The one time I wish my mother were closer is when I am sick. While my roommates and friends are great about offering to pick me up medicines or orange juice they don’t come close to having a mom nearby to wait on my every need. Making my own tea and soup isn’t comparable to how it tastes when my mom makes it for me when I am sick at home. Unfortunately, getting sick in college is inevitable even for those with strong immune systems. Here are some ways to feel more at home while fighting off illness.
Replicate your medicine cabinet at home. Make sure to keep all types of medications on hand at all times. From just ibuprofen for a simple headache or fever reducer to cough and cold medicines to antacids for stomach aches. Name brand medications can be costly to your wallet. Buy the generic versions of medications in order to save a few bucks. The active ingredients are the same and each drug store makes its own version. If you buy ahead of time you won’t be stuck with unexpected purchases. When you do come down with something you won’t have to run out to the store feeling miserable, everything will already be accessible.
We all have our favorite sick foods. Whether it is homemade chicken noodle soup or frozen ginger ale popsicles to soothe the stomach, having the materials to make the comforts of home at school will help aid in feeling better. While you may not have the strength to make chicken noodle soup from scratch, Campbell’s is a close second. Make a list of your comfort items for a roommate or friend to pick up for you. Make sure to stay hydrated and keep your favorite teas and juices nearby. Up the intake of vitamin C and fluff your pillows for the optimal resting environment.
Call the doctor
If you have more than a common cold and need to see a doctor, make sure you know your options. The student health care center is only open regular business hours and is closed on Saturdays. The facility also operates on appointments, which can be difficult to obtain on short notice. There is an option for emergency walk in appointments, but the wait time will depend on severity of the illness. Care Spot, formerly known as Solantic, is an urgent walk-in clinic. Their website provides as estimated wait time for their locations in Gainesville and Ocala. You can either make an appointment; walk in or save your spot online. Their hours are more extended and they are open on weekends. When in doubt, Shands is on campus and open all days and hours. While your test for strep may not measure up to someone entering the emergency room with cardiac arrest, you will be seen eventually. Determine which option, location and time frame works best for what symptoms you are experiencing.
To play hooky
If you aren’t feeling well enough to attend class make sure to notify your professors especially if the class is attendance based. Find out their policy on missing class and how to make up anything you may miss. Find out if they need you to provide any documentation to excuse your absence if attendance is factored into your grade. If the class is a large lecture hall style it doesn’t hurt to show you are a concerned student and inform them you will make up what material is missed.
When you begin to feel better, don’t push yourself into any strenuous activity. Make sure to get enough sleep and eat properly while hydrating. Continue to wash your hands frequently to kill any remaining germs and clean common areas of your living space so you don’t get your roommates sick. Run a load of laundry of all towels and sheets so you get rid of any lingering illness. An important item to replace that is overlooked is your toothbrush. You don’t want to put all the sick germs back into your mouth once you are feeling better so make sure to throw the old one away.
Work with your body and listen to what it needs. You know yourself best so don’t push your limits when you are sick. It isn’t a bad thing to rest up a day or two after you are feeling better to ensure you don’t relapse.