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Not Feeling Well...At All? Then Call In Sick!

Updated on September 2, 2012
sick with cold or flu
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Take Care Of You

It has been many a year since I began working for wages, and I have had many jobs and taken several courses (not college) to further my "knowledge" in various fields of employ. But nowhere do they offer a course in "How To Be Dispensable."

Now I know this sounds a little odd, and perhaps you are thinking that this writer has started to lose her mind. But I can assure you, I have not done any such thing. In fact, I am closer to sanity than ever I have been before.

It has taken me 30 years to come to the following conclusions:

1. If I am ill and have to call in sick to work, the company will not fold, collapse, or fail to operate;

2. There are others who work there, too, who likely possess some of the same basic abilities as I do and can take up the slack while I am not able;

3. That my health is as important (probably more so) as my job--because without my health I am basically useless to my employer, and even more importantly, of no use to my family.

To all of you out there who feel that you must go into work even when you feel like death-warmed-over, when you are feverish and contagious and likely to pass your illness on to others who happen to have to work alongside you; to those of you who like to “lord it over” everyone you work with that you "never call in sick" or "never take time off", well, big whoopie doo dah. Do you think that makes you a hero? Years ago, I may have agreed with you—but no more.

I have recently been going through a fairly common "condition" called vertigo, which, as most of us who have ever had it know, is short-lived and likely to go away as quickly as it appears. However, this has not been the case for me. Mind you, I have had the "bed spins" while at work on several occasions, and as stated, it disappeared quickly. You know, just lasted long enough to be annoying for a moment and then went bye-bye. This time, it has been severe and given me nausea and even sent me to the emergency room for a day.

I had to call my boss the first morning and tell her I would not be able to come in to work that day. She was not happy, but oh well. There was nothing to be done about it. One cannot drive a vehicle, with any safety, while their world is spinning all around them. Common sense, right?

Once I was released from the emergency room the next day, a Saturday, I had been prescribed valium, as an anti-spasmodic, to supplement the meclizine I had been given previously. Again, doctor's orders, no driving and get as much rest as you are able--that is the only thing that will help this condition to go away. I believe the condition is what they are calling an inner ear virus. Of course, this is tricky to diagnose because the inner ear is hidden even to the doctor's scope. Go see and otolaryngologist (ENT) as soon as possible. This specialist grounded me to the house for 2 weeks. As you can imagine, my employer is none to thrilled. But you know what? Too damn bad. Aside from the feeling of high fever--the feeling that makes you feel like you are welded to the bed--this is the single worst waking feeling you can have. The vertigo itself, combined with dizziness and lightheadedness, literally leaves you feeling "out of control" in your own surroundings.

I felt guilty for the first day or two; that stupid feeling we get when we go against our own rules and call in sick to work. But having dealt with this condition for over a week now, that guilty feeling has been replaced by a feeling of “I guess I really do need to rest and I am much more tired than I realized.”

I can take the time I need to get back to a feeling of wellness and to know that once I do return to the workplace, the same work load that was there the last day I was there, will once again await my dispatch. I am good at my job and that is all fine and dandy, but unless I am in peak health, my job performance will suffer and the care of my family will likely be less than optimal, as well.

So, to those of you who see yourselves as "indispensable" or "irreplaceable" let me assure you, you are likely both of those things sometimes, and you owe it to yourself and your family to take care of your health when it is warranted. You will be of no use to anyone in the long run if you gamble with your health and fall seriously ill. Be dispensable. Sometimes, it is just what the doctor ordered and well worth it!


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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As a Baby Boomer, I came from parents who grew up during the Great Depression. For them, holding a job was crucial, and as such one never called in sick. That's how I was raised and that's what I believed for years. Now, of course, I see the fallacy in that belief....of course, now that I've learned that lesson I work for myself. LOL Great points!

    • laidbacklady profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Plumsted Township, NJ

      Thanks for reading! Please to meet you!

      I had another bout of vertigo not too long after the one I based this article on, and again I was out of work for 4 days, which upset my administrator. I used the same meds again, in combination, and it helped more than it did the first time. I think my doctor raised the strength of the meds. That said, driving was most definitely out of the question. I have what is referred to as Meniere's Disease. According to the doctors, you don't ever get rid of it. All you can do is treat the symptoms as they occur.

      However, I have not had any attacks since then and that was months ago. Thanks be to God for small miracles! :)

    • lindacee profile image


      5 years ago from Arizona

      I had an episode of vertigo years ago. It was not a fun experience. The doctor prescribed something (don't remember what) that cleared it up within a few days. Obviously, mine was not as serious a case as yours.

      I think it is absolutely ridiculous that we are made to feel guilty about calling in sick. I work in retail and recently had a bout of pretty bad sniffles (sinus related, not contagious) and I dragged myself in every day like a trooper. Sure, my appearance, productivity and mood suffered, but my manager was sure happy. How sad is that?

      A side note: when I take days off, I don't get paid, so I have a little more invested into suiting up and showing up for work even if I'm not feeling well. An unfortunate by-product of the current economic situation.

      I enjoyed your Hub. I do agree we are much better off when we take the time to rest and recuperate while sick. I sure don't want to infect co-workers and customers by trying to be a hero!


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