To work or not to work on this half-migraine day

(Written on a Tuesday in August, 2016)

It’s 10:52 am on a Tuesday, and my regular shift at the bookshop started nearly two hours ago.

This morning, I was up at 7 and felt yesterday’s migraine starting to creep back. I took a Tylenol 3 and had a cup of coffee (I no longer use caffeine daily as I want to use it as a migraine treatment when I can). I had some cereal.

The migraine didn’t get better right then, but it didn’t get worse, either.

I started texting Avid Bookshop’s store manager, T., to ask if he’d come in early to cover the opening duties at the shop. I thought to myself, Wait on this. I may feel better soon.

I copied the text, which saved it to my phone’s clipboard.

I got in the shower and felt a little nauseated but hopeful. Maybe the T3 would actually work today. (It seems to work miracles one day and be completely ineffective the next.)

Upon exiting the shower, I felt a little better. I got dressed and went into the bathroom to brush my hair and get ready. Jim came in and started talking with me about an art-meets-music project he’s working on. His voice is kind of a loud one anyway, but this morning it was really hurting my head even though he was speaking at his normal volume. I kept turning to face him directly instead of looking in the mirror, as that made it so his voice was not going directly into my ear. I worked hard not to flinch, as I wanted to be a good listener and didn’t want to take him out of this brainstorming moment by saying, “I know you’re speaking at a normal volume, but your voice is stabbing my brain.”

Oh no, I thought. The migraine isn’t getting better. I should send that text to T.

So I sat on the bed, fully dressed (down to my shoes) and ready for work, and sent the text to T., the store manager. I got an immediate and very kind response. He had me covered and wanted me to rest.

I lay back, took off my shoes, and decided to film a quick video before the head pain got unbearable.

But then…it didn’t. Become unbearable, that is. I started to feel better. Not 100% better, but about 50% better. Better enough that I could technically function at work.

But should I?

So now I’m wondering what I should do: go to work at the shop and try to do my normal job duties while trying to put on a normal face for customers even though I’m feeling kind of gross? Help T. out by not letting him be the only person working on a busy weekday? I’m supposed to work tomorrow, too, and have a lot to do in the shop—I should go in.

OR should I stay home and rest up, hoping that a day of rest will guarantee my health tomorrow, when I’ll be much more productive when I’m feeling good?

The future is uncertain. I have no idea if resting at home is better than pushing through now that I’m 50% better. I set my alarm for 11:30 in the hopes that I will feel better. If I do, I’ll try to go in. If I don’t feel better—or if I’ve gotten worse—I’ll put my stretchy cat leggings on, take off this uncomfortable bra, put on a comfy tank top, and curl up to read in bed, trying not to think about all the work I’m missing.

Have you ever been in a situation similar to this? If you are like me, lucky enough to have the option of going into work or not, how do you weigh the options?


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