I had to call off of work today. I’m lucky I still get paid for today because I had two sick days left in the bank. However, it’s only July and I am down to my last sick day. I have five more months of the year and I only have one sick day left.
The real problem with calling off at my work is that you are given an occurrence for every day off that you call in. After three occurrences in a 3 month period you will get a verbal warning. In ten years with my company I have never received a verbal warning. However, after today’s call off I will get my first verbal warning.
What that warning means is that I will not be allowed to call off sick or for any family emergency for the next FOUR months. That is correct, until November 14, I cannot call off work, I cannot leave early, I cannot get sick, go into the hospital, call off for Jeff or Grace if something happens to them. If I call off at all in the next four months, I will get a written warning. This written warning will become part of my permanent record. I will not be able to apply for other jobs within my company, I will lose my benefits for schooling and I will not be eligible for a raise or promotion until another four months with no occurrences passes.
The attendance policy at my company is extremely strict. For ten years now I have managed to follow the system and not have too many troubles. However, I am beyond that point now. The headache I had today was extreme. It was due to a medication for my heart that I now need daily. Without the medication my heart is extremely stressed. The doctor states that the headaches will stop eventually however, in the meantime I am in extreme pain and I’m not allowed to take any pain medicine except for Tylenol which does little to ease the pain.
I wish I could describe the headache. It was blinding. The light from Jeff’s computer hurt me. The sound of voices was like nails on a chalkboard. I could barely move. I called my boss at work at was surprised when I had trouble speaking. As I walked to the bathroom it felt like my footsteps were inside my head not on the ground. I fell back asleep for a few hours and have been fairly docile until now at 4pm. I finally feel somewhat better but I am not sure how I’ll manage through the rest of the year with no sick days…
I know my days of working are limited. I feel terrible. I also know that without me working there is no insurance, no money, no life insurance, no doctors, no medications, no insulin pump… if I don’t work I will die. However, feeling like I do I’m not sure how long I will have a job.
I am in a situation for which there is no good solution. I am sick and I am financially destitute. There is little left for me in terms of how to live my life yet I am still alive and I still have a husband and daughter that depend on me. However, a few more mornings of feeling like I did today and I won’t have a job at all.
I am not sure where to go now. I am not sure what my options are. My doctor will not sign disability papers for me. He doesn’t believe that people should stop working. I agree with him in many ways, however, I work for a company that doesn’t grant leave easily and does not provide part time work in any way. There is no working from home. Once my last sick day is gone, if I need a day off I will have to take it without pay. I am having trouble making ends meet as it is now, if I don’t get paid for days off, I will have an even harder time.
Life has not been easy for us. I am tired of being in pain. I am tired of not knowing if I’ll be able to buy my medicines and using grocery money to pay doctors’ bills. I want a better life for Grace and for us as a family. However, it does not look like that will ever happen.
I want to thank the people that have seen my situation and have chosen to help. I am so astounded by the help I’ve received and I so very thankful for it! The money I have raised so far has helped us through another month and given me another month worth of medicine and doctors’ visits.
To my family and friends that have supported my efforts, know that your efforts are appreciated and your help has made a difference! Thank you for being there, for listening, for reading and for sharing my journey.
I hope tomorrow is a better day. Live, Laugh, Love!