Sep 22, 2008
Sick of Being Sick
Posted in: Life & Culture
So I'm sick right now. Again. It's some lovely combination of fever, nausea, and other TMI that I'll spare you the details of, but basically, I was sick when classes first started, got better, and now I've been sick since Monday. It's now next Monday. I'm getting better, though, and that's in part due to my winning combination of Pepto Bismol chased down by red Gatorade and chick flicks chased down by Star Wars. (Yesterday was 27 Dresses and Empire Strikes Back; the night before that, A New Hope and Bring It On. Most of the dorms have free movies you can rent from the front desk, and so the Burton-Conner deskworkers think I'm a little bipolar.)
The real turning point in my illness took place on Friday, when I was so weak and feverish that I dragged myself over to MIT Medical to have them take a look at me. Being sick in college is not fun, no matter how good you think you are at taking care of yourself, so it's nice knowing MIT Medical is there. My friends were sweet enough to bring me extra Gatorade and soup and other fairly tame foods, but when it came to pumping my veins with IV fluids most of them had better things to do - like go on really fun dorm-wide white water rafting trip that I unfortunately missed, since that doesn't exactly fall under the categories of "no strenuous activity" or "get lots of rest." ("Drink plenty of fluids," maybe?)
So I headed off to Urgent Care, where - at this point, I was pretty woozy, but I remember giving them my name and symptoms and they told me to take a seat and I read through magazine covers and then they called my name and I stood up - woah, REALLY dizzy - aaand they pretty much took care of me for the rest of the evening. Which was really easy, and really cool, because I think at that point I was pretty much speaking like Yoda. In fact, I was so tired and so stressed by the time they got me on the table and asked me what was wrong that I just started crying.
Doctor: What's the matter??
*may be an exaggeration
I should also mention that this is all covered under basic insurance for MIT students. That also includes ambulance rides to and from MIT Medical - if you need to go to an outside hospital, there's an extended insurance plan that covers that, as well as some prescription drugs and a lot of other stuff - which is kind of convenient since there's a pharmacy in MIT Medical, and they only take Extended Insurance.
Anyway, they drew some blood to do a blood test, put me in a bed, and set me up on an IV when I remembered I'd called Student Support Services (S^3) last night - I had an assignment due that day, which I hadn't really found time to do in my busy schedule of having a fever and sleeping it off. S^3 set me up with a phone appointment that afternoon with a dean to talk about sending a sick note to my TA, which they normally don't do over the phone, but seeing as I was hooked to a bag of sodium chloride I probably wasn't going to make it very far.
So I called in and talked to the dean, who took down the name of my TA and sent her an email about getting an extension for the assignment. (Honestly, I thought the fact that I'd been wearing the same pair of sweatpants for the past three days should've be enough for them, but the medical record probably conveys that same idea.)
And that was basically it! I still have to go in later when I'm feeling up to it to get a physical note, but it was all a fairly easy process. After that? I slept. A lot. When I had ran through 3 liters of fluid, MIT Medical sent me home, and a bunch of movies and 32 oz. bottles of Gatorade later, I'm here now trying really hard to kick this thing once and for all, and I fully intend for my next blog entry begins with "So I'm awesome right now. Again."
(By the way? That assignment I got the extension for? It's for that class that I almost didn't get into the last time I was sick. Either my professor does actually read my blog, or the universe doesn't entirely hate me after all..)