Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Liar Liar

I called in sick to work yesterday. But I wasn't sick. I lied.

After my root canal, I was not done with all the required dental work. I need a post and core and then a crown. I got my post and cord and then I was told I need a crown lengthening. The dentist did a horrific job of explaining the procedure to me. "Will it hurt?" I asked him. "No, no, you'll be fine. Standard procedure." Fine, no big deal, I thought.

Now, WG2 has enforced a strict policy that I am not allowed to visit websites like WebMD. I'm a bit of hypochondriac. But since WG2 moved halfway across the country, she is unable to jump across the living room and grab my laptop out of my hands when I say something like "omigod, I think I have malaria," I Googled crown lengthening.

I read about the procedure, the recovery and the complications. It was right between the recovery and the complications that I felt faint and began to sweat. I found a health message board and a woman posted a message asking if a crown lengthening was necessary. Several posters wrote back that they were told by one dentist that they need the procedure and then by another that you don't. It was then that I started crying.

After calling my mother and telling her that I'm never going to the dentist again because they scared me. To comfort me, she scheduled me an appointment with my dentist from high school. On a Monday. My dentist from high school is in New Jersey. And I'm not talking close to the city, hop a train Jersey. I'm talking close to Pennsylvania, take a bus because no trains go there Jersey.

I didn't want to waste a personal day travelling to New Jersey and going to my dentist so I planned to call in sick. My catholic school guilt set in immediately and I hadn't even done anything. All week I contemplated just taking the personal day. Or just giving one my bosses a heads up that I'd be calling in sick cause maybe she'd be ok with it? Yeah, I didn't really think so either.

I made my way to New Jersey on Saturday and spent the weekend with my Mom. Monday morning, my alarm went off at 7:30, per usual. I went to the guest room and turned on my mom's desktop. It took a million years to turn on and a million more for my Webmail to load. I drafted my email, told my bosses I had felt sick all night and didn't feel any better in the morning. They both wrote back to feel better.

Today, they both asked me if I felt better. I felt awful. So guilty. I looked fine, not like I was recovering from any sort of illness. I felt like a nun was going to crawl from under my desk and slap my knuckles with a ruler. I told them I felt better and that was that.

As bad as I felt, the calling in sick was totally worth it. I didn't waste a personal day. And I don't need a crown lengthening. In fact, I don't even need a crown. But if I ever want to do this again, I'm going to need a more convincing excuse.

25 comments:

momcat said...

Shop around for a better dentist closer to you - one that is not out to do unnecessary procedures on you! Ask your colleagues for references particularly if you know that they are moms cos they are not going to take their kids for unnecessary procedures or to someone that hurts their kids!

A Dilettante's Perspective said...

In what universe is going to the dentist not considered for use of sick hours? Whether you went on Saturday or Monday, I wouldn't feel guilty because you were, technically, sick. And you're given those sick hours so you can go during the week, which if you went on Saturday, it sort of defeats the point of having a weekend.

Skywalker said...

I wouldn't feel so bad if I were you. I come from the mentality that you're stressed out that working is difficult - call in.

If you're not effective, then you're contributing. There have many a time that I woke up on a weekday morning, and the stress and fatigue finally broke me down that I literally wasn't coming in.

As for leaving for the whole day for a dentist appointment. Again don't feel bad! I use my sick leave like that too. Going to the doctor, nope not coming in.

mary evelyn said...

good for you for getting a second opinion. i had a similar experience with the dentist. i went to a new dentist, closer to where i live now, and he told me i had 3 cavities, when i've never had a cavity in my life, and i do not neglect regular visits to the dentist. so i went to my old family dentist (whom i trust) and he told me they were just stains on my teeth, and not cavities at all. it irritates me that people like that can take advantage of people who don't know any better, and are trusting a doctor to do the right thing.

moral of the story: i still go to my good old family doctor :o)

p.s. i love your blog!

squirt said...

at my job, we're allowed (expected) to use sick days for any medical appointments, as long as they are for ourselves. so you shouldn't feel so guilty - I don't think there's anything wrong with calling in sick to go to the dentist!

Jane said...

I have had one root canal and three crowns, and my dentist has never mentioned crown lengthening. Honestly, I don't even know what that is. I'm going to have to Google it now.

Mich said...

the guilt goes away.... dont worry!

i called in sick once to go to the movies.

ok who am i kidding.... it was more than once! LOL

Cant Hardly Wait said...

I use WebMD all the time.

I always end up with tumors in my head.

Don't feel bad. Dentists make people ill. Ill = sick. Sick = sick day.

Sunshinemeg said...

Just found your blog and it is hilarious! Don't feel too bad. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!

Michelle said...

Feel better! When I had my wisdom teeth pulled, I didn't want to do anything or go anywhere.

hoppster said...

i haven't called in sick at all since i started working 2 years ago for just that reason. even when i have been legitimately sick. i remember staying home from class, even in college, i would feel so much guilt for not being there that it wasn't even worth sleeping in.

i've found with work, best to go for honesty. or, show up to work deathly ill and wait for someone to send you home.

clauren said...

I changed my blog name and it looks like people have to re follow ugh sorry ! http://vivalacass.blogspot.com/ Cass

Lindsay said...

I just found out I have to have dental work done yesterday. I think I'll have to take a "sick" day to recover from the horror.

Monster Librarian said...

Woot what Momcat said. Ask your hs dentist that you like if he/she could recommend someone closer to you...maybe a friend from Dentist school, etc. That is how I found my last dentist who I liked!

Glad your tooth is ok. I totally hear ya about calling in sick--I have the Catholic girl guilt too!

MO said...

Skip the guilt...no harm done...the office was still in tact when you came back to work. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do...don't you worry about it!

Janet Altman said...

I agree. Mental health day and/or a medical visit is absolutely a sick day. You take the time that you need.

I was going to mention something here on this site about digital security but got completely immersed in your plot!

Great blog!

http://www.justaskgemalto.com

Danielle said...

I always feel super guilty if I'm not truly sick also. Even when I was in college I felt guilty for skipping classes (even those huge ones that no one would notice!) I am also a bit of a hypochondriac and WebMD is definitely not the place for us! I always end up convinced I have cancer. Glad everything worked out w/ the dentist!

Reese said...

I freaking hate the dentist!!! So glad you got a second opinion!!

I too have catholic school girl guilt I hate it sometimes!

And regarding webMD - I thought I had meningitis a few months ago b/c of that site - turns out it was just a neck spasm :)

smoke.nomOre said...

so you learned your lesson well!
Good!

Gemini said...

What a joke! I can't believe them. Maybe they should get a root canal and come in to work :(

Cristi said...

You get the catholic school guilt too! I thought I was the only one. I hate feeling guilty when I haven't even done anything but can't help the feeling lol. Happy all went well with the teeth issue :)

Ms. Salti said...

Good thing you saved yourself some pain and suffering (and money) even if you had to use a sick day.

Megha said...

I have spent many hours per day at dentist. Its painful coz first of all the dentist takes too much time per patient and next the pain. Specially if you have to undergo a treatment, in my case it was root canal treatment :(

Shop Girl* said...

Eek... I am glad you didn't need the procedure... applying the word "lengthening" to teeth does not sound like a pleasurable experience!

And good for you for taking a sick day--although I know exactly how you feel. I need to miss a day of work (I teach) but I'm terrified to ask for it off and am contemplating going the same route you did if my conscience will allow it.. haha!

(P.s. I found you on 20 Something Bloggers... love your blog!)

thismayconcernyou said...

there's nothing wrong with making that call from time to time ... just so long as you come up with a plausible excuse. I hope your teeth are cool though...