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went home sick

So I got some kind of cold thing that's kicking my ass, and today at work around noon I said fsck it, I'm going home. I was sick of dripping snot on new prints, sick of sneezing, sick of... not being in bed, really. I came home and took a three hour nap and have spent the rest of the day laying around.

In the morning I really thought it'd be manageable... I woke up, washed my face, did the neti pot thing, got dressed... and it was downhill from there. And the trusty zinc losenges I usually resort to when I start getting a cold say "do not use if you are pregnant", and it's not like I could slam nyquil the night before, so feeling stumped and miserable I just e-mailed by boss and said I couldn't take it anymore. I think in the four hours I worked today I did about an hour of work, I was so unable to think. I think what finally did it was that I made a trip out to the airplane because I saw two totally unrelated parts with the same 506 number in our drawing system, made went and verified that they were indeed different, then came back to my desk and realized one was 508. I'd stared at the two numbers way too long before that and hadn't seen the 6/8 thing. I felt crippled by stupid.

Also, I was having some freaky weird pains in my hips and pelvis this morning. They've gone away now but I think it was ligaments, I read some things about that and second-trimester. The pain would lay low and throb, go away, then come back and be horrible. At one point I sneezed and was sure I'd blown my hips off... but somehow they were still attached.

I just always debate the whole work thing because as a kid, I was raised to believe that unless you're vomiting uncontrollably or running a sahara-grade fever, you are well enough to go to school. I feel horribly guilty missing work for anything less. I've taken very few sick days in my career. But there was a time last year when I had a nasty cold, fought with it and half-assed my way through a whole week of work, and then spent Saturday in bed when the weekend hit and just like magic I was a billion times better. It made me think that if I would have just spent a weekday in bed, maybe I wouldn't have spent the week being miserable? It's all so confusing.

If I had a job where I operated heavy machinery obviously I'd miss more work... but I don't. My job mostly requires sitting in a chair, and thinking. I am in close proximity to other people who don't want to be sick and I do work with a lot of suppliers and important types who should see our company represented in a professional (ie, not mouth-breathing) way. Those are the factors that usually make me want to stay home, even if I am physically capable of sitting in that chair.

I'll do a poll, maybe that'll help. I hope the options make sense. I sort of feel like I'm writing in the ocean.

I will skip work only if...

I'm sick of work
I'm getting sick
I feel sick
I feel sick and there's nothing important going on
I'm feverish or spewing vomit or can't walk
I am dead, and they already had my funeral


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
When I was in my ninth month of pregnancy, I got into a serious car accident (totaled the car on the freeway) resulting in a concussion and being taken to the hospital by ambulance. I missed three days of work for that, including the two days I was in the hospital. When I came back to work, my face was so badly bruised that I was embarrassed that everyone thought I was the pregnant victim of domestic violence.

In case you think I'm exaggerating, this is a photo my husband snapped of me after my first day back at work:


(Plus eight months pregnant)
Jan. 22nd, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
you poor thing! yeah, my husband looked at that photo and said "car accident? whatever! next she'll tell you she fell down the stairs!" I wouldn't be real excited to go to work either.

I will say though that being pregnant makes me feel even worse about missing work, because I'm about to take 6-8 WEEKS off, plus whatever other weirdness pregnancy can do to me.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 01:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think if I wasn't "saving" my time off for my maternity leave, I would have taken a little more time to recover from that. I was so sore (and pregnant), I could barely move! Other than that, I did take one other day off during my pregnancy as a sick day. But I only did it because I was really sick and I was supposed to work that weekend on call.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
Speaking as an immunocompromised person, when I didn't work from home I *hated* people like you. Please do not share your germs with me kthxbai. :)
Jan. 22nd, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
(and speaking as part of the state public health system for communicable disease surveillance, please do not share them with anyone else, either. :) )
Jan. 22nd, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
You probably wouldn't be happy to know that the way the medical system is set up, doctors get so penalized for calling in sick that chances are if you're physician is sick, (s)he's going to come to work anyway.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
Oh, I assure you I am very familiar, and yes, I'm not happy. On the other hand, at a doctor's office I *expect* to be surrounded by sick people and can take appropriate precautions, which isn't too practical everywhere else.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
that's just great.

