Friday, January 16, 2009

Guilt vs. The right to take care of myself

I called in “sick” today, for my internship. The quotation mark around “sick,” is a means to quantify or qualify what is “sick.” I have many a chronic illness and have even been declared as “disabled” by governmental agencies (although I am not on SSI or SSD), but that is an entirely different event all together.
I am “sick” as I have an acute illness. I have a raging sinus infection that has required the administration of potent antibiotics. I have even had a fever a few days ago! But all in all….. I am less sick today that in the last few days. Yet…TODAY!!!! I called in sick.
Why? Cause I am sick of being sick. I have been sick on and off since December 20th. And by far more sick days then well.
So I called in sick today…and I feel guilty. I feel like I am playing hooky from work. Oh yeah, the work in which I am NOT compensated for, and in fact are paying for the opportunity. Now I am not complaining in the sense that I understand the role of the intern. I understand, maybe more than others. I will happily do great feats of grunt work for the opportunity to learn. However, I have found myself coming to academic stagnation. I have come to the point into which I think often…..”Why?”
“But why?”
My internship is in a big academic/trauma/county medical hospital. Often times, I come across the answer “we have always done it this way.” Okay…..”But why?”
And sometimes those “whys” and “we have always done it this way” have been mandates from the legislators on the hill. Sometime’s those “whys” are based on the imperfect system in which certain entities are allowed to profit, while others drown in unfunded or underfunded mandates.
But the why’s that piss me off are of the ones that emerge from inter-departmental mudslinging. Ones in which my financial/ administration background recognize as interdepartmental bullshit. And being in a department that has often been the dumping ground of said bullshit.
So anyways, I find myself in a position in which I feel I have the courage to say “NO!” In the most compassionate way possible. I at times become frustrated by the fact that me…as the little itty bitty intern (or STUDENT-to not be confused with intern doctors) have been able to get things done. I have decided to take on those annoying cases. Cause…trust me, I know how it feels to be burned out. I’ve been there.

Anyways, I fin d myself still in the guilty frame of mind. I called in sick. I called in sick, because I am sick of being sick. And there is a part of me that recognizes that if this was a “real” job,. I would have come in. If my presence somehow mattered. But I know that half the time I am just in the way. Anyway. I still feel guilty.
Anyways…I really am sick. And part of my internship, I am being graded as been professional and present. I am not blowing off my internship. I am even using this time to arrange a list of things I would like to discuss with my field educator…THINGS I WANT TO DO AN LEARN. Anyways….
I still feel guilty.


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