Drudging along

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Today marks five days of working from home while miserably sick. Telecommuting has it’s advantages, though I have debated whether or not this is actually one of them.

Sure, I have sick days I could have used. But after being away from work for more than a week because of vacation, taking additional days away because I am sick doesn’t seem fair to my team and for all intents and purposes it hardly seems fair to me…the work load after being gone for vacation was bad enough. Add more because of being sick? It would have been overwhelming!

Sure, working while sick is miserable…on top of already being miserable. But, someone has to make money in the house. Sitting around all day focusing on how miserable I feel doesn’t make me feel better. At least there is some progress being made at work, even though I am not physically AT work. Telecommuting has it’s advantages in that I can still work without being required to take those sick days off. In another setting, I would have had to burn these days. In another job, these days would also go unpaid. That would add a whole level of personal stress so I am thankful for what I have.

However, there have been several times over the last couple of days that I wondered if I was going to be able to keep drudging along. Coughing into a headset while working with a client isn’t a good idea. Constantly sniffling/snorting snot isn’t a good sound. The throbbing in the sinus region pounds out a reminder that says, “Don’t think you’re even close to relief…” The wheezing in the chest, the rattling of gunk down there in the lungs, well, that makes for a pleasant surprise when a cough actually produces something to dispose of. The light headedness after a coughing fit is enjoyable only in the sense that the desire to lay my head on the desk for a brief period of time might lead to a nap…only to remind myself that I am supposed to be working.

I have taken a nap nearly every day during my lunch break. Those are a pleasant reprieve. Only to be awakened by an alarm that says I need to return to work. Damn oppresive alarms….

Anyway, I might be starting to feel better. It’s only been five actual work days, and probably five actual days of being positive (I don’t really know since my symptoms got worse after my last test and I refuse to waste a test if I am nearly 100% positive I know what I have). I’ll test again tomorrow to see what the status is. That’s give me a direction about whether or not I can return to the office early next week. I’ll follow that up with another test on Sunday, just to be sure it is safe.

Keep your heads down.

Holding on

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Been a little over a week since the last post. Since that post, it seems I’ve had to enter survival mode. That might be a bit of a dramatic statement, but that is definitely the way it feels.

So, the Celebration of Life mentioned in the last post was nice. Still hard to believe and the grieving process moves in waves. Just when you think you have gotten past it and moved on, something triggers it. Not so much for me, but others in the family. I wasn’t as close as some.

The gathering of family and friends from near and far created a an issue that some probably foresaw or at least could have been predicted. As such, there were lots of people around and one (at least that we know of) tested positive the day after the gathering. Obviously, that means lots of people from all different places we in close proximity and exposure was inevitable.

Two people in the house now have tested positive. I haven’t yet, though the evening after I tested negative I got the chills really bad. However, I am pretty positive I am now positive. Waiting on more tests to confirm that, but it seems a logical conclusion.

It’s now been two miserable days of discomfort. But, so far I can say that this equals probably the worst cold I have ever had. I had Mono back in college – it almost feels like that.

Anyway, that’s the latest update. Hunkered down, trying to rest, work from home, and stay hydrated.

Cookies tossed

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Last night was miserable. I started feeling a little dizzy around 5:30-6:00pm. I decided I better take it easy and retired to the couch for the evening. When I closed my eyes the world would spin like I was in one of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, the ride at Disneyland. So, I tried to watch the TV and hope that it didn’t get worse.

It was about an hour later that I realized that my stomach was not good. Here comes the TMI portion….one trip to bathroom for the runs, then 20 minutes later a trip to toss the cookies (there goes some of dinner!). About 40 minutes later, more dinner and a toilet full of vomit. Needless to say, my stomach was not a happy camper!

I normally have a pretty iron stomach, so if I am tossing my cookies I know something isn’t right. Perhaps I picked up a little food poisoning after stopping at a DQ on the way back from eastern Washington the previous night. I haven’t a clue.

So, off to bed I went. Preparations were made just in case I found that I couldn’t make it to the bathroom… The room only spun for a little while and it wasn’t long until I was out.

A storm came through last night so other than about 30 or so minutes in the middle of the night, I slept most of the night and slept pretty well. Perhaps I was a little extra tired? Maybe. Perhaps my kneck is really really out and I was feeling the effects of being misaligned? I suppose that is possible too, though that doesn’t explain the evacuation of the bowels…anyway…

This morning, it seems things are back to normal. Coffee has been consumed and I haven’t had any issues keeping it down at this point. I guess it was just a passing storm in the stomach too.

