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  • Writer's pictureElisha Bae

Being Healthy Is the Best

A nurse tightening a band on the upper arm of a woman

I didn't think I would be making a post like this, ever, in my life, but here I am...!

On April 11th, I was struck by a sudden deterioration of my health after having breakfast. To this day, I still don't know what caused that in the first place. Even the ER medics didn't figure it out -- but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Right after having breakfast (I was completely fine, and nothing was out of the ordinary), my muscles started aching, and I could tell that I had a slight fever. These were all signs of me feeling under the weather. It didn't even feel like a cold or the flu since the most prominent symptom of that, which is a sore throat, was not there.

But as the hours passed, I could feel my fever rising and my muscles aching even more. I had a headache as well as nausea, making it impossible for me to go to my class. I stayed in bed and asked Sho to check up on me after his class.

Sho brought me lunch, but I didn't have the appetite. In hindsight, I should've at least drank more water, but I didn't do that either. I didn't want to throw up by eating or drinking. My stomach seemed to be cramping from time to time, which made me wonder if it was acute gastritis or something similar.

In the afternoon, my fever seemed to have gone down almost completely after a nap. I was feeling much better, though I still felt very weak. But things took a turn for the worse after my second nap in the evening. Sho, once again, brought me dinner, and this time I was ready to eat. But when I went to the bathroom to freshen up a bit, I felt like I was going to throw up. The worst dizziness I had ever experienced ensued, and I instinctively knew that I was about to collapse. The scariest part was that my vision turned static, my arms and legs had pins and needles, and my hearing sounded so muffled, it felt like I was underwater.

Amidst fighting to hold onto my consciousness, I gathered all my strength to open the bathroom door to at least collapse outside. Sho had told me that he would take me back to bed in a minute or so, and even with my state of being, I thought that I would be discovered more quickly if I wasn't inside the women's bathroom.

I think I lost consciousness for a short while since I found myself on the ground, not even fully out of the bathroom. Sho rushed in, surprised to find me lying on the floor. After somehow getting back onto the bed, we called for the nurse at Swarthmore.

The whole process took way longer than it should have. It was past the normal operating hours of the Health Center, and it took us more than 30 minutes to get someone to tell us what to do. Sho called Public Safety to drive us to a nearby hospital and at around 9:30, we were off to the emergency room.

When I called Imani, my roommate, she was utterly surprised. I honestly don't remember all the details from the time I was at the ER. I somehow managed to check in, spoke with alarming clarity (and answered all the questions), and stay awake the whole time. I do remember getting a little scared because I felt the same sensation as the time when I collapsed once or twice in the testing room.

After some initial tests were done, I was taken to a bed, and a doctor came to see me. He said all my vital signs looked okay, except for some low blood glucose levels (most likely due to not eating anything). The IV drip that they stuck in my arm didn't work, and after getting stabbed by those big needles two more times, I begged them to stop. They said they couldn't do anything if they couldn't get an IV in me. I said I was feeling much better -- 'cause I was.

When I was discharged, it was already 2:30 AM. We stopped by Wawa to get some electrolytes for me to drink. The dehydration seemed to have really taken a toll on me. Sho was reprimanding me (in the kindest way possible) that I really needed to start drinking some more water.

For the next two days, I didn't go to any of my classes. After that, I tried to sit in my behavioral neuroscience class, but I almost ended up crying because something just wasn't clicking in my brain. My mind felt foggy, and I couldn't concentrate at all. So I decided to take a longer break and go to the Health Center for a follow-up checkup.

Honestly, I probably shouldn't even be looking at a computer screen now. But it seems to calm me down, writing down what happened. Everyone who heard what happened seemed so worried about me. But I'm on the path to recovery, so hopefully, these lingering symptoms of dizziness, nausea, and confusion won't last too long. Being healthy is the best, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

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