Sick day


Not sure what hit me, but I do know that some kind of 24-hour stomach bug is making the rounds. I didn’t sleep well last night, and at one point, my stomach was acting up, so I got up and drank a glass of water with some apple cider vinegar in it. That helped.

I went to work this morning, but after about an hour, I could feel that whatever was bugging (heh) my stomach wasn’t digestive. So home I went.

Norway has put some lovely labor benefits into law, including paid vacation and paid sick-leave. Up until last year, the sick leave was organized as 4 periods of up to 3 days each per year allowed without a doctor’s notice – which has always annoyed me, because there you are, on day 3, not feeling a hair better and that means having to drag your sick ass out of bed to go see a doctor, not for a cure, just for a slip of paper. The real reason that annoys me is that my doctor’s office stopped receiving “drop-in” patients in the afternoon. Now they want a sick person to show up before 8 am, because that’s when the line forms, in order to book one of the 12 available appointments for “drop-ins” that day. Just because a good cold never lets go after only 3 days.

So, anyway, I am no longer annoyable. [UPDATE]Norway has introduced something called “inclusive work life” in order to bring down the high number of disability insured. Employers signing up for this enjoy a different sickleave regulation than the beforementioned one, which means[/UPDATE] I 12get 24 self-reporting paid sick-leave days a year (i.e. no doctor’s notice) and if I need to, can take all 12up to 8 in a row (including weekends). Then I have to stay well and be at work for 16 days before I’m allowed another sick-leave. Thing is, with the old system, if you called in sick on a Friday, and weren’t well on Monday, you had to start over because that 3-day period stopped at weekends. And you couldn’t take two in a row, so Monday would be spent at a doctor’s office. Now, I can stay home for a week if the bad bug so determines and not involve a doctor.

In case you’re thinking, “But it’s good to have a doctor make sure that’s all that ails you”, here’s my experience: If I develop a really bad cough, I’ll see a doctor, because when I was younger I often got bronchitis. However, most things that give you a sore throat, runny nose, fever, cough, and maybe the runs, are caused by viruses and not even the flu virus (which is different from rhinoviruses the way tigers are different from house cats). I know they are caused by viruses, because that’s what the doctor always tells me. “It’s a virus.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent money to hear a doctor say that. I’m pretty sure that the doctor doesn’t know for sure, and I’m damned sure that if he/she did, he/she still couldn’t tell me which virus, beyond “some rhinovirus”. The doctor may as well be reading pig entrails. I only need that slip of paper, that written doctor’s notice that lets me stay home from work beyond the self-reported sick days.

So, I am now doing what I’ve always done: I am staying home, getting plenty of rest and plenty of fluids, and letting my excellent immune system do the healing work. For free. My body is the one that deserves the doctor’s degree.

By Keera Ann Fox

I am a bi-lingual American who has lived most of my life in Norway.
Jeg er en tospråklig amerikaner som har bodd mesteparten av mitt liv i Norge.

4 replies on “Sick day”

Bedre nå? Sånne greier er … no\’dritt. :-)Men jeg forsto ikke helt de nye sykereglene du skrev om (følger ikke helt med heller). Kan være hjemme 12 dager på rappen? Og så på jobb i 16 dager før man kan ha nye sykedager??? *forvirra*(Sorry norsken på engelsk-språklig blog, jeg er litt lat.)


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