Sick Day

On Friday, I had a discussion with one of my co-workers. Seems he’s only taken a handful of sick days in his three years at our work, while I’ve taken full advantage of any available sick days during my two years. He was absolutely flabbergasted when I admitted that I only had one sick day available to use — just ONE? — when he had literally weeks accumulated.

I’d had this idea that I should really start saving my sick days, just in case I need them. After all, using your last sick day is kind of like wearing your last pair of underwear before it’s laundry day.

Fast forward to this weekend: last night, I went to bed at a relatively reasonable time. Laid down, read a mindless Star Trek novel for a while, then turned off the light.

And laid there.


I finally put a bottle of lotion in front of the minutes display on my alarm clock, so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep checking the time. I fell asleep for a while, around the time Aaron came to bed (sometime in the neighborhood of 4am), but I remember being awake and exhausted and uncomfortable at six-something.

By the time my alarm went off, I’d just managed to drift off into a dream-filled sleep. I turned off my alarm, got up (eventually), hobbled into the bathroom, and stared into the mirror for a while.

Am I going to work? I really should go. I have deadlines. But will I be able to concentrate? How much work will actually get done today? But I really shouldn’t use my last sick day. Again. But I feel like hell. I’m exhausted, and my back hurts from sleeping in some weird position, and my brain feels full of cotton.

And, as in all cases where I start arguing with myself, the Devil On My Shoulder was the victor. I went downstairs, fetched my iPhone, and emailed my boss, telling her that I didn’t feel well and was taking a sick day. And I went back upstairs and crawled back into bed.

But I didn’t sleep. Not well, anyway.

Every time I tried to change position, my back seized up and one of my arms would be asleep. I felt guilty for being at home when I wasn’t sick enough to be absolutely bedridden. I was waiting for Aaron to drift awake long enough for me to tell him I’d called in to work, so he wouldn’t be too confused.

Then, during one of my completely asleep moments, the UPS man rang the doorbell. This was around 10:30am.

“Shit!” I muttered, jumping up and grabbing jeans and a tee shirt before I was really awake.

“What’s going on?” Aaron mumbled, more asleep than I was.

“The UPS man rang the doorbell; I called in sick to work because I couldn’t fucking sleep,” I spouted, rapidfire, as I threw on my shirt and ran out of the bedroom.

Of course, the UPS man was long gone by the time I got downstairs — he’d left Aaron’s package in the bushes and must have peeled out in his brown truck or something. I brought the box inside and trudged back upstairs, peeling off my jeans and curling up in bed again.

I got up when Aaron got up, at noon, and spent the day bumming around the house unshowered in my t-shirt and jeans, feeling generally sleepy and unmotivated. The only thing I could get excited about was researching Schnuth Vacation 2010 (currently Playa del Carmen, México), and that only involved websurfing and reading Cancún and the Yucatán for Dummies.

Once Aaron left for work, I fired up the Xbox 360 and played some Civilization. Mom called while I was playing, and we talked for about 20 minutes. Overall, though, I didn’t get anything accomplished today. It was a sick day, after all, and I really wasn’t feeling well.

Even so, I’m not sure how to classify today. Did I just have a shitty night’s sleep, and should I have just sucked it up and gone to work zombified? Was I run down from my monthly cycle? Might I have been good to go had I just called in late instead of sick, and taken some extra time in the shower this morning to wake up?

I don’t know. But I still feel run down and tired, and I feel like the day has been wasted.

2 thoughts on Sick Day

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  1. Sometimes those days when you sit around and do nothing are the best! I think it’s good to mentally check out for a day, as long as you remember to check back in :o)