I have started work as a CNA at a nursing home and had two days of orientation, followed by two of training on the floor. I was off the weekend and began getting sick throughout the day on Saturday. Flu symptoms, just feeling crappy all around. Tired, lethargic, body aches, headache, sore throat, and awful cough, plus sneezing, runny nose/stuffy nose (yes, both), watery eyes and fever. When I stand up I am dizzy and all I want to do is lie down in bed - no appetite.
I knew I would not be able to get through an 8-hour work day today, so called in Sunday night. The man I spoke to gave me a hard time about calling off during my training. When I called again this morning to speak to the scheduling supervisor, she was more considerate. I told her I did not think I could work again tomorrow and was taken off the schedule. At this point I continue to feel lousy and am worried I'll need to take off Wednesday. The cough has moved into my chest. I got some severe cold medicine and that is helping but I just don't have any energy and can't stand for long periods.
Last night was one of those where the best I could do was pick up Wedny's for my youngest (my oldest ate with his girlfriend). I just couldn't sand at the stove to prepare the meal I'd planned and it was too complicated for my youngest to cook. I'm feeling a little bit needy and wishing for some TLC. But of course, the middle-aged widow is not likely to receive much of that from her self-centered teen boys.
I have been so lucky the past years to have really not gotten ill. The scheduling supervisor said it is common for people who haven't been working to get sick a number of times in the first month they start working at a nursing home. I'm not going to apologize for getting sick. And if I am sick I am not going to work. I know my body and my limitations. It is unfortunate that I've been hit early in my employment but it does no good for me to go in and be unproductive or possibly at risk to the elderly and weak I am in contact with.
I've been out of the work loop for awhile now. And now I remember all the crap that goes on with calling off. Did the employer believe that I was sick? Should I really work even when I'm unwell? I've reached a point in my life where I don't call off to gain some free time. If I call off I am legitimately sick. I absolutely refuse to work at an extremely physical job lifting and transferring elderly when I am lightheaded and under the weather.
Something I learned from my husband's death is that I will not play stupid games anymore or jeopardize my own health by going into work when I'm sick. I won't be intimidated or scared. If I'm sick I need to take off to care for myself. Sad to have to be physically ill before I take that time.
I blogged this post in bits and pieces, having to get up to drop off some paperwork at the school for my son's volleyball team and then to pick up the youngest. My youngest told me "You shouldn't even be up blogging, go to bed!" I would rather not have gone out anywhere today but had to muster up the strength to do - that happens a lot as an only parent. Sometimes there isn't a choice. You're the only one there, sick or not.
In closing, it is crummy being sick. This is when it would be the most helpful to have a loving spouse by my side. To soothe me with some TLC, to help with the boys. Our home space (I still have trouble saying apartment) is an absolute mess since I wasn't up to much over the weekend. And still I feel guilty. That is the clincher. To feel guilty for being sick. Guilty for not being able to keep up, to be unable to work. Is that one of the repercussions of widowhood? We widows with kids end up doing so much of everything on our own, 24/7. There is such a tremendous amount of responsibility resting on our shoulders. We can't afford a day off for any reason. All our organization and planning goes out the window when we fall sick. Our lives become discombobulated.
If anyone deserves some kindness, support and a break it would be for the widow who is sick. And yet because I've held myself up to some impossible standard all these years on my own I look at myself as weak because I've gotten sick. And I feel guilty besides. Guilty for wasting the hours in bed, guilty for not working when we so need this job. Widowhood sucks, getting sick sucks and the combination of the two ULTRA SUCKS!
Skipping grateful list today because I need to go back to bed and lie down.