Yesterday, I left before our school faculty meeting started. I felt terrible. I had a pounding headache, and my stomach was upset. Yet what worried me most was what my colleagues would think — “he’s skipping a meeting. He hates meetings, and he’s feigning sickness.”
This morning, I didn’t have a fever. I still felt bad, and I didn’t sleep well, but most of the stomach stress had seemed to pass. I made myself some breakfast, showered, and got dressed. I made myself a lunch to take to work, thinking all the way through making it, “I may save this ’til tomorrow. I really don’t feel like eating.”
I was five minutes from walking out the door when my gut told me in insistent terms that I needed to upchuck right away. So I pulled off my tie, and I did. Then I called school, found a substitute teacher, and wrote up lesson plans — in between the return of diarrhea and vomiting. I slept through most of the morning, alternating between feeling peppy and wondering why I didn’t just go back to work, and feeling awful. I wrote lesson plans for Thursday and Friday, on the off chance I’d need them.
It’s now almost 6:00pm, and I feel much better. I never had a fever through the whole day, which made me feel guilty about skipping out on my colleagues. But there are people counting on you out there, you know? You don’t want to disappoint the kids or your colleagues.
I’m so humbled and thankful that I work in a place that recognizes that people get sick sometimes, and that they need to take care of themselves.