This is a post in praise of the university health services.
20th June, Mon. 10am. – ‘Achoo!’ I looked around, hoping that I wasn’t disturbing my neighbours too much. ‘Achoo, achoo, ACHOO!’ My body shook and I couldn’t resist the sneezes.
20th June, Mon. 11.18am. Mom texts, ‘Are you feeling better?’. ‘No’ was my instant reply.
20th June, Mon. 12.20pm. Trooped into lunch grumpily. (Sorry friends for snapping, I was off colour.) Grabbed some warm coffee. It helped.
20th June, Mon. 4.06pm. Tried to concentrate on HUMSERV 102 (which is on Thursday) amid the mountain of tissues that was piling up. I would shiver, hurriedly make a grab for tissues and press it to my nose. Throw it into the bin and head to the toilet. Wash my hands. 10 minutes later, repeat.
20th June, Mon. 5.02pm. Decided I couldn’t stand it any longer. Walked to the University Health Services, located at Level 3 of the Kate Edgar building. Did a double-take when I saw the long queue. Between my upcoming HUMSERV paper and this? I’d choose HUMSERV any time. Trooped back to the hall to study.
20th June, Mon. 8pm. Mountain of tissues grew bigger. Made a mental note to go to University Health first thing in the morning.
21st June, Mon. 8.54am. Mini breakfast dilemma. Felt loads better but thoughts of the impending exam and two week farmstay I was heading off to straight after tugged at me. I stood at the dining table. ‘Should I or should I not go to visit the doctor?’ I pondered.
My friend helped me make the decision and I decided to follow her advice.
Now this is when it gets exciting.
21st June, Mon. 9.12am. Reached University Health Services, sweating but still feverish and pleased that I made myself walk there.
21st June, Mon. 9.15am. Nice and empty. Not long before I was registered at Reception. The receptionist put me down for a 9.45am appointment with the nurse (as it was my first visit) and 10.30am appointment with the doctor subsequently.
21st June, Mon. 9.20am. Sat down to examine the form I had to fill in. Before the seat was even warmed by my bum, ‘MS HENG!’ The nurse called. I hurriedly stuffed my items (I had lugged my laptop and HUMSERV notes, expecting that I would have to wait for an hour or so) into my bag, higgledy-piggledy.
21st June, Mon. 9.22am. Played hide and seek with the nurse – I walked past her room and had her calling me a few more times before I found her. ‘I try to call early; sometimes it works,’ she said.
We made small talk, ‘Oh you’re from Singapore?’ ‘Yes,’ I said proudly. ‘Nice pink thermals! Are they from Kathmandu?’ ‘No, Macpac.’ She asked the basic questions and before long, I was let out!
21st June, Mon. 9.32am. Settled down for another wait for the doctor. Checked my phone and barely read this screenshot that my friend sent me…
…before someone called, ‘MS HENG!’
‘Someone cancelled their appointment,’ the doctor said as he bustled me in. ‘Awesome!’ I grinned. He ran through the basic examinations quickly and rolled off some ‘Vitamin Cs and zinc’ that would be good to take.
‘There is a relationship, albeit a statistically weak one, between those and flu prevention,’ he said in all seriousness. And after a few ‘Aaaaahs open your mouth’ and ‘Breathe in, breathe out’ stethoscope examinations, he was keen to let me go.
‘Just remember, if it gets worse you can apply for an Aegrotat,’ he said with utmost concern. Wow, I thought. It’s nice of him to say that, even though my flu was such a mild one. An Aegrotat is an application for compassionate consideration, if you think your exams were affected by your physical or mental health prior to the exam.
21st June, Mon. 9.40am. Out (No payment needed! Fully subsidized by student health insurance which I’d definitely recommend) and headed to the pharmacy.
21st June, Mon. 9.47am. Stood expectantly at the pharmacy counter waiting for my paracetemol, with my debit card in hand. The receptionist handed it to me brusquely and went back to her work. I realized, then, that this was covered by student insurance too.
21st June, Mon. 9.56am. Back at the hall before an hour was even up. Armed with paracetemol (and coffee), I’m ready to start the day. What an awesome first trip to the University Health Centre.