I am sick and I have three bosses that have no sympathy for my condition. They expect my job to be done within normal deadlines and my health is no factor. I cannot call in sick. I cannot curl up in my bed to recover.
I feel miserable. My ears are plugged and are throbbing from the inside. My congestion is so bad that I cannot breathe through my nose. I have a headache so severe that I am nauseous. My face hurts from my forehead to my cheeks. I barely have the energy to stand. I am nearly certain that I have a sinus infection.
My three bosses are demanding, almost unaware of how awful I feel. Of course, how could they, their ages are 6, 4, and 17 months. It is not easy to be sick when you are a stay-at-home Mom.
I must admit that I miss the days before I had kids when, if I was sick enough to stay home from work, I could relax and rest. Now when I feel a cold coming on, I get a feeling of anxiety because I know that my day has to remain the same. There are still children to drive to and from school. There are still meals to make, dishes to clean, and clothes to be washed. Even if I could ignore the cleaning chores, it is a full time job to take care of kids.
I am fortunate to have a very involved, helpful husband but I also know that he cannot stay home from work each time I am sick. So I continue on and try to make it through the day, counting the hours until his return.
It my fifth day that my illness has been progressing and this is the morning that I feel the worst. My persistent cough makes my throat feel raw and my head feels fuzzy from the pressure in my ears and face. It is 5:30am when my family awakes, ready for their breakfast to be made as everyone gets ready for school. I manage to accomplish every morning task, even in my hazy state.
After two boys have been taken to school, I arrive with the baby at the doctor’s office with the hope that the doctor will give me something, ANYTHING to make me feel better. Since I have never been to this office before, I have to go through all the new patient history. My doctor is abrupt, with little interest in my questions or comments.