The Sick Season Rolls In

The Sick Season Rolls In

[flickr id=”8453436510″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

It’s been a weird week. I was getting over a cold, the first week of school was winding down, and I was excited about the Super Bowl…commercials. (I cared little for either team.) So, Saturday morning rolls around, and I get to meet my literary idol, DAVE EGGERS. Do you know of his work? You should. He writes novels. He writes short stories. He writes memoir. He even wrote two screen plays. And when he signed my books, he drew a monster in my The Wild Things book, a novel based on his screenplay Where The Wild Things Are (based on the children’s picture book).

[flickr id=”8452345455″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

If my onesie pajamas had arrived before Saturday, I would have worn them to the signing. So, that was the good part of the week! Then, on Sunday, during the Super Bowl, and still a day before the magical, warm pajamas that would make the coldness of this Chicago winter feel bearable, I felt my cold come back… Then I realized it was something much different when I could only sleep three hours because my throat was breaking open whenever I swallowed. I woke up at 2 a.m., and no matter how much NyQuil I took, could not fall back asleep. Not. Good.

My throat felt miserable. I thought I was dying. Maybe I was? I was meeting a friend for lunch downtown and then going to campus to get work done before class. I went to the Graduate Lounge and fell asleep three different times. My body ached all over, I couldn’t focus, I had a migraine. My teacher made me go home as soon as she saw me, and when I went to the doctor on Tuesday, I found out I had strep throat and a fever of 102.4.

[flickr id=”8452346861″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

At least that little guy above helps me breathe better. I had to buy him so my apartment has a little moisture in the air. Apparently, that’s a good thing for breathing. Who knew?

Well, I didn’t want to cancel my flight. See, February 7 marks my dad’s 64th birthday and Feb. 8th my mom’s 65th. (Do the math–had my mom not been born on a Leap Year, they would have been born on the same day.) So, since this is the first parental birthday (we treat it as one) since my dad passed away, my sister and I decided to fly into town to surprise my mom. My aunts are coming, too, and they’re keeping our secret. It’s going to be awesome! I made sure I wouldn’t infect anyone with my illness, and the doctor assured me if I took the antibiotics, I’d be okay to fly.

Meanwhile, I had to skip all of my classes, as the other two fell on Tuesday, the day after my teacher sent me home for looking too sick to be in class, and the day I went to the doctor and found out I was nearly dying.

So, this is a long, medicine-induced post (antibiotics always make me kind of loopy… It’s strange) telling you to WASH YOUR HANDS, KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR FACE, AND STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE IF YOU’RE SICK. I know we have attendance policies at Columbia, but you don’t know how many times I have to work with students at the Writing Center that are coughing all over the place or have a class with clearly sick students. It’s great that you want to tough it out (and I am guilty of this on Monday), but for the love of everyone else, GO HOME. You’re allowed a few absences for things like this. And, trust me, the way I felt Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, if I ever find out who was rude enough to infect me, I will cough on you. (Okay, I won’t, but I’ll think about it in my mind.) Seriously, stay well, folks.