Sick in the City

My mom likes to describe me as an over achiever in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to getting sick. When I get sick I’m never kind of sick, I’m more like one of those patients on Grey’s Anatomy that comes into the clinic with a head cold and stays for brain surgery. Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic, but I think I’ve made my point.

Why am I talking about being sick? Well, this past week I was the lucky recipient of the stomach flu and a nasty head cold at the same time. (I told you, total over achiever.) It all started on Friday, when I went into work feeling a little off kilter and left feeling like literal death.

Admittedly, when I’m sick I’m basically April from “Parks and Recreation,” which we can all agree is probably not the best work attitude in real life. So there I am, sitting at my desk writing a story for our “breaking news” section yearning for my pillow and Netflix account and unintentionally channeling April Ludgate.

On my way home I had to pull over literally 3 times because I felt so awful. When I got home I realized the worst part about being an adult. I was alone in my apartment “basically dying,” as I described it to my mom. It dawned on me that as an adult you don’t have tons of people in close proximity to you, aka dorm mates, that can grab you crackers or Matzo Ball soup.

Luckily my apartment mate did come home eventually and ran to the store to get me supplies, but it was definitely a different experience than being sick in college. This isn’t to say that in the post-college world your friends suddenly stop being excellent humans and helping you out when you’re sick. In the post-college world your friends are simply farther apart.

The lovely DMV area (that is D.C., Maryland and Virginia, not Department of Motor Vehicles) has a lot of perks, but proximity isn’t really one of them. For example, every Wednesday or Thursday I go into the city to meet my friends for a happy hour, aka the staple of city life, and we’re all coming from totally different directions. It takes me about 20 minutes to get from work to wherever we’re going. One of my other friends only has a 5 minute commute, while another girl has a 45 minute commute.

When I was getting ready to graduate I didn’t really think about how space between myself and my friends would change different aspects of my life, but it definitely has. If that freaks you out, stop. It’s not the end of the world to not be within five minutes of all your best friends, friends and acquaintances. Honestly, I think it makes you appreciate your friends more because you’re both making an effort to hang out.

Now, I wouldn’t be keeping up with my style as of late if I didn’t put a listicle in this post, so here it is. Four things to have in your apartment in case you’re ever sick in the city.

  1. Saltine Crackers
    I’m pretty sure saltine crackers saved my life this past week. You might laugh at this, but when you get sick and have these in your apartment you’ll thank me.
  2. Gatorade
    Don’t like Gatorade? That’s fine! Just have something that will replenish your electrolytes and keep you from dehydrating. Trust me when I say getting dehydrated and having to sit in a hospital bed with an IV in your arm for three hours is zero fun.
  3. Antibacterial Wipes
    After being sick the last thing you want to do is get your roommate sick. My roommate had the flu and didn’t clean all of the doorknobs and light switches and guess who got the flu? You got it, me! Although that’s probably pretty obvious given the entire first section of the article.
  4. Extra Sheets
    I know this one sounds kind of odd, but the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling better and you’re finally fever free is do laundry, but it’s also REALLY important to not sleep on your gross, germ-infested sheets. Investing in an additional set of sheets also means you don’t have to do laundry quite as often in your regular life, so that’s cool too.
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