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Being Sick…

As a veterinary student, I find the body and the way it works incredible. You don’t have to consciously tell your heart to beat or your intestines to digest; they just do their jobs, thanks to regulation by a special part of the nervous system. When the body is under different conditions, like being sick, the way it works can be just as interesting. Unless it is you who is sick…

This past Monday I woke up and felt pretty bad. I thought I might just have a bad case of the “Mondays” and tried to power through. I sat at the back of the class to avoid close contact with my fellow classmates in case I was sick. After sitting through a morning of lectures and realizing I wasn’t getting better, I went home. I slept through the entire afternoon, woke up briefly to have some water, toast, and medicine, and went back to bed. Feeling worse the next morning, I took action and went in to the doctor. She was able to tell me that it wasn’t your average strep throat and it wasn’t mononucleosis, but not much more than that.

Feeling frustrated at not having a diagnosis and starting to stress out about everything I was missing in class made me feel even worse. A call in to Mom put things in perspective: “Taking a day or two to get the body back to full operating power is needed if your mind is to work at its optimum. And, feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to help either.”

“Sick days aren’t all bad,” you might say, “take a few days off and take it easy.” While that is true, for students in veterinary school it can have serious consequences. Still, thanks to my thoughtful roommates and some amazing fellow first-year students, I was able to get the rest I needed to get better and stay on track with my classes. Body, mind, spirit—check.