Called In Sick

I did yesterday what I rarely ever do. I called in sick. I was feeling like crap at work on Sunday, and knew Monday would be worse so I called in, and said I’m sorry, I’m sick.

I went years without missing a scheduled shift. It was a point of pride. My name is in the book, I’m working. Life is different now. I have a family and I’m past 50. I take days off. And now, when sick, I actually call in and say I can’t work.

Now before I praise myself too much, I am here on the job today working 16 hours and trying not to cough a lung out. I do feel much better. Yesterday was lay in bed motionless for hours, waiting for the fever to pass, then getting up staggering down the hall, watching an hour of TV, then staggering back to the bedroom, exhausted to lay again motionless for hours. Today, I was actually rested. The fever is gone and, baring relapse, all that remains and will likely remain for at least a month is my nasty cough, my annual winter companion. I have found that the tessoln pearles I discovered last winter actually do help contain the cough. So no more embarrassing displays of outcoughing my patients. (But after a call now, I do have to force myself to cough up the phlegm to help keep the lungs as clear as possible).

Getting sick sucks, but it does give you some insight into what it might feel like to be a real patient. If I feel like death, like I will never be well again, but I am well hydrated and my pulse is only 72, and my sat is 99%, and my fever barely a 100, what must it feel like to be really sick?

My annual cold reports

2009/10: Dueling Coughs

2008: Medicine For Paramedics

2007: Sick

2006: Hacking

2 Comments

  • michael says:

    I hate being sicker than my patients. Thankfully I seldom am. Happy Thanksgiving, Peter.

  • Jared Buys says:

    I hear ya. I hate being sick as well, but I found my self still going to work most of the time, but it’s not worth it. When you are sick you run a chance in treating a Pt that may have a compromised immune system and could cause them to get worse. We must take the sick time off, not just for us, but for the Pt as well.

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Peter Canning

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  • Comments
    Josh
    EMS Drugs
    Great list. I was surprised to see Fentanyl left off the list since it seems to have become the go to prehospital analgesic over Morphine. I have been in EMS for 7 years and a medic for about a year and have seen/given Fentanyl far more often than Morphine for pain.
    2014-12-20 10:58:42
    EMS Artifact
    STEMI Call
    Medical calls are just far more interesting and challenging than trauma calls. I've heard of, but never seen anyone use Cabrera format. It certainly can throw you off if you're not looking very carefully. As to the rest of the call, sometimes nothing seems to go right. You did your job, you're not responsible for…
    2014-12-03 23:27:43
    Jordan Collins
    Morphine
    I know this is from a while ago but I like reviewing your drug rankings. I have found, even in the 10-15mg range, Morphine has little effect on pain. I would estimate maybe 1 in 5 patients feels any sort of pain relief. It's frustrating not getting people their relief, while jumping through all of…
    2014-12-02 22:46:44
    Karim
    STEMI Call
    Patients make liars out of paramedics! And yeah, sometimes the cath lab nurses are so mean.
    2014-11-29 15:17:55
    Dan
    STEMI Call
    Initially I thought my eyes were deceiving me while reading the ECG until I figured it out. I've run similar atypical STEMIs. Good job! Interesting blog!
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