The Laryngitis

I'm sorry for the state of my voice this week. I know I sound like a frog with, um, a frog in its throat.

I was hit by a particularly nasty virus (picked up from my oldest daughter, via daycare or school, grr!) that decided to settle in my lungs, turning into a lower respiratory tract infection--likely pneumonia--activating my asthma, and giving me bronchitis. The result of all this was a cough that was so bad that my wife took her pillow and went to sleep in a different room. Wearing earplugs.

I started taking antibiotics for the infection, and maxed out on daily doses of inhaled steroids to open my airways. Unfortunately (I am coming to a point here, really; this isn't just about me describing my illness, honestly), one of the side effects is a hoarse voice. Or, in extreme cases, laryngitis: an inflammation of the larynx, which includes the vocal apparatus. Hence, my sounding like a goat that's eaten, um, a Smart Car. Wait, that doesn't even make sense. Did I mention I've got a fever, too? But look, you're learning all about parts of the body. Yay!

I always try my best to work through whatever illness I've got. It would be nice to put up my feet at home, and snuggle into an easy chair with a bowl of chicken soup to watch Oprah. But I don't see that as being professional. If I miss a class (or two, or three), that throws a monkey wrench into my schedule. Do I cut things out of the lecture? Do I just talk really, really fast to get through it all? Both of those are not fair to students--the paying customers. So, the show must go on.

Obviously, if my voice goes completely, I've got to give up. So complete laryngitis is one of the few things that will keep me out of the classroom. The others are explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting. Of those three, I'd pick laryngitis.

So, what do you think? Should I stay at home with Oprah, or try and croak through my lectures?

Why aren't you studying?


Anonymous said...

"The show must go on", as they say. I don't mind profs croaking through lectures - as long as they are still audible.

Get better soon!

Jesse said...

Depends on the circumstances, but if it's just one or two days I would advocate taking the time off in most cases. If you take the time to rest, you will recover faster. I find that sick professors, not surprisingly, are less energetic than usual, which can make it hard to focus during the lecture. I imagine watching one less section with Dr. Zimbardo would not be overly upsetting to most students. On an entirely selfish level, staying home for the day reduces the risk of passing your illness on to colleagues and students; mind you, the antibiotics should do that as well, but you likely didn't have them until you realized you were quite ill.

Anonymous said...

Cut out material. A lot (emphasis) of students just want to get a good grade, and learning material on the way is a bonus. Cutting out means less material to know, which mean less to know for the final exam, and less stress. I love in classes when profs say "skip this" and I can just cross it out of my notes. Don't take this luxury away!!

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