I've heard that a lot of countries have government mandates, like every company MUST give employees two weeks paid sick leave a year. It sounds crazy and probably way too socialist for America, but it really makes everything much more efficient and everyone a lot healthier because people aren't getting sick from their doctors, restaurant servers, etc. People stay home more.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
We are *allowed* sick leave, but the issue is that if you don't show up to work, somebody else has to do your job. So if I were really sick tomorrow and called in, the clinic would be scrambling to figure out a way to see all the patients and everyone would be working twice as hard because of me. So I'd feel guilty. And moreover, if I did it too often (I get 13 days of sick leave), everyone would hate me.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
Exactly! I used to enjoy 14 days of paid medical leave, but ended up using only 1-2 days a year. If you keep going on medical leave, people would not want you on their projects eventually...
Jan. 22nd, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
But they still don't stay home enough if they have an important thing to do.
*waves from crazy socialist place*
Jan. 22nd, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
Oh man. My parents were incredibly lax about reasons for me missing school. I've skipped school for like mild headaches before. :D
Jan. 22nd, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
bleh! just curious... were you an only child?
Jan. 22nd, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
Nope! I have a sister a year younger than me. :D
Jan. 22nd, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
I have never believed in all-nighters. Instead, I would rest well and attack the task with renewed energy.

But a lot depends on the nature of your work. I think, if you are drafting stuff, you can't really do it from home. But if you need to prepare some presentation or write some investment analytics report, you can do a lot of it from home, in between naps.

And it also helps not to spread the germs :)
Jan. 22nd, 2010 02:21 am (UTC)
I clicked "I'm feverish or spewing vomit or can't walk" but I'll stay home somewhere between that and "I feel sick and there's nothing important going on". If I'm too sick to think straight, too tired to drive safety to and fro work, too miserable to breathe, etc, I'll stay home. Or if a medical professional has told me to.

Otherwise, I'm at work. Because a stuffed up nose doesn't stop me from working. (Though I do try not to share with others!)

FWIW, I'm much like you. My mom had to force me to stay home from school when I was really ill because I felt guilty for not going.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 03:42 am (UTC)
I say skip work, I do, I will just contaminate some one else and start a giant bug go round. :) I work retail and I am pretty tough, but if one person gets a bad bug we all get it if they come to work, which just increases the sick time :(. So one person out for two days is better than four people out over a course of a month :0
Jan. 22nd, 2010 04:54 am (UTC)
at a hospital doing direct patient care as a nurse (doctors don't ever actually do patient care in hospitals), they will send you home even if you try to pretend youre not sick. especially during flu season, especially with children, and especially with transplants/immunocompromised patients.

that being said, i will call out if i am just overtired as long as i know i'm not needed.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
I never think "there's nothing important going on" at work. I teach, and my time with my students is precious. I have to be pretty bad not to get in front of the class.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
I work in foodservice, so if there's any chance that I'm going to be sneezing, I call out sick.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
Why don't you ask your Dr. if you can take Tylenol, then go to bed and sleep til you are over it. Colds while pregnant are famously hard to get over. Blessings
Jan. 22nd, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
And chicken soup with real chicken broth.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
Didn't use to bother me when I wasn't pregnant, but now that I am and can't take much medication, it really irks me when people show up sick to work and act like a matryr. In other words, they are hacking their lungs out, blowing their noses, sneezing and wheezing and choking, and spewing their germs everywhere; and then act like they are so heroic for being there, like they are more dedicated to work than those who chooose to stay home.

Because the truth is, it's MORE irresponsible to be there, spreading your germs. You aren't doing anybody a service by being at work when you're contagious! JUST STAY HOME!
Jan. 22nd, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
I kinda hear you, but on the other hand the worst thing I could do with my cold is give someone else my cold. It's not like I'm spreading the measles.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
I know "just a cold" is a minor inconvenience to you, but the same bugs can cause other people (like me) a whole lot more problems. And you don't necessarily know which of your cow-orkers might be in that group. (You'd never know from looking at me, if I hadn't told you). Not to mention their family members.

Jan. 23rd, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
Agree. Some people have family members with immuno-compromised systems, and "just a cold" is enough to send them to the ER.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
I put a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil on my pillow and it makes colds less bad. The bottle I currently have says nothing about pregnancy.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
Also food with garlic, chilli, ginger.
Jan. 24th, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)
Round ligament pain -- ouch! I remember that. It never really went away until the baby was born. Rolling over in bed seems to be a dismembering offense with that. I hope it doesn't get a whole lot worse for you.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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