Codeine

My cold dragged on longer than I had hoped/expected. I went to the campus health center last week to make sure my cold wasn’t something worse. I told the doctor about my trouble sleeping (which was certainly slowing my recovery), and the doctor prescribed a cough suppressant with codeine in it. I had never taken codeine before, so I was scared to take it. I read online that codeine actually turns off the part of your brain that makes you cough!

I’m afraid of brain tumors, so messing with my brain, even temporarily, seems terrifying. My brother (the 4th year medical student – only six months away from being a doctor!) assured me that it was safe, especially since it would help me sleep. I eventually gave in and took it. My body responded quite well to it. I didn’t get drowsy at all, and the cough was gone long enough for me to get a good six hours of sleep each night. That, coupled with the weekend, finally helped me recover from my cold, about two whole weeks after I first got sick.

Even though I started feeling a lot better around the beginning of last weekend, my falsetto didn’t come back in time for my choir concerts. I attended the concerts, but I was in the audience instead of on stage. Choral music is beautiful to listen to, but I enjoy it far more when I’m singing it. I’ll have to make sure to stay healthy for next term’s concerts.

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Unable To Sing

It’s been a rough week. My scratchy throat and sexy voice became a full blown cold very quickly. I had aches, nasal congestion, and a sore throat for three days. My voice became less sexy and very weak. I didn’t even know what my voice would sound like before I spoke. After the aches went away, I developed a cough. I drank lots of tea, but I sadly haven’t had any coffee the whole week. My throat is no longer sore, but I’m still unable to sing.

I feel like my recovery has been slower than usual because I haven’t been sleeping very well. I had an epic statistics homework assignment due last Thursday for which I stayed up until 4:30am the night before to finish. Staying up way too late is never good when you’re sick.

Besides that night, I’ve also been waking up multiple times during the night, which is not something I’m used to. Usually when I’m sick, I can take some medicine before bed and sleep soundly through the night. This week, though, the medicine doesn’t seem to have the same effect. Even after taking phenylephrine HCl (nasal decongestant) and diphenhydramine HCl (antihistamine/cough suppressant), I still cough up lots of phlegm balls (gross, I know). I just can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep.

I’ve been relaxing a lot this weekend, so I’m definitely on the mend, but I’m still worried about my singing voice. My falsetto is always the first thing to go and the last thing to come back when I get sick. My choir concerts are at the end of the week. I already had to sit out on the rehearsals for both of my choirs last week, and I’ll probably have to miss out on at least some of the rehearsals this week.

Every time I get sick and lose my voice, I’m always afraid that my falsetto will never return. I’ve always prided myself on my falsetto. Being a countertenor/male soprano makes me feel somewhat special in choir, like I bring something no one else can (or does, at least). It’s a big deal to me that I can’t even sing a single note right now.

Let’s see what the next few days bring.

Harsh And Lenient

Even though I wasn’t confident on two out of three of my midterm exams, I still ended up doing fairly well on all of them. My math exam had the lowest score, which was surprising to me, as I should be the best at linear algebra. I made a couple of “small” mistakes (forgetting to divide by the norm and writing flipping the order of two matrices) that cost me nearly 20 points (out of 100)! The harsh grading was consistent across the class though (the median was 68), so I still have an A after scaling/curving, but the raw score was surprising.

My statistics midterm score was even more surprising. I thought I didn’t translate what I knew very well on paper. When my professor went over the solutions in class, I kept thinking that I made a lot of the most common mistakes. I was sure that I would get around an average score.

Shockingly, through ridiculously lenient grading, I got a 96/100. I look at my solutions now and still have no idea how I only lost four points. Not only that, but the median was around 75, which was lower than my professor’s expectation, so she gave everyone 10 extra points. I ended up with a 106/100, making my statistics score the highest out of my three exams (I got a 118/120, or over 98%, on my computer science exam).

