’s little difference in is cool demeanor as he talks to adults versus young adults. I, however, know he gets nervous talking to parents just like I do. It honestly settles my nerves to know such a pro like Eric still gets a little nervous around parents. By the grace of God, I no longer have full blown panic attacks before and after parent night, but I get a little shaky during the delivery of my content. I only notice Eric’s nerves because I know him well, so I have pretty good confidence in my own ability to hide my nerves to the three parents who showed up to my single session this year. (My second session doesn’t count because Eric and Heather were the only people to show up, and Heather is also my friend; we just talked about how late parent night goes and that all of us teachers really want to go to bed.)

I wrote last week about needing to repent when I shut down a conversation with someone because under the surface, I was being a jerk. Just a couple days later I had an opportunity where someone else I don’t know well was asking a “get to know you” kind of question, and I had a split second to correct course and give an honest answer. While I don’t trust people easily, I am growing in engaging openly with others. My counselor and I talked about that this past week as I’m going into a year with a lot of unknowns for me. It’s okay to make new friends, and it’s okay that I have an awkward start with some people. It’s also hilarious to me how my students make fun of my introverted social anxiety induced habits (I love this meme a student made with my face). I find people challenging. It takes a lot of effort for me to build genuine friendships.

Unrelated to my friend making, I do a lot of stress baking. I also enjoy baking, so I do it for fun, and I have a dozen people who live in my building to share baked goods with. I also offer them to people in the community walking by. I found it’s one way that I can be kind and offer an entry point to that challenging business of friend making. Some people wave and walk by without engaging; other people stop and chat while eating a cookie. The past two weeks, it’s been a way that I’ve met several new staff. Apparently it’s also how I met new staff through last year as one returner introduced me to a new staff person by saying I make really good cookies. Another new staff came up to me the other day and said, “Your baking ministry makes such a difference!” which briefly confused me before she explained how she saw a large group of students mob my table. I laughed at her comment and declined to explain I hadn’t offered any of them baked goods. They are just friendly BFA kids who wanted to say hi to me after being away all summer. On the surface, it looks like students come to me for cookies because that’s what most adults come for; in reality, they return over and over for teaology – it’s got nothing to do with the tea or cookies.

So round about to my body and what’s going on under the surface. I’m pretty open about the nerve damage that prevents me from walking and peeing like a normal person. The bladder and bowel function is what people usually can’t see, but it’s what annoys me the most. About a month ago, the bacteria colonized in my bladder revolted and brought on some beyond inconvenient symptoms. I’d delayed my Botox injections for over a year because those symptoms hadn’t surfaced, and I didn’t want to go in for voluntary poison shots if I didn’t need them. The time has come, however, for the greatest nap of the year. It’ll be this Wednesday. I’ll go in to the REHAB hospital and get an IV drip to put me to sleep while a trained professional sticks toxins into my bladder. When I wake up, I’ll go teach my class and hope Chris Bryan doesn’t tell my students to mess with me and see what lingering effects the drugs have while I’m teaching. Due to the nature of the procedure, prophylactic antibiotics are routinely prescribed. I gave a urine sample that showed the powerful bacteria buildup, and received a prescription for a weeklong course of Nitrofurantion. It’s the better of the antibiotics in my experience, as the other two types I’ve been prescribed leave me significantly more nauseous. Unfortunately, my body reacts to any type of antibiotic with some form of nausea.

Here’s the thing, you don’t need to be concerned about my nausea. Or even the Botox. The antibiotics are temporary and clean out my bladder so that I can be healthy again, and I love the positive effects of the Botox treatment that lasts for months – even up to two years. Redirect your concern to my heart entering into interactions with people this week who don’t know that I’m more inclined to vomit than normal. My patience is often lowered, and we all know that I need to develop patience and perseverance. I’ll get through this, and I know I’ll be fine, but I’d like to represent Jesus well this week in spite of the nausea. Let’s all pray that I listen to the Holy Spirit this week – because new greatest meme of myself made fresh yesterday while I accidentally was included in a photo taken while I experienced a wave of nausea:

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