sick day

27 Feb

Question: how do women with multiple children and no access to help survive sick days?

John and I concluded that I had/sorta still have the flu.  It sucked.  At one point I literally ripped the babe off my nipple, tossed her (gently but urgently) onto the couch, just in time for me vomit onto the living room floor.  I am thankful for the following:

  1. Eric and Caleb: friends who came to my rescue on no notice, armed with ginger ale, zofran, beautiful singing voices and patient temperaments.  I stole an entire day of studying from Eric; may the USMLE lords smile upon him on testing day!
  2. John: ah, love of my life.  He was supposed to spend two nights in Lewes, DE moonlighting at a local ED.  He called in someone to take his last shift and came home a night early to relieve our friends, coax me into taking antipyretics with a hot toddy, and put me and the babe to bed.
  3. Aurelia: somehow she must have known that I needed her to be awesomely low maintenance (at least until Eric and Caleb arrived–sorry boys!).
  4. Zofran: the antiemetic (anti-vomiting) wonder drug.  It dissolves under your tongue so you don’t even have to swallow.  I would be willing to pay homage at its birth place, the Glaxo’s laboratories in London.
  5. Flu shot: Yes, I got it.  No, it doesn’t/can’t protect against all strains.  But, besides protecting against the majority of influenza virus strains, it reduces the severity of the disease, reduces chances of hospitalizations, protects others in the community, and saves lives.  Today a friend told me her infant nephew died of the flu this winter.  Apologies for being preachy, but if you don’t want to get the vaccine for yourself, get it for those who can’t and need you to protect them.
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11 Responses to “sick day”

  1. Eric Rosoff February 27, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Ari was fine for us, too. We just didn’t know the difference between wanting attention and being tired (is there a difference). John came to our rescue. Amen to the flu shot! Also, point of fact for those who are afraid of the exquisitely rare side effect: Guillan-Barre – you are far more likely to get it from the flu than from the flu shot!

    • annaojesus February 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

      I don’t always know the difference, and I’m with her all the time…mostly it’s on hunch and trial and error. John was pretty pleased with himself 🙂

      Oooh, good fact! Thank you! GB can’t be that much of a concern, since having it previously within six weeks of flu shot is not even a contraindication.

  2. Melissa H-K February 28, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Women with multiple children and no help usually don’t stay home unless they actually are vomiting, as you were. It’s more restful to be sick at work (depending on the type of work) than at home. Non-parents don’t understand this and want people who are sick to stay home regardless. However, it is not always possible to tell the difference between something infectious and allergies, morning sickness, migraine vomiting, etc. And besides, people with kids generally don’t have any sick days left, what with taking them to the doctor, staying home with them when they are sick, getting sick more often themselves because of exhaustion and more germs from the kid, etc.

    I remember walking to the bus stop one day and vomiting into the street along the (very short) way. It was either a migraine that I thought I could manage or morning sickness, I don’t remember which, and I did in fact work that day—not on all cylinders, but I did work.

    Anyway, I’m glad you are well enough to type. I hope you feel completely well soon.

    • annaojesus March 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      Oh goodness, vomiting in public sucks! I’m sorry! When I was in postbac I vomited in the middle of the hallway at school…not my finest moment! My professor then drove me to student health. You’re a tough cookie for working through it!

      I’m feeling loads better, thank you so much! I hadn’t been sick like that in a long time, but I was blessed with a short course! Ari seems to have gotten a little sick, but she doesn’t seem terribly bothered. No fever!

  3. MJB March 2, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Oh, Anna, this brings back memories. I am an Alum of Penn Med. I got pregnant right after graduation and had my first baby during internship. I went straight through college and med school, so I guess I was slightly younger than you. Somehow, you figure or a way to survive because you have to and you look back and wonder how you survived. One of my kids just graduated from college and the other is in college, so I can definitely say it all turned out OK. I think you’ll be glad that you had your kid(s) relatively young (I just read your piece in the Times)

    • annaojesus March 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

      Hello! Thank you so much for your very encouraging comment. Whoa! First baby during internship–that is brave! I’m so happy it all turned out well. To be honest, I think I’m more worried about residency than anything else. I’m sure we’ll all be fine, it just makes me a little heartsick to think about the days when I won’t be able to see her at all.

      Thank you for your kind words; I hope you and your family are well!

  4. Amy C March 2, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Amen to the flu shot. I got the flu earlier this season (of course I didn’t get the shot), but as a student of Public Health, ADMITTING that I had the flu was a little hard to do. Never again.

  5. j42 March 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    I am here by way of your NY Times editorial. Congratulations on the birth of your baby! My husband and I had our first child as a graduate students and we are so glad we did. Although the low pay and all the moving and figuring out child care arrangements can be stressful.

    As far as sick days goes, if you are working and have your kids in daycare, and they happen to be healthy when you are sick, then you get to send them to daycare and take an actual sick day. That is rare. Most of the time, we all just get through it. It’s tougher with an infant who wants to nurse all the time, but with a slightly older child you can read them a lot of books and let them play with things they usually aren’t allowed to play with and let them watch way too much TV and eat all their favorite prepackaged snacks. This will usually tide them over for a day or two while you recover.

    • annaojesus March 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      Hi Jenny!

      Thank you so much for your congratulations and words of advice! It’s funny, you reminded me of, I think, I time when I was four or five and my mom let me sit down and watch a whole movie–something usually only permitted on very special occasions. I think I really just need to learn how to suck it up and get through it. I’m thrilled that neither the hubby nor the babe seem to have gotten whatever I had!

      Thank you again, and I hope you’re well!

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. giggles | anna in med school - March 6, 2013

    […] Ari in the arms of one of our sick day rescuers: […]

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