For the last few weeks, I’ve been fighting the “TFC Sickness”. Although the term “TFC Sickness” sounds like a specific illness, it is actually a very general term that refers to the outbreak of several diseases and viruses that comes along with the change from warmer weather to Fall. It tends to get passed around campus pretty quickly, rendering professors confused by a large number of empty seats in their classes. If you don’t know what that is, I’m not sure how you could possibly miss it.
My confrontation with the TFC Sickness began simply with noticing that a friend on my hall was coughing and laying in bed most of the day. After a few days, his roommate became sick also. Being the great friend that I am, I made fun of them not being able to function, under the false assumption that my own immune system was an indestructible germ-barrier of which no illness could overtake. I was wrong.
A few days later, several friends and I went on a camping trip. I came ill-prepared for how cold it would be, bringing only a hoodie and a hammock to sleep in. At 4:00 AM, I woke up from my restful slumber to 40 degree weather, and I knew immediately that if I did not act quickly, I would die (or just be pretty cold the rest of the night). I was able to find an extra sleeping bag, but it was too late. The damage had been done, and the next day I began to exhibit the signs of the TFC Sickness.
After a few days, it had fully developed into a miserable cold, with a sinus infection to go along with it. My body forced me to stay in bed and sleep through several of my classes. Despite feeling terrible, I refused to go to a doctor. My pride kept me from doing anything to make myself better. I simply assumed that my “indestructible” immune system would handle it and that I’d be better in no time.
A week later, I could get out of bed and go to class, but it would be a mistake to think that this meant that I actually paid attention to any lectures or discussions. I was still holding out for the TFC Sickness to go away on its own.
I soon decided that I needed to make a trip back home because I had left almost all of my cold-weather related clothing five hours away in south Georgia. When I got home, my mother welcomed me with every possible medicine that might facilitate my recovery. I started taking the medicine and within just two days I felt much better.
Now, I’m in the stage where just a little bit of the TFC Sickness lingers on, still attempting to recapture the immune system it once so proudly controlled. I can’t help but think that if I had swallowed my pride (and ignored my slight fear of doctors), I could have been better much earlier. If I had just gone to see a medical professional, or if I had just went to Walmart to pick up some medicine at the beginning of the TFC Sickness, I would not be scrambling to get the notes I missed and my time would have been spent more productively.
The moral is this: If you or someone you know is sick, make sure that you/they get the help medical you/they need. Let your professors know that you’re sick; they tend to be decently nice and will work with you if you have assignments or tests in their classes. If you haven’t been sick yet, take preventative measures such as washing your hands and avoiding those who may transfer this plague to you. Take vitamins, make sure to get enough sleep, and get some exercise. The TFC Sickness will show you no mercy. Don’t let pride in your immune system become your downfall.