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October 24th, 2001

The Sick Role

One of the things that stuck with me when I took Psychology classes in junior college? The concept of the sick role.

I recently caught a minor cold. It got me blowing my nose for a good half-day straight, and gave me restless sleeping… but other than that, my routine went on as normal. I consciously chose not to take up the sick role. The sick role is what happens when you finally say, “Aw, screw it, I’m sick” and admit it. Then you do what most sick people do: lay around all day and watch reruns of Ricki Lake.

I don’t like taking the sick role. I really don’t. While I can still do most of my work on the computer, my energy level is often so low that I just don’t feel like it. This week’s cold wasn’t enjoyable, but it also wasn’t severe enough to warrant taking up the sick role.

Some people claim they never get sick. I think that, instead, they might never take up the sick role. So what about you? Are you one of the “never get sick” folks, or do you just suck it up and carry around 50 pounds of Kleenex when a cold strikes? -pm

Posted in Everyday Life

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