WAH Hazards

I casually commented on my Facebook page the other day about one of my irrational work-at-home fears; i.e., that I will choke to death and there won’t be anyone here to notice. Don’t ask me where this fear comes from; I suspect it started with an episode of Six Feet Under that featured a woman who lived alone, choked to death on her dinner, and wasn’t found until days later. (And since SFU was a cable show about a family-owned mortuary, they did show all the gory details!) Apparently, that got my brain going about the hazards of working at home, especially now I’m home alone most of the day.

When I first started working at home, I was surrounded by children and their schedule and the woman who provided day care at my home. Now, I have only my youngest at home and he’s in and out with his school and work schedule.

So, I was sitting at my desk yesterday, chewing gum (as I often do) and this irrational fear rose again. Not that I choked on my gum or anything – just the spector of the possibility arose in my imagination and that was that. I spit the gum out. Posting a comment via Twitter (which feeds to my Facebook wall) is really easy – so I did.

What ensued at my Facebook wall was really very funny. (I’ll comment some other time on the useful sociability of Facebook and Twitter.) I feel comforted that I’m not the only one with irrational fears!

Margie worries that she will trip over her cat in the middle of the night and nobody will find her for days and days.

Galina wondered if her dogs would be helpful if something similar were to happen to her.

Margie wondered if maybe she needs a dog to save her from the cat.

After reassuring all of us that this kind of thing COULD happen – because it happened to her, but she was able to save herself through a somewhat modified self-performed Heimlich maneuver – Dianne shares that her dogs and cats would huddle near her body until it was cold, then go find another heat source.

Our casual comments about work-at-home hazards apparently had an effect on MTs in similar circumstances who have not – up to this point – even thought to worry about such things! Well, it should be on their minds now! I’m sure they’ll be thankful to the rest of us for sharing.

Shana wonders if our job makes us paranoid. There is a theory in hospitals about MTs and hypochondria, so it’s quite possible we’re also paranoid about the perils of isolation!

Carrie shares that if she has to take medication, she puts a note next to her on the desk – just in case she doesn’t make it through the day. I hope it never becomes necessary; but if it does, I’m sure the EMTs will appreciate the information! And I have to confess – when I’ve felt really, really lousy, I leave a note on my monitor, describing my symptoms and any self-treatment – just in case. If someone comes home and finds me dead, I want them to know the details of my symptoms prior to my expiration.

Some wag on Twitter responded that maybe I should set up a webcam. That might be a good idea, except that in the internet age, everything becomes entertainment. Within an hour of my gagging and choking in front of a webcam at my desk, the video would probably go viral on YouTube. At least nobody would be accusing my husband of killing me.

With great caution this afternoon, I unwrap another stick of gum.

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6 thoughts on “WAH Hazards”

  1. The only thing I worry about is having a seizure while working (I have epilepsy, and it’s happened before) . . . that’s why I try to take breaks regularly. Switching to a smaller monitor (from a 19 in. to a 15 in.) also seems to have helped.

  2. I worry that I will, for some reason, be in a hurry to sit down, miss the chair, and wake up hours later to learn I have knocked myself out cold hitting the desk with my head as the chair scooted backward. To this day I have a little wooden wedge that Istick behind a chair roller to prevent that “scootch” hazard … just in case 🙂


  3. My real fear is nibbling myself into a stupor….guess I should get back to the gum.

    Love the comment about dogs/cats/body heat. Since we live in Florida, my kitties won’t need my body heat for long!

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