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How to Take a Real Sick Day

How to Take a Real Sick Day

I have been sick for seven straight days now. It’s really an illness. Not my usual “I feel sick” sniffles. A throat that feels like swallowing glass. No voice. None. I had to take three full days off of work, and I struggled to get through my day. That’s the longest I’ve every taken off for being legitimately sick. So, here we have Cait’s guide to taking a real sick day.

Don’t check in on work.

This one kills me. It’s to not worry about work at all. If you’re working on getting better, then you can’t be worried about working on work. For this chunk of sick days, I logged out of my email client and went to sleep. Yeah, I had a trillion emails when I came back to work, but I wouldn’t have been any use before that moment anyway.

Have a plan for a sick day.

Failing to plan is planning to fail! I have a copy of an out-of-office email reply saved as a draft so I can set it up from home really quick. I also have a folder in my desk of plans for when I can’t be there in a hurry. I’m a teacher, so depending on your job, this can vary. At the very least, I have a copy of people who can answer questions who aren’t me, and directions on how to do some basic functions to get through a day in my job in case someone else needs to cover. Then, I plan for myself. I have cold medication already in the house, just in case. I also make sure that the cupboard has a small supply of soup and crackers so that I’m not worried about illness-friendly foods. It makes the day so much smoother.

Unplug, completely.

Read a book, have a bath, take a nap. There’s no need to answer the phone, or check the news. Sometimes I’ll pop in a funny movie, but otherwise it’s a totally unplugged day. It helps me not worry what’s going on outside the house and only focus on what’s going on with my recovery. Obvious exceptions for texting the husband to bring you soup though!

Anyway, I want to leave you today with a poem called Sick, by Shel Silverstein.

“I cannot go to school today,”

Said little Peggy Ann McKay.

“I have the measles and the mumps,

A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,

I’m going blind in my right eye.

My tonsils are as big as rocks,

I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox

And there’s one more–that’s seventeen,

And don’t you think my face looks green?

My leg is cut–my eyes are blue–

It might be instamatic flu.

I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,

I’m sure that my left leg is broke–

My hip hurts when I move my chin,

My belly button’s caving in,

My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,

My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.

My nose is cold, my toes are numb.

I have a sliver in my thumb.

My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,

I hardly whisper when I speak.

My tongue is filling up my mouth,

I think my hair is falling out.

My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,

My temperature is one-o-eight.

My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,

There is a hole inside my ear.

I have a hangnail, and my heart is–what?

What’s that? What’s that you say?

You say today is. . .Saturday?

G’bye, I’m going out to play!”

Unfortunately, it is Saturday, and I still don’t feel well enough to play. Here’s hoping that everything is fine by Monday. Until then, it’s back to bed.

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