Flu fight at college has been a battle


It might be a good idea to start this column off with a roommate update: Kendra and I are currently obsessed with re-living the days of our youth through music.

Examples: We spend hours on YouTube searching “songs from Oliver and Company” and “the Pepper Ann theme song.” (She’s much too cool for seventh grade).

We also have an iTunes playlist titled “Cheesy Friendship Songs,” filled with music by The Spice Girls and Michael Jackson (the “Free Willy” theme song). Also, Kendra and I are both sick right now.

She and I have had another weekend’s worth of beautiful roommate bonding since we are both deathly ill with the Swine Flu. This may actually prove to be incredibly false, but North Park’s Health Services office is closed on Sundays so we have taken the liberty of diagnosing and quarantining ourselves in “The Womb.”

Since Kendra is so wonderful, she has agreed to be my muse for this article, once again. However, we are both feeling so inert and yucky that we can hardly open our mouths to verbalize our jumbled, feverish thoughts.

It’s important for everyone to know that Kendra is currently wearing sweatpants. This is a big deal. She originally clambered into bed in her chic skinny jean-and-vest ensemble—of course—but decided that feeling “like death” (she’s quite dramatic) was reason enough to become a slob: “I look just like you, Abi!”

Wow, that’s so great. Thanks.

No hard feelings, though. This is a beautiful milestone for us, as roommates. We’re sharing more and more each day. Our new favorite thing to share, apparently, is our germs.

On Friday, a healthy Kendra volunteered to be my moral support and waited with me for five hours at the hospital. On Saturday, a very sick Kendra and I watched “Gossip Girl” and napped for the entire day, leaving our room only for lunch and dinner in the cafeteria.

At one point, as we each tried to enable the other to get out of bed and move around, we stood up, each got one foot on the floor, and collapsed back onto our adjacent beds in feverish lumps.

This was pathetically hilarious, so we began to laugh feebly. This triggered a violent, two-minute coughing fest that left us both feeling utterly exhausted and even more pathetic.

Kendra and I have been able to enjoy some entertaining moments despite our disabling illnesses. There were so many North Park students at the hospital the day we were there that we have since experienced numerous awkward encounters.

Too many conversations begin with, “Oh, hey, didn’t I see you at the hospital earlier?” It’s like…you recognize them…and you feel like maybe you should say hi…but it’s just weird….

We’ve also been able to argue about where to place the thermometer for the most accurate reading. For my entire life, I have taken my temperature via the armpit, and then added a degree. Kendra thinks this is weird. I told her I think it’s weird that she sticks the thermometer in her mouth after it’s been in my armpit. Touché, she says.

Speaking of arguing, Kendra and I seem to be at drastically different levels of fever. She’ll feel boiling hot while I’m freezing cold. The windows are wide open but the heat is on full blast. We’re constantly adjusting every heat source available—we’re talking about ditching/adding layers of clothing, opening/closing windows, turning fans on/off, thermostats going all the way up/down…. You name it, we’ve adjusted it probably 100 times today.

Also, we have been Facebooking a ridiculous amount, even for us. Being sick in a dorm only presents so many possibilities. Our laptops have been glued to us all weekend. As Kelsey Bartel’s Facebook status so eloquently worded, we are getting “laptop thighs” (our computers get hot and it burns).

For more than three hours, Kendra and I took turns showing the other pictures and telling funny/embarrassing stories about our friends back home.

We have also been “Facebook stalking” numerous North Park boys and assigning them to varying levels of attractiveness… then laughing hysterically at the results of this search. It’s safe to say we have enormously different tastes in boys. We’ll just leave it at that.

Kendra and I are both returning to the hospital tomorrow (Monday) so I guess we’ll see what’s really up with us. As much as being sick at college really is the most awful thing (Mommy, take care of me!), we currently have in our possession all five Harry Potter movies.` It could really be a great week.

Bring on the sweatpants, thermometer and quality roommate time.


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