When I or one of my siblings got sick, our parents would wheel a wooden cart to the bedside of the ailing kid. On the cart was a tiny ten inch tv and a stack of VHS tapes. I watched The Little Mermaid or Peter Pan over and over while I drank red Gatorade through a straw and ate saltine crackers. I brought that same little tv with me to college, and whenever I started to get sick, I bought myself a pack of Gatorade and some saltines.
Because my brother and I grew up with bad asthma, getting sick was a little more complicated for us than for our sisters. Coughing made breathing difficult, especially at night, so we had to sit and do treatments with a nebulizer. When my brother was especially young, he would get very upset and afraid of having trouble breathing. Our parents would sit with him and try to keep him calm while he had his nebulizer face mask on. I remember that I could hear him crying and saying “I’m dying! I’m dying!” from upstairs. I also remember holding my ears because it was so sad.
I grew out of my asthma for the most part, but I did bring my own nebulizer to college just in case I needed it. I remember one of the RAs on my freshman floor commenting on it and questioning why I had it. I thought that was strange until they told me you can use nebulizers for certain drugs. If they hadn’t made a note that I actually need one, it could have been confiscated as drug paraphernalia during fire drills or inspections. There I was with contraband, and I had no idea!