Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Monday, January 11, 2010

Guilt and Drugs

Made the appointment to see my regular doctor today at a little after 3. Feeling guilt for leaving work to see the doctor, but wanting the drugs and maybe an MRI to make sure I don't have a herniated disk. That would be bad.

The past two days haven't been as bad as the previous. TMI warning. However, having been taking massive amounts of tylenol for over a week has caught up with me and now my stool isn't exactly all together these days. Also, spent approximately 2am-3am this morning either on the crapper or trying to find a comfortable position after downing 2000mg of ibuprofin. Alternating between "Okay, I can handle this," and "OMFG, give me the medication and stop this pain now" today. This is not a fun way to live. Plus, trying to keep shoulders back, but at work computer monitor is low (beneath a cabinet) and temp set to "coolish" all conspiring to keep me hunched over.

Most people I've worked with don't seem to have this problem of leaving work to see a doctor. WTF is wrong with me that I do have a problem with it? My wife seems to think it's related to being laid-off of work too many times (first time within one year of being hired). I don't think I'm that much of an A-Type personality. I know I have workaholic tendencies (which I'm working on, ha! get it). But I really am in serious pain, why can't I let myself have this time (in my professional life, only one year have I used all my sick leave, and that's when I broke my leg, and for most jobs I typically have only 1 or 2 sick days). It's something I know that isn't rational (hell, when I told my boss I'd have to leave early, he's all "do what you need to"). Okay, I guess I could write a whole chapter on this. I was raised that if I wasn't throwing up, and I could get out of bed (even if I had to crawl), I wasn't sick enough to skip school or work. My guess is a lot of my adult life has been colored by that fact.

What about you. How do you all handle these kinds of things?

Edit And the result is aggravated arthritis of the neck. Or in other words, I got my Old Fart Card validated. So percocet for pain, muscle relaxants, and a course of anti-inflammatory (5 days).

10 comments:

Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

Of course, that attitude brought your germs to school so that I got sick -- and I always got sick on weekends and over holidays, thank you oh so very much. (grin)

Having had back problems before, it is amazing how long you can suffer and just try to tough it out. In my case, the first time they didn't have any good medications, so they gave me a megadose of Valium to relax the muscles. Today they have Flexeril. Amazing stuff, but thankfully I haven't had to get any in a LONG time. That's the result of learning a set of exercises from a physical therapist.

Dr. Phil

ChiaLynn said...

Me, I go to the doctor. Once I can talk myself into admitting that I NEED to go the doctor, of course. (Though I'm getting better about that - largely because I don't feel like it's fair to my husband for him to live with a whiny Chia, when he could live with a fun Chia instead.)

Maybe it would help if you looked at it not as talking time off (i.e. slacking), but as taking time to improve your efficiency, so that you can work better, faster, more effectively?

WendyB_09 said...

I'm afraid my rules are much like yours...if I'm not running a fever or locked in the bathroom I'm well enough to go to work.

Last year I had my first real cold (as opposed to sinus infections) in about a decade, complete with fever and all the trimmings. Boss at that time was annoyed the seconde day I called in until I told him I'd call his wife (she's a nurse) and let her tell him why I couldn't come in to work that day. That was the end of that conversation.

Migraines are the exception, I've had so many over the years I have to be blinded by them to stay home any more.

cathschaffstump said...

I *am* a workaholic, and my natural tendency is to stay at work. But I've made myself really, really sick early in life doing that, and when you've had pneumonia a couple of times, you get some perspective on why it's a good idea to make sure you get to the doc.

The work will always be there. That's an excellent reason to go home and take care of yourself.

Steve Buchheit said...

Dr. Phil, sorry, being the child in a single parent family, my Mom couldn't take the time off to be with us. So off to school we would go.

Chia, I've tried those mental tricks, but it still feels weird walking out during the day, even if I am walking with a slight tilt to the side and the Frankenstein lurching.

WendyB, I'm trying to get better about it. But last year when I had my kidney stone my boss had to send me home. The only other time I've done this was when I was coughing so hard my ribs hurt. Went back to work after picking up my prescription.

Catherine, my day job is very time sensitive. Not like people would really die if they didn't get their business cards in a week, but they'll make you think they would. In fact, today we had a dual sided card job (2 cards) for a good client, we've been going back and forth on for three weeks (needed translation to Chinese on the back), and they need the card by the end of this week because the two people are flying to China on Sunday.

Rick said...

You're pretty wired up, buddy. I had the back thing from a martial arts injury and ended up getting the spinal injections of prednisone, which after only two treatments helped tremendously. But before that there was the incredible pain and I lost the use of my right leg and had to be treated for neuropathy. So my sympathies are right with you. Hard to calm down when you're in excruciating pain.

An Englishman in New York said...

I'm like you man, I was brought up with the philosophy that if I wasn't well enough to go to school I wasn't allowed to leave the house (or even my room). It's stayed with me in my adult life. I've gone years without taking a sick day before now.

Hang in there. Hope you feel better.

Steve Buchheit said...

Rick, it's also hard to relax when you know you're just one bad move away from a painful twinge. Or that you try to stifle a sneeze or cough only to avoid the "electric axe through shoulder" feeling.

Englishman, yep. It is a cross to bear. It's one of those things I keep wondering why I can relax and be like other people about it.

WendyB_09 said...

Ouch, welcome to the wonderful world of arthritis.

signed...my hips, knees and ankles

Steve Buchheit said...

WendyB, yep. I've had various skeleton-muscular problems in my life (it's been a hard-knock life as the song goes). My Mom (and grandparents) suffers from arthritis.So does my wife, and I've had mobility problems related to it before. This is the first major pain issue. As soon as I get my brain back I need to schedule an appointment with my regular doctor and talk about the long-term issues. With the course of action I'm on, this pain should go away, but obviously this can return. I want to know how to avoid it in the future (other than the generic "don't do that again" advice, because I'm going to keep writing).