Sunday, June 3, 2012

Feeling bad, feeling better

Usually I'd be freaking out about everything that's happened to me today.

I woke up around 7 then 8 then 9 am, feeling nauseous and weak, dizzy and achey with a sore throat to accompany it all. But I was still in Chicago, with a full day of travel ahead of me before I could get home.

When I finally forced myself to get up, it was 9:30 and I had to eat before setting out to check out of the dorm room I've lived in for the past two yeras. I reluctantly ate a banana and a bagel, every bite hurting my sore throat more than the one before.

The morning felt long, tedious and terrible. All I could think of was the day ahead - how I'd have to go around saying goodbye to my friends despite the fact that I could barely feel my extremities and that I was walking like an old woman. How would I handle going on a flight later in the day? Trying to put my suitcase in the overhead bin when I'm a good several inches shorter than it would certainly be no easy feat.

The first part of the day was something I dreaded for so long.

But surprisingly, leaving my dorm was not half as bad as I might have expected. I blame the illness. I was so caught up in how terrible I felt that I could no longer feel any emotions or sentimentality for anything.

I left my room, forgetting to initial my name in a crevice of my closet like I'd planned to do, and walked away feeling very little sadness.

I couldn't figure out if this was a good or a bad thing. At the time, I reasoned with myself that it was good not to feel so strongly about leaving. I've spent the past few weeks almost retreating into tears at the thought of abandoning my college home. So it's good not to feel that way, right?

Now that I think about it, I wish I'd been able to leave my dorm feeling nostalgic. From now until forever, I'll only remember walking away and aching physically rather than from the heart.

So bad breakfast went to worse departure from my favorite (only) dorm room.

After I checked out, I realized I couldn't put off going to the doctor, so my dad and I made a visit to Urgent Care prior to our flight back to California. I tested positive for strep throat and now I'm on antibiotics.

Again, experiences come with good and bad. Like leaving my dorm feeling unsentimental, finding out I had strep made me feel both relieved and upset. Why did I have to be ill with anything at all? That was my first thought. But then I felt glad at knowing I was going to be cured soon enough.

Finally, I arrived at my friend Carli's house and managed to get a quick nap in while my dad and her parents hung out and ate pizza. The few hours of rest didn't do me too much good, but the worst thing would come when I found out my flight was canceled.

But again with the internal conflict.

Because as angry as I was to have my flight canceled for maintenance issues, I was happy to get to stay over in Chicago one more night since I'm still feeling so ill.

All day I was dreading the idea of heading home in this state. I couldn't imagine having to board a plane and sit upright for 4 1/2 hours when I could barely move my neck as it is.

So even the worst situations proved their positive aspects. I realized that sentimentality wasn't a necessity, and that it's better to find out and treat an illness rather than let it "cure itself," and that it's more valuable to stay over a night with friends than to go home. It's not where you're sick, it's who you're with.

Today has been filled with obstacles and little bits of trauma and pain - physical mainly. But tomorrow should be a better day. Everything's worked out in the end so far.

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