Now that we are all home, we are realizing the importance and impact of being at school every day. Teachers, students, and parents are all wondering what is going on and how this is all going to play out. As we all know, Influenza A or B, COVID-19, anything you can name is now going around at a record pace. Teachers and students are trying to figure this out and it is hard adjusting to a completely different routine while trying to keep some kind of normal. Going to school while being sick is something I have always struggled with, I never am able to focus and I can never give my best effort on tests. Missing school for a week is hard, but now everyone has to miss at least four weeks due to the COVID-19. Being out of school for an extended period of time is definitely difficult; you have to keep up on work and you have to learn and figure out some things yourself. I missed a whole week of school last month with Influenza A, so I have a head start on the situation we all find ourselves in now.  

Since I was a child I have had an immune system that just cannot handle the sicknesses that some others do not even know they have; what is important to me is to always continue to stay active while being sick, because then the sickness will hopefully go away. 

That was not the case for me; we had a two-hour delay after a four-day weekend that our school had given us. I woke up that morning and was feeling pretty sick; I had a fever and I could not get out of bed. Here is the thing: I started to feel a lot better as the day progressed and I wanted to try to go to school. My parents and I thought it was just an allergic reaction to a medication I had just started taking. I arrived at school that afternoon and was feeling kind of not well, but me being me, I continued to go on with schoolwork and had a basketball game in Benton that night that I did not want to miss. I finished out the school day and was feeling pretty decent. I had drunk a lot of water and got some food in my system. 

I went home for a bit while waiting for the bus to leave for Benton, so I took a nap. I got up and was all rested and pumped to go play. We started changing and I started to get really sweaty again and just not feeling good. At that point I was thinking it was just the normal pre-game jitters. I got out on the court and was sweating a lot; nothing was different about that. I continued to play the game. It got to the second half of the game and my coach asked me if I was okay. I, of course, told him that I was because I wanted to continue to play. Well, the coach is my uncle so he knew me a little better than that. He ended up taking me out and I sat on the bench for the rest of the game. I put an ice bag on my head because I felt like I was overheating, and he continually checked on me throughout the game. 

It got to the end of the game and I could not even stand up without major aches and pains in my body; that was not normal for me at all. I got through the line and went to the locker room and I sat down right away. We got done with our normal discussion after the game and got up to go talk to my parents. They told me I needed to ride home with them, so I walked out to the truck and got in. 

We were talking about the game for a bit and then it was like my body just blew a fuse and it shut down. It shut down really fast; the aches and pains had gotten worse. My eyes could hardly stay open and my head was pounding from a massive headache. We arrived at my house and my dad carried me in and set me down on a bench. My family and I started talking and we decided that I needed to go to the ER. We only got a little way down the road when it felt like my throat was closing; it was getting harder and harder to breathe. My mom asked if she should pull over and call an ambulance to get me there quicker, but I just shook my head no. We arrived at the ER and they put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me back to a room. There were people coughing all over the place. I got into my bed and the nurse came in and asked me what was going on. I told them everything I was experiencing and they took the normal stats. My temperature was 102 and my blood pressure was scary high. They told me that I might have to stay overnight; then I got really scared. The doctor came in and told me that she thought it was Influenza A. My mom could finally relax a little. I mean, that is not that bad at all right? So we thought. The doctor came back in and told me that I tested positive for Influenza A and I had to be away from humans for a week, which meant no school or basketball for a week. 

Being gone from school in general is really hard, but being gone for a week is really hard. Schoolwork comes into play. I am a visual learner, so I learn from teachers writing notes on the whiteboard. Schoolwork was definitely difficult, and I had homework in almost every class. It was hard to manage schoolwork and a sickness at the same time. My classmates tried to help me with some stuff; they sent me notes to look at and they answered any questions I had, but that just was not enough. I needed teachers explaining it to me and showing me how to do it. I knew that it was going to be really hard to get caught up with more and more homework coming day by day. I decided to just rest and I would figure it out when I got back to school. This made it a lot easier. That way I could ask teachers myself, and I would understand it from them. 

Another thing that was really hard for me while being sick was the social element of things, I am a very talkative person. I am very thankful to have friends and a boyfriend that talked to me as much as they could if I was not sleeping. My parents got kind of old after a while; nothing new and exciting was going on in their lives. I was missing basketball like crazy, not just the sport, but the team in general. Not getting to see some faces that we are used to seeing all day, every day was tough. That definitely made it harder for me, wanting to be out on that court. I missed one game while I was sick. I was worried that I was not going to be as strong as I was before. My dad and I went up to the gym a couple of times towards the end of my sickness, just to get a ball back in my hands. It was deceiving; I was air balling my shots and my arms would get tired right away. My dad was my motivator though; he continued to push me, even though he knew deep down, there was nothing left to give. 

The majority of my time out of school was spent sleeping. There was not a lot of time during that week-long break that I was not sleeping. I am thankful for my mom, who woke me up to remind me to take my medicine and to make sure I was getting food in my body. There was no part of me that wanted to shove food down my throat; I was not hungry at all. I knew that if I did not eat, I would be back in the ER, so I somehow got myself to choke some food down. TV shows were my jam while I was sick; I started new ones, and I watched the ones that I missed because of getting home late from practices or games. 

Being home from school for a week is not easy. Anyone that tells you that it is, is lying. Being sick is mentally and physically draining already, and once you throw school into the mix, it makes it a lot harder. Being away from friends, sports, and social interaction for a week is really hard. You have to find ways to entertain yourself. I did just that until I could get back to my normal routine.