Somewhere, somehow last week I caught a cold – and now I’m feeling ALL the symptoms. It’s annoying because its affecting my ability to revise, but not enough that I can get mitigating circumstances! Luckily I know it will be gone in a few days. Anyhow I thought now would be a good time to post about how to get through being ill at Leicester. If you are just like I was when I started uni, getting sick will be an even worse experience because you wont have all the comforts and loving attention that you usually got from you parents back home. So here are my top tips!
1.Figure out what you’ve got. Although its tempting to go rushing off to Vicky Park Health Centre, give it a few days because its probably likely to be treatable using over-the-counter medicine, and otherwise you’ll be wasting your own time as well as NHS time who could be treating more severe problems. Wait a couple days and see if you’re symptoms are getting worse or being prolonged. If you’re in pain go to the Doctor. My housemate spent about 4 days with a cold and what felt like knives in her throat until she went to the Doctor and found out she had tonsillitis. Everyone says never to Google your symptoms, however I have always disagreed. As long as you’re sensible, use reliable websites like the NHS website, and do a lot of research you should get an idea of what you have. If you think its something more serious than what you can treat yourself – book a Doctors appointment. You can always call 111 for professional advice on non-emergency matters. I have myself before and they are very helpful.
2. Bring out some home comforts. For me one of the best things I’ve done for Uni sick days was prepare a medicine box/mini first aid kit. This includes paracetamol, lemsip, cold and flu tablets, plasters, and antiseptic. It also used to include Calpol – which for me is a taste of home like no other when your feeling homesick. Recently I bought Vapor Rub which also reminds me of home – it smells so good! I really believe that the emotional effect does good things to make you better as quickly as possible. Whatever you know will make you feel better. Obviously use all your medicines sensibly and follow the instructions. Also make sure they aren’t out of date before you use them.
If you’re reading this and you’re too ill to Google – Leicester pharmacies near student areas include – ASDA (near Oadby student village), Co-operative pharmacy and Knight’s dispensing pharmacy (on Queens road in Clarendon Park), Spiers and Healthcare Pharmacy (on Welford Road).
3. Eat healthy. As soon as you feel illness coming on, put the junk/processed food aside and go out and buy as many fruit and vegetables to keep you full for the next few days. Then eat raw/cook them up into something delicious, like a vegetable soup/broth. Add turmeric as this has magic powers. I’d advise against anything pre-made like fruit juices or canned soup, as these have lots of unhealthy sugars and preservatives. Drink lemon and honey tea. All the vitamins will help your immune system to recover and fight the infection. Obviously the best method is prevention and to eat healthy to begin with, to have a strong immune system, however the reality is we all have weeks when all we want to eat is pizza and not think about the consequences.
4. Shut yourself away. It’s better to rest solidly for a few days, and recover fully, than to try and continue normal uni life – which will probably be difficult, prolong the illness even more and also give it to all your friends. You can always email you’re lecturers and tell them you can’t make the lectures, then borrow a coursemate’s lecture notes to catch up on. Be sure to keep getting fresh air by opening a window but don’t let your room get too cold. And although its tempting because of the fear of missing out – DONT GO OUT. Illness + alcohol + loud music = not good time. Everyone’s tried it, probably during Fresher’s week when you want to get your money’s worth on the wristband, but they always wish they stayed at home.
I’m not a medical professional but this is what I have learnt is best from my own experience. I hope you enjoyed reading!