Author Topic: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor  (Read 7421 times)

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Roe

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2013, 07:53:31 AM »
Sorry but as your supervisor, she has a right to protect the other employees from getting sick.  Yes, you say it's just a cold but is it always just a cold?  Eight days of sick days in a year isn't enough? Then you are getting sick quite often and maybe seeing a doctor isn't the worst idea ever.

magician5

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2013, 09:20:48 AM »
I'll second the suggestions for the simple and definitive solution: lie. "I have been to the doctor and she recommends sleep and lots of liquids." Beyond that, insist on further details being private.
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Twik

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2013, 09:36:54 AM »
If it's contagious, and might affect other people, then totally see a doctor. But most colds aren't actually contagious once the symptoms start showing--they're contagious the one or two weeks prior, while you feel fine.

The Discovery Channel disagrees with you - http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/cold-flu/contagious.htm. Certainly, it's unlikely you're even infected two weeks before symptoms start showing.
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TootsNYC

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2013, 10:08:20 AM »
I think I'm a lone dissenter.

*HAVE* you seen a doctor? Maybe you should.

You know, just in case.

I freely admit, I'm bringing my own experience in here. I have a chronic cough. And I was just putting up with it until my coworkers said, "Have you seen a doctor for that cough?"

I was living with it--like the frog in the warming water--and how "hot" the "water" was wasn't something I was truly aware of.

It took that intervention to get me to a doctor. Where I was diagnosed with asthma, which presents more frequently as a cough.

I realized that sometimes other people's perceptions are more accurate.

I still have a chronic cough--it's probably also GERD related, and it hasn't gone away. I *have* seen doctors for it, and we've tried all sorts of things (actually the GERD thing is newest and perhaps the most effective--but it's still not gone).

Like cwm, I frequently have people asking me if I'm OK. I've even twice had HR call me because a coworker went to them to say, "Is she all right? Should she see a doctor? I don't want to say anything to her directly, but I'm worried about her."

I started a new job and had new coworkers express their concern. They've said you me, "You shouldn't have to suffer! That's got to be hard!"

It was pretty powerful to be able to say, "Yes, I have seen doctors, and I am seeing doctors. And there isn't some horrible lung cancer lurking, or a deviated septum that needs to be messed with."

So, maybe you should see a doctor just once, and ask her/him to rule out any of the really serious stuff.

And then you can say with great sincerity that you have.

ellebelle

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2013, 10:55:27 AM »
I actually agree with Toots. I had a lingering cold one season that didn't bother me. It kept coming and going all season, I didn't see a reason to see a doctor for a cold. It wasn't until my co-workers pointing out how frequently I was sick and that I needed to see a doctor that I finally caved - good thing too, Walking Pneumonia.

If it is chronic allergies and not a cold, then that is nice to know as well because your treatment might be different. I have terrible allergies that look like colds. But, because I know they are allergies I am able to reassure those around me that I am not contagious. That also prevents people from asking me if I have seen a doctor. Because I have and I have it confirmed that they are just allergies.
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violetminnow

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2013, 10:55:50 AM »
Just something to be aware of, you say you had a pretty friendly relationship with this coworker prior to this problem OP? This could be her way of trying to protect you and get you to protect yourself. It could be that your boss or someone else who's up higher than your coworker/supervisor has also noticed your frequent illness and absences and feels that you're slacking or faking.

She could be suggesting this because she knows you have a target on you, and that if you had a diagnosis or a doctors confirmation that this was normal for you, that target would go away. Or she could just be a busybody, but it's something I think you should consider.

blahblahblah

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2013, 11:29:37 AM »
Quote
Eight days of sick days in a year isn't enough? Then you are getting sick quite often and maybe seeing a doctor isn't the worst idea ever.
Not really. Adults average 2 - 4 colds per year. Colds generally last 3 - 4 days, although they can last up to a week. If I were to miss work as soon as my symptoms started showing (so for the full 3 - 4 days, possibly more), then that's conceivably 16 days right there. At my work, you need a doctor's note if you miss more than two consecutive days. And that's without making allowances for any other unforeseen illnesses that might hit you up (e.g. a few years ago I got a terrible ear infection that I actually did see a doctor for). I had a coworker who thought nothing of taking a sick day here and there, until he got hit with a monster cold late in the year and didn't have enough sick days to take off. So I always save my sick days for when I absolutely need them. I took 1.5 days off for this particular cold, out of the four days I've had symptoms.

Really, although I might catch colds more easily than some other people - although I don't get more than 4 per year, and this is actually my first cold this year, surprisingly* - my coworker is exaggerating when she says that I'm sick all the time. A lot of it is confirmation bias. The thing is, many people are fortunate enough to be infected with the cold virus, but not show any symptoms, so they can go to work with no one the wiser. I am not one of those people. I show symptoms every single time (I think). So strictly speaking it's not like I'm getting hit with the common cold that much more often than most people... it's just more obvious when I'm sick. So when I say that I catch colds more easily, perhaps it's more accurate to say that I just show the symptoms a lot more.

* I started eating better and exercising more this year, plus I've been getting more sleep. That seems to have made a difference. And no, I don't know why I somehow managed to escape getting sick during flu season only to be hit up in the middle of summer, either.

