I have decided that I need to name this illness: Monthly New Teacher Syndrome (MoNewTS for short). MoNewTS is a serious, though unheard-of, sickness involving the immune system, various muscles, and mental health. It's kind of like herpes; you only get occasional breakouts. Sometimes it goes into 'remission' and you think you're completely cured. But oh ho, you are not.
You'll know if you have MoNewTs if you consistently get a little bit sick each month. It usually takes the form of a nasty cold involving excess body fluids, sneezing, and sore throat: all things that a teacher needs the least. You will be excessively tired all month long, but more so when MoNewTS is active. There will be much uncomfortable coughing, phlegm-hacking, nose-blowing, and decongestant-intaking. You will also be lethargic, but with an extra perk: you will not have any energy for fun things, but you will also not have any energy to get your real work done. Or in some extreme cases, you won't even be able to get it started.
Inexplicably, MoNewTS is a short-term disease, affecting people for anywhere between 8 and 10 months and then finally clearing up. It's like colic; most everyone goes through it, and some cases are worse than others.
February's MoNewTS got things a little mixed up. The sore throat started things off, like it normally does. There followed a week of apparent normalness. However, then came the coughing. Soon enough, the urge to cough included the urge to expel lovely, sticky phlegm. After nearly a week of that, the MoNewTS is moving upward, causing congestion, stuffiness, disrupted breathing, excessive sneezing, and general discomfort. Usually MoNewTS goes the other way: it all starts up top with the throat and the congestion, eventually moving down into the lungs. I'm blaming the antibiotics.
Can't wait for March's outbreak! What new, titillating surprises will it bring?