Being ill is never ever a good thing. Once you have a kid, it gets complicated on top of just being all-around crappy. Today, I crossed a new threshold: I felt too sick to stay home. I’m probably just being a whiner. As anyone knocked up knows, the worst thing about being knocked up is that you are not free to choose what to put into your body. Well, I guess you are, but you don’t want to be a negligent mom to the not-yet-born. Anyway, you can’t take medications willy-nilly. Otherwise, I probably would have chugged a half a bottle of Nyquil last night and gotten some rest. Whatever I have is probably sinus-related or just a seasonal cold. It’s not like it’s the flu or anything truly horrendous. But when you compound it with little sleep and the inability to medicate yourself as you see fit, it’s no good.
I thought briefly about calling in sick at 4:45 this morning when Stella was deciding it was time to get up. Even with maternity leave looming, I have a bit of extra sick leave in the bank. My boss would certainly have understood even though he’d have to fill in on a conference call for me. But then my child started pulling me around the house by the finger: first to the counter (the milk was unacceptable without strawberry stuff in it this morning), then to the pantry for snack shopping, then to the TV several times over while she tried to decide what she wanted to watch, then to the shoe bin prior to the front door meltdown when I tried to explain that we didn’t go outside in our pajamas and/or when the sun is not yet finished going night-night. Sure, I would have and could have napped with her at some point in the morning. The rest of the day would not have been rest. It truly is less strenuous at the office.
So, here I am at work trying to take it as easy as possible. I get sick so infrequently that my box of tissues was actually about empty and I hadn’t remembered. Like an office gangsta, I helped myself to half a roll of toilet paper from the ladies room. I wrapped it in paper towels to get it back to my cube as I was ashamed. Don’t worry. I’m leaving it at the office so it’s technically not thievery. Still, I am trying to be positive about this. I figure today is probably going to be the worst of it (fingers and toes crossed) and that hopefully I will be as irritating to the chronically ill man1 adjacent to me as he has been to me every day for the past 2 years.
1 I will be damning myself in your eyes for this, but this guy has been nicknamed The Zombie as he’s more dead than alive. He may actually be a Disney animatronic gone wrong. He spends his days at work on the phone with doctors and pharmacists. All day. Every day. There are also calls to plumbers (I have no idea what he keeps putting down his sinks and commodes, but he has serious issues), roofers, landscapers, and the vet for his 2 miniature schnauzers, one of which has skin allergies and the other which needs medication due to her nervousness. You know how people have “dead pools” for celebrities soon to kick the bucket? This guy stays at #1 around here. I’d feel bad for him if only he was nice, did his job (ever), and/or didn’t make me physically ill. When he coughs, he punctuates it with a horrific gagging noise as if he’s expelling liquefied lung tissue. It’s like he has the consumption. He must be experienced to be believed. I get so ill from him that I am often unable to work. His real name is Stan. One day I got so frustrated that I changed the Dr. Seuss classic to Green Lungs and Stan. I really am not a mean person. I have just been driven stark raving mad.