Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Lessons I Learned This Past Semester

It's been a very interesting year so far. Started a new position,  daughter got married,  and was diagnosed with leukemia. So, now that the second semester is about to start, it's time for some reflection. A few lessons learned since September.

1.  Go to the Doctor.  I've never been a go to the doctor when your sick kind of guy. What do they know. Well, this time they knew a lot. I never expected the diagnosis to be leukemia, but knew something was wrong when I was so tired and short of breath.  We live in an amazing time, and the advances made in medicine are truly remarkable.

2. Nurses Rock. Talk about a job where you truly earn your money. These folks are very dedicated to their craft and it shows every day. Granted, some are better than others, but it's a job I could never do. Between their positive spirit,  caring attitude and the hours they work, please be sure to thank and hug a nurse nexr chance you get.

3. There are a lot of sick people in the world. Whether it was in the transfusion room, waiting room, hospital lobby or the lab, everywhere I went was crowded.  To be honest,  there were times when I felt fortunate to have the diagnosis I had when I saw the misfortune of others and the issues they were dealing with. Truly,  having your health is so important.  Finally, never take for granted the health insurance that we as teachers have as part of our benefits.  Co pays were nothing compared to the cost of my care.

4. Co workers are the best. I have been quite fortunate to have worked with some truly amazing people. Whether its been covering classes, checking in via email,  text or card, or helping to support my wife, their positive thoughts and prayers have really helped in my recovery. Every morning the best librarian in the world beeps 'Good Morning' as she drives by my home. Awesome!

5. Family is the most important.  It sounds a bit cliche,  but its so very true. First, if it weren't for my wife Nicole, I'd probably be dead. Not sure why or how I deserve someone like her, but she's been such a rock through this journey  that I don't know what I would have done without her. When a family member gets sick, it does bring the family together. Giving my daughter away at her wedding on a day that I checked myself out of the hospital,  brought us all together like never before.  I'm not saying go and get sick to bring your family closer, but respect, appreciate,  and love them in good times before bad.

I go back to work in a week. For the first time in I don't know how long, I'm actually a bit afraid.  I always knew what I was doing, always had control of my class, and was prepared for anything.  That's all kind of gone out the window now.  Perhaps the best thing to do is to remember what I've learned this semester and pass it on to my students.

Finally, to my very good friend dealing with some of his own medical issues, I’m quite sure he has learned some of the same lessons along the way.  Here’s to his own lessons learned and a healthy 2015!!





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