After the love-bug graced us with it’s sappy presence for Valentine’s Day last week, it seems like a new bug has fluttered into the hearts (or sinuses) of many. I have been stacking my pillows a mile high (so I can breath at night) and rushing out of class to blow my nose for quite some time now. While friends are going out to the bars, I’m surrendering with a ton of blankets and This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin. And when I make it to class in the midst of a blotchy-faced sneezing attack, I try to sit in the back so no one can hear my whistling nose and staggered breathing.
It’s a hard knock life, being ill. Especially at the age of 21, while attending college where you are hardly ever alone, and (I am convinced) the terms ‘Sunday Funday’ and ‘Thirsty Thursday’ were invented. It’s not like it used to be, back in elementary school, when you’d fake a cough just to stay home and enjoy that coveted sick day. Now, well, I really miss those sick days…
Then: While being home sick, you could catch up on the coolest cartoons all day, curled up alone on your parent’s bed, while eating fist fulls of Gushers.
Now: The only thing on TV is “The Price is Right” (with Drew Carey?!) and “Judge Judy.” Your couch has tons of crumbs in it, and the closest thing to Gushers you have is the bag full of almonds in your cupboard (curse trying to be healthy).
Then: Mom. Serving you soup, giving you a hot wash cloth to put on your forehead, re-filling your cool glass of water, softly asking you if you are OK. She is the nurse of all nurses, and would stop the world from spinning if only you could be all better.
Now: Mom via technology. Can’t serve you soup, or re-fill your cool glass of water from miles away. And what is it with talking to Mom on the phone when you’re sick that make you want to have a snot-filled whine-fest that only seems to make you feel worse?!
Then: Skipping school was the essence of cool. You would prance back to your personal desk with “Get Well” cards from your classmates, and a welcome committee on the playground for a round of four-square. Um, awesome.
Now: Skipping class has put you in a state of panic. You have missed lecture, and are frantically trying to catch up on lengthy readings. No one really has sympathy for you, instead they are all staying as far away from your germy self as possible, and your “Get Well” card has come in Pop Quiz form. Ugh, awesome.
Then: Lucky for you, a family reunion lands on the dates you are sick. And you (tear) cannot attend.
Now: The minute your sickness hits a high note, everyone is planning the most awesome outings. Your close friend who hasn’t partied in while, does. Your favorite bar has a “Jersey Shore” theme party. The Situation himself visits a local downtown bar of your own. And you’re missing all of it.
OK, so college isn’t the best place to be sick, especially when your roommate won’t even come in the room let alone bring you some hot tea. But being sick it’s not all bad. I mean, when else can you justify indulging in life’s guiltiest pleasures – like watching USA Hockey (hotties) when you are supposed to be in a meeting, or eating left-over Valentine’s Day candy every waking moment you can – in the name of feeling better?
Sometimes, even when you can only breathe through one nostril, it’s the little things.
And with that, I’ve got a nose to blow and an embarrassingly bad book to finish….