Being sick elicits deep, if groggy, thoughts November 20, 2019 — by Oliver Ye Permalink I woke up to the sound of my obnoxiously blaring alarm, feeling nauseous. My head was clanging, as if someone had hit me with a hammer, and my eyes were itchy. Again? This was the third time that I had felt sick since school began less than two months ago. Perhaps I had gotten the flu? If I had the flu, at least I wouldn’t have to go to school. The thermometer beeped apathetically. 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Allergies? But it was the middle of fall. It wasn’t even supposed to be allergy season! A cold? No way. I was miffed. I felt terrible but because I didn’t have a fever or flu, I had to go to school. The entirety of Daly’s first-period lecture on the relationship between the settlers of the 13 colonies and Native Americans was punctuated by my sneezes (all 17 of them). Why couldn’t my immune system just get its act together? My immune system is supposed to be an almighty barrier against pathogenic invaders. Instead, it was more like a flimsy traffic cone, sitting idly as torrents of infectious invaders rushed into my body. I took the time between sneezes to reflect on what could have caused this situation. I was about to form my first coherent thought of the day when a painful migraine clobbered me. Great. I sighed in resignation and proceeded to zone out of Mrs. Cahatol’s lecture on net ionic equations in an attempt to avoid using any brainpower. My attempt to conserve my energy failed, as Cahatol proceeded to expose me in front of the entire class, loudly asking if I thought her lecture was boring. When I finally collapsed onto my bed later that day, my mind drifted off and I started thinking about philosophical questions. What is the purpose of life? What was the point of Mrs. Cahatol’s lecture? And most importantly, why am I perpetually sick? That one had me stumped. I literally could not place it, but I did realize that every time I had gotten sick, I slept very late the day before. After asking around, it seemed that many of my friends were also getting sick because they were sleeping later due to the higher workloads and high levels of stress. Because simply feeling sick isn’t much of an excuse to skip school, and also because no one wants to fall behind in school, students have to find a way to cope with sickness somehow. Many students choose to simply “push through it” by starting their days with a coffee for a kick of energy that they hope will last throughout the day (it doesn’t); however, this is just a short-term solution for feeling sick, since feeling weak or sick is a symptom that your body’s internal defenses are not properly defending against viruses or germs. This often leads to a negative cycle — students don’t take the time to fully recover and as a result they aren’t able to make that much progress on homework — which leads to more homework and feeling worse. There aren’t any cure-all methods, but as a result of all of the times that I had gotten sick, I’ve learned a couple of tips and tricks to help myself recover quickly and feel better. First, I drink a lot of orange juice or water. Flooding my body with liquid essentially helps it regenerate after it has been trampled by invading germs and pathogens. Second, I take a lot of naps. I don't see in staying up and clawing my way through two math questions in 45 minutes when I could be sleeping and recovering. But most importantly, I make sure to wake up early instead of sleeping later, since all staying up late does is drain on my concentration and make me feel worse. Unfortunately, I don’t see any way to curb my chronic procrastination, so I suppose that I’ll have to suffer bouts of illness throughout my junior year.