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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

Sick of Being Sick by Jess K. '10

On being sick at MIT.

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??
Me: Don’t…know…why…!!*

*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..)

23 responses to “Sick of Being Sick”

  1. Ahana says:

    Aww… Get well soon Jess! I dont even feel like saying ‘first’ :-(

  2. Every time jess K gets ill the universe gets one light year closer to the big crunch(opposite of the big bang-And I am not making it up).

    So please get well soon.The universe really needs you.And no, the universe does not hate you, At least not the andromedans.

  3. Banerjee says:

    Poor Jess. I know exactly what it feels like. Right now, I have a viral fever too.

    Get well soon!!

  4. Alex says:

    I hope you gett well soon!!!

  5. Mikey says:

    Get well soon JKim. You’re a trooper for even blogging your illnesses! My advice on getting better at MIT (although you probably know much more than me you Medlink/EMT/CPR-person, you):

    1. Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. I swear, that stuff has magical capabilities.
    2. Drinking fluids to the point where you have to go to the bathroom every 30mins (I heard somewhere that that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re sick).
    3. If all else fails, give the illness to someone else. (That always seems to work the best – every time my roommate got sick, he’d get better as soon as I started coming down with it. And vice versa. Just go breathe around other people a lot…lol) People may not be fond of you after this, though, so be prepared to have the favor returned after the virus mutates and you get a different strain back again. (Or maybe you’re already on the second iteration of this, in which case, you should just quarantine yourself.) ;P

    Anyways, feel better!

  6. Ashwath says:

    Echoed sentiments. Being sick is no fun …

  7. Judy '12 says:

    Awwww…. I really hope you feel better! I’ve been coughing for a while too :(

  8. Anonymous says:

    Awwww! That sucks.
    It does seem as though the universe does not want you to do well in that class.
    Btw, did you notice that Snively is off of the front page?

  9. Keri says:

    Wait, 27 Dresses is on DVD now? Sweet. (SHUT UP)

  10. Ehsan says:

    Wow! Your still sick?

    O.k. everybody else tell me if this happens to them too. I get more sick during the hot seasons compared to the cold seasons.
    Anybody? Anybody?

  11. agreed says:

    I’ve caught several colds in the middle of summer. Not fun.

  12. omar says:

    drink orange juice and go to taekwondo. the only things that keep me sane, healthy and happy.

    mit medical is horrible, i’m sorry to say.

  13. House, M.D. says:

    i recommend going to the store and buying a bottle of 1000mg vitamin c pills. every since i started taking one pill every day i have rarely gotten sick and even when i have it was usually something very minor and short-lived. it’s pretty much the equivalent of drinking like 30 glasses of orange juice every day smile

  14. Amelia says:

    I will not provide any preventative measures, because you’re already sick, but I hope you feel much better soon!

  15. @ House says:

    Why werent you at the emmy’s?

  16. Banerjee says:

    You know, I think it’s something that’s going around in the world. I mean, I’m all the way across the world in Singapore, and all of my classmates are sick (or nearly sick).

    It’s kind of mysterious…

  17. Hi five says:

    Cheers for getting that class!!

    I’m also in Singapore and I just reached the end of the second round of the bug cycle inside me. You’ll reach yours in no time too.

  18. Timothy says:

    Man, I thought it was bad just having the sinus-infection/cough/sore throat combo for a few weeks, but it definitely doesn’t sound quite as bad as that. Get well soon!

  19. House, M.D. says:

    because this year’s Emmys were nothing but a massive disappointment with a bunch of shows that nobody even watches winning all the awards…it wasn’t even worth my time.

  20. Alex says:

    I’m sick too. :( I hope you feel better.

  21. Miao says:


    I found out about your blog through the Blogging Scholarship website. You have a very engaging blog here. Please take care and get well soon! smile

  22. Amber Stone says:

    Great blog you have here. I found out about it on the blog scholarship contest page. Keep it up!

  23. Anonymous says:


    Where have you been? We miss you!