Last Monday was my first day back from the PASS Summit, planned for (and was) a slow day, just starting to catch up and figure out what needed to be done for the week. Tuesday morning was one of those where I just wasn’t focused, always frustrates me when I have a block of time to do good things and can’t get in the groove. Decide to go home for lunch, not long after that realize I’m tired, thinking maybe a residual from a long week in Seattle, decide to rest some. Rest for a few hours, worse instead of better but too late for a doctor visit, and not sure I’m sick yet anyway.
Tuesday night alternating fever and chills, couldn’t stay warm. Miserable night. Wed morning crushing headache is the main symptom, but in general not feeling well. Debate sleeping more or going for medicine. Not opposed to going, but why can the doc come to me? Drag out of bed, go to the nearest clinic, barely standing. They swab my nose, do some magic test, announce that I have the flu. Clarifies saying that for many people the red line on the test stick is usually light, on mine it’s a firm red line. Do I get a prize for really having the flu?
Prescribed Tamiflu and whatever else I want to take, rest, stay away from everyone until the fever is gone. Drop the prescription, home to crash again, my wife gets the medicine an hour or so later. By then the fever seems to have broken, take the medicine, drink more, back to sleep. Wake up, medicine, sleep. Sometime Wed night awake to find I’m soaked in sweat yet not cold – good? Seem to have turned the corner. Only had a subset of the symptoms, but definitely have me out of action.
Thursday I feel a little better, start thinking I should be working again. Go to the office about 2:30 to try to get some stuff done, by 3:30 exhausted and have to go home, eat some, sleep again, then feeling better (again!), watch some tv, get a better nights sleep.
Fri morning I feel almost human, eat a light breakfast and watch some reruns on TV. Still doing ok, so decide to go get some fresh air and lunch, try to work some. Manage a few hours, call it a day, just in time I think. Trying to finish up some notes I need to deliver for PASS, struggling. Ah well, go home, try to rest. About 6 pm I have a call with Blythe at PASS HQ and not hard to tell I’m still sick. Typically I can filter out just about any background noise and think in paragraphs, poor Blythe often had to wait for me to finish building a sentence. Felt like Superman sitting next to kryptonite, couldn’t stay focused. Try to do the the things I thought were most important (hard to tell by then), call it a day.
I’m writing this on Saturday morning having coffee at Panera after a good nights sleep. Still not 100%, but clearly better, doing some prep work for an 1130 call, then heading back home to rest some more. Have to work some tomorrow (having lost most of 4 days) to be ready for Monday. Not fun. I wouldn’t say worse than other times I’ve had the flu, just one of those things you have to endure.
So why write about being sick? For those of you not sick, it’s a reminder that all the vitamins and hand washing in the world can’t always ward off illness. For those of you who have been sick, you’re not alone! More seriously, for those not sick – especially managers – think of it as a reminder that having the flu isn’t just a day off with the sniffles. It’s a few days of just being sick, and it’s not an instant recovery either. It’s made more complicated when you add in the family, trying to keep them from getting it to, having you drop out of family life for a few days, and often the added complexity of one or more of them being sick at the same time. When that employee or team member returns, remember that it may still be a day or two before they are back at full throttle, that’s just how it has to be.