Monday, November 22, 2010


In stark contrast to what I experience these days, I caught a number of colds every year while attending college. I had to be really under the weather, however, to skip classes. There wasn't much of a difference between laying in bed and sitting upright in the back row of a classroom. Both were passive and there was something to be said about keeping things business as usual even when one wasn't feeling 100%.

I was greatly aided on those kinds of days by a number of oral medicines that I'd take. For sore throats, Chloraseptic was a life-saver. Even the worst pain in that area was soothed by the stuff.

I made sure to bring plenty of cough lozenges with me to class when that was one of the symptoms I was experiencing. Few things are more trying than coughing uncontrollably while others are trying to learn. I also made sure to be relatively quiet while blowing my nose so as not to bother others.

When my condition dragged out or was more severe, I would be seen at the college health office. Upon being admitted, the first thing they'd give a student was a page with tips on how to best deal with a cold or flu. I'd peruse the paper for a moment or two making sure I was doing what was asked before browsing a magazine while I waited to be called.

There was a fifty-something nurse who was especially kind to me. Like most health care workers, she didn't like to see a person suffering needlessly (though if no one was suffering, she would be out of a job). She'd take my temperature, ask a number of questions, and if necessary, give me heavy-duty anti-flu meds.

On one occasion, she asked if I was seeing anyone. I hesitated a bit before saying that I was. I gather that she had a daughter, perhaps, who was looking for a good man and thought I might do the trick. I wondered for a time after who the woman in question was, wondering if I'd missed out on the chance to go steady with a dreamboat.

One of the best things about being sick is the feeling one gets as the sickness goes away. After trudging a number of days feeling 40% or less, to see that percentage steadily increase is cause enough to believe that there's a God. Of course, if belief in God is how one gets better, than who was it that instigated the sickness? And to what end? (I've always wanted to use that phrase in a blog posting)

These days, in which I rarely get sick, I sometimes look longingly at the cough drops and sore throat sprays on the grocery store shelves. You see, ingesting them always takes me back to my college days where I utilized them the most and though I'm quite happy that the Good Lord has blessed me by rarely needing them, I sometimes wish I'd catch a 48-hour bug, if only to take me back to those long-ago days.


Timothy Smith said...

Careful what you wish for. I know you what mean though regarding the great feeling of recovery. You cant truly appreciate anything until you know what its like without it, health in particular.

I am just now getting my lungs back. I have a new respect for those with asthma, COPD and things like that. I have been terribly sick for two months.

However you are correct that even in that sickness the silver lining is the appreciation I have now that I can take a deep breath. I marvel at it at least a 100 times a day now.

I celebrate feeling normal now, in fact I celebrate feeling less than normal now, just getting better is enough.

P.S. It was a runaway case of pneumonia, my first time getting the infection.

Thomas said...

I can only imagine how difficult it's been to have lungs that aren't up to par. Being able to take a good breath is one of the reasons I could never take up smoking.

And two months is a long time to be under the weather. See, that's the problem with me not getting sick much (other than the occasional headache). It's hard to appreciate what you have if you haven't had the experience without it of late.

Hopefully, you'll be 100% for some time to come, though. Lord knows you deserve it.

Rocketstar said...

A bit of masochism showing through, I like it.

SilverNeurotic said...

I hate being sick, what's worse, i don't do well with medications. I can't tolerate the taste of cough drops or cough medicine and cold/flu medications-even the non drowsy kinds-often make me "high", which I hate. At least Nyquil/Dayquil so I just end up waiting out the illness.

ExtraO said...

So, what's the trick? Why are you so much healthier now then when you were in college?

Thomas said...

Thanks, Rocket.

Sil, that's a real bummer. Hopefully, the eye-in-the-sky will give you a reprieve from sickness this holiday season and well into the depths of winter.

Extra, it could be that it was easier to catch colds and such during that time because of the close proximity I'd be to other students in classes.

I've said before that I think taking 500mg of vitamin C seems to help in this regard. I have a tendency to almost be a bit reckless these days. When I wash my hands at work, I only use soap if I've made a BM and though I was once careful about not touching door handles, this isn't typically the case these days. Another thing that helps is not really having a sickness-mindset.

It's my belief, though some say it is far-fetched, that all illness is self-created, if not consciously, then at the soul level, so if it's in my best interest to be afflicted for a time, there will be no escaping it, anyway.

Narkissos said...

kudos to your good health buddy....:)

Phats said...

I hate being sick, couldn't agree more in the feeling of awesomeness(is that word) when it finally goes away!

I went to class sick or healthy I am sure my classmates appreciated that haha but being an athlete was kind of hard to skip since we already missed a lot of class especially 2nd semester

Dämmerung Anblick said...

Yeah Thomas,
If you're anything like me, you probably weren't living the most healthy lifestyle back in those days. Or maybe you were, I don't know. But for me, all I remember was all night partying, I mean studying, eating poorly and drinking even worse. Of course I was living in residence at the time.