Quote
It could be that your boss or someone else who's up higher than your coworker/supervisor has also noticed your frequent illness and absences and feels that you're slacking or faking. 
I actually don't miss work that often for illness, so that's not it. In fact, when I came back to work after calling out sick this week, my boss told me, "When you called in, I thought, wow, you must have been dying."

(And for the record, since a few people have brought it up, I do know that I suffer from allergies too!)
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 11:48:18 AM by blahblahblah »

Raintree

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2013, 02:00:20 AM »
I'd just say "No, I don't go to the doctor for a cold as there is no cure for the common cold."

Pen^2

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2013, 03:50:35 AM »
If it's contagious, and might affect other people, then totally see a doctor. But most colds aren't actually contagious once the symptoms start showing--they're contagious the one or two weeks prior, while you feel fine.

The Discovery Channel disagrees with you - http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/cold-flu/contagious.htm. Certainly, it's unlikely you're even infected two weeks before symptoms start showing.

Ooh I didn't know that! Thanks!

But ja, I still stand by my original point: get it checked by a doctor and ideally confirmed as non-contagious. Tell your supervisor this, then you're good. Any further nagging can be dealt with via HR. But it absolutely is her business if you come into work with a contagious disease. Until you can quell her fears, she has every right to urge you to get it checked out.

CookieChica

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2013, 07:57:46 AM »
I'm trying to say this in a delicate way... are you sure you're not a disturbance? You mentioned sneezing, sniffling, and congestion. If these things are happening often, it might be an annoyance for others around you and this person in a position of authority could be coming as a mediator.

I throw it out there because we had a similar issue at work and others asked us to make the offender go to the doctor but we couldn't really "make" her do anything.

whatsanenigma

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2013, 11:27:46 AM »
I'm trying to say this in a delicate way... are you sure you're not a disturbance? You mentioned sneezing, sniffling, and congestion. If these things are happening often, it might be an annoyance for others around you and this person in a position of authority could be coming as a mediator.

I throw it out there because we had a similar issue at work and others asked us to make the offender go to the doctor but we couldn't really "make" her do anything.

But if the OP knows what it is and seeing a doctor won't help, then there is no point for anyone to tell her to do that.

I think we've had threads like this before where someone's co-worker was coughing a lot and I think it was the consensus that the better solution is to get headphones, and if germs are a concern, use sanitary wipes, rather than tell the co-worker to go to the doctor.

misha412

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2013, 12:50:47 PM »
OP. As someone who has dealt with chronic allergies for years, you have my sympathies.

I developed severe allergies in my mid-20s. I went through a few spells of chronic coughing and sneezing before I went to the doctor. He started me on medications that help, but do not stop all allergy symptoms all the time. At least two or three times a year, I will hit an allergy spell that gets me back to severe coughing and sneezing for a few days. I generally avoid people as much as I can, but there are times when it is not possible.

I have had people ask me if I have seen a doctor for that "cold." When I explain it is allergies, they act as if they do not believe me. I had one woman who told me that it could not be allergies because it "sounded so bad."

All I can advise is pull back your relationship to a professional level. A smile and a comment like "Thank you for your concern. I have it under control." should work. If she persists and you continue to feel uncomfortable, it might be an HR issue.

Cami

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2013, 01:02:24 PM »
I'd also recommend seeing a doctor (or a new one) about the potential for allergies.

I suffered for years and saw a new doctor while in the midst of what I thought was a horrible cold. (I went in for something else.) She immediately focused on my symptoms and long story short, I had not a series of horrible colds, but chronic allergies. We tried various medications and let me tell you, my life has changed SO MUCH for the better with the right medication.

I can also tell you that after I was properly treated, my coworkers all thanked me for getting treatment and confessed how my coughing, sneezing, nose blowing was driving them crazy.

nyoprinces

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2013, 03:11:37 PM »
I'd suggest seeing a doctor. It negates the need for a "comeback" to your coworker, and if it is, in fact, allergies, there may be something they can offer to help, and if it is a cold, there may still be something they can offer to help. I hadn't been to the doctor for "just" a cold, but gave in and went in one day when my kids and I kept passing something around, to see if they could give me anything to stop the cycle. As it turned out, it was a bacterial infection, which I (not being a doctor) had misdiagnosed, so they gave me antibiotics for long-term relief and a shot of either a steroid or a B vitamin for short-term relief - my understanding was that the shot would have helped whether it had been "just" a cold or the bacterial infection I had. I guess those treatments are fairly new, and I don't know that they'd be recommended on a regular basis, but I'll absolutely go back in next time I have "just" a cold and a) make sure that I'm right about that, and b) get any relief they're able to give me.

bopper

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Re: coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2013, 06:11:28 PM »
I'm trying to say this in a delicate way... are you sure you're not a disturbance? You mentioned sneezing, sniffling, and congestion. If these things are happening often, it might be an annoyance for others around you and this person in a position of authority could be coming as a mediator.

I throw it out there because we had a similar issue at work and others asked us to make the offender go to the doctor but we couldn't really "make" her do anything.

one of my personal pet peeves is when someone has a drippy nose and they SNNNNOOOORRRRK all the time.