Optimistically getting better or soldier on

I am still poorly. 

I’ve been soldiering on because I have so much to do. Who could take several weeks’ sick leave? I would feel a fraud because I don’t actually feel that sick anymore. Well not continuously. 

Four weeks of coughing and spluttering, my work colleagues have been gently, and then not so gently, nagging me to get to a real doctor. (As opposed to medical centre I went to a few weeks ago.) And get there now!

Strangely, while my cough is worse, I was feeling much better. So in the busyness of my work day would forget to phone the doctor until a coughing fit hit me. Rince and repeat. 

Anyway I did phone last week and my brilliant doctor no longer works full time. So it was six days until I could get in. The receptionist said if it was urgent they could fit me in on Friday afternoon. But I didn’t think it warranted that. And I know how my doctor often runs way behind schedule so I could be sitting there for hours and then would face the peak of the horrendous traffic home. My home is on the road north out of Sydney and Fridays are the worst. Surely I wasn’t bad enough to put up with that and to be squeezed in the doctor’s already overbooked schedule? Except the cough just wouldn’t budge. A deep, explosive cough. 

So, when I finally got in my doctor asked if the medical centre took samples to test. Mmm. Nothing so thorough. Just a quick listen and a script. 

Double mmm. She thinks I might have whooping cough. At this stage tests might come back negative. And the original antibiotics would have been useless for my infection. 

So after a lot of testing including that hard breathing one which I always fail even when well (small lung capacity), I walk out with new antibiotics that are more useful for general chest infections and cough syrup with codeine so I finally get some sleep and a medical certificate for another three days off work. 

Imagine the joy with which my work colleagues greeted the news. Yes, they weren’t happy. 

And yes, I returned to work. I had to get stuff done before I took the next two days off. But don’t worry. I am not contagious even if it was whooping cough. Too far in. (Would already have spread germs. Oh dear!.)

Strange if it is whooping cough, because I had a booster last year. 

Anyhoo, cough syrup with codeine is the best. Like a mild sedative. I slept soundly with vastly reduced coughing. Defintiely couldn’t return to work while under its influence. 

A fellow at work asked if I was a man. “Isn’t it men who normally avoid going to the doctor,” he commented. 

OK, OK. Point taken. But it is just I thought I was getting better. And I didn’t want to waste the doctor’s, and my, time. What if when I finally went in, I was healthy? Don’t want to be accused of being a hypochondriac. (Which I am so I don’t need to give further evidence towards that diagnosis.)

A couple of other colleagues asked why I didn’t follow the advice I give to all at work. Which is look after your health – it is more important than work; we will cope without you; and we’d rather you don’t spread your germs. 

OK, OK. Another point taken. I do tend to soldier on a bit too much. That horrid Germanic work ethic. 

So here I am. At home. Resting and restoring my body. 

And you? Do you tend to soldier on? Or think you’re getting better despite evidence and comments by others to the contrary. Or do you take a sickie at the first sign of illness?

I wonder how they cope in Japan because you never see someone coughing in public. 

8 thoughts on “Optimistically getting better or soldier on

  1. I don’t often get very sick. However, maybe because I DO take the day off when I’m feeling not quite right this prevents it generating into something bigger? I don’t know. But I’m a big believer in resting and taking the day off when feeling poorly, either physically or mentally. And I don’t like being around miserable, ill people at work.

  2. I agree with Mercester – I don’t like being around sick people at work, especially coughing or dripping ones! I would much rather they stay home. I am less inclined to get sick because, unlike most of my staff, I have a private office and spend less of my time doing customer service (and no preschool programs). I do hesitate to go to the doctor, though. My doctor (rightly) will not prescribe antibiotics for unconfirmed illnesses and viruses, so I feel he brushes off any action, and I am unlikely to get a result when I go there. That plus the long waits because his appointments are always backed up too. PS – I am glad to hear your vaccs are up to date.

  3. That codeine cough mixture makes me a bit loopy. I don’t cough but I don’t sleep either. I am WIRED and bouncing around at four o’clock in the morning. I’d be a shit drug addict. Also, penicillin gives me a rash so if I *have* to have it, I have to have an antihistamine as well.

    • Bouncing and wired sounds like you’d be a good addict! I just fall asleep. Valium on other hand does nothing for me. Was prescribed it for bad back. Did nothing. Not for my back. Didn’t make me sleepy. Nothing.

  4. Oh, no! You can’t be sick on a Milestone Birthday. There are celebrations to be had. I really hope you get better soon.

    You know what they say about teaching…it’s a job where it’s always harder to be away sick than at work sick. Rest up! Forget about work. Some underlings can step up for a week or so and have a chance to get experience.

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