I Never Take Sick Days
Should I take a sick day? This is a question that comes up a lot. I’m used to working at places where I am the youngest person on staff, and I naturally want to be at work a lot, so sometimes I feel a lot of pressure to go to work, even when I’m sick. Today, I have a cold. It’s a pretty bad one. I probably should stay home from work.
But do you know what? I’m not going to. I’m going to drink as much (alcohol free) Dayquil as I can, chug a gallon of orange juice, tuck some lozenges in my pocket, and head off to work.
I’m proposing the rules for taking a sick day. Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional, so seriously, see a doctor. Or get a nurse for a partner. That works too.
1. Know your limits!
I feel like I have to say this. That time I woke up and realized that I had chicken pox, I stayed at home. Duh. Don’t go to work if you’re feeling even a little bit dizzy, can’t go twenty minutes without coughing, or think that you legitimately need to see a doctor. Also, don’t rule out going home. If you feel worse, you need to go home.
2. Stay away from other people.
I know, this is hard. It’s actually impossible for me. I work with people. But be respectful of not getting them sick. Sanitize your hands frequently. Every half an hour frequently, as a minimum, more often if you have to interact with others. Purel should be your best friend. Also, if your office has shared food areas, like a water cooler or a coffee maker, don’t go there. Just don’t.
3. Pay a ton of attention to dosage.
Acetominiphin, which also is Tylenol, is in most cough syrups and also available as pills. It also has some very nasty side effects if you take too much. It is very important that you don’t. This is another thing that you must know. There’s also diphenhydramine, which is the active ingredient in Benedryl, and also Zzzquil. It’s the thing in Nyquil that makes you sleepy. Too much and you will feel worse than you do now. So don’t. Call a nurse helpline, and don’t self-medicate if you’re unsure. Follow those dosages to the letter, and don’t take multiple cough syrups at the time. Pick one, and don’t take too much.
4. Get in and out as fast as possible.
This goes along with #2. Get to work as late as you can and leave as soon as possible. Don’t do anything after work. Go home and get some rest.
I went to work today. I’m not feeling so hot, but I made it through the day and am home getting some sleep before doing it again tomorrow.
Welcome to cold and flu season. Use your sense, and stay healthy.