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August 29, 2014
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The sick day debate


“I’m not getting sick,” my brain said last night when I got home. “No way, it’s not happening. I have too much stuff to do tomorrow; honestly, I just don’t have the time.”

My body wasn’t so sure. “The thing is there’s this tickle...”

“A tickle?” my brain interrupted.

“Yes, a tickle. It’s right there in the back of our throat. It’s the kind of tickle that just might turn itself into a little problem. Tomorrow, it could be a sore throat, then a cough, then who knows. I’ve seen this type of thing before.”

For context, I should explain that the folks in the relatively small office that I work in have all been oh-so-politely taking turns being sick over the past few weeks. I can’t remember exactly who started it but it’s definitely been making the rounds. (I thought I had escaped… Alas!)

“Look, we have a column to write and editing changes to make tomorrow. Not to mention, the overdue bookkeeping that needs to be done. In addition to that, it’s been far too long since we’ve gone to the gym and it’s our birthday in a few days and no one wants to be sick on their birthday. So you see,” my brain concluded, “we aren’t getting sick.”

“Whatever you say,” my body said. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Before I went to sleep, I gargled with salt water and drank some hot tea. Fingers crossed, I had no trouble drifting off to sleep.

I tentatively opened my eyes. Light streaming in. Good. Slept through the night. Good. Swallow to check progress. Pain. Dammit, I’m sick.

“What did I tell you about the tickle? We need to stay home and rest,” my body said.

“Don’t be silly,” my brain said. “We don’t need rest, we will feel fine once we are up and moving around.”

“I severely doubt that,” my body said.

“You’ll see,” my brain said as I got out of bed. Standing to my feet, I felt the room sway for a moment but then I found my balance. Not a good sign per se, but I would see how I felt after I took the dog for a walk. Perhaps the fresh air would do me good.

Out on the street, the sun was bright, the wind rushed and a chill went through my body. My mind was hazy, my throat painful to swallow. This walking around thing, this was all a big mistake. I was fighting the inevitable. I was sick.

The only thing left to do was get the needed supplies: tissues, cough drops, OJ, EmergenC, couch. The grocery store was a bit of a struggle, the aisles whirled together in confusion and though my list was fairly short, it felt as if I was rounding the store aimlessly many more times than necessary.

Home again, it was settled. It was going to be just Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison in “Prime Suspect” and me today. (For anyone not familiar, it’s a great old detective show that recently got added to Net- flix Instant.)

“You were right,” my brain said finally, ,after curling up on the couch in relief.

“What was that?” my body said coyly.

“You heard me,” my brain said as I drifted off to sleep.