Time out

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 03 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1036
  1. Sarah Smith, specialist registrar in geriatrics and general medicine (
  1. Wycome Hospital

    Until two years ago, I didn't really believe in sick leave. I could not imagine feeling so bad that I would be unable to make my body do whatever I wanted, or was scheduled, to do. And so, when I began to have fevers shortly after returning from Africa, I fitted my tropical PUO screen in around clinical commitments. The results were negative, so I stopped measuring my temperature and carried on.

    Months passed, and I finally admitted that my symptoms weren't going away and made an appointment with the infectious disease team. More tests and nothing—we decided it was most likely to be physiological, and I went back into “head in the sand” mode.

    A few more months, and I …

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