I seem to get sick once a semester, and because of my existing chronic illness, I am more miserable than a majority of my friends, who just have whatever sickness is going around. One of the main reasons I am so miserable is because with Chiari Malformation, my head pain gets worse every time I sneeze or cough, and my vision also becomes extremely difficult to control. Thankfully I’ve already been sick once this semester, so I shouldn’t have to worry about getting sick again. Here are some of my tips for dealing with being sick in college.
Have a pre existing file with Student Health/Campus Clinic
My file contains information like my drug allergies/intolerances and a summary of my low vision and Chiari Malformation, as well as other chronic conditions. I also have a list of medication I am on and an abbreviated medical history. This helps the doctors because they don’t have to ask for a lot of information from me.
Skype into class
Since no one else wants to get sick either, ask to Skype or phone call into class for the day. If this is not an option, ask the professor for guidance on class attendance.
If you have an exam
Immediately get documentation of your illness or symptoms to submit to the professors if you have a scheduled exam and are experiencing a health issue. I actually ended up having to go to the emergency room, and then back to student health, but these two sources should be more than enough for documentation. If it isn’t that serious, follow these tips for taking exams while sick.
Have food delivered or ready to be picked up
The dining hall at my school has special prepackaged meals that can be picked up by a friend or RA for a student who is sick. If that isn’t possible, try to visit the dining hall during the off hours, and avoid touching things as much as possible.
Have over the counter medication delivered
I stocked up on over the counter meds when I got sick by ordering them using Amazon Primenow- more on that here. At the time, everything was sold out on campus because so many students were sick, so this system worked. If you must travel somewhere off campus, try not to take the bus, and instead ask for a friend to drive you. Bonus points if this friend has already been sick and/or is the one that made you sick.
Spend time recovering
Don’t just mask the illness, make sure to treat it and spend time resting. The last time I was sick, I found myself sleeping for several hours, something that helped my migraines and eyesight tremendously. By spending time away from others, you will be able to relax and focus on getting better.