Posted 10/13/2005 9:59 AM (GMT -7)
I'm sure it's not fun to think about the fact that you might have some rare condition that's almost unheard of, Sarita, but it's starting to sound like that. Maybe you should try and look up rare bowel disorders? I've read in magazines about people who make it their mission in life to find out what's wrong with them or a family member, and they will sit in libraries for hours culling through old medical journals and science reviews and the like until they find the info they're looking for and then present it to their doctor. After all, doctors don't have the time to do that, and if it's obscure, rare or old information, they probably don't know about it. You may want to read up on other people with rare illnesses, like Lou Gehrig's Disease, to feel less alone. Maybe you will have the dubious honor of having an illness named after you!
Lord knows it would be expensive as all get out, but maybe some genetic testing? Maybe you've got a missing gene that causes your problems or that causes something else which causes your problems. I have read that the cost of mapping a person's genomes--and, I would assume, all types of genetic testing--is supposed to start falling rapidly over the next few years and they're talking that it may only cost a few hundred dollars to get your DNA mapped.
If it makes you feel any better, I was just looking at an article on MSN last week which said that Americans work more hours than any other people in the world, take less vacation time and give up more vacation days. Yes, we work more than the average Japanese person! In terms of productivity, I'm sure you're still ahead of a lot of countries. If it gets too bad, maybe you should move to France! I've heard adults there take summer vacations... like for a month. A co-worker's husband is from Australia and he was amazed at how little time off people get here; he said they get a government-mandated 4 weeks off a year--that doesn't include holidays. And I know from being in Ireland, when banks have holidays, just about everyone else does too. None of this "only government workers and banks get Columbus Day off." about the only people working on bank holidays were shops, and even then a lot of the small, locally-owned ones, were closed. Those same shops even close for an hour or an hour and a half for lunch! And the work-ethic there... very relaxed. I had bad culture shock coming back to the U.S. Talk about feeling like you were in a rat race. Didn't help things that I only worked part-time while I was over there, and came back here to work 40 hours a week and commute an hour every day. In fact, I think a full-time work-week over there is more like 36-38 hours instead of 40 hours. So, while you may feel like you're failing compared to other Americans, just remember we're the only ones crazy enough to work this much. If you didn't have to work so much, you'd probably miss less hours because you'd be less stressed, would have time to take care of yourself and, at the very least, spend more time being sick at home without being out from work.
I just heard that the E.U. is considering not allowing countries to mandate so much time off from work because it's making the E.U. "less competitive." So, what, they work as much as Americans and get what in return? Yes, we're the best off economically, but what do we have to show for it? Houses bigger than we need, mind-corrupting cable and satellite shown on huge televisions, $300 designer blue jeans, junk we have to pay to store in some off-site storage unit, lawns we have to pay someone else to upkeep, huge cars we can't afford to fill-up with gas anymore, billions spent on fast food which just makes us fatter and less healthy... What on earth do European people need with more money?? They're a first world country, aren't they? They have running water, electricity, telephones, automobiles, medical care, food enough to eat... why do they want to be slaves to the time clock like us? What more do they need? Not to mention overworked Americans also enjoy being the fatest people on Earth, suffer more heart attacks, more acid-reflux, more constipation, more gall bladder disease... more of everything that's bad, generally. Japan may still outnumber us with suicides per capita, but I daresay we're a close second.
Hmm... I had a point before I began blogging... Oh, yes: don't feel guilty about missing work. You're still pulling more hours than a frenchman(woman). Who will, by the way, statistically speaking, outlive you--the hard-working American.