Policies, policies

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I have found myself stuck between two policies at work. The policies have forced me to take a “sick vacation.”

So, this last weekend I was sick again. The second time in two months. Normally I have a pretty good immune system, but apparently the cold/flu season is going to be coming back this year. So, of course, with the cold comes all the congestion, runny nose, cough, a general miserableness. No fever though, thankfully. I was a couple nights of discomfort over the weekend but not too bad.

Yesterday, I was telecommuting (my normal days are Monday, Thursday, and Friday) and mentioned that I hadn’t felt good most of the weekend but was recovering fine. I was considering flipping my telecommute days so that I could stay home a couple more days in a row just to let the symptoms subside a bit more when I was told that I would need to have a negative Covid test before I could go back to work at the office. WTH? I talked with my manager (she isn’t happy about the policy either because it creates a lot of stress for the whole team) and with the telecommute policy limited to 60% of the month and a holiday coming up, switching days just wouldn’t work. Since that is the case, I am forced to take two sick days while I seek out a test and wait for results.

Seek out. Yes, I have to seek out a test. Weird, isn’t it?

Remember “back in the old days” of this whole thing you could go some place, drive thru and be done in 15-20 minutes? Not so much now.

In a world that is entirely consumed with fear about covid and makes irrational policies about what you can and can’t do, you would think that finding a place and opportunity to get a test done would be ample. Not so much! In my community and surrounding area (within about a 20 minute drive) there are roughly 10 places to get a test. More than half of those places require an appointment. At least three of those places are “urgent care” facilities and require long waits (don’t get me started) and a full charge visit to a doctor. Most of those places don’t even do a test for you unless you are “symptomatic.” For all intents and purposes, anyone looking to get a test done would likely have to take time off work to get one done.

Good grief.

All this fear but no one seems to want to make it easy to find out if you have it or not.

All this just to go back to an office I really don’t want to go back to in the first place because I can do my job anywhere with internet.

Friggin’ world is backwards.

Urgent Care

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Maybe I should have titled this one, “Urgent” Care. I can’t decide really. All I know is that “urgent” seems to be subjective. Let’s check out a definition and see if it is.

According to Dictionary.com, “urgent” means: compelling or requiring immediate action or attention.

All I know, is that yesterday I took someone to the Urgent Care at a local health clinic and the visit turned into an emergency room visit because the Urgent Care was apparently following some other definition of urgent.

When I checked the individual in, body parts were tingling, breathing was labored, coughing, inhaler didn’t seem to be helping, and there was some dizziness.

The lady behind the counter said an hour and a half wait (there were two other people in the waiting area) but that she would put a “rush” on it (whatever that means). We then watched the two others in the waiting room get taken back and three others from another part of the clinic go back.

Then it turned into a full fledged emergency, as there was now shaking, crying, and a distressed “I can’t breathe.” It was as if all of the sudden paralysis had set in. Couldn’t hold the head up, couldn’t move arms, couldn’t hardly function. The breathing was near panting…

I raced back to where you aren’t supposed to go without escort and yelled for help. People finally started moving. Unfortunately, it was too late. Now the person who probably could have been treated with stronger does of an inhaler needed to take a ride in an ambulance to the ER.

I went from a little worried to full on scared. This is not typical by any means.

Oh, and I’m a lot angry because “urgent” was more like “We’ll get you in when we can.” Really, it shouldn’t be called “Urgent care” at all. It is a walk-in clinic. That’s all it’s ever been.

The ER was pleasant. I mean that tongue & cheek, of course. No one likes to visit that place, especially when you feel it wasn’t necessary in the first place.

Tests. Fluids. Monitoring. Hours.

Of course, they had to administer another covid test (one had already been done earlier in the week and was negative…this one too was negative).

All to find out that it’s viral and there isn’t really anything they can do, other than recommend liquids, rest, ibuprofen, and call the doc if you feel worse again.

Really? So, there was an expensive ride in an ambulance and ER visit for something the doc’s office probably could have told us in the first place? “Urgent” my ass…

Irritating AF.

Sick days

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What are your feelings on Sick Days? Have you or do you currently work in a position that offers you Sick Days? If you had access to Sick Days, did you use them? Maybe a better question is how did you use them?

