Three years ago I was a first year teacher. I've always struggled with the balance of using sick days for being 'sick' or using them to go to doctors' appointments that are only open during the times that I teach. My first year of teaching was horrible, because not only did I catch every little thing the kids got, my mother collapsed with a heart attack and needed a pacemaker/defibulator put in and needed my help to take care of her for some time. I ended up going over my alloted sick days and when my review time came around, the principal actually told me that he would not renew my contract because he needed a teacher he could count on being there on a regular basis. I felt it was discrimination, but was too new and too scared to do anything about it. I left the school with my head hanging low, so very embarassed.
Now I am at a new district and am extremely scared that I will end up in the same situation. Last year I had gallbladder surgery and was so worried that I was going to go over my sick day allottment that one day I actually drove the forty minutes to work with extreme lows just to avoid taking another day off of work. I avoid making doctor appointments that are just 'check ups'. The staff I work with now is supporting, but I HATE feeling guilty about what happens with my diabetes and I HATE the sympathy that I get when I return to work after facing complications. I don't feel like I have any control over it and it angers me beyond belief.