Being Sick at 21


Being sick as a child was amazing. You could miss school. You could sleep in. You could watch cartoons and have no worries in the world.

Probably the only hard thing about being sick as a child was convincing your parents that you were sick. Rather you were actually sick or “sick” sick, you still had to convince them that you were too weak to crawl out of your bed go to school.

It was a lot of hard planning that you had to do as a child when you wanted to stay home sick. You had to have the determination and stamina of an Oscar winner. You had to plan out everything so meticulously. You couldn’t just start feeling sick Sunday night. Parents were too smart for that. You had to begin your sick act Saturday during activities. You had to sacrifice maybe a soccer practice or a play date in order to succeed in staying home for a sick day on Monday.

Fast forward to adulthood, and being sick is so depressing. First of all now you have a sick day quota. In order for it to count as an excused sick day you need to go to the doctor’s office and bring in a sick slip proving that you are indeed sick. Then, half the time you can’t even afford getting sick.

Being sick as an adult truly sucks.

This past week I randomly caught the flu. I probably caught this infectious virus when I was on the plane. Please feel free to read my column about “Why Flying Stresses Me Out.” It briefly describes how airplanes are flying tubes filled with germs. It was horrific. I knew before stepping foot on the plane I had a high chance of getting sick because it is now officially flu season. I made sure I took one of those Airbourne tablets that are supposed to heighten your immune system. LIES!

Long story short I blame the lady in front of me for coughing profusely and the baby behind me for not covering his face when he was sneezing.

It probably also didn’t help when I got off the plane that I went straight to the subway stations. Those are the underground tubes that are filled with germs.

People who know me know that I am such a baby when it comes to pain and being sick. Even at the age of 21 I still act like a baby when I have a stomach ache or the sniffles. My mom hates it when I am sick when I am home. I can admit. I whine and complain constantly. What makes it worse is that I hate taking medicine. It is not something new because my mom always told me that I hated taking medicine even when I was younger.

She used to give me that nasty grape flavored Tylenol for kids. That’s the reason why still to this day I hate grape flavored anything. Grape soda, grape juice, grape candy, etc..

It would make sense if I am feeling sick to get out and take something for it right? Not to me. I would rather lay there and die then to get up and get my own medicine. My lovely mother is there for a reason. She always says I will always be her baby girl so let’s prove it. She would make me soup, bring me juice or tea and make me take my medicine. Maybe I do drag it a little bit.

Sadly this last week when I was sick, I was back at Mercy. That meant my fear has come to a reality and that I had to take care of myself for once. The reason why I had to actually take care of myself this time because adulthood tapped me on my shoulder and reminded me that there were no sick days over my horizon. I had to buck up and kick this sickness but all by myself.

First things first, being a college student everything is fixed with a nap. Therefore I thought all I needed was a nap. I woke up a couple hours later and felt worse. Nonetheless, I still had to get up for class. For the entire class period I can hear my heartbeat. I was so hot you could probably cook an egg on my forehead. What made it worse was that windows were all closed. No fresh air was coming in at all. The heater was on 1000 degrees. It really felt like I was in a dessert. A dessert of torture.

Class finally ended and I needed to get some medicine. The only thing I have are Advil PM and I couldn’t afford to be knocked out for eternity. I needed real medicine. I got Dayquil for the first time and it worked! It is now Thursday and I am officially flu free.