Getting sick at college is up there on the list of things you wouldn't wish on even your worst enemy. Mommy isn't there to take care of you... and neither is anybody else. Your R.A.'s, friends, and roommates are busy. Your professors keep on piling on the homework without a clue whether you're dead or alive. And then there's the sickness itself. Your whole body hurts. You can't move, and if you do, it's to run to the bathroom (which is entirely too far away!). You can't keep anything down for more than twenty minutes. You're so miserable, you want to die!
But that's not all you've faced in a week's time. Just a few days ago while playing softball, you got popped square in the kneecap with the ball and got banished to crutches. During this week you figure out that it's impossible to carry your book bag and purse while hobbling around on the wretched things. Getting to ride the elevator is kind of cool, but mooching random people into carrying your stuff isn't. Your fiance is getting tired of everyone commenting on how your purse matches his outfit every time he holds it.
Yes, this was me this week, and no, physical infirmities are no fun! However, I did learn something through it that I never really thought about until now. I'm a "get it done yourself" kind of person; you might call me independent. Having to depend on someone else for almost anything kills me (or at least my pride). Being on crutches and bedridden for a week has taught me that I'm NOT a one-person-show. People were created for other people, and we all need each other.
Within ten seconds of getting hit by a softball, I realized that I couldn't walk off the field by myself. After two ladies helped me off the field, I began wondering how I was going to make it up the hill to my dorm. Thankfully, another friend took me for a ride in her Jeep.
The school nurse told me to use the crutches in her office, but how could I use them if I couldn't even walk to her office? Tim agreed to bring them to me. Then I had to figure out how to tote all of my stuff around campus! Asking people to carry your purse...how lame is that?? Talk about humbling!
Someone took me to the hospital, where I got an x-ray on my knee (no broken bones, by the way... yay!). The wait in the ER took so long my friend had to miss a church activity. I felt so bad!! Am I the trouble-maker or what?
Within a few days I was off the crutches, much to my excitement. But don't get too excited, because then I woke up with a stomach virus. I was banished from polite society, accompanied only by my pillow and a trashcan! At college, even though you may slow down due to illness, the rest of life does not!
My roommates did what they could and donated water bottles and crackers to my aid. Tim brought me Gatorade. Another friend brought me a Route 44 cup of ice from Sonic (aaaah-mazing!). Mom might not have been there, but she would have been proud of the hard work everyone put into keeping me alive!
I am back in the land of the living now, but still feel the effects of the past week. I am also convinced that we aren't as independent as we think we are; we rely heavily upon others whether we know it or not. It took me a week of weakness to realize it, but I won't quickly forget it. Don't live like you don't need anybody. Wanting to accomplish something big on your own is admirable, but if someone wants to help you, let them. We are not self-reliant beings; God created us to relate to and help each other.
Let me encourage you to be sensitive to others who need a hand. Also, don't be so controlling that you won't let someone assist you. Quite a few people went out of their way to help me this week, and it changed the way I think about life; have you stepped outside of your "bubble" to help someone today?