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Event coverage and your health

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Kritter47, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. Kritter47

    Kritter47 Member

    So this was a situation I didn't think I'd run into, but life (and my lungs) apparently hate me today. I have mild asthma which I have dealt with for as long as I remember. I very, very rarely need anything more than an inhaler treatment to keep it under control. I've had one ER trip because of it that happened when I was 12.

    That is, until today.

    I was covering cross country at this park where there must have been this perfect storm of asthma triggers for me. The meet went from 9-2, and I needed to be there for all of it to get results from all the area schools that were there (about 30) and get things for three notes and a story. But at around 11, I started figuring out that I was having serious issues that were being caused by the park and all the crap in the air there.

    Regular treatment and the "emergency" treatmens didn't help at all. I really needed to get out of the park/gym/area to make it better and, you know, be able to breathe. But because I was the only person there from my paper, I didn't feel comfortable leaving. Especially because the teams that were going to move on from the meet were running late and we really needed to highlight them. And because I'm still very new to the paper and business, not quite sure what is appropriate in situations like this.

    It seems so dumb, but I couldn't walk without having to stop and get my breathing under control, and I stayed in a place I know was making it worse. It came back to bite me in terms of deadline, because I ended up in the local ER for two hours, then had to drive back to town to file my story and wasn't able to give it the time or energy it deserved.

    So, people who have been doing this much longer than me, is this a situation where I should have bailed and done phone interviews? And when it is appropriate to bail on an event for personal or health-related reasons.
  2. Bears00

    Bears00 Member

    Gather phone numbers and get out. No need killing yourself.
  3. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I know someone who once had an allergic reaction to Vicodin 15 minutes before deadline. This led to a trip to the emergency room.

    This was noted on a future performance review as "leaving early for the weekend."
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    You sound like a trooper, but dude, really, you can't file if you're dead. Get phone numbers, explain the situation and take care of yourself. Make sure you call your editor and let them know what's going on.

    A few years back I got food poisoning from a bad Big Mac, but it didn't really kick in until I got to the soccer game I was supposed to be covering. Ten minutes into the first half I filled a wastebasket in the press box. Called my editor and told him I was sick. Not sure if he was happy, but fuck'em. I wasn't about to stay there for three or four hours like that.
  5. Kritter47

    Kritter47 Member

    I think I less trooper, more scared that I would get fired if I left. My editior is a great guy, but I'm still so new at this,I have no ideas of what the ground rules are for something like this.

    I'm so pawning this meet off on someone else next year. And I get to cover cross country next weekend. That park had better not try and kill me too.
  6. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    Worry about your health, not some stupid cross country meet. If the paper doesn't understand, screw 'em.
  7. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    I had tonsilitis last year, a month after getting my first gig. I covered a NASCAR race, two Friday night footballs and a three-day prep soccer tournament in 30-degree weather with this. I do not recommend it. But it is a little badge of honor when the education reporter calls in sick with a migraine.
  8. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I'm older now. Sick as hell this weekend. I left early today and I'm not going in tomorrow. We have sick days for a reason: I'm sick. I'm getting better.

    I'm not going to torture myself, my co-workers, my sources/subjects or readers by hacking all over them, being miserable or doing a poor job.

    In my younger days, I would have gone in, thinking I HAVE to.
  9. KP

    KP Active Member

    And you may think the suits are noticing you going out no matter how ill you may be, but they don't.

    Why am I not surprised by that evaluation?
  10. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I remember the last time I hurled. I had caught some stomach virus and it was 15 minutes before I heard the space shuttle crashed into Toledo Bend.

    One long-ass day.
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