My Lousy, Flu-Ridden Friday


My Friday had gotten off to a terrible start. I’d had very little sleep thanks to a wonderful cold, and it wasn’t until 5am that my drowsiness finally overpowered my congestion. My alarm went off at 5.30am, and I angrily hit the snooze button for another half an hour. By 6am, I knew that I had to get up.

Thankfully, nothing crazy was happening blood sugar level wise and there was no signs of ketones. But I felt absolutely terrible. It was cold, grey and raining outside. And I wanted nothing more than to call in sick to work and stay in bed. I knew that nobody would really think I was just chucking a sickie a day out from the weekend. I knew that I would easily have been able to guilt them with diabetes excuses if I really had to.

But I knew that we are always short staffed on Fridays, and I felt guilty for my workmate who would be left on his own if I didn’t go in. I also had to grab the key off of him as it would be my responsibility to open up next week. And being a day out from the weekend, I knew I might be asked for a doctor’s certificate if I didn’t go in. So, against all stupidity, I decided to get up, shower off all traces of Vicks that I’d rubbed on my chest through the night, and went to work.

For most of the day I was quiet. I was short. I didn’t feel like talking. I gave one word, unenthusiastic, I-don’t-really-give-a-shit-answers. People asked me what was wrong. I felt guilty sneezing and blowing my nose in front of others, despite doing my best to do it over in the corner. The day seemed to absolutely drag as I watched the rain pour from the miserable grey sky outside.

Honestly, my biggest regret of the day was that people had to see my shitty, flu induced mood. I felt so guilty and so embarassed that people had to see me like that. I don’t like to bring my problems to work and dump them on others. I go to work with diabetes every single day. I never let it interfere with what I have to get done. I never use it as an excuse to get out of something. I test, inject, correct and treat hypos in private. I rarely complain about it. And my colleagues always forget that I have diabetes whenever I bring it up in conversation in the staff room. And in a weird way, I’m kind of proud of the fact that I don’t make diabetes anyone else’s problem.

So why couldn’t I keep it together on Friday? Why was an innocent cold the thing that brought my world crashing down? I guess I was pissed that I guilted myself into going in. I guess I was pissed that I didn’t stay home in the first place. And I guess I was pissed that I didn’t take the time to look after myself.

And as it turned out, going home at lunchtime to look after myself was the best decision I made all day.

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