10 Things Pneumonia Taught Me

10 Things Pneumonia Taught Me

While trading out college parties for spending the night in the ER was not on my agenda, I did learn a few valuable lessons.


Two weeks before Thanksgiving break, I got pneumonia in my left lung. I could sit here and mull over the awful symptoms that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, but instead I decided to reflect on my experience. I spent two nights in the ER, and two weeks withdrawn from school. I sincerely hope you can take something away from these 10 lessons that I had to learn the hard way:

1. Don't be afraid to insist that something's not right


After the first night in the ER, they sent me home with "inconclusive test results" after making me do every test you could think of. They essentially loaded me on IV fluids and sent me on my merry way. The next day, I fainted in my lecture. Because of my persistence, they finally ordered a chest x-ray and finally came to the diagnosis.

2. When something feels wrong, do something about it.


There were so many opportunities earlier that week that I could've gotten checked out before it got worse. I could have saved so much time, money, and embarrassment if I went earlier.

3. You need to take care of you rself.


At the end of the day, no one cares if you don't go out one night. If you're feeling under the weather or just like you need a night in for yourself, you have every right to do so. Sure you'll have a severe case of FOMO, but deleting snapchat for a few days helps.

4. YOU come first.

Izzy Angeli

We all know flirting and sex is part of the college lifestyle. Sure, it's fun, but unfortunately, that's how germs spread. You need to put your health first and be completely comfortable in yourself before you let another person in. It can also be destructive to your mental health if you feel objectified after a one-night-stand.

5. Your professors will understand


I know it's counterintuitive, but believe it or not, your professors actually want you to succeed in their classes. I remember in high school if you were out sick, teachers would give you a hard time by not believing you were sick or by not giving you appropriate time to make up assignments. I was shocked when the first thing my professors said was, "What do you think? What would an appropriate extension be for your circumstance?" They understand that you didn't choose to be sick.

6. Your problems are relatively small

Jeremy Perkins at pexels.com

Being in the ER exposed me to a lot of people who had it worse than me. It made me count my lucky stars that I just had pneumonia and was fortunate enough to get the care I needed. No matter how sick you are, there will always be someone who has it worse than you.

7. Use GW's student support services


This team of individuals truly saved me. Even while I was home recovering, they were easily accessible via email and served as a middle-man between me and my professors. They explained my circumstance in detail and transferred the hospital's documents, making the process worlds easier.

8. Take probiotics!

Izzy Angeli

Kombucha was my lifesaver as well as probiotic pearls. These contain "good bacteria" that promote a healthy digestive tract and a strong immune system. Kombucha has the same microorganisms through its fermentation process, which also makes it bubbly.

9. Continue the same health habits you had in high school

Izzy Angeli

In high school, I routinely took a daily multivitamin and allergy pill with dinner and exercised once or twice a week. Since I've gotten to college, I've gone to the gym a total of two times and almost completely stopped taking both supplements. And I had to pay for it.

10. The people who go with you and visit you in the ER are your real friends

Izzy Angeli

Yes, it's always nice to receive texts from people checking in to see if you're okay, but it's a whole other ballpark when people actually come to see you. When someone goes out of their way to sit with you while you get poked with a million machines, you know they really care.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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To The Introvert That Hates Being An Introvert

Think it's weird? Yeah, probably is.


Hi! I'm Hannah- the introvert that hates being an introvert. I can't be alone, can I?

You see, I actually love talking to people and dream about having the biggest, most wildest social life anyone has ever seen. When I wake up in the mornings, I have these ambitions of being the bubbly, annoying girl that everyone seems to love to hate. I want to be bright. I want to be happy. I want to be the most talkative girl you've ever came across.

When I wake up, I set goals to do all of this. I do.

But once the door closes and I walk out, all that changes.

I want to go back home. I want to be an antisocial blob of nothing in my bed.

As soon as I start talking to friends and complete strangers, I remember why I don't. It truly tires me, though, I am fully aware of how bizarre that sounds. I start off with a good foot, smile plastered on my face and a cheerful voice to fill the silence. Sometimes people respond with smiles. Sometimes it's mere silence.

Oh well.

It's okay, though. Because a few short minutes into accomplishing my bubbly dreams, I would rather go to sleep.

You see, this is the problem of being an introvert that hates being an introvert.

All I want to do is become one of those tireless, happy extroverts that seem to soar around groups of people without stopping. I want to be where the people are. But instead, I wear a RBF (resting bitch face) and plan an escape plan from any social event.

So to all those like me: know that it is perfectly okay to want to be social…but realize that you hate the mere idea of it.

Together we will made our voices heard. One day, maybe.

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