This morning I was hit with one of the meanest headaches that I’ve ever had – a side effect of a certain female monthly event that hits me every once in a while (sorry for the TMI).
It felt like I had some screws being tightened on my brain, making it ready to pop. Pair that with some abdominal cramps, backache, and heaviness of the legs and you’ll understand why I was ready to pull the blanket over my head and just sleep the day away.
I called emailed in sick.
I never call in sick. I mean, you just cannot call in sick for a effin’ headache in this country. I am really not an oversensitive person and I do believe that sometimes you should just get over yourself and go to work. However, it’s kind of disturbing to me that for example in spite of a back injury, my boss has been coming to work on painkillers for the last, .. oh just 10 months or so.
And I am staying home with ‘just’ a headache (and some minor other pains). What’s wrong with me?
No, actually, I seriously ask you: What’s wrong with you?
Why are you coming to work when you should be staying home, letting heal whatever needs healing?
I can’t for the live of me understand why being sick is – obviously – considered something that you can “plan in advance” (what with the numbered sick days per year).
It strikes me – and my European mind – as odd that people that are sick or not feeling well are not encouraged to fully recover before they come back to work.
I seriously contemplated a) if I should just get over it and go to work and b) if this was a legitimate reason to stay at home. This is what a few years in this country will do to you.
Then my European part of the brain took over and told me: Hell yes, this is a reason to stay home. How productive do you think you’re going to be today? Are you going to waste your employer’s time and money by showing up at work feeling completely miserable and achieving close to nothing during this work day? You don’t have many days off as it is (ok, I had yesterday off and that was nice, but I was planning to make up for it by working tomorrow, which I’m still planning to do! And anyway, who could have known that I was going to feel so horrible today – as aforementioned, you can’t plan when you’re going to feel sick), so just take this day for yourself and get some rest.
Believe me, I am the last person on this planet that would call (pre)menstrual symptoms a sickness, but I dare all of you who never had (P)MS to ridicule the pain and agony that can go along with the monthly hormonal changes.
I just couldn’t go to work today. And I shouldn’t feel bad for staying at home. I honestly think my boss should stay at home, too. His back will only get better if he gives it some rest (and maybe some physical therapy), not if he moves around all day just masking the pain with the painkillers.
Don’t you agree?
In Germany, you can take up to 6 weeks (that is, 30 days) of sick time per year, before your salary is being impacted (not cut!). This means you’ll be paid your full salary for the 6 weeks that you’re sick. Your health insurance picks up 70% of your salary, if you’re sick for longer than the 6 weeks.
I mean, seriously. What a relief. This alone makes me want to move back to Germany immediately. The last thing you want (or should) worry about when you’re seriously sick (besides getting well) is how you’re going to pay for rent, food, and such, let alone the medical bills that will inevitably pile up in your mailbox.
I am sorry, I am going off on a tangent here (and as you might have guessed, I could write about my bother with the US health care system all day)… how did I get here again? Oh yes, my (P)MS… my “petty” splitting headache.
I am feeling slightly better by now, thanks for asking.
I just know, I needed this day off and I won’t let anybody tell me that I can’t stay at home when I feel miserable like that. Period.