Would you mind if I asked you a personal question – how many sick days did you take last year? Actually, thinking about it, that’s not a good question – I presume that because you’re reading this you have at least a passing acquaintance with IBS, so your answer might be a little skewed. Let’s ask a normal person instead. Look, here’s one now. How handy.
“So, Arthur, thank you for walking past just when we needed you.”
“My pleasure. Bit chilly out.”
“How many sick days did you take last year?”
“Well, I had two days off for a bad case of flu.”
“Is that it?”
“And would you normally go to work if you felt sick?”
(Arthur looks puzzled). “No, I would take a sick day if I felt sick. I believe that is where the name ‘sick day’ derives from.”
“Thank you Arthur.”
“No, thank you.”
There goes Arthur, with a grand total of two days of sick last year. Now let’s ask an IBS sufferer how many days they had off sick. Let’s use me, just because I happen to be so handily accessible. Well, I had no sick days last year. None. Diddly squat with invisible sugar on top.
Wow, I hear you cry. That’s even less than Arthur! How did you manage that?
Because I go to work when I’m sick. I go to work when I’m nauseous, or constipated, or bloated, or in pain. My sick days can’t be used because if I use one up then what about the next time, when it’s worse than today, when I can hardly breathe from the suffering and I’ve used up all my sick days?
I go to work every day. My sick days are today and tomorrow and the day after that.
It’s alright Arthur, don’t look so sad. You’ve gotta keep hoping it’ll get better.