Thursday, 11 June 2009

:S = :(

Today is the first time in at least a year, but possibly two or three, that I phoned in sick. The last time I can remember is at Roger's Video, but it may have happened at Heritage Park the first year I worked there (which would be the summer I began this blog). In general, I go to work even if I don't feel well. I wanted to go home sick once or twice last year after Heritage Day, but couldn't because everyone else was also going home sick.

I always feel guilty about calling in sick. At least, I do now. This is why I so rarely do it. I figure if I can get the work done, I should go. Often I explain that I might as well get paid for suffering at work than not get paid for suffering at home. That's not really it, though. The truth is that I feel like I'm letting my employers down if I don't go, even if I'm sick. They might be depending on me to get my work done, and here I am skipping out on them.

When I was little I sometimes stayed home from school sick even if I wasn't sick enough to really justify it. Or, I'd get sick when I didn't want to go to school. My body seemed well trained so that nerves would make me ill enough to stay home when I really dreaded school. In high school I still got sick when I was nervous (and it sometimes still happens), but I stopped not going if I suspected that's all it was. This was especially true in grades eleven and twelve, in which I would go to school even if I was really sick because of yearbook commitments or for academic reasons.

For this reason I often go to work--or whatever other commitments I have--even if I am sick. If I at all suspect it's just "nerves" making me ill, and that it'll go away once I show up (as it usually does if it is just nerves), then I go. Sometimes it turns out I really was sick after all and I have to tough it out.

This morning, though, was different. Last night I was ill enough that I was in a bit of abdominal pain when I went to bed. Not only was I queasy, I actually hurt. This morning was not much better, and it comes and goes. So I phoned in. My employers were fine about it. I know that it's OK; I know they'll manage without me and that it's not so huge an inconvenience to them that they won't recover. And I'm not worried about the money. One day is not worth worrying about, and I refuse to go and get paid if I can't perform as I should be performing. And yet I still feel somehow guilty about not going to work. I suspect this is because I started feeling guilty about staying home sick in high school when I wasn't sure if it was just nerves or not, and now I feel guilty whenever I opt out of anything for not feeling well, regardless of how legitimate that illness is. Also, I feel like people suspect me of not actually being sick; if you're not coughing and sneezing, and if you're not actually vomiting, and if you're not running a fever, then there are no external signs of illness. You can't prove it. And so I always feel like people doubt me if I say I'm sick.

(And, on an epistemological aside, there's that horrid "proof" showing up again, making things difficult.)

The final twist in this abdominal knot is that there is the slight (very slight) worry that I'm getting sick from work. I'm working in the hold of a ship right now. I started getting headaches yesterday about an hour after going from the upper engine room to the lower engine room, but thought nothing of it. I broke for lunch and didn't spend much more time indoors, working outside instead, but still I felt off. Whenever I bent over to work on something--and I was spending most of my time on my hands and knees and crouching or on my side or some such thing to reach under odd little nooks and crannies on the deck--my headache about doubled and I got stomach cramps and nausea. It prevented me from working. What we've always been cautious of is stale air in the bottoms of these boats, and that's where this illness seems to have started, if not necessarily originated. Now, I'm wearing a mask, which helps block the huge quantities of dust from entering my lungs. Still, though, there is some concern that I am feeling sick because of this environment. I don't really think it's the case, and I very much hope it is not. I will have to return there to clean once I return to work. Further, I don't know if the sick-feeling would last until the next morning if that's what caused it. Nonetheless, my direct supervisor and my coworker brought the idea up independently, and it had occured to me as well.

But that's enough discussion about me being sick. Not a fun topic of conversation. Today must now be devoted to rest. Hopefully I feel better by this afternoon. I will perhaps finish reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle today.

1 comment:

Cait said...


Blog Widget by LinkWithin