I don’t know if you knew this, but when I was a kid I went to the nurse. A lot.
In kindergarten, when I was in the nurse’s office, getting my temperature read, I could not stop coughing!! I tried and tried but couldn’t. I tried to hold it, and finally I let out a BIG COUGH. And spit out the thermometer. On the floor. And it broke into a million pieces, mercury and all.
In first grade, I wanted to go to the nurse because I didn’t feel good. Mrs. P wouldn’t let me go. Then, my friend Stephanie really needed to go to the nurse, so my teacher’s assistant asked me to bring her. Well, Mrs. P saw us on the way, and thought I was trying to sneak out to the nurse! I got in trouble.
In second grade, my friend Ana had a tick in her afro. True story. I had to hold her hand at the nurse, while our nurse combed through to find it, which she did. 45 minutes later.
In fourth grade, I went to the nurse because I was feeling sick. I didn’t have a fever, so she sent me back to class. I threw up all over Claudia’s chair, during a guest speaker presentation. I went home, and was “the new kid who threw up in class” for about a year.
In fifth grade, I went to the nurse just about every day because I was growing out my bangs. My mom would throw my bang-hair up in a pony tail at the front of my head, and it would inevitable be too tight. I would have headaches.
In middle school, I would try to use the nurse’s office to get out of swimming.
In high school, I didn’t have a nurse’s office, so instead I spent a lot of time in the trainer’s office icing my feet, which lack arches.
The first week of college, I had to go to the health office because I had fungus on my ear. It was big and popped on the boat cruise.
My second year, I went to the health office, and they told me I was fine. I ended up in the ER on Halloween with a pinched nerve.
My senior year, I contracted mono, and had a conversation with the nurse practitioner that went like this:
“I have mono.”
“You don’t have a fever.”
“I know, but I have mono.”
“You don’t have swollen lymph nodes. You have no signs of mono.”
“I know, but I have mono.”
“Please, just take my blood and see if it’s mono.”
“Well, Jennie, how do you feel?”
“Well, you should. You have mono.”
And today, at school, I had to go to the school nurse. My co-worker suggested I go, and away I went for my heartburn. It was my third trip in two days for Tums, and I hadn’t been caught by the actual nurse, yet. But today, she was there. She told me I should drink chamomile tea, take some tums, add some milk to my coffee (I ran out two days ago), and maybe work on paying attention to what I am eating. In addition, I probably should take some kind of herbal supplement.
She also told me something that I am enthralled to learn!!
She has a theory. I told her I was always sick. And she said:
“Do you happen to bite your nails?”
“Why, yes, I do.”
“Do you wipe your nose a lot?”
“Well yes. In fact, I have a line on my nose because I do it so much.”
“I have that line too! I never meet people with those lines.”
“Well I do.”
“Well, my husband always touches his nose, and always bites his nails, and he is ALWAYS sick.”
And thus begins Operation: No Nail Biting
We’ll see how we go.