Sometimes no matter how well we take care of ourselves either through eating the proper foods, exercising both the body and mind, dressing properly for the weather, having good hygiene, we find ourselves sick regardless of what we do.
Back in 1998, when I was working at a buffet restaurant in the Kalamazoo area, I was always conscious of all the things mentioned above. However, for the first time ever in my life, I came down with strep throat. Up until then, I had never had the illness, not even as a child. Being exposed to customers, and coworkers who were sick, I ended up sick myself. It wasn’t pleasant.
At first, I didn’t know what it was ailing me. I had been feeling awful all day long, and even the night before that. My throat felt closed up, causing me to cough and struggle for air whenever I’d lay down at night to sleep. So, my aunt drove me to the emergency room at one of our local hospitals. The doctor told me I had strep throat.
“I don’t understand. In all these years, I’ve never had strep throat, not even as a child. Now, I’m being told I have strep throat. I wash my hands, have excellent hygiene, and dress properly for the weather. How could I still have gotten sick at all. I’m very careful to take proper care of myself,” I said in disbelief.
“In many cases, it occurs from being exposed to other people who are sick. Although you did everything right to protect yourself from getting sick, unfortunately, there are others who don’t cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing. Therefore, their germs fly everywhere. Or some folks cough and sneeze into their hands. Then they don’t wash their hands immediately after doing so. They touch surfaces, and expose others to their sickness. I think this is what has happened, in your case,” he explained solemnly.
He prescribed some pills for me to take, and said for me to stay home from work for at least two weeks. Prior to returning to work I was to report back to him to make sure I was in the clear to report back to work. The doctor also wrote me a note to give to my employer, excusing me from work, and stating when I’d be able to return.
My aunt drove me to the buffet restaurant I worked at. I went inside, and told the cashier I needed to speak with a manager right away. “It’s of dire importance,” I said.
She called for a manager on the intercom to report to the front of the restaurant, and about it being very important. I presented my General Manager the note from my doctor, and showed him the bottle containing the pills I was prescribed. He said, “I’m so sorry you’re not feeling well, Kiki. I hope you get well soon. Feel better. When you’re ready to return, and get the okay from you’re doctor, you’re job will be here waiting for you. All we ask is that you go home, get some rest, and take care of yourself. Get yourself well. We’ll miss you the entire two weeks you’ll be out.”
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015