I had intended to write blog entries every couple of weeks over the past three months, but was resoundingly sidelined by a major problem with my back in late March. I was reasonably uncomfortable during the MKPFO training, but it got a whole lot worse a couple of weeks later. I have a bulging disc in my lower spine which was diagnosed in 2007. I have since discovered, rather painfully, that these discs can result in your pelvis rotating out of alignment, causing excruciating pain down your leg. I ended up with chronic inflammation in my back and left leg, and it took a full two months and a lot of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers before it was healed enough for me to function normally. I went through a period of about 6 weeks where I couldn’t drive the car (left legs are required for the operation of a clutch!) and a good month where I was averaging 1-4 hours of sleep a night. I now appreciate in some small way what parents of a new born baby suffer with sleep deprivation (and why it is used as an instrument of torture!) and how much people with ongoing chronic pain suffer. I also appreciate the value of an appropriately used pain killer!
As a result I had to take into consideration the possibility that I might not be strong enough to travel on the plane to Ethiopia, much less cope with no access to a physio when I am in Ethiopia. I put my plans on hold until the end of May. Thankfully, Bingham Academy, SIM and my school in Australia were all supportive of this, and all were happy for me to postpone for 12 months rather than cancel altogether.
I only really recovered about three weeks ago and have been playing catch-up ever since. I think I have only been able to successfully use my brain for problem solving and planning for the past few weeks and have ever so much school work to catch up on, much less planning to move to Ethiopia for 5 months! We are in the middle of planning for the implementation of the new Australian Curriculum for English at the moment and I have had so much to do so that my replacement (a teacher at my school will be appointed to take my role as English coordinator in my absence) will feel comfortable enough to keep going with the planning. I managed to develop a pro forma that will help us to review our current curriculum and align it with the new one. We trialled it on Friday during our Student Free Day and it seemed to work, so we are all systems go!
So my physio has given me his blessing, I’ve let Bingham know I am definitely coming, and my application for long service leave is on the boss’s desk waiting for formal approval. I will have flights booked this week and am now working through the logistics of moving to Ethiopia. In the meantime, exercise and stretching are vital activities to re-strengthen my back. I have returned to my pilates class, although I was “demoted” to ongoing beginners (I was in the advanced class), and I can feel the muscles getting stronger every week. I am also going to pack the “good” painkillers, just in case! For those of you who pray, I would be grateful if you would pray that God will continue to strengthen my back so I can be useful to Bingham.