Your Body Needs To Literally Eat Itself Before You Can Take A Break

, , , , , | Healthy Working | January 8, 2019

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

(I have Dermatomyositis. It’s a rather rare autoimmune disease, best simplified as: without medication, my immune system eats my muscle tissue. When the more worrying symptoms appear, my doctor has me go in for a rushed blood test — ten vials — first thing in the morning, and then tries to call me at work that afternoon after she gets the results. I am working at a store, on cash, ringing through customers, and I hear the service desk page the cash supervisor several times over the course of maybe a half-hour, telling her she has a call waiting on the line. I notice the frequency of the pages.)

Me: *thinking* “Wow, I hope she doesn’t have a family emergency.”

(At one point, the cash supervisor comes up to me while I’m in the middle of a transaction and tells me to turn my light off, then stands in front of my counter behind the customer to make sure no one else comes up to my till. Once the customer is rung through and out the door, she hands me a piece of paper with my doctor’s phone number and says I need to call her. My doctor wants to see me right away, which I explain to my supervisor, and she lets me go. I cab down to my doctor, and she tells me I most likely have Dermatomyositis — later confirmed by a muscle biopsy — gives me a prescription, and puts me on sick leave for six weeks, because she wants me to take it easy so that the damaged muscles can heal. All those times I had heard paging for my supervisor to pick up the phone over the course of a half-hour? That had been my doctor trying to get a hold of me, and it took a long time before my supervisor finally answered. Here’s roughly how the conversation went, according to my doctor:)

Doctor: “This is [Doctor], and I need to speak to [My Name].”

Supervisor: “Is this an emergency?”

Doctor: “I am a doctor wanting to speak to my patient. YES, it’s an emergency!”

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