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Bein' Sick Ain't It

But here’s how you can take care of yourself if sickness consumes you

By Alaina Burris
On April 5, 2019

Photo by Alaina Burris

I returned from spring break in one of the worst ways possible: I had a fever. Not just a little 100℉ fever either; it was 102.7℉ when my friends and I started the drive. Over the course of our eight-hour drive, my fever dropped down to 98.6℉, but then rose back up to 103.6℉.

My spike in temperature meant a trip to the emergency room the night before classes started back up. After nearly three hours in the emergency room, they couldn’t tell me what was wrong. All I got was, “Don’t go to class until you’re fever free!” So that’s exactly what I did.

However, my fever didn’t go away at all the week after spring break. I was trapped in my room all day, everyday, until my mom and dad came to take me to a doctor at home. I know not everyone’s parents can come to the rescue, so here are a few tips on how you can take care of yourself while you’re sick at school.

  1. Keep a thermometer nearby -- If you think you have a fever, you should probably check your temperature. And keep checking every so often until it’s gone for awhile. Have probe covers handy if you don’t want to continuously disinfect it. But if you’re okay with doing that, make sure you disinfect properly.

  2. A warm washcloth is your best friend -- No, seriously. A warm washcloth is the only thing that kept me cool (ironically) the entire week. When you get the chills, the warmth makes you feel a million times better. Or, if you get hot, place a cold washcloth across your forehead.

  3. Ask your roommates for some help -- There are times when you’re sick that you just can’t do anything yourself because you feel too weak. Don’t be afraid to ask your roommates for a couple of favors while you’re under the weather.

  4. Medicine -- Medicine is required when you’re sick. If you have a fever, medicine that doubles as a fever reducer is something you should take. If you’re having trouble at night, definitely get some NyQuil (and DayQuil), and if you’re struggling with a cough, Delsym is the number one answer.

  5. Blankets -- Whether you’re hot or cold, you’re going to need to cover up no matter what. If you’re hot and covered up, you’ll sweat out your fever. If you’re cold, you probably need to grab some more blankets until you’re warming up.

  6. Showers -- You’ll feel awful, nasty, gross -- you name it -- before you take a shower. But a shower will make you feel a bit better. It’ll help wash some of that nastiness away and get you into some clean clothes.

  7. Change your clothes! -- If you stay in the same clothes the entire time you’re sick, you’re just going to feel worse everyday. Remember to keep up your hygiene: change clothes, brush your teeth, shower; it’ll keep you in check and make you feel much better.

  8. Stay hydrated and eat -- You need to drink a lot of water when you’re feeling sick. Hydration is key to getting better. The same with eating. You’ll lose your appetite, but if food sounds good, you need to eat. Don’t force yourself to eat or drink if you’re not thirsty, because that can make things worse.  

Being sick is an awful feeling. Having constant temperature changes and different needs constantly makes you feel even worse. But if you’re sick, you have to take care of yourself. Your needs come before anyone else’s, especially when you’re sick.

Remember, if you are contagious, try not to be around others until you’re no longer contagious. If you’re feeling like you’re going to get sick, visit the nurse before it’s too late. If you have a fever, stay in bed. If worse comes to worse, visit a walk-in clinic or the emergency room.

Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, make sure you’re clean! It’s flu season and allergy season and getting sick is easier than you might think. I thought I was golden on not getting sick, but I spent a whole week quarantined in my room. It was not fun. Take my advice and take care of yourself before you have to do the same!


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