Oh, you’re supposed to shake it?

I’m 25 years old and evidently dont know how to take my own temperature. I’ve been sick for the past few days and finally decided to take my temperature this morning. The burning eyes, headaches, and running nose had gotten worse. I found the mercury thermometer in the medicine cabinet and placed it under my tongue. After approximately 7 minutes, I remove the glass baton from my mouth and twist until I can see the elusive silver line. It reads 106.7! Triple check: 106.7 At this point I’m scared shitless. How can a thermometer be broken? I don’t feel like I’m dying, but this little thing says I am. I don’t want to have to drive to the emergency room or hop in an ice bath. There must be something wrong. So I fire up webmd.com and get directions on how to read a thermometer.

If anyone wants to know the correct way to take an oral reading, it goes like this:

Shake the thermometer until it reads about 95
Make sure you can breathe through your nose
Place the thermometer under your tongue and close your mouth
Leave it there for 3 minutes.

Do you know how long it takes to shake down a thermometer that is at 106.7? I must have been shaking for a good 30-40 minutes. After doing it properly, my temp was a little over 100. Still a fever, but a lot less life-threatening. Phew.

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