A short story about a girl who got Mono and was not very pleased with it.
Yes, I have Mono. In short, it just makes you tired and then for a week or two it makes you want to die by giving you nausea, rashes, headaches, tonsillitis and a high fever. Then, just when you think you’ll never get better (because you are an over-dramatic 19-year-old), the horribleness does go away and you’re back to just being extremely tired again. I like to think that I didn’t get mono at a very convenient time in my life but I think there isn’t a convenient time to have something like Mono. I mean, at no stage in your life do you realistically have a few months where your entire schedule is decided by whether you need a nap or not. Maybe when you’re a baby, but I don’t think babies get Mono.
Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself. I was diagnosed with Mono in April 2017. Actually, at first, I was not diagnosed with Mono after the blood test came up negative. This led to an entire weekend which I spent googling my symptoms and convincing myself I had Scarlett fever or maybe cancer. On the following Monday, another blood test confirmed that it was, in fact, just Mono. Things did not go up from there, they went down. Let me set the scene. I live in Seattle and although I have great friends, one who is of the ‘best’ variety and ended up being very helpful during my time of need, I am still 4,781 miles away from ALL OF MY FAMILY. This was an issue because sometimes you just need people who are obliged, by blood, to sit around and listen to you moan about how difficult your life is and how badly every part of your body hurts.
Part of that nasty week where all the mono symptoms appear manifested as tonsillitis for me. I get tonsillitis a lot but honestly, this was the worst time and it hurt a lot. The doctors prescribed me Vicodin which terrified me because last I check Dr. House was addicted to that stuff and I did not have the time to be addicted to a narcotic at the age of 19. I had plans to do stuff with my life, like get a degree, and not be addicted to painkillers. The Vicodin was stupid anyway, it didn’t take care of my pain which led to me not drinking anything for 48 hours. Not to spoil the story or anything, but that’s a bad thing and I wouldn’t recommend it if it’s something you’re considering. I took an Uber to my follow-up appointment on Wednesday because I rightly did not believe I could walk the 7 minutes it would take to get to the doctor’s office. Honestly, I don’t remember a lot from this appointment because like I said, I hadn’t had anything to drink in a stupidly long time and life was a bit of a blur. I do remember that I started crying almost as soon as I got there and then an estimated 5 nurses came and tried to calm me down. I also had an emotional outpour to my two best friends via Facebook chat and reading the message back I was being a bit overly dramatic.
Stay hydrated kids.
So, the doctor attached me to one of those IV fluid bag things which, since I’m generally a rather healthy person, I had never been attached to before. It was fun. I say that as someone who was in desperate need of fluids. No, but it was quite enjoyable when I had to pee and I got to hold my rolly, metal IV stand and take it to the toilet with me. I wish I had been wearing a gown because I felt like I was in one of those doctor shows. The follow-up appointment ended with me getting stronger painkillers and a firm reminder to drink as much as possible. I agreed with the necessity of both things.
That day I ate a lot of applesauce and drank a lot of water. I also told everyone in my life that I had Mono because nothing soothes the ache of a virus like constant attention from all of your friends. I also officially told my parents. Did you know that one of the fun nicknames given to Mono is the kissing disease? Its right there on its Wikipedia page. My whole family took full advantage of this. ‘Hey Hannah, I heard you have Mono, who have you been kissing? Hope you’re feeling better, Love Grandma xx’ – Not an accurate quote because my grandma is German but you get the point. This was only fuelled by the fact that my friends had all decided I had contract Mono from that frat boy I hooked up with a few months ago. I refuse to acknowledge the truth behind that assumption.
I slept a lot that night, mainly due to the fact that the oxycodone knocked me out. Also, Mono makes you sleep.
On Thursday, I had my last mono related doctor’s appointment and it was a rare sunny day so all was well in the Mono world. My symptoms were getting better, I managed to walk to the doctor’s office and I ate soup three times that day! There are lots of things to be thankful for in life. Also, my mother got me an edible fruit arrangement which I had to go and pick up from our dorm’s front desk. It was slightly embarrassing carrying an array of fruit on sticks all the way to my room but on the other hand who can say they’ve gotten an edible arrangement. I was a fan.
From this Thursday onwards things just got better. Kind of. Here’s the thing, Mono makes you tired (had I mentioned that) and I’m a rather active, go-get-em’ kind of person. Naps and I do not agree. In fact, I struggle to fall asleep at all, ever, even when its actual bedtime. So, this whole napping thing is a pain cause I’m tired but I can’t nap because 1001 things are going around in my head and I honestly don’t know how to force myself to fall asleep. Other things that don’t work with Mono; having a roommate. I have spent more time worrying how my Mono is affecting my roommate than I have worried about how it’s affecting me and I am usually capable of being a very self-involved person. But seriously, is there any roommate etiquette on how to have Mono? Like, last night I went to bed at 8pm and didn’t wake up until noon today. And then I went back to bed at 3pm for a ‘nap’ which evolved into me writing this blog post but hey, I’m still in bed after only three hours of being awake. Is she worried? Does she think I’m a loser? I hope I’m not making her uncomfortable will all of my napping.
So, that’s pretty much all I have on Mono. I’m not allowed to lift heavy weights so bye-bye gym. I don’t have the energy to be awake for more than 2 hours at a time so I see my grades taking a steady decline and since my new bedtime is situated between 7 and 8 pm I feel like my social life might just take a hit. Otherwise, everything is great and I’m just thankful it ended up not being cancer y’know.