I got sick at the worst time

Photo of Nyah Hardmon courtesy: Hardmon

When I envisioned wrapping up the fall semester, I imagined a whirlwind of last-minute papers to write and assignments to complete. Final exams looming in the near future set the stage for nights cooped up inside, studying the hours away.

While this indoor lifestyle did become a reality, the reason behind my days inside was not academic. Instead, I found myself bedridden with sickness at perhaps one of the most inconvenient times.

If you’re like me, you may have also tricked yourself into thinking COVID-19 was a tragedy of the past. After years of masking up and quarantining, for some reason, I still tend to forget the massive impact of this disease.

At least, that was until I caught COVID myself and realized that it is still very much a relevant threat. Almost overnight, I felt like a completely different person. My energy was drained; my body was constantly sore, and suddenly, my tastebuds lost their ability to work.

Before I got sick, my mind was crammed with tasks to do and information to remember. Yet, as my health system began turning against me, I found all school-related thoughts flying out the window. I was transported back to focusing on the basics, like remembering to drink water. The responsibilities and worries that previously plagued my mind were replaced by a whole different beast.

In the midst of my sickness, I couldn’t help but recognize the complete pause that it placed on my life. I was quite literally forced to stop and sit down, and in doing so, I started to gain a better appreciation for the small things that brightened my day. Something as simple as extra honey in ginger tea or the last strawberry cough drop meant the world to me.

The support of my family and friends as they helped take care of me filled my heart even more. The way the people in my life nurtured me back to health allowed me to realize how lucky I was after all.

In the midst of this misfortune, somehow, I was still able to find a silver lining.

Illness has a funny way of humbling you. You realize that there are some things in life that you have absolutely no control over. Even still, there is something to be said about allowing nature to run its course and being grateful once your health is restored once again.

After all, when life gives you lemons, you just make lemon tea.