Monday, June 22, 2009

sick and tired

Well I seem to spend more time feeling sick than not at the moment, what with a virus in my eustachian tubes (in my ears for the less anatomically minded!), a lengthy dose of bronchitis and now seasonal flu the last few months have felt like something of an uphill battle. "Why do you think you keep getting sick?" asked my boss when I rang in today to say that I wasn't sure going in tomorrow was a great idea.

Why indeed? I've not been this sick this often since I worked in residential care... and before that in day care... hmmm, maybe I spy a pattern here? Lots of people in a relatively small space all day, many of whom have health issues and/or are more vulnerable to whatever is going around. I spend a hefty chunk of my day wiping noses (and bottoms if it comes to that), cuddling snotty nosed kids and sitting in a warm confined space with them whilst they fall asleep. We teach them that it is good to share, but some things are best kept to yourself!

But what annoys me is the pressure that there is to go back to work as soon as you are vertical again. Especially when I read the Ministry of Health guidelines that state no matter what type of influenza you have, H1N1 or seasonal, you should be off for 7 days and/or until you have 24hrs free of symptoms. It would have made far more sense to take the week off and get properly better in the first place than struggle back to work after a couple of days and then end up off sick again by the end of the week. But I only get 5 days paid sick leave a year, which got used up when I had the virus, so now I'm eating into my not exactly extensive annual leave and am being made to feel guilty for being off sick. I now appreciate, in a way that I never really did when I had it, just how good the sick pay conditions are in the UK!!!

It felt decidedly wrong to be sitting in a staff meeting on Friday where we discussed extensive cleaning regimes to keep down the risk of infection and excluding children for x number of days who had been overseas when there I was coughing and sneezing! I was probably the biggest infection risk we had. Admittedly I would have already gone home had a lift been available sooner, but I had to ask if I could go I didn't get sent home!

Anyways, time I went and made another hot honey & lemon drink. At least the universe provides lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges in season when I need them most and I live where they grow in the garden =)