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What to Do When You’re Sick: From a “Pro”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and I haven’t studied any science subject since grade 11.

However, you learn a thing or two as someone who’s gotten the viral flu, covid, and bronchitis within the span of one year – so don’t worry, you’re in good hands!

The number one mistake people make when treating illnesses is ignoring the signs: my best advice is to treat yourself as soon as you notice something’s wrong.

The first step I’d recommend is narrowing down the areas of discomfort. Figure out what exactly is making you feel ill.

Are you feeling feverish? 

  1. Check your temperature (always have a thermometer in your room). 
  2. If so, try to consult a doctor right away.

But we all know how difficult it is to get a doctor’s appointment in Vancouver, so I recommend trying to consult a pharmacist at Shoppers Drug Mart or the UBC pharmacy. 

Headache but no fever? Here’s what to do:

  1. Could it be stress? Midterm season is a killer, and living away from your family can take a toll. Try being kinder to yourself and take a break once in a while!
  2. Maybe it’s a sinus build-up? If you’ve been contemplating buying a humidifier, consider this a sign. A humidifier can be a game changer, especially with all the nasty things spreading around campus. This helped me sleep through my congestion!

Got a nasty stomach ache you can’t get rid of?

  1. Try cutting down on gluten-free foods for a while and lowering your lactose intake. Most people are allergic, like me, and don’t even know it until it’s too late!
  2. Try some over-the-counter medication if it gets too bad and consult your pharmacist to find what is best for you (my go-to is Gripe water and Gaviscon).

What about coughs, colds, and sore throats?

  1. Dry cough? Covid test right away! You can get these for free at most pharmacies.
  2. Anything else? ALLEGRA, ALL THE WAY. With the seasons changing and the terrible air quality, your respiratory system will surely have a rough time. Your body needs time to adjust to these changes and could respond in the form of a cough or a cold. Allegra and a suitable decongestant medication can fix this one! 

Alternatively, a steam inhalation and betadine/saltwater gargle are worth trying to eliminate a cough or sore throat. If you do have a persistent dry cough take a Covid test immediately!

Additional Tips:

  • Have a mini first aid kit on you at all times – you can find decent ones online.
  • Keep a more extensive first aid kit in your room – ask your local pharmacist for must-have medicine and tools for this kit.
  • On that note, get to know your local pharmacist; you never know when you might have to call in a favor.
  • Discounted meds at the UBC pharmacy! Prescribed medications such as birth control and antibiotics are heavily discounted at the UBC Pharmacy -I got a 7-day antibiotic for 6 dollars! All you need is your BC Services Card and your UBC Student ID on you at the time of purchase. 
Savindya is a second-year student studying International Economics and pursuing a minor in History at the University of British Columbia. Her interests include education, controversial topics, and a good bargain! She is very excited to be a writer.
Albena is a student in UBC's International Economics program, with a minor in International Relations. Through her studies, she has developed a great passion for economics, data science, and foreign affairs. You can find her on campus listening to Taylor Swift, studying in Iona, or getting an iced coffee.