Tips for working while sick?
July 6, 2005 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Any tips for getting through a day at work while feeling flu-ish?

I work in a profession where unplanned absence is often frowned upon, and, on top of that, I am in a probationary period where I have no sick days. Despite nausea and pervasive warmth this morning (I don't own a thermometer, silly me), I yanked myself into work. Fortunately, my job is mostly a desk-oriented one.

However, for all of us out there, now and in the future, who find that a day in bed recuperating just ain't in the cards, what tips have you used to lug your body through the day?

(BTW, you can take it as a given that I will be drinking fluids, will be taking it as easy as I can, have a fan blowing on me, and will get to sleep early tonight.)
posted by WCityMike to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds like you've got it covered. If you have to be at work, lay low, drink fluids...

if your boss wants you there, you can make the argument that you're contagious and go home.
posted by k8t at 7:30 AM on July 6, 2005

The one medication that has always worked for me is TheraFlu. TheraFlu has gotten me through some horrid days in the office. You have to make sure to get the non-drowsy formula though. When you get home, go for the full on night-time TheraFlu. That stuff works like magic.

Good luck!
posted by spicynuts at 7:40 AM on July 6, 2005

Tons of liquids, a multi-vitamin or two, and lots of fresh fruit drinks (I find the orange with 'bits' in to be great).
posted by wackybrit at 7:45 AM on July 6, 2005

Hot tea! Especially if you can find an orange spice type tea. I guarantee that will do wonders.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:49 AM on July 6, 2005

If you are looking for chemical support I would recommend DayQuil.

I find it helps me function during the worst parts of a flu. Get the liquid, not the capsules, and keep it in a trendy paper bag for that magic elixir look...

Note that it might be slightly habit forming...
posted by toftflin at 7:53 AM on July 6, 2005

I like Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus. Works great.
posted by wsg at 8:27 AM on July 6, 2005

I find that the some of the "energy powders" (like pro-endorphin) are largely B-vitamins. Drinking powdered orange-flavored vitamins tastes nasty-but-bearable, and does seem to improve clarity faster than a multivitamin.

I love blended-fruit smoothies when I'm not feeling great, because it seems like food, feels good on the sore throat, and perks me up. Tea with ginger is a favorite, too, and ginger helps with the nausea.
posted by desuetude at 8:32 AM on July 6, 2005

I second the suggestion for DayQuil. It's the only thing I've ever taken for a flu that made me feel better without knocking me into unconsciousness. It's not "run a marathon" feel better, but it will help you get through the day.
posted by headspace at 9:03 AM on July 6, 2005

If you get a lunch break: I pick up some vegetable sushi at the store or coop and smear it with wasabi. The spiciness helps clear up my head, and the ginger calms my stomach. Tonight (or if you can get some while you're at work) try grating a tablespoon or so of ginger into a french press (or wrap it in a coffee filter) to make tea. It's spicy as hell, but it'll clear up your head. Blenheim ginger ale and wonton/matzo ball soup are also winners.
posted by hamster at 9:30 AM on July 6, 2005

It sounds like your flu is not of the respiratory variety? For the nausea, drink sprite with emergen-C. Works for me.

If it is of the respiratory variety, I'll second thera-flu day time. It got me through long, sickly days teaching high school students! Oh yeah, and spicy mustard from a chinese restaurant is also good for clearing sinuses.

I'm a big fan of honesty in situations like this. Let your boss and coworkers know, in a *very* non-whiney way, that you're not at the top of your game and that you're taking it just a bit easy so that you're more likely to be back at full speed tomorrow. Make sure you look like shit when you do this.

When I was a teacher, we almost never used sickdays because it was more trouble than it was worth to make sub plans then do post-sub damage control. Being honest (and also hardworking and trustworthy in general) really helped us have each other's back.
posted by lalalana at 9:42 AM on July 6, 2005

I always try to focus on routine work when I'm not feeling well. I'm significantly dumber and/or less motivated whem I'm under the weather. Baby yourself, close your office door and do something boring.

As my brother says, the best way to work through a hangover is to park your but in a chair and wiggle the mouse all day. Actual work is optional.
posted by bonehead at 10:37 AM on July 6, 2005

Response by poster: b1tr0t, the term 'probationary period' probably wasn't as clear as it could have been, but this is a new job, and at this employer, new hires do not have sick days for the first three months.

To the rest of you -- thanks. I much appreciate your suggestions. It turns out that whatever it was, it was unusually transitory in nature; although the flu symptoms were strong this morning -- fever, sweats, bad nauea, weakness, everything short of vomiting -- they actually all cleared up by noon, and extremely oddly enough, I feel completely normal right now. I'm still planning to head home, take it easy tonight, and get to sleep early tonight, but ... *shrug* weird. Best not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I suppose.

Anyone who sent good vibes my way today, it's appreciated, and evidently had some effect.
posted by WCityMike at 2:29 PM on July 6, 2005

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