Rebecca Page

Not Sick of Working. Just Working While Sick.

Sick. As soon as school begins, the sick stories start. People are coming down with something, or getting over something. Sounds very tumultuous, and hilly.

I don’t usually get sick. When my kids bring home something that starts to tickle my throat I go into overdrive on the vitamin C, ginger tea, and raw garlic. It works.

This year I got smug. Big mistake. Everyone in the house caught a little something, in turns, and it seemed to be bypassing me again. I brewed my lemon-ginger tea, feeling self-satisfied, healthy, and energetic.

It hit me Thanksgiving night. Within a couple of hours it was clear that a slice of garlic was not going to turn the tide. The next day, I lost my voice.

Working While SickMore than one week later, I’m still not back to my usual healthy, energetic self. Is it  my own fault? To be honest, I worked through the sick. I spent one day in bed working, but I was still working. I slowed down, but I didn’t stop. I carried around tissues ( I went through 3 boxes) and a bottle of Advil (which I emptied). Like many women, mothers, and business owners, I figured I would suck it up, push through, and carry on.

I wonder how different things would have been if I had taken to bed the first day I knew it was more than a sniffle. Just totally shut down and rest. Would I have recovered faster?

Why do we feel that we have to keep working while sick? We seem to think it is more productive to keep going. Things to do, deadlines to meet, so we can’t afford to take a sick day. Yet, stopping for total rest could mean 1 or 2 days of downtime, instead of 7-10 days of halftime.

The question is – as a Type A entrepreneur, will I remember this next time I get sick?

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