Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to Tell When You're Really Sick

I didn't go to work today. That's because I am sick. For those of you who aspire to a career in the medical profession, here is how to tell for certain--100% dead certain, that is--whether or not a person is honest-to-goodness, truly, verifiably sick.

WARNING: It's not pretty. Continue reading at your own risk. Consider yourself warned.

Tossing and turning all night does not a sick person make--even when that tossing and turning is caused by a body that aches in places one does not have in one's body. Stress could cause that. Neither does waking up with that feeling in the pit of one's stomach. This could be explained by gas. The same could be said for another special feeling deep within one's bowels. Possibly gas as well.

Sprinting to the bathroom so quickly Usain Bolt would be chowing down on one's dust, only to lose half one's body weight in water (through a process other than peeing) means nothing either. Quickly flushing, dropping to one's knees, and un-eating one's dinner while gripping the toilet seat so hard one's fingerprints become part of the wood is also inconclusive. So too is heaving so hard and fast that trying to breathe between retches nearly results in literally inhaling one's dinner (after figuratively inhaling it earlier). Super soaker-like jets of tears shooting from one's eyes at the same time one's stomach inverts itself prove nothing.

No, my friends, there is yet one more symptom that decisively proves one is ill. Suppose one has the coolest electronic leash on the planet, which enables one to receive one's co-worker's support requests, even whilst on one's deathbed. One might even manage to reply to such an e-mail. The true determining factor in whether one is ill or not lies in one's response to the following message:

Thanks a bunch. You can have chocolate when you come by!
If the thought of actually eating said chocolate causes one to jump up, frantically seeking a suitable container just in case the feeling doesn't pass, then it's conclusive. You are looking at someone pounding like mad on Death's door, screaming his or her head off, begging and pleading to be let in already.