Dear all, i have the mumps. It was suggested to me that i should call my university and let them know this in order that they may warn other students. Now, given the conversation i just had with whoever answered the phones at the lovely institution that is our university i have absolutely zero faith this will happen and so finally i have found a use for my blog. Said conversation went something like:
me: 'hello, i'm an undergrad student and i have mumps. i was told to warn you.'
X: 'Well, i don't understand why it's not term time so it's not relevant'
(this is both rude and not true)
me: 'Well actually it is relevant yes, because although i only got symptoms yesterday, the incubation period is 21 days and 21 days ago it was term time, so chances are i got it from university'
X: 'So, 21 days? what you are saying is that it's going to affect your assessments?'
(god is it not within the university's contemplation that i may simply be doing them a favour? that i may want to help my fellow student? and that there are other reasons for contacting the university than to get a bloody extension?)
me: 'No, it's not going to affect that. What i am saying though is that mumps is probably within the university and that i thought, and my doctor thought, you should know.'
X: 'Oh right…(pause) …my daughter had chicken pox.'
X: 'mmm, she was very ill for 2 weeks. but 21 days, woa'
me: 'no, i don't think you understand, i'm not going to be ill for 21 days and i am not therefore warning you so i can get out of deadlines later. It means that the illness may have been within me for 21 days, though i only felt ill from yesterday, so i probably got it in term time'
(i hear the penny drop inside the otherwise empty mind on the phone)
X: 'Oh i see, well it is relevant (thank you!) so what you are saying is that you probably got it from university and that you just want to let us know?'
(i begin to believe in god at this point)
me(excitably): 'Yes, yes that's exactly what i am saying'
X: 'Oh okay, thanks then'
The long and short is that the university may have little concern for the fact that i (or any of you) have mumps, but given that it's taken me half and hour to eat a cracker this morning because my elephant-woman-esque face is so painful, i do have concern my friends, i do.
So consider ( i say consider because i realise it is a personal choice and that many people have concerns about them) vaccinations, and even if you have had them (as i have) consider booster shots for MMR which are (according to my doctor) being advocated at universities right now because of the fast spread.
Oh and for those of you that know me…fear not. although you harbour the illness for up to 21 days, you are not contagious until 2 or 3 days before you get the lumps which was yesterday for me. If you get it therefore, it isn't from me!!!