It’s almost a rite of passage for every college student to get mono. It’s not a question of if you will get it, it’s just a question of when. That’s not at all surprising because college is a bit like living in a giant petri dish with not nearly enough sleep and a great deal of beverage sharing. Plus, let’s face it, it's college and mono isn't called the kissing disease for nothing. KIDDING! Just a little infectious disease humor!
Well. A few days before Thanksgiving break my sophomore year, my eyes transformed into very, very swollen, puffy little slits. It was so bad that even some very liberal applications of Garnier Anti Puff Eye Roller Serum couldn’t help me. And when G.A.P.E.R.S. can’t help, you know it’s bad. I chose not to go to the university health center because, as I told my mom, "they will just tell me I have mono." The health center was a joke around campus because no matter what symptoms you walked in with, you walked out with a diagnosis of mono. Stomach pain? Mono. Toothache? Mono. Broken arm? DEFINITELY MONO.
I arrived home for Thanksgiving break a few days later and went to the doctor first thing so I could get a diagnosis of NOT MONO. At the time I still went to the pediatrician, because it’s a hassle to switch medical records, plus I wasn’t quite ready to give up the post appointment lollipop/sticker combo. And honestly, at that point, I just wanted someone who could provide me with large amounts of steroids. Looking back, I should have just called some of my major league baseball friends. JUST KIDDING.
Turns out the doctor diagnosed me with mono before she even had two feet in the room. I spent the next seven days lying in bed convinced that I could not possibly feel any worse and wondering if perhaps the doctor misdiagnosed me and I had a terrible case of YOU'RE A GONER. I'll admit that I have a flair for the dramatic, but truthfully I have never, ever been sicker than I was that week.
However, this past weekend my sister reminded me of the most painful memory from my mono ordeal. She was writing a paper for school on Sunday afternoon and I let her borrow my all time favorite book from my all time favorite college class, Writing Creative Nonfiction.
I'm not sure that a blog about my love for Flo Rida, Sonic tater tots, and trips to WalMart was what exactly what Mr. Zinsser had in mind when he wrote this book, but it's brilliant nonetheless.
And look what Emily found inside when she opened it up...
My doctor's note. The colorful, childish doctor's note, with a happy little turtle carrying cheerful balloons and wearing a pink hair bow and a darling heart locket that I had to present to my COLLEGE. PROFESSORS.
When the nurse handed me this note I died a thousand deaths right there in the doctor's office. I could think of nothing more embarrassing than presenting my lovely pastel doctor's note to my professors.
And, as if the walking, blue-eyed turtle, the balloons, and the pastel color scheme weren't bad enough, there was a section for recess.
I was nineteen years old.
I showed this note to all five of my professors that semester.
And now I go to a family doctor.