Dealin’ with the rockin’ pneumonia
Last year I wrote a column about how I had
never missed a class in my three years of university. After
that piece, I became a (somewhat geeky) campus celebrity for
a day. Random peers accosted me on my treks through the halls
asking if was really true. It was true once, but sadly the
streak is over.
Last term I was struck down with a weird flu/cold/pneumonia
combo and was bedridden and delirious for six days. I missed
a solid week of school — completely against my will.
Make no mistake, I tried to go to class. That Wednesday I
got up in a feverish haze and put my winter coat on over my
bathrobe. My parents dragged me back to bed, but not before
making fun of me and even taking a picture of me in my disoriented
state with MY digital camera.
I’m not sure if that illness in first term put a curse
on me or what, but since that fateful week, being sick has
become the norm for me. My mental checklist of illnesses has
grown throughout the last few months. Cold? Check. Flu? Yup.
Strep throat? Uh huh.
When I was a kid I loved being sick, and I know I’m
not alone here. Endless attention from Mom, popsicles, hot
tea with honey and all the day and night time TV I could stand
Now that I’m in university, the bacterial utopia that
came along with getting the flu has all but vanished. If I’m
coughing, I choke it back and do that seminar presentation.
If my head hurts, I grit my teeth and run for the bus anyway.
This might sound masochistic, but I stand by my old motto that
I CANNOT MISS CLASS. The only reason I missed it last term
is because I couldn’t find the front door.
I do miss my childish sick days where the only thing I would
miss at school would be the Mad Minute Math sheets or a redux
of the ABCs. Whenever I was sick as a kid, my Mom also somehow
found time to stay home with me. Now? She still does her best,
but she works like crazy and barely has time to sleep and eat,
much less make sure that someone else sleeps and eats. I know
I should be able to take care of myself, and therefore I suck
it up and do it.
A certain Opinions editor summed up the glory of being sick
as a kid in two simple details: ginger ale and dry toast. That
may sound gross to some, but to me it recalls the glorious
simple days of childhood when someone always took care of me.
And where does being sick as an adult get me?
Ah yes, sitting right here in my bathrobe with a stuffed up
nose and a pounding head, half-heartedly eating cereal with
one hand and typing a column for Opinions with the other.
Cue the sad violin.