As I write this column, I currently have three old cups of tea, one empty box of Sudafed and a mountainous pile of lozenge wrappers surrounding me. That’s right: I, like most of campus at this moment, am stricken with illness.
According to the urgent care nurse I visited Sunday, the verdict is bronchitis. But this isn’t the only sickness spread from the Quad all the way to Baja Grill — strep throat, mononucleosis, influenza, head colds, stomach flu, sinus infections and tummy aches are holding our peers victim.
However, I never thought that of all possible assailants floating around campus, bronchitis would be the one to get me. What began as a little tickle in the back of my throat has grown into a full-blown, missing-class, calling-in-to-work stuffing-your-pockets-full-of-cough-drops sickness.
And it’s kicking my ass.
Unlike in elementary school, when a cold or flu was welcome because that meant a day of lying on the couch watching cartoons and having Mom wait on you hand and foot, it sucks now. I had to drive myself to the doctor’s office. I made my own tea. I sneezed my way through six aisles at Hy-Vee looking for soup. And I still have to go to class because I used the majority of my “sick days” going to Starbucks and napping in the Student Center.
Plus, instead of being dropped off at the door, I have to drive to campus, followed by trekking between Middlebush and Physics in the cold.
My throat is sore, my head hurts and if I try to speak above 30 decibels, I sound like a 90-year-old man from Beijing who began chain smoking at age 13 and never stopped. On average, I sleep for about 14 hours per day and still must drag myself out of bed, only to spend the other 10 hours of my day complaining about how tired I am in between yawns. In fact, I am so tired that I drank my morning coffee in the shower today in order to spend 10 extra minutes sleeping in. (On a side note, I may have just created the new “shower beer.”)
My stomach aches from taking so many medicines. My back is sore from lying in bed. I’m having strange dreams. Last weekend, I dreamed I walked in on Kanye West taking a dump in my bathroom. It went a little something like this:
Kanye: “Excuse me! Can Kanye get a little privacy while dropping the kids off at the Olympic-sized, heated infinity pool with underwater speakers and grotto fully stocked with drinks and ice cream?”
Abbey: Well, I’m sorry someone who left the door unlocked and wide open in someone else’s house didn’t expect that someone to accidentally walk in.
I then woke up because even in my dreams I know that’s an absurd situation, and I started laughing in my sleep.
To say the least, being sick is one of the most horrific situations I’ve come across in my college career. It’s even worse than buying textbooks. Worse than doing all the work in a group project. Worse than the stack of parking tickets in my glove box.
My friends, don’t be like me. Take care of yourselves. Go chug a gallon of orange juice and use hand sanitizer every hour, on the hour. Get a flu shot. I wish you the best of luck during this year’s cold and flu season.
I’m going to go weep in bed while hugging a bag of cough drops now.