I had a really interesting day.
As you know from my previous posts, I was pretty sick with a cold for a day or two earlier this week. It was an especially hard time to be sick because of a physics problem set that was due this Wednesday, and my crazy schedule on Tuesdays that puts me in class from 11 am until 8 pm. But I pulled through, just barely, and managed to finished the problem set while still napping 4 hours in one day, going to all of my classes, and keeping up with the readings. Score!
Unfortunately, two of my other housemates were also sick. We ran into each other in the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning: me grasping an empty mug of tea and looking terribly put-upon and snot-filled; Bailee looking surprisingly chipper for someone with a terrible stomach ache brought on my seemingly nothing. She recovered pretty quickly, but we're all so busy that I'm afraid I didn't keep a close eye on how everybody was doing.
Well, apparently the stress of the cold and the problem set and everything else just kinda compounded, because this morning I woke up around 6 with a sharp pain in my abdomen that announced the arrival of the Stomach Rats. (As in, "it feels like about a thousand rodents are trying to chew their way through my viscera".) Not super fun. But I got up, called Student Health, made some tea for breakfast (they recommended clear fluids) and got off to class feeling relatively good.
By mid-afternoon, relatively good had suddenly skydived into not good at all. I went to Student Health, who told me to head over to the local hospital, which is conveniently located right across the street. I called my friend Hannah to meet me, and she actually got to the hospital before I did.
It's funny; I've had a variety of health problems throughout the years, most somewhat minor, others somewhat major but easily dealt with once detected. This was the first time that I actually really, really did want to go to the hospital. The pain itself wasn't that bad, but it was just unrelenting. I have had my share of mono, MRSA, bad antibiotic reactions, and flu - but man. Today, I was beaten and downtrodden after a mere 9 hours of illness. Luckily, the staff at the hospital were extremely kind and diligent. Within an hour of my admittance, they had pain medication in me that made sitting up seem like a feasible option. And, after about an hour of Hannah talking with me and cheering me up, my friend Ondrea also dropped by. What ensued was probably the best use of 4 hours of hospital wait time that has ever occurred. (Besides knitting, of course.) We chatted and laughed a whole lot, and made friendly jokes at the various personnel that poked me, put blankets on me, and filled me full of saline.
Right before I was discharged, the Curmudgeon made an appearance as well, and he took over getting me the proper drugs and saltines and tucking me into bed.
The whole point of that, I guess, is that I sometimes forget in the midst of all of the craziness and stress of school is how much I love and appreciate those people who stick by me in tough times, who come by my room even when I tell them that I'm okay now, who listen to my worries and feed me Fig Newtons (when I'm not just eating Gatorade, tea, and chicken broth, that is!) and make me laugh those awesome belly laughs.
A couple of years ago, there was a time in my life when I really needed those things and they just weren't available, which made me scared and lonely and terribly, terribly guilty on top of all of the things that were happening. Realizing how full and incredible my life is today, I feel thankful that I am through that time, and even more than that, I am so, so thankful for the people I have chosen, who have chosen me, to be my friends.