Saturday night, I knew something was amiss: a tooth was hurting and I could feel a little swelling. By Sunday morning, it was a mess. Half my face was swollen and it was a minor miracle that I was still able to speak. I had medicine and lots of food bought for me to counter my sickness.
Come Monday morning, it was clear that I wont be getting to work. The swelling smarts to the touch and I have a constant headache. I had an officemate tell my manager my predicament, saying further that I needed to rest.
I could still joke about it, saying to some people that though I beat Pacquiao in 12 rounds, he was able to land a solid right hook to my jaw, and thus the swelling, but it didn't temper the fact that I was in constant pain. It was as if a drill was trained to my temple while even the lightest touch to my cheek sent tendrils of pain from my face down to my toes. Rest was elusive and ice cream lent only minor comfort.
Thankfully, I was given furlough from the pain thanks to consultations from doctor friends who advised the viability of mixing antibiotics with anti-inflammatory tablets, at least for certain pockets of time. It's no good getting temporary reprieve from the pain but have your liver suffer for it. One thing was clear though: going to the office was not an option.
So I sent an email to my manager, my boss, and HR head, apologizing for my absence and detailing my predicament. I even attached pictures, just to gross them out. And it worked. No work emails came my way (I kept it open, just in case) and no instant messages too, even though I was constantly online.
I wont deny it, though, had it been any other illness, I would still have made it to the office, albeit a few hours late, owing to the fact that it was constantly raining. I hate going out when it rains. But the main reason for taking a week-long absence was that of vanity. Going out of the house with my lopsided face was clearly out of the question. And the low pressures due to the storm was not helping matters. I was depressed. I felt ugly. And those two reasons combined is reason enough for me to lock myself up in my room. It's not the best excuse to file leave for work, I know, but combined with the swelling and the almost-constant pain, I felt that they are. Or at least they should be.
I'm returning from work come Monday to face the consequence of my week-long absence. A leave of more than two days would necessitate a doctor's note excusing the same, but being stuck in the house, and my problem being a dental, as opposed to a medical one, I have no note to excuse me. If HR would be strict with the handbook, my week-long absence would be inexcusable. Noted, yes, but inexcusable. I wouldn't even be surprised if there's a disciplinary note waiting for me when I arrive. But it's no use anticipating these things. We'll just see what happens when I arrive at work.
Before then, I will enjoy these last remaining hours of freedom.