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