After a much-dreaded stay in, I finally conjured up the courage to walk outside of my apartment building Tuesday morning.
I had been at home for five days before that, licking my wounds, so to speak. Those of you who know me, know that I enjoy a little time at home every once and a while. But in all truth, the five-day stay in was a bit too much – even for me.
The imprisonment wasn’t optional, however. I had caught whatever bug was going around campus and a blink of an eye later, I was coughing insanely and wishing for some relief. Relief, however, was and remains far away.
At first I thought I have a common cold, but semi-sleepless nights and painful daily activities proved otherwise. I finally give up my honeyed lemon tea and dragged myself to the health center, whose employees offered me something to relieve my illness.
I restricted my human contact during the five days, too. I was too scared I’d transfer whatever I had to someone else. I found myself missing some human contact, so the number of times I called my parents and sisters these five days surpassed the number of times I called them during the whole semester.
I didn’t want to worry my parents much, but I found myself asking for their sympathy anyway. I complained and complained and they listened and offered all the support they could. My mom even shed a few tears, which triggered a few of mine, too.
Reflecting on it, it’s kind of ironic. At a time when I’m battling an independence “war” with my parents – I want to do one thing, they want me to another, yet I still turned to the 5-year-old who wished her mother could have made her tea to make the pain go away.
The worst part about it was that at the end of every phone call, I knew I couldn’t imagine myself getting severely sick again without my parents or family around me. This was not my first illness in America, God knows I got more sick than I can count, but it was one that I was acutely aware of. It was the first one I had to cancel plans and commitments for, which amplified its effect on me.
Aside from being in pain, backing out on plans was the hardest thing I had to deal with – it goes against my nature.
That being said, staying home wasn’t all bad. The five days of doing nothing were certainly a welcome change to my daily routine. I actually can’t remember the last time I have been home for two consecutive hours this semester. It was nice to step back and wind down, even if I was, for the most part, in pain.
A common saying in my culture states that if one organ or part of the human body feels ill, then the whole body suffers. This couldn’t have been truer in my case.
All I can hope for now is to get through it as fast as possible, because I don’t think I can withstand a lot more of it.