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Yesterday was a sick day…I’ve been sick for several days…but yesterday was the day I was supposed to go back to work…was the day that even though the kids weren’t due back…there were things I was supposed to do…meetings to attend…procedures to learn…classes to teach…
And…the responsibility of that changed everything…
I struggled…even though I knew I was better…I wasn’t well…I was still coughing…possibly still contagious…I got up…I made the bed…I got ready…I coughed…finally…I canceled…
I stayed home…stayed on the sofa…and I became a child again…remembering the days I’d stayed home from school…
Mama had two sick rules…
First…you weren’t really sick if you didn’t have a fever…
Second…if you made it past number one…if you missed school…you didn’t do anything fun…no playing…no going out later…even if you sincerely felt better…and even if the guy you’d had a crush on for months called…and asked you out…and all you had was strep throat…you stayed home…
Guilt set in…
My fever was finally down…technically…according to rule number one…I wasn’t sick…I coughed…
So…I shouldn’t have any fun…shouldn’t pop on Facebook…check my email…watch TV…however…I did some of all…but…I felt sufficiently guilty as I did…so…mostly…I read…but…I enjoyed the book…bummer…I coughed…
I find it interesting how quickly I can resort to my childhood emotions…when…from a nursing standpoint…I was sick…I won’t use all the descriptive terminology that defined my symptoms…not necessary…not pleasant…I coughed…
I would have excused anyone of you from work…told you that it would be better for you to get well…than to come in and infect your co-workers…or…relapse…or both…my supervisor said the same things to me…but…somewhere…buried inside me…was this nagging doubt…
What if nobody believes me…what if they think I just wanted another day off from Christmas vacation…what if I’m really not as sick as I think I am…what if I really should have gone to work…
So…I worked on that…as my temperature crept back up…and a migraine developed…I did the forgiveness prayer for the guilt I felt…I talked to my supervisor again…she said all the things I knew she’d say…she trusted me…she didn’t demand to see the empty Kleenex boxes…or listen to my chest…we made plans in case I didn’t feel like working today…I took something for the cough…I took something for the headache…I went to bed…
Today…I’m much better still…feel great…no…going to work…yes…still working on self-imposed, unfounded guilt…you bet your sweet bippie
Jane