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Sick and Guilty

Today I called in sick for my call shift. I never call in sick. I feel really guilty about it for a few reasons: I hate being that person who calls in sick, it is a 24 hour call shift, and it was supposed to be the last day of my rotation in this small town.

To make it a little more guilt-inducing, I am not really that sick. I was feeling achy, feverish, tired, and I had a headache all day yesterday and I felt like I was dragging my ass to see very patient. I went to bed early last night and when I woke up with a headache this morning, I made the call. So, in reality, I probably could have worked today because I am only mildly sick, by it was the fact that I am feeling crappy and run down, and that there is a good chance that I would have been on my feet all day and well into the night with no break… I feel like I needed some time off to recuperate and prevent myself from getting worse. Is that fair?

In medicine, we advocate for patients to take care of themselves and listen when their bodies are telling them they need a break. Unfortunately, we don’t always do that for ourselves. Why do we do that, and why do we feel guilty about it when we do take our own advice???

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