I think there is some kind of pressure to think that since we are soldiers, we must not give into sickness; we must push through the pain and keep on keeping on. That is all well and good, but quite frankly, there are days in the military when I would prefer to just have the job, and not the adventure. Truly.
The process goes like this... you wake up ill, or maybe you have spent the whole night in the ER and you just cannot get yourself up and moving in the morning for physical training. Maybe you are too terrified to venture more than 15 feet from the bathroom, but get up you must. And this is why.
You have to go to sick call for a slip that says you can stay home. Seriously.
It doesn't matter that you are dumping the contents of your stomach every 5 minutes, or that you are delirious with fever. You must get yourself to sick call. And why? Paperwork.
Case in point. Recently I had to have surgery. Granted it was outpatient and not very intrusive, but I had surgery nonetheless and I was in a bit of discomfort. Although the drugs helped with that, I really just wanted to stay home and sleep. No can do! Since my doctor had generously granted me convalescent leave instead of just quarters, I had to fill out a leave form and submit it to my supervisor. Now you would think that under the circumstances I could print out the form and fill it out, sign it and scan it, then email it to my supervisor for my records, right from the comfort of my own home. But no. I had to go into the office, the day after surgery and fill it out on my office computer so it had a digital signature. Really?
Now let me just interject something about my supervisor here. It wasn't her that was insisting on the digital signature but her supervisor... I need to say that MY NCO is amazing. She is a new Sergeant and she makes her soldiers needs a priority. She was going to bring to my house something that would allow me to do all this from home, but I could not see adding even more to her already long week of work. I wanted her to look good without all the added trouble. So I went to the office. I would take a bullet for her, and I would follow her wherever she needed me. Her supervisor, on the other hand, is on her own.
Anyway, yesterday, I woke up ill. Nausea and cold sweats alternated with stomach cramps and an intense fatigue. It sucked. But I dragged my weary self to work anyway because I HATE sick call.
Needless to say, I made it through the day and actually started feeling better by the end of it. But man, it was one of those times when I longed for a civilian job and a less accountable life style. The adventure could have waited another day...