Only twenty-four hours after I discovered the wonderful drink that is Jameson and Red Lemonade, I fell victim to the Ireland weather. In case I haven't said it enough, let me say it again: Ireland is wet. All the time. Every day. It doesn't matter if the sun is beating down, it's still wet. For a country where it rains 90% of the time, Ireland has astonishingly bad drainage. Puddles everywhere.
So I woke up Thursday with a cough and was like, hmmm, weird. I don't usually get sick. Okay, whatever, it's not that bad. I rolled out of bed at the ripe time of 6:45, put my hair in a bun, and headed to school so I could stand in the cold for a couple hours in order to register for a certain English class.
Let me say that online registration is a beautiful thing. I will never complain about it again. There's actually a lot of things I'm never going to complain about again (hot water, quiet at night, good TV, internet).
Flash forward to Friday where the cough has gotten worse and I'm starting to think maybe I'm getting a cold so I grab some cough drops and continue on my merry way to the school library because that's where the only good internet is.
Saturday is when I realized I had the plague. I know things are getting bad when I don't have the energy to read. Which left me with about, oh, absolutely nothing to do. Seriously, being sick while here was the worst thing ever. For five days, I have split my time between playing solitaire, sleeping, and listening to music. Sometimes, when I wanted to go really insane, I listened to an audiobook. Not to mention we get about five channels on our TV here and all they play are Irish soaps and the same three American movies on repeat (James Bond, The Hulk, and The Perfect Storm).
If you know me at all, you know that I adore the TV show Supernatural. I'm an honest-to-goodness fangirl that hasn't gone this hardcore since my obsession with Rent and Adam Pascal back in middle school. So obviously I brought some of the show with me, carefully tucked away in a CD case, thinking that I would only break it out in times of desperate homesickness. Instead, I've gone through about five discs so far, staring blankly at the screen as my head spins. I'm surprised I'm not speaking in lines from the show. Maybe this was just God's plan to detach me from my obsession because if so, well played, God, well played. The amount of me that wants to watch another episode is at about .0001%.
Because I wasn't getting any better, I decided to visit the doctor's office on campus Monday morning, just to make sure I didn't actually have the plague. The night before, I looked up where it was on campus, scoped out the hours, and decided to get there right as it opened.
Which would have all gone perfectly if I had gone to the right place. Who knew that the Clinic and the Wellness Centre were two different places?
The Clinic opened at 9:15, runs on a first come-first serve basis, and because I sat for over an hour outside the wrong building, I didn't get there until 10:30. That's when the mean receptionist lady (the only not-nice person I've met in Ireland so far) told me to come back at noon. Fine. So I walked to the library, hoping I wasn't attracting too much attention by weaving instead of walking.
The NUIG library is a strange place. I don't like it. You can't bring food or drink in. You can't talk anywhere. So there's me, sitting in a crowded library, hacking away in the silence. Don't worry, the day got worse from there. Not only do they lock you out of the library (you have to swipe your card in front of some gates), they lock you in too. Which I totally forgot in my moments of sickly delusion and as I tried to follow some girl out, the gates shut on me and I got stuck. That's when the loud shrieking noise went off. Apparently, I upset the system and some lady security guard started yelling at me, "Get out of there! Get out of there!"
Excuse me, but your gates are trying to eat me, lady.
I disentangled myself from the gates and dug my card out of my bag and fled the library, certain that if I wasn't so miserable already, I would have lost it right then and there. Did I mention there were about twenty people watching my fail? There were.
Back in the doctor's office, I sat in an uncomfortable waiting room filled with other sick kids. At least I wasn't the only one dying. They say the plague wipes out 9 out of 10. I got in to see the nurse (who spent a good five minutes trying to remember where in New Jersey her husband has family) and she gave me a red card, which apparently means see the doctor now. At this point, I was just happy that someone else thought I was so sick; it wasn't just in my head.
Finally, a piece of good luck landed in my lap when an incredibly attractive, young doctor called me into his office. Yes, I thought. This is good.
I'm sure he was charmed by my watery eyes and obnoxious coughing.
He told me the good news (I'm not dying and I don't have the plague) and told me that I couldn't go to class. The 20-25 minute walk to campus and back wasn't going to help me get better so he advised me not to leave the apartment for a couple days. He might have said more but I was too busy staring at his oh so blue eyes and the way his dark hair was kinda spiky in the front. Also craning my neck to see if I could spot a wedding ring. Honestly, he could of told me I had tuberculosis and I probably would have beamed at him. He told me some joke on the way out but his accent was so thick I had no idea what he was saying so I just nodded and smiled and he started laughing. Cue my quick exit from his office.
Today is Tuesday. I did not go to class, per Dr. Sexy's orders. I will not go out tonight, per Dr. Sexy's orders. Anything for him.
So I'm going to go start my 500th game of solitaire and watch more *sigh* Supernatural.
Long story short: don't get sick while studying abroad. It's ten times worse than getting sick at home because your mom, your dog, and your TV are not there to comfort you. Besides, I like to think I took one for the team.