One day after class one my college students said “Can I ask you a mom question?”
I said sure. She said, “I have this pain in my chest. “
So I started asking her questions like I would with one of my kids. I asked her if her chest hurt or if her heart was beating quickly? And I immediately thought she’s probably had too much caffeine and asked her about her consumption. But then she started pointing to an area more under her ribs. After asking if her bra underwire was sticking her in the chest (she said no) I worried it was asthma/breathing-related problems. At this point, I told her she needed to see the doctor on campus. I asked her if she had enough money to see the doctor and if she knew how to make an appointment and she said yes. And I said, OK well you need to go because I have no idea what is wrong with you.
It made me wonder what most college students do when they have ailments other than the obvious head cold. Do they know when they need to see a doctor?
One of my roommates in college was terribly ill one night. She was throwing up the whole night. I was taking care of her and just assumed it was the flu. (I kept praying dear Lord please don’t let me catch this.) The next morning I had to go to class, and I put her at the bus stop to go to the health center. Another friend saw her and picked her up from there and carried to the health center. I met her there after class and then took her to a private doctor and then checked her into the hospital where she had to have an emergency appendectomy!
Neither of us had any idea that violently throwing up was a symptom of appendicitis. We both just thought she had the flu! Also looking back, I am sure I could have called the RA and she would have helped get my friend to the hospital immediately. I am sure they are trained for stuff like that. I was so dumb!
So I am wondering did you have any discussion with your college kids about when they need to seek medical help? Do they call you with questions about whether they should go to the health center?