The best thing about being sick is nothing….okay, so maybe that’s not entirely true. Yeah you’re uncomfortable, your body aches, you go through tissues like a six-year-old goes through six-dollar sneakers, and your face feels like a balloon. But I’ll tell you a few good things that happened while I was sick and that I appreciated so much more because I was sick.
I woke up this morning at around 6:30, which I never do. My first class wasn’t until 10:00am and I hadn’t slept very well. Because I can’t breathe through my nose, I had to breathe through my mouth for most of the night. On top of this, my salivary glands felt like kicking into overdrive. So I’m sitting in my bed, drooling all over the place and laughing at myself. If my future husband could see me now! I thought.
So I spent the night with my head hanging over the side of my bed, draining my saliva into my garbage can. My throat was really sore as well, and before going to sleep I had tried to drink some unsweetened tea (I say unsweetened because normally I would put four packs of sugar in mine) like my mom always did….the tea made me feel really uncomfortable, made my throat even more sore, and it tasted terrible. I will never do that again! I don’t actually remember if I slept last night, but I guess at this point it doesn’t really matter.
Right, I woke up at 6:30am. I took a steaming hot shower and breathed in so I could clear my lungs with the steam, then I came back to my dorm and tried to sleep again. That was an epic failure, so I did the thing that I knew would make me feel better: I opened up my journal 🙂
I sat and told God all about the night and about how difficult it was not to complain about being sick. I prayed that somehow I would be able to focus during the day and complete the work that needed to be done. I reminded myself that this is college; nobody’s going to check in on me and make sure I’m taking my vitamins. I have to take care of myself.
Getting dressed and heading out early I got myself a pipin’ hot cup o’ hot coco and ate some fruit. It made me feel a little better, and I was able to focus for a moment or two. As I was walking to my Word, Usage, and Style class, there was a squirrel eating an apple core right next to me. I stopped to watch him because I was early and had time to spare. He dropped the apple core and looked at me. Realizing he was being watched, he darted away from me to a puddle in the sidewalk where he took a cute little squirrel drink. He darted off again when I came closer. Finally I decided to stop following the squirrel, because, I mean, how rude is it to get into a squirrel’s personal business? I mean, come on.
So I began walking again in the direction of my destination. The squirrel ran in front of me, stopping every once in a while as if to see if I was coming, or maybe to see if I was following him.
“Mr. Squirrel, I am not following you, ” I said in my raspy sick voice. “You are simply going in the same path that I am.” I laughed at him. Then I realized that I was a sick girl talking to a squirrel…
Anyway, my first class was rather uncomfortable. My nose was running the entire time and I had left my package of tissues in my dorm. But I survived 🙂 During our break in the class I got myself another cup of hot chocolate and felt a little better. We also laughed a lot in that class; ya know what they say, “laughter is the best medicine!” 😀 It was in this class, however, that I was reminded of a botany midterm taking place today…a test that I had completely forgotten about.
Charlene, Karly, and I met for lunch, and it was comical to all of us to discover we each were sick in some way, shape, or form. I told them about my discovery in Revelation. Karly told us about the church she had found and was now attending. Charlene said she wanted a brownie. We sat in the sun for a while, talking about our classes and about how crazy it was that family weekend was right before midterms, whining to each other, realizing that whining wasn’t going to solve anything, then whining about whining, then laughing.
Karly said she was going grocery shopping and planned on making a stop at Connecticut Muffin. She asked if either of us wanted a slice of red velvet cake. My heart yearned for the heavenly nectar of the giant slice o’ cake…but then my sickness kicked me square in the teeth.
“No thank you. Besides, my birthday is on Monday and I was planning on buying myself a slice to celebrate.” I explained. Charlene and Karly laughed at me, thinking it was funny that I planned on spending my birthday by myself. Honestly, I was rather excited about the event 🙂
When I arrived at my Writer’s Studio class, my nose was throwing a fit and I was running out of tissues.
Okay, God. Your move.
We had been assigned a few stories out of an anthology full of eros love stories. I was able to read the first story, but when the first line of the second story went through my head I closed the book. I decided that, even though it was an assignment, I didn’t want those images in my head; it was hard enough to stay pure in thought without purposefully reading impure things. One of my unsaved friends told me that I needed to let myself be exposed to new things that I might have been sheltered from because of my faith. I explained to her that I had been exposed to those things too often and too willingly in the past, before I was saved. There was no need for me to hang around and see how much temptation I could handle.
