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.

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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 I spent two nights in the ER, and two weeks withdrawn from school.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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.

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Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.


Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.


Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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