Anyway, it’s always nice when hard work pays off, even when you don’t expect it to. Unfortunately, the hard work comes at a price, too. I started having a scratchy throat last night, and it became very bad today. I usually have a scratchy throat for a few days before it gets this bad, but I woke up today with my sexy voice (an octave or two lower than usual), completely unable to sing. My choir concerts are less than two weeks away, so I hope my voice can come back before then.

First Rejection Letter

My throat doesn’t feel sore anymore, but my voice still sounds funny. My voice dropped about an octave, as it usually does after a sore throat. I call it my sexy voice. Unfortunately, I can only hit about a quarter of the notes in my usual vocal range. Sexiness has a price.

In other news, I received my first rejection letter yesterday (via email). It was from one of my top three choices (I haven’t decided the ordering among the three). I can’t necessarily expect to be accepted to every school to where I applied, but it was still a little surprising.

I went to a Chinese Spring Festival (i.e., New Year) Celebration Concert with my parents last night. My dad picked me up from school right after my midterm to meet my mom at the theatre. My mom got free tickets (they were worth $80 apiece) so she guilted me into going. There were a few renowned performers and singers (some of them had performed at the Olympics and/or for the President), so my parents were ecstatic. Meanwhile, I was not in the best mood (having been rejected), tired, and half-sick. I just wanted to go home. I was told the concert would last two hours, but it actually lasted three and a half hours. With no intermission.

I told myself I would take a day off today to recuperate and clear my mind. No studying and no parents. I went to see Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by myself. I actually like going to movie theatres by myself, especially to see movies that none of my friends want to see. I really liked the movie. I’m a big fan of fantasy/adventure movies (even ones for kids), and Greek mythology was one of my favorite subjects in elementary school.

Anyway. I’m not too depressed (anymore) about being rejected. I’m just not meant to go to that school. My destiny lies elsewhere.

Week After Holiday

The week after a holiday is always difficult. My long weekends are never restful, and I inevitably sleep less than usual weekends. As a result, I haven’t been sleeping very well the last few days. I started feeling a scratch in my throat yesterday, and it’s a bit more sore today. I’m sure it will be worse before it gets better.

My last midterm of the term is tomorrow afternoon, but I can’t seem to concentrate while I study for it. I keep making small arithmetic mistakes. I usually don’t like to study the day of an exam (I like to have a clear mind), but I might have to make an exception so I can rest tonight. I won’t be getting much studying done tonight anyway.

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Feverishly Studying

What a long week. I woke up feeling sick about a week ago (last Saturday), and it escalated into a mid-level fever (102 °F). The fever lingered for three days, and I’ve been recovering the rest of the week. I still have a small cough.

School is going well, but this week was pretty demanding, especially considering I was sick. I had three lengthy homework assignments due today (one for each of my classes). I had to do most of the work while I had a fever; I must not have been too sick, since I was able to still think logically enough to get the right answers.

Whenever there are lots of assignments due, I get a lot of questions from classmates. Everyone likes to compare answers with me. Somehow, if their answers are the same as mine, then they must be right. I’m the standard answer!

I’m exhausted. I’d love to spend the weekend relaxing, but next week might be even more tiring than this one. I have two homework assignments due Wednesday, a midterm Thursday, a midterm Friday, and I’m taking the GRE next Saturday. Scary! Such is the life of a student, I suppose.

I’m definitely sleeping early tonight.

Rough First Day Back

After such a nice vacation, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that my first day back at work would be hard to get through. Even still, today was really rough. I feel like I kept making mistakes all day. My boss even yelled at me for one of them. My boss rarely ever yells at me anymore. Not only that, but I made my coworker friend/crush’s day really stressful because of my indecision and subsequent bad decision.

What’s worse, I might be coming down with something. I felt a bit hot and cold in the morning, almost like I had a slight fever. It got a little better after lunch, but then my back started hurting a lot. By the end of the day, my back was very uncomfortable. I had to lay down on my bed as soon as I got home.

I really hope tomorrow is better.