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Keeping Illness Home

Mar 01, 2018

I am home sick today and was home sick yesterday…This doesn’t happen often for me. I try to stay pretty healthy and generally manage, but not this time. It was a hard decision to call in sick. I am not sick often and am not all that good at it, so sometimes I can’t do a good assessment of myself to determine if I should stay home or rally and go to work. It is easy for me to think that the people on my schedule need to be seen, but what they don’t need is exposure to an illness.

We are in the middle of a terrible flu season. I have had many people call to cancel due to illness. Did they get the flu shot? For the most part, yes. The flu shot does the best it can to fight flu but it isn’t 100%. There are new strains popping up all the time that the flu shot wasn’t prepared for, and there are the many other things going around that we can get and share.

So, as I was trying to figure out what to do, I asked myself “Can they live without me?” The answer was clear. Not only can they live without me, but they can live better without me being near them sick! We are around people who have decreased resistance to illness and can catch things easier.


Not only can they live without me, but they can live better without me being near them sick!


Many may be compromised to the extent that catching something minor could become a major issue. What if I went in and wore a mask? That’s a possibility, but I researched that and masks only block so much. We still risk sharing what we have. This has to be about the people we are working with. What makes sense for them regarding exposure to illness?

So, for today, I stay home with my illness and sleep and drink tea. This is a reminder to me that I need to try to decrease the risk for illness. We all know to wash hands (which, like all of you, I do constantly), get enough sleep (yikes!), do regular exercise, and try to eat healthy. The CDC has some great guidelines that can serve as a reminder. I hope you can all stay healthy but, if you can’t, stay home!


Karen KemmisAbout the Author

Karen Kemmis is a physical therapist and certified diabetes educator, and also holds certifications in Pilates for rehabilitation and exercise for aging adults. She is based out of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY and splits her time between a Joslin Diabetes Center affiliate, an outpatient rehabilitation department, and a PT program where she is an adjunct professor.

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