29 Feb Damn You Immune System
Or lack there of.
I’m sick. This is the 3rd time in the past week.
For those with any auto-immune disease, or those without a colon, or those with an auto-immune disease which led to the removal of a colon, you can identify with my perpetual sickness. It does not matter how many hours of sleep I get, how much vitamin C I ingest, or how many times I wash my hands- I always get sick.
Someone has a cough? I’d get it.
A stomach virus going around? I’d get it.
Random bodily infections? I get those too.
My friend’s first cousin’s-step sister’s-uncle’s-grandmother has the sniffles? Yup, I’d get those. But my friend wouldn’t.
Having had Crohn’s disease since I was 8 years old, and my ostomy since I was 13, I have become, unfortunately, very used to dealing with constant sickness. If it wasn’t the disease itself, it was the symptom of the disease that would get me, one of which is the high susceptibility to common ills. Sickness is so frequent for me that I have to actually force myself to get on with my life, or I will never get anywhere or get anything done. Through any type of sickness I may suffer, I continue to do my homework, I still trek my way to class, and I still go to work.
Well- I try to go to work.
Today, I woke up with a ridiculous head cold that make my noise itch and my eyes water, as well as an overwhelming feeling of nausea that I had on my first day of work. Well, today wasn’t my first day of work; it was my second, and I was not nervous at all. In fact, I was actually unbelievably excited to go in. I had so many things in my Google work calendar that I needed to accomplish for the day that I was looking forward accomplish. I was also happy to go to work because of the great feedback I had received from my last blog. I found out that tons of people who work at the company have a Google alert set for the term, “Group Commerce,” so they get notified anytime it’s posted online. My last post had triggered an alert and people had seen it.
Whoops- sorry guys- you get to see this one too 😉
As I left my apartment for work, I figured my nose and my stomach would calm themselves down once I got busy with my tasks.
Unfortunately, it didn’t matter how nice my outfit was or how much makeup I had plastered onto my face because my sickness made itself known as soon as I opened my mouth. (Well, maybe as soon as I walked in, but I’d like to think I’m able to hide, at least some of, the sickness from my face…) This being the case, I figured I would just tell my boss I was sick (because he would have soon found out anyways simply from the fact that I was sneezing every 30 seconds) and continue on with my day.
Thank you to all those who said “bless you” over and over and over.
Within 20 minutes, he told me that I should go home. I, of course, argued with him, explaining that I’m just always sick and it’s just something I have to deal with, however, he insisted that I leave and rest. I argued some more, but eventually gave in. Though he disagreed, I have a feeling someone complained about the noise of my constant nose blowing… So, for everyone else’s sake, I left.
I am now home and drinking a giant container of orange juice. I am still in my work clothes but getting very close to putting on my PJs again. I have class tonight (which I am 100% going to, of course) and am debating whether it’s worth it to get up and change, only to change again. Man, being sick makes me lazy.
I have to say, I was quite disappointed that I was sent home from work today. It has never been in my nature to give up when a sickness gets me, so this was very new. I mean- come on- when I was 13 years old I was writing science tests in a hospital bed, with a giant IV pumping narcotics into my system- I’ve made it through before.
I suppose the difference with this situation, however, is that when I arrive to work, sick, I am affecting the work environment of those around me. I would never go to work if I knew I was contagious, but since I’m so susceptible, I usually catch the smallest form of the contagion that most others wouldn’t. The situation is different here because my sickness was actually disrupting others. This realization is is why I agreed to leave today.
But this is all very new. The work environment…
It’s a whole other game, the working world, and I’m slowly learning how to survive in it. However, with every other part of life, Crohn’s patients and ostomates are the ones that have to find our own path in every different environment. In this environment, I realized I shouldn’t be at work when I’m sick… but what do I do when I’m sick all the time? How am I supposed to maintain a job if I am always going to be sent home when I’m sick? I’d literally never be at work in the winter, when I get sick the most.
I’m lucky that my Crohn’s disease hasn’t flared up and that I’m just dealing with common colds, because if it had, I would not even be able to have a job. This leads me to wonder even further about how those dealing with their flared up Crohn’s are able maintain jobs. The sickness can be so great that the pain and exhaustion can leave someone bedridden.
Well, friends, followers, ostomates-I’d like to know your thoughts. I would like to know how people like us, people who constantly deal with sickness, handle a job and the work environment. This is all very new to me and I’m learning as I go. Please help me learn!
What tips, tricks, plans, strategies, etc, do you employ when trying to stay employed?