Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Big Experiments, and Sick Days

I like my boss...most of the time.  But he is very good at taking me down, and making me feel quite bad about not doing my job to his expectations.

Example:  We had a HUGE experiment this week.  Monday wasn't too bad, Tuesday was pretty easy, but Wednesday was HUGE, long, difficult day.  4 groups, 5 animals per groups, 5 organs from each animal to be dissected, homogenized, serially diluted and plated.  With 3 people in the animal room and 4-5 people in the lab plating, it would have taken 2 hours to dissect and homogenize, and a couple of hours to dilute and plate all the samples.

I got sick, well, I was sick on Monday, but I fought through it.  Monday night, I had a fever of 101.  Because of the nature of the agent that I work with, I have to report a febrile illness, and I can't, CAN'T, I am Institutionally prohibited from going into our animal facility.  The illness hadn't subsided before Wednesday morning, but I called in to Dr. C and tell him that if they needed me, I'd come in and work in the lab end, just not the animal end.  He told me it would be OK, that they'd make it.  I felt bad, that we had such a huge experiment, and I felt so physically bad, that I couldn't help.  I had such a monstrous headache that it was making me throw up, and the fever wasn't really going away, that was the closest thing to a migraine that I've ever had, and it was a miserable 4 hours.

So tonight, Dr. C called me.  How are you?  Did you go see the doctor? (yes, blood work, x-rays, metabolic panel b/c I've lost 9lbs in the last 4 weeks, didn't even notice).  Oh by the way, we just got done at 7PM.  Do you know what has happened to the animal graphs?  Have they been updated?  Did you know we have an Animal Inspection Friday?  Are we ready for that?

WHAT???  I have been sick, I have a hard time thinking right now.  I am still fighting a fever.  I'll find out tomorrow sometime if this is a viral thing, or a more systemic issue that has been lingering and causing weight loss.  And yet, I will go in tomorrow.  I will go in and make sure the animals are ready for inspection.

How can this man actually make me feel like a wimp, p*ssy, weak-@ss b!tch because I didn't go in today and help them?  and yet, I do.  I should have been stronger, healthier, had more foresight to see and circumvent this illness.  I should have known what medicine would have helped me get over this faster, so that I could have prevented this.  Especially THIS week.  Of all weeks.  It feels like a weakness to succumb to this, to be put in this position, that I am somehow abandoning the group, that I am lazy and just should have tried harder, and I'd have made it.  I hate weaknesses, and this feels like a weakness.

UPDATE:  I didn't go in. I still have a fever, cough, and pretty bad headache.  I figured Grad student can handle this.  At least, I hope she can...

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