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Coping With a Sinus Infection and a Job Without Sick Days

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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.

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EmpowHER Guest

First of all I would like to second what Susan said above - well done.
I am lucky in many ways, one of which is having a husband who can work from fairly often. I certainly know all too well how hard even the easiest daily chore can be while being sick or having a sick child.
This was the year where I finally started using the netti pot I was given for my birthday a couple years back. I have had really good luck although it does take some getting used to.
I did get a note from a friend recently who has tried everything for her sinuses and is now about to have a procedure called balloon sinuplasty. She is hoping to finally find some relief.
Ok getting way off-topic here. Really just wanted to say "well done". Happy Holidays everybody.

December 11, 2009 - 2:19pm


What an honest portrayal of a day in the life of a sick mom. Thank you for writing even through the pain.

I will never forget when my sister, in pain from having her wisdom teeth out and miserable from nausea because the meds made her sick, having to care for her sick 18-month-old daughter. The baby had a croupy cough and a fever and was therefore incredibly cranky. (I went to help, but even a loving aunt's presence doesn't do a lot of good when a child is sick and wants no one but mom).

That 48 hours or so taught me more about mothering than you can imagine. You just keep going, regardless. Because you must. The fever clears, the infection responds to the antibiotics, the teeth heal, time passes, it all gets fine again. But when you're in the midst of it, well, that's just pure mothering strength.

Well done.

December 10, 2009 - 8:29am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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