I stepped into the room and sat next to two other sick people. We were basically shunned in good humor to one side of the room. Halfway through the class I used my last tissue, and my nose was still running. I tried to hide the fact that snot was trickling down my cheek and onto my skirt, and I tried to focus on the discussion at hand. My professor got through the discussion of the first story and then began on the second one. I vowed not to say anything, not only because I hadn’t read it but because I had nothing to say.
Before even mentioning the plot of the story, my professor said this:
“Okay all of you are droopy-eyed and not looking at me, so we’ll save this story for Thursday. We’ll do a writing exercise now and then we’ll end class.” Relief brimmed my heart. Because we were reading “love” stories, our writing prompt was to write about our first love. Most of us groaned but set to work nonetheless. The only thing I will tell you about my first love is that, though I was very happy and I really, truly, loved the guy, it just didn’t work. Things about me just didn’t click with things about him. God knows why and God knows me.
We were let out of class an hour early, which gave me time to study for my midterm next class period and sleep a little. I studied as best as I knew how and prayed that all of the information I already retained of botany would magically surface during the test. I decided that if I was going to mess up, better now than later!
When I walked into botany class, I was told (after announcing rather obnoxiously that I was going to totally fail the test) that it was open notes. I shouted “Thank You, sweet Jesus!” to the ceiling when my professor explained this to me. Because I’m a nerd, I take excellent notes and have very organized thoughts (not meaning to toot my own horn or anything, but this was such a relief to me), so I went from thinking I would sink this test like the iceberg sunk the Titanic to being totally confident of being able to ace it. The test was very difficult, but I felt confident when I was done that I had at least gotten a B (which, for my first midterm, isn’t too shabby).
Sleep was the only thing on my mind when I came into my dorm, so that’s exactly what I did. I took a ten minute power nap, followed by my second shower of the day. When I was cleaning up my room (when I’m sick I tend to just let my room fall to ruins), Karly knocked on the door and came in, holding a box of tissues. Because I was out, I had been using one of my hand towels as a handkerchief (gross, I know). I felt so blessed and so loved when she handed be that perfect purple box of Kleenex. God has blessed me with great friends :)….with great everything, for that matter.
I sat down a few moments later, sipping on water and blowing my nose. My brain was clearing up a little more and I was able to feel pretty good…until one of the girls that came to Bible Study messaged me saying she was going to start her own bible study. I’ll admit that I wasn’t surprised, but I was a little wounded. The point of bible study was to build up relationship with each other and just get together and talk about God and dig around in His word. She had a flashy, dramatic, big-city look on bible study, which isn’t necessarily bad; it just didn’t feel right. I wished she would’ve just asked me if we could do things differently and offered up her ideas and explained her perspective. She ended the conversation with talking about how few of us there were and how we needed to stay united. I didn’t quite know what to say.
Regardless of how I feel, I’m glad to see that she’s taking the initiative and doing her own thing. Who knows? Maybe she’s meant to start a bible study on campus and I was just a starting point for her. Maybe she’ll be a better speaker and bible-studier-er than I am and more people will benefit from her teaching and her lessons. I’m glad that there are other Christians who want to make some kind of difference in the life of Christians on this campus.
So back to the sickness thang. It’s just unbelievable how God took care of me today. I was crazy sick (I still am) and I really needed to focus; He took care of me. 🙂
Now, some reflection. Here are things that you should do when you’re sick at college and things that you shouldn’t.
5 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You’re Sick At College
1. Pluck your eyebrows
2. Eat greasy food
3. Take a botany midterm
4. Talk about your love life
5. Contemplate making a decision about skydiving
5 Things You Should Do If You’re Sick At College
1. Drink orange juice and hot chocolate
3. Get plenty of fresh air
5. Call your mama 🙂
“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” –Mark 3:24,25 (ESV)
P.S. Today is my father’s birthday, and I’ve told him happy birthday already but I want to do it again. Happy Birthday Daddy!!! 😀 😀 😀 I love you!!!