1. You and the school nurse are BFFs
You buy her Lindor on her birthday; she looks at your tonsils whenever you need reassuring.
2. The internet is your best friend…
You refer to Google as ‘Dr G’.
3. …and your worst enemy
If it tells you you’re probably dying: instant panic. But if it tells you you’re fine, you don’t trust it. Either way you know you’re going to end up in the dark recesses of page 7, scrolling through forums called things like ‘CancerOrAReallyBigSpot.com’.
4. Your favourite kind of haul is from the Boots pharmacy section
Better buy those Strepsils in lemon AND blackcurrant flavours, to suit your mood/outfit.
5. You have done the meningitis ‘glass test’ on a shaving rash
And took your temperature, just to be really sure.
6. You’re such an expert on getting out of PE that people come to you for tips
A touch of cholera again is it, Poppy? And just in time for double hockey, what a SHAME.
7. But you still exercise, obviously
Everyone knows if you don’t hit 10,000 steps a day on your FitBit, your legs might shrivel up and fall off in the night.
8. Vaccination day at school is like Christmas and your birthday rolled into one
Come at me germs, I AM NOW INVINCIBLE. (Although you’re genuinely disappointed if yours isn’t the biggest, grossest scar).
9. You can’t watch medical dramas anymore
Grey’s Anatomy? House? Holby City? Sorry, do you WANT me to spend the next three weeks convinced my achy leg is actually ‘muscle death’?
10. You regularly worry you might have whatever she dies of in Moulin Rouge
I have a cough, and these jeans are really tight, guys.
11. Every period makes you an instant Victorian
Mother, father, I have taken to my bedchamber. I fear may not last the night. Tell the guinea pigs I love them.
12. You have never, ever left a tampon in for longer than eight hours
Not even at a sleepover. Not even at a festival. You are the model of good, sensible sanitary health. Although your friends don’t love the way you yell “IS IT TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME??” at them every time they so much as sneeze.
13. And you’re always the girl in every exam with a hot water bottle on her stomach
If the cramps miraculously ease up, it makes a handy cushion!
14. Your parents have the school illness hotline at the top of their ‘recent contacts’ list…
“Debbie! How are you? How’s Barry? And the dog? Did you get your highlights done in the end? Anyway yeah, she’s off again…”
15. …but you have to pass a test stricter than an army medical to qualify for a sick day
You’d BETTER still be under that blanket, whimpering, by the time they get home.
16. When someone else in the family gets a sick bug, you go into immediate quarantine
“If anyone needs me, I’ll be in a sealed germ-free pod at Grandma’s for the foreseeable future. Wishing you a speedy recovery, fond regards xxx PS. ANTIBAC EVERYTHING. TWICE.”
17. But when friends get ill, you are the dream pal
Flowers, snacks, multiple types of tissues, all the best cheering gifs you can find and generous use of your Netflix password. You’re the only one who truly understands that there is no such thing as ‘just a cold’.
Image: Amber Griffin