Sick… Stay home or go to work?

My cold
I am so torn. I get sick, of course I want to crawl back in bed and rest up, but I also don’t want to let anyone down at the office. What if they need me? What if something comes up? But, what if I spread my germs? I have never been sure if it is better to go and try to work through your illness, or take a sick day and rest up.

This week I have been more sick than I ever remember as an adult. Coughing, super high fever, and no voice. Turns out I had bronchitis and laryngitis and a body full of infection. I was up, dressed and showered, trying to force myself through the pain, telling myself Tylenol would ease the fever. My husband looked at me and said “you need to go to the doctor.” Thank goodness he took me, and I got the antibiotics I needed or I’d be even worse off.

So I missed a day. And then I missed two. Today is my third day and the guilt is awful. But I’m not sure I’d be any good in the office. I’m slow, coughing, feverish, whiny and exhausted. I am lucky I have the option to stay home, and I am able to work from home if needed. If I went I feel like I would be costing the company more if I showed up for the sake of showing up. My presenteeism could spread my germs through our office, and I certainly wouldn’t be working as well as I would be healthy. Not only that but rather than resting up and feeling better sooner, pushing through might make me stay sick longer or even get worse.

I know that I’m lucky. I spent two full days in bed and today I was able to ease into work, by working from home. I’m still too sick to leave the house, but at least I can be available if I am needed.

Now though – I am going to heat up my chicken soup, make a mug of hot lemon water and go back to bed to snuggle my puppy while watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix.


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