Posted by: lklinger2013 | December 16, 2016

Medical leave is a privilege and also boring

The school called my doctor at the hospital, who told them that I should stay home until January 3rd. (The accident happened on December 2nd.) Someone from human resources sent a text informing me of this.

I am lucky. I have an emergency fund. I kept it here rather than sending it to the States. I have a place to live. There are lots of inexpensive shops and restaurants in my apartment complex. I have a computer and internet access. I have hundreds of e-books. I have Chingu-cat. I have ibuprofen and Ultracet, scar cream, hot water, and a washing machine. I still have my job.

I will probably spend a lot of time at Tandoor Kitchen, the nearby Indian restaurant. The owner, who delivered some food even though he doesn’t normally do that, urged me to come hang out and watch videos there, whether I order anything or not. He said to WeChat him if I need help.

A couple of days ago, having finally found a nail shop without stairs, I had a pedicure, partly because I am not capable of cutting my toenails at this time and partly to cheer me up. I also had a haircut, which got the last of the blood out of my hair.

Yesterday, I went back to the hospital to have the wrist looked at. It was still hurting and I wondered why it was only in a splint when a doctor had told me it was broken. A different doctor looked at the scans and the wrist, said he didn’t see any break, suggested it was probably a torn ligament, and put a pain-killing plaster on the wrist under the splint. He said to return in 2 weeks.

Finding the correct department without speaking any Chinese was challenging. I went to a payment window and showed the woman my medical record booklet, card, and the text from the otolaryngologist. She walked me to the triage section of the surgical outpatient clinic. I paid about $10 for this visit.

Taking this much leave seems excessive, though. My nose and cheek fractures are healing. I can eat, dress, and walk, albeit slowly. The wrist only hurts when I try using it. I can (sort of) write with my left hand. If I take pain meds every four hours, the pain is mostly under control (though standing for even a few minutes hurts). I could teach sitting down.

A lazy part of me is glad to avoid the exams, projects, meetings, and end-of-semester paperwork, though I did tell people to email me anything I could grade. I asked a manager to send me textbooks so I could write exam questions.

I’ve yet to hear from the English coordinator about all this time off. He sent a text on the day I got out of the hospital, and that was probably at someone else’s prompting. Today, he sent my student survey results. My teaching… needs a lot of improvement*. Having a normal schedule would help, but I can’t honestly blame all my deficiencies on that. I need to prepare more, find or create more engaging activities, teach more writing skills, and grade assignments more promptly. And I need help to improve as a teacher. Not a coordinator who micromanages and nags instead of listening and offering useful suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

*If this were self-indulgent fiction, the Noble Injured Teacher would of course be The Best Teacher Ever and students would be crying for the return of said teacher. It’s reality, so the teacher is reasonably competent and conscientious but has considerable room for improvement.

 

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Happy reunion with Chingu on the day I got out of the hospital. She hid upstairs for an hour to make sure the stranger (a coworker) was gone. Poor kitty.

 


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