Kind of loaded questions, probably. Here’s another…does they way you use your Sick Days say anything about you, like as a person?

As most of you understand, a paid Sick Day is for those times when you (or someone in your family) are physically ill and it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to work (or you need to care for someone), or if you (or someone in your family) have medical appointments you need to attend. In general, these are the only acceptable uses of your Sick Day(s).

With that being the general understanding of how a Sick Day is supposed to be used, where do you stand when people use a Sick day for something other than those two reasons?

Examples of other uses:

A co-worker takes a Sick Day because they want to take an extra day on either end of a holiday or vacation.

A co-worker uses a Sick Day to go shopping, or to take a beach/lake/whatever day – basically like a vacation day.

You take a Sick Day as a “mental health” day.

You aren’t sick, but just don’t feel like dealing with your co-workers today so you use a Sick Day.

A co-worker is avoiding doing part of their job so they take a Sick Day.

Obviously, there are lots of scenarios where someone could use a Sick Day for something other than being sick.

So, how do you feel about it? Is anything acceptable now?

I have some 100 days of Sick Leave accrued from the last 19+ years (15 year of teaching and 4+ in my current position).

I very rarely used my Sick Days when I was a teacher because it was just easier to go to school than it was to get a sub (all teachers feel this way), and I almost never use more than half of my allotted Sick Days in my current position. So, I have a large bank of days to draw from should I need them.

I guess this all comes from the fact that some of my co-workers have used all their Sick Days up (because they didn’t use them for their intended use) and then something happens and they need to ask for people to voluntarily gift them Sick Days. I know people who regularly (and often) take Sick Days to just do whatever they want because they can and no one questions them about it.

What do you think?

Do you think poorly of the people who use the benefit in such a way, or do you think it is OK to take an occasional “mental health” day?

Drop your thoughts, or experiences, in the comments. Really curious what you all think!

Spinning

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Feeling a little dizzy today. Not sure what is going on.

Maybe I haven’t had enough water.

Maybe I have had too much screen time.

Maybe I just need more rest.

I haven’t been feeling bad, so this is a little outta the blue. Felt fine yesterday, though I didnt’ post anything (did you miss me?). Had a decent weekend and don’t feel any different that usual, except for the slight dizziness.

Perhaps a I need a little something in the stomach…though I honestly could stand to lock the fridge and cabinets for a week or five. Wouldn’t hurt me to wire the jaw shut, if you know what I mean.

So, I sit here working and wonder if the words on the screen will go back in order (albeit, briefly) so I can read them and help the next client.

Anyone else found themselves on a perpetual merry-go-round lately?

*Sniffle*

Not sure how it happened. Not sure how long it will last.

Some how, the summer cold found me on the roof.

It started a couple days ago. Notice a scratchy throat and a little discomfort swallowing. Today, full blown head congestion and a nose that thinks it’s time to run a marathon.

Laying low today. (Called in sick, even though I work from home)

Guess it is time to catch up on some of my own paperwork, binge watch some shows, and play some video games. Time to rest.

white tissue roll on green textile

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Sick note

laptop on white desk

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I’m in WA state and there’s this thing going on. You’ve probably heard about it. So far, I’ve just heard about it too.

But, last night I developed a cough that came from nowhere. And a wheeze at the bottom of my lungs.

I checked in with the doc. At the moment they think it is related to the bronchitis I had two weeks ago. But, with the ongoing situation in WA, work doesn’t want me physically present. So…I have been “quarantined” to telecommute from home.

Can’t complain about that! No morning or afternoon traffic. No early mornings. No late dinners.

Win-win.

Except for the cough…and wheezing…

 

Walk-in

computer desk laptop stethoscope

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Wish me luck. I’ll probably need it.

I am headed to the walk-in clinic early this afternoon to see if there is anything they can do about the sinuses and deep lung coughing. Sleep last night was tough to come by and with a vacation coming in less than a week I am looking to kick this thing rather quickly.

Why do I need luck? Have you been to a walk-in? LOL

It takes a demonstration of extreme patience and tolerance.

It takes forever (typically) to get seen by a doc and, when you actually do see a doc it typically isn’t even a doc but a PA (physician’s assistant). I have found that care is a little suspect at that point. Plus, add in that a walk-in generally tries to rush you out once you’re in (it seems to take forever to see anyone and then once you do, you wonder why it took so long based on how long you actually got to see someone).

So, I am going to be brave and endure with the hope of some relief.