So I’m sick. I cough and my chest aches, I feel fuzzy, I have a sore throat. No, according to my doc, it’s not the you-know-what, it’s bronchitis.

And it’s great, because I get to stay at home in the afternoons and sleep.

I love the Canadian sick-leave culture. Back home, when people stayed home on sick leave, other colleagues raised their eyebrows and made snide comments. And any decision to stay at home due to sickness was accompanied by dread feelings of agonizing guilt, paranoia that something is going to wrong and they’ll blame me, and so much stress that I often ended getting up going to work by 10:00 am anyway.

Not that Iranians are workoholics -not that I know. It was just the place where fate had put me- it was one of those places with a very definite “corporate culture”, I believe the term is.

But here, oh love. Pure love. You have a sore throat? Stay at home, don’t come near. Coughing? Stand back, stand back or I’ll shoot you now. The managers and colleagues practically fall over themselves telling you to stay at home, grace a Mr. H1N1.  

And it’s nice. My bed catches the afternoon sun, the children are in school/daycare, the flat peaceful. I fall into deep warm afternoon slumbers tinged with a drug-induced haziness, I stagger awake and make myself some tea, drink several cups with chocolate and then get the kids, ready to face the evening rioting.

Honestly, I feel I am resting from a lifetime, not just this bronchitis. I often hear- how do working, studying mothers manage? When you are in the midst of it all, you don’t know how you’re managing, you just know that you are doing things one by one, as necesssary. It’s only when the machinery breaks down  that you realise how much you need these siestas.

Now, if only I could be sure none of us would die from the flu, I would be quite, quite relaxed…



  1. Foxy

    Reminds me of the time when I was an unhappy school girl n my only hope was to get a cold n stay at home, taking tranqulizars n falling into an unconscious sleep.

    OMG I’m so grateful I’m a college student now, studying literature, instead of the horrible math n physics with the nasty, illitrate horrible teachers. I dono how I dealt with that period -long period- of my life. Now it seems like a short nightmare to me. I doubt if I can ever go through such a horrible thing again, in my life.

  2. oh, I am sorry to hear you are sick but I definitely relate to what you say. Siesta it is indeed. I had the you know what and it developed to pneumonia. I was literally dying. I mean you know how us, working studying moms ignore anything and everything when it comes to self care, but this time, I was simply not able to breathe but god i loved the rest that came with it.

    I have not had a chance to sit and read your archives. I often do so when I discover a blog that I can relate to. So now I know you have two little ones, you study and you work. you are THE superwoman! my hat off you.

    I wish we were close and I could drop off some soup for you. I can only send you warm cyber hugs and wish you feel better very soon.

  3. thenewcomer

    Oh… what an awful experience. May you always be happy and healthy. Thank you for the cyber-hug, and a big one back to you.

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