This week, on Monday, I felt sick while at work. It became increasingly evident, as the morning went on, that I was coming down with the flu or something like it. After a bout or two of the dry heaves, the inevitable happened and my breakfast left me. I cleaned up the stall because I didn’t quite get there in time to fix my aim well on the target. I went back to work feeling ever so slightly better than I had just minutes before, but still not feeling well.
Mom taught us growing up that we may as well go to school because we would feel just as bad at home, and at least we wouldn’t be getting behind in our school work. So, as might be expected, I carried that mentality into adulthood. I didn’t bother stopping for lunch, because it wasn’t exactly offered and I didn’t think I could eat the somewhat spicy soup that had sounded so good that morning when I packed my lunch. I was doing good to take small sips of my iced tea at this point.
After soldiering on for a few more hours, I finally got up the nerve to mention something to my boss. I asked her if there was anything else that just HAD to get done today. She asked why and I told her I REALLY did not feel well. She asked what was wrong and I casually mentioned that I was feeling marginally better after throwing up earlier, but still not well. She figured out fairly quickly after that just what had to be done before I could go home for the day.
It took a lot for me to say anything at all, but I was fearless and decided to put myself and my health first for a change. I hadn’t left work early or called off work because I was sick in years. I went home and slept the rest of the day away in my recliner. The next day I felt a little better but still had an awful headache and my entire body was achy. I got up and went through my morning routine as well as I could trying to decide if I could make it through a day of work or not. When it came time to go downstairs and eat breakfast and pack my lunch, I managed to make it into the kitchen but couldn’t think of a single thing that sounded edible for breakfast or lunch. I decided then to go back to my recliner and rest until my first alarm to remind me it was almost time to leave for work went off. I dozed off, which honestly surprised me since I had done almost nothing but sleep since I had come home the afternoon before. When the alarm went off, I had two choices. I could either call the boss and tell her I wasn’t coming into work today or I could rush around trying to eat something and keep it down and pack a lunch all in the next ten minutes so I could make it to work on time. I thought about my word of the year, fearless, and made the call. When I got off the phone, I put it down on the table, took a sip of water and proceeded to sleep the rest of the day away again. I was feeling much better that evening and was able to eat some toast and applesauce. These always come to mind because they are half of the famed BRAT diet that all mothers learn about when they have sick kids who are “off their feed”. We don’t always have bananas and rice as handy as the other two.
The next day I got up feeling mostly back to my old self and confident that taking the day before off work and asking to go home early were absolutely the right things for me to do. I think I might really be able to embrace this being fearless thing. That first day back to work was kind of rough, but by the next day I was back to my old self again, only maybe better for all that extra sleep I got earlier in the week.
Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to speak up and make your health a priority.