When I arrived back to UB two weeks ago, my colleagues who told me their stories from their travels and holiday festivities greeted me. They told me about their crazy drunk uncles who ended up on their behinds after a raucous New Years Eve and their trips to various theaters and states to visit family.
I told them about how I spent my three-week winter break in bed delirious with the flu.
Almost a year to the day I took my niece Jasmin to Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, N.Y., I was back in the pediatric emergency room filled with runny-nosed crumb snatchers, holding my niece down as she threw blows at unsuspecting nurses trying to stick an IV in her.
My niece is pretty strong-willed for a 2-year-old, and her mother (my sister) was barely able to contain her, so I took it upon myself to be the muscle for that quick trip to the hospital. After the eight-hour stint at Good Sam, my dead iPhone and I went straight home and I went to bed. I chalked the exhaustion up to dealing with a rambunctious toddler with the flu, but the next day I was sadly mistaken.
I woke up with a stuffy nose, a fever and a blaring headache. My fever prevented me from sleeping through the night, which I tried attributing to getting reacquainted to being home, and I was up in time for the WPIX morning news for the first time in years.
Normally, this would be great, but I could barely keep my head up from the throbbing sinus pain and after a few hours my fever got absolutely unbearable. And don't get me started on the landslide of mucus coming from my nose.
I spent the first day furiously checking my Instagram and Twitter feeds with no updates to give - I was too tired. After two miserable days I decided to give over-the-counter medicine a try to help me sleep, to no avail.
One night I found myself sweating profusely and barely able to speak, and when I did, it wasn't anything that made sense.
My baby sister who I share a bedroom with at home told me I kept yelling 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar lyrics in the middle of the night.
I tried to find a silver lining in my despondent situation, so I took to Twitter to vent my frustrating "vacation" and reference one of my favorite rap tracks at the time with my personal hood twist.
"If I die, bury me inside a bodega."
It might seem melodramatic, but I truly felt like I was on my last leg. It hurt to talk, I barely ate because everything I could manage to chew and swallow ended up in my toilet via regurgitation and my time at home was quickly running out without any actual leisure.
My mother tried comforting me with food and my friends tried dragging me out of the house, which at the time felt like a great idea but instead helped the flu bounce back at full-force.
After two weeks of hot-and-cold flashes and over a dozen boxes of Kleenex, I finally began to feel better, except the rest of my family became sick. Jasmin and I seemed to be the ones who introduced the flu to my home and it then carried over to my siblings, parents and brother-in-law.
I spent the rest of my vacation helping nurse them back to health, but because Jasmin and I were the first to get over the flu, we spent a lot of time together with her new puppy.
It wasn't the most riveting break, but the boogers brought my baby and me together, so I can't complain too much.
For those of you still susceptible to the bug, bundle up - it's not fun, it's not cute and it's costly.
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