The Benefits of Illness


It is a common known fact that being sick sucks. but has anyone ever considered how it feels to be the only person who is well? Currently my sister and my best friend are sick lying on my pull out sofa (which is actually my bed… which is now probably contagious) where they have been for the past five hours or so. They cannot move, they are cemented to the upholstery like the googly-eyes on my aloe vera plant in the corner (don’t ask, it was a gift). In some weird twisted turn of fate the health center here on campus is double-booked (is that even possible?) till tomorrow, so for now, here they sit… or lay…. coughing away, spreading germs across my dorm as I act as stand-in nurse. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am SO glad that I am currently not sick, physically immobile, achy, tired, with a nose as stuffed as a bear, and I hope to stay that way. It’s just I don’t think a lot of people realize how hard it is to be well. When you are well you feel almost obligated to aid those who are not as lucky as you are… or in my case not as willing to take vitamins, anti-histimine supporters, or drink tea on a regular basis. Taking care of sick people is almost as unpleasant as being one. I think that my particular experience has been made more complicated by the simple fact that those who have been assigned to my charge are unwilling to be nursed back to health. I almost have to forced feed medicine to my sister who, instead of eating the obvious chicken-noodle soup and drinking orange juice, decided to eat chick-fil-a nuggets and candy for dinner… and who also refuses to take eucanacia and vitamin C tablets which would probably make her well by tomorrow morning. My other little ‘patient’ is almost as stubborn, but is better at appeasing my wishes.
Through this experience, I have decided that it sometimes sucks when you are well…. you don’t have a good excuse to miss class, or sleep in, or be immobile, or complain. If you are sick you don’t need to provide a reason as to why you can’t do something for yourself provided that you prompt the request with “I am sick”. It seems to me that social responsibility is suspended temporarily when ill, like a ‘get out of responsibility free’ card. So next time I hear someone complain about being sick… instead of “that sucks!” I’m going to say “suck it up!”

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