Your work is not lost, Tableau just can't make calculations or display anything if data source is missing.
I can think of two options:
- fix whatever is causing connection problems (this might involve your IT department/administrator/etc.)
- replicate some of the data from missing connection in Excel or Access, with the same structure and then do Data -> Replace Datasource... in Tableau to point your workbook to the new source. The numbers will be wrong, but you get your work back.
BTW, this is not necessarily a Tableau problem, it could be your MS SQL Server issue.
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This might be the part where your best bet is to contact Tableau Support. I have had similar issues with ghost fields too, but I just started from scratch to work around it.