Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on December 2, 2016


– What happens when the crud hits you?

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Just recently I suffered from a two week bout of some crud which neither my Doctor or myself could figure out. I experienced night sweats, cold flashes, lack of sleep, and had no appetite. The doctor ran blood tests and a urinalysis on me and everything came out clean. I don’t know what bug this was, but it sure drove me crazy. Some suggested I was experiencing Male Menopause.

As adults, we really don’t like being sick, particularly to some unknown virus like what hit me. It drags us down, and doesn’t allow us to be on top of our game. As kids, if we got sick, we all relished a day off from school and having mom pamper us a bit. As adults though, we really don’t like being slowed down, and it grates on our nerves.

I really don’t think I’m a bad patient when I get sick, I just basically want to be left alone so I can recover. I’m sure my wife sees me as being a bit grouchy and uncooperative, but I generally allow “Dr. Mom” to have her way with me. I’m not one who generally takes a lot of pills, rarely do I take any, but my wife knows what I should be taking and keeps me on schedule. Since I was having trouble sleeping, I decided to try one of those “PM” drugs at about 2:00am. I slipped back into bed, closed my eyes and waited for the drug to take effect. I looked up and it was now 3:00am, then 4:00am, etc. Maybe I wasn’t using the drug properly; maybe it’s intended to keep you awake.

It’s hard to have a good demeanor when you are not feeling well, which is why I try to watch comedies on television when I’m sick. I tend to believe humor puts you in the proper frame of mind for getting better.

I will generally do what I’m told when I’m sick, at least for awhile, but if the virus goes on too long with me, I have to take matters into my own hands and decide to fight the bug down and dirty. This means I try to “smoke it out” with a cigar and “drown it out” with some good scotch whiskey. I figure since the bug had made my life miserable, it was time for me to return the favor.

I never understood why some employees tend to take more sick days than others. I guess they really don’t like their jobs and are actually looking for work elsewhere. Employees need to be reminded that sick days do not represent a free pass to goof-off. Even in a small company like ours, this started to become a big problem; so much so, that we told employees to get notes from their doctor. This seemed to kill the problem.

Let me close with an old joke about diagnosing an ailment. A man goes to see his doctor complaining of “ringing in the ears, spots before his eyes, and shortness of breath.” The doctor was at a loss as to the cause of the problem except that he thought if he removed one of the patient’s testicles, that would eliminate the problem. The man thought this was rather an extreme remedy but after thinking it through he allowed the doctor to proceed with the operation.

Shortly after being released from the hospital the man felt better, but shortly thereafter he started to again experience the same symptoms. Upon revisiting his doctor again, the physician could only suggest removing the remaining testicle. The operation went off smoothly, but unfortunately the man again began to experience “ringing in the ears, spots before his eyes, and shortness of breath.”

Between the loss of his manhood and his condition, the man became depressed and decided to end his life. Before doing so, he thought he would like to be buried in a new suit of clothes. This caused him to visit the local tailor who helped the man pick out an excellent suit. The clerk asked the man if he needed new belt, tie, and socks, which the man agreed to. The clerk went on to ask if he needed a new shirt, and the man also agreed to it. The clerk found a shirt that matched the suit nicely.

“What size shirt do you wear?” the clerk asked.

“Size 15” the man said.

“That doesn’t sound right,” the clerk said, and he measured the man. “You should be wearing a size 18.”

“Nonsense, I’ve always worn a size 15,” the man fired back.

“Sir, I’m sorry, but if you’re wearing a size 15, you’re probably experiencing ringing in the ears, spots before your eyes, and shortness of breath.”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.



3 Responses to “BEING SICK”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    Back when I was “young and foolish” – I thought it incumbent upon myself to go to work unless I was literally on my deathbed. So, I would go into work with whatever crud was going around at the time. To be sure, I was pretty healthy, and I didn’t get sick all that much, but when I did, it was usually a doozy. One time in Scotland, I got some awful-awful thing that literally had me down HARD in bed, 24 hours. I couldn’t even muster the strength to get out of bed to go pee. It was probably three days before I could move around the house well enough to even consider walking/biking back to my office on base. I had drunk some milk that was contaminated with cryptosporidium, and a number of other people on the base had done the same thing. And, I was literally too sick to even go see the doctor on base. I’m sure if it had gotten much worse, my wife would have called for an ambulance to take me to the dispensary to see the doc, and I probably teetered on the edge of her doing that.

    Then, while in the navy earlier in my career, I was the officer in charge of a small detachment in Newport RI. I came in with the flu one time because I thought I was irreplaceable and necessary. In the process, what I really did was give everyone else in the office the flu, so that when I was over it, I was pretty much alone in the office because the others were out with the flu that I had so generously given them by coming in before I was no longer contagious.

    Then, a little while later, I was playing racquetball in a concrete court. It was a doubles game so there were a lot of people in a small confined space. I was playing in the rear of the court and saw the next shot coming, so I started running full bore over to the other side to return the shot. I knew I would likely run into the wall because of momentum, so in my MIND, I saw myself taking the shot, rotating my body around in a follow-through, and smashing into the wall flat with my back. There was just one problem: I forgot to turn and went into the wall with my right shoulder and I heard this “crack” and it really hurt. The guys stopped play and asked if I was all right because apparently my right shoulder was now drooping very low. I just nodded and said, I need to shake it off so let’s go. The next serve went by me and I couldn’t even move my right arm. I told them I wasn’t ready and let’s go again. This time, I had to swing my entire body to get the racquet to move, but when I did, I blacked out from the pain. You see, I had torn the major pectoral muscles in my chest when I hit the wall – I just didn’t know it at the time. Hey, when you’re 25, you’re pretty invincible. So, the game was over and I knew I needed to get to the infirmary to be checked out. I had a Fiat 850 stick shift car then. Try driving a stick shift when you have NO strength or movement in your right arm sometime…it was a bit of a challenge. Anyway, in the infirmary, they checked me out, told me I had torn the muscles and gave me some VALIUM and told me to “take it easy for a few days.” So, I followed instructions – taking the valium for about 2 weeks. I was just “floating around” didn’t care much about anything. The pain was still there, I just didn’t care. Finally, I got tired of sitting in the office all day long with a gimped up right arm and loopy from the drugs. I decided I was stopping the drugs and putting up with the now a little more tolerable pain. ONE DAY after I stopped taking the drugs, the guys working for me called my wife and asked if she knew whether or not I still had some of those drugs and could she persuade me to take them again because I was SOOOOO cooperative and easy to deal with while I was on them.

    The upshot of this was that it took literally 6 months for me to be able to lift my right arm over my head and have any kind of strength in the process, but I could at least function.

    SO, why the story? People take sick leave and some of them are very conscientious about coming back to work as soon as possible – TOO SOON, in fact – they spread the germs around to everyone else in the process (impacts on overall productivity for the office, not just the individual) OR they come back while they’re on drugs and aren’t very productive anyway, so they just sit around like a zombie while everyone else does their thing. I learned that you can come back TOO SOON and that was just as bad as staying out too long. When you are really (REALLY) sick and down with the crud, and you start to feel better – generally speaking it’s TOO SOON to come back – you need to give it another day or two because in coming back too soon even though you feel so much better, you risk a relapse and recurrence of whatever it was that took you down the first time.

    Anyway, that’s the rule I followed in the ensuing years – I never took more than a few sick days a year over 40 years of working both in the military and civilian worlds. But, when I was young, I was kind of foolish about my “invincibility.” You learn lessons the hard way sometimes.

    – W.H. in Boulder, CO, USA




  3. […] TIME:  BEING SICK  – What happens when the crud hits […]


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