Or could it selfk3rned? I don't know. I'm tired, I'm sick (I've said that before).
Over the weekend I started feeling tired (even though I had two wonderful nights of sleep). When I woke up on Monday I had a sore throat and body aches, and my head felt twice its normal size (and people, I have a big head, ok?). I had a lot of things to do in the lab as we readied for even more changes. Since it's only a few of us in my "division" I knew they'd be counting on me doing my part. The adrenaline kept me running. Same yesterday. Same today. But boy am I tired. I had a horrible night of sleep yesterday and today I'm paying the price.
So, why am I doing this to myself? Well, for starters, there aren't that many of us, like I said before, and people are counting and depending on me. I had a couple of people show up this week to do set up equipment I exclusively know how to operate. I could have canceled, but their experiments of a whole month would have gone down the drain. Then we had some major changes and had to change a few things in the lab to accommodate those changes. Lastly ... because I don't have much sick time, and I can't afford much sick time anyways. If I don't work, my bills don't get paid. No bills paid, even more blemishes on my credit score.
Above it all, there's this sense of responsibility. Growing up my mom bundled my sister and I up when we were sick (with colds or ear infections) and sent off to school. To my mom it was very important to have us take our own notes, be responsible, and attend classes ... every single day. When I graduated elementary school, I even got a prize for having perfect attendance. But at what price? Overall I was a healthy child. I had my bouts of colds, ear infections and the like, but thankfully it never went past that. I never broke an arm or a leg. I never fell in the backyard (because I had to play, but always watching out and being careful!!!). And I was scared that my dad would seal the deal (if I ever got in a fight) by hitting me (that was his way of keeping me in line; I have to say, I've never been arrested ... but I did get myself into my share of dysfunctional relationships with guys throughout the years).
Long story short, I never missed class in elementary or middle school. But, I probably did my share of sending my friends to their doctors by passing on colds, etc. When I was in grad school I sat down my mom and explained that sharing germs, by sending a kid to school, rain or shine, in sickness or in health was a disfavor to society, at least in my book. In grad school I finally made peace (somewhat) with not showing up to the lab when I was sick, with fever, aches and sneezing, or worse (one time someone did that in our department and it sent me to the hospital ... I think that's what finally triggered the reasoning in not being at school when you're sick).
I call that autok3rning ... the "ability" or impulse to work, rain or shine, in sickness or in health, because science and work have to keep on going. It hit me today that I should stay home and rest, because missing a day or two (even if I can't afford it), helps me stay productive in the long term, by not lengthening my illness, my symptoms and discomfort. By keeping me behind close doors when I'm shedding whatever microbe it is that's making me sick. By protecting those around me and their samples. Sure, canceling people is a PITA ... but truly, when I'm feeling this bad (even though I don't have a fever or any major aches, or the runnies), the best I can do for myself and my lab is to stay home.
Let's see how I feel tomorrow. For now, I'm off to the pharmacy to get some honey and some OTC stuff and back under my covers it is.
Do you have any other instances where you've autok3rned? How did you cope with it? How has your understanding of the situation changed? Do you stay home? Do you brave it out?