Sick Day / Health Day

I called in sick today.  I definitely could have made it in, but I had a headache from hell (from the previous day, and most certainly a result of this ridiculous idea to give up caffeine!), and my neck hurt, etc., etc.  Anyway, I’m glad I did.  I slept in, got some things done, and I feel good (no headache!).

So here’s the thing with sick days:  I think we should call them health days.  I think you shouldn’t have to feel like you can’t make it in the door to take one, like you should suffer through a few days of coughing all over your coworkers before it feels acceptable.  If you feel like taking a day off of work every now and then — because you’re sick, because you have some kind of health-related appointment, because you’re really tired, or just because you need to hang out for a day away from work — you should just do it.  I hope my boss doesn’t ever read this, but even if she did, it wouldn’t change my mind.  I know I’ll feel much better at work tomorrow and for the rest of the week having taken this one little day off.

So, yeah — the headache has subsided at last.  I’ve eaten well.  In the middle of the headache, though, I started to consider doing a 10-day cleanse instead of an 18-day cleanse.  Basically what I’d miss would be a week of paring down.  I would go straight from this stage (no gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol) to the liquid stage (fruit and vegetable juices, broth) on Thursday.  The alternate plan for Thursday is no animal products…

The thought crept into my mind because I was a little bit miserable last night, and thought to myself, “You know what? I like coffee.  I like green tea.  I like wine.”   These statements are all true.  But I don’t like my dependency on coffee and tea, and I think I’ve been drinking a little too much alcohol lately.  I have a lot of faith in the cleanse to break some bad habits, but I wonder if 10 days will be enough, or if the full 18-day cleanse is necessary.  I also worry a little bit about going from eating pretty much normally (as I am now, only healthier) to liquid only without that extra week of paring down.  And then there’s the fact that my social life has picked up quite a bit since the last time I did the cleanse, and it’s December and party season, and these dietary restrictions are kind of like a heavy ball and chain I’m carrying around.  I just kind of want to eat and drink whatever is there.  The timing of this, while ideal considering work and travel obligations, was not well planned.  I have a strong will, but I don’t know if it’s, “No thanks, I’ll pass on the mulled wine and all of the food everyone brought and just drink the bottle of distilled water or maybe the broth I brought along with me in a thermos” strong.  This is why people do things like this in groups and not alone.  What was I thinking?

The worst part is that I’ve not only told some of my in-person friends about it, but I’ve told all of you about it, and I’ll feel like an ass if I don’t just go through with it.  Like this is just another example of my general flakiness, of my making plans and rescinding, setting the bar too high, and failing.  Maybe it is.  Maybe (after 24 headacheless hours) I’ll feel better about the whole thing and pull through.  Or maybe I’ll decide this really is poor timing, and decide to do it in a few months when less is going on and I can be more of a hermit, eating my veggies, drinking my broth.  Anyway, I’m not making a decision tonight.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Sick Day / Health Day

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I hate the guilt we attach to sick days. Sometimes you just need a day off. It would be much better if I didn’t spend the day practicing my lies for the following day.

  2. melissa

    I think January/February sounds like a lovely time for a cleanse! And no one will berate you for rescheduling, if that’s what you decide to do. : )

    I have “personal time” at work, which consists of sick and vacation time all lumped together. The advantage of this system is that there’s no guilt if you just want to take a day off to wear your pajamas and eat peppermint ice cream and watch John Cusack movies. The disadvantage is that it makes me feel like I’m *wasting* my personal time when I’m really sick. I like your idea of “health days”!

  3. sam

    I prefer to call them “Mental Health Days.” In the summer, they involve golf. The winter, skiing.

    I love Mental Health Days.

  4. Kris

    Agree with Sam. I take mental health days. The funny thing is I did this on Friday and came home with a nasty headache! Apparently, it’s still possible to have a painful fall on powder. Ah, Keystone. Good times though!

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