Last fall, during my final semester of school, I contracted mononucleosis. I started feeling under the weather when I felt unbelieveably cold all the time. I didn’t have any of my winter clothes or any heavy blankets around. Luckily, Graham had his vomit-stained comforter and offered to let me use it.
Within the next week, I was constantly huddled in the comforter, and barely moved from the big red couch. However, because I am the world’s most dedicated student, I still went to all my classes.
Most of my classes were larger, so my professors would just stare at me for a second before plowing on with their lecture. I’m sure I looked a little something like this:
However, in my smallest class, which I was taking with my friend Addy, my professor stopped altogether to talk to me. I had apparently been staring at the screen with drool dripping down my face and mentally wondering how high my fever had become.
Prof: “Robert, are you feeling okay?”
Me: “Yea, just a little tired and under the weather.”
Prof: “Maybe you should go to the Theilen Death Center*, I’m not covering anything important today.”
I turned to Addy
Me: “She’s probably right, I’ve never been this cold for an extended amount of time.”
Addy: “Okay Roberto, feel better. I’ll come bring you cookies and we’ll watch Tosh.0 later.”
I went to the health center and most of the process was a blur. I remember the doctor yelping when he looked at my tonsils, and I understood why. When I checked them in the mirror that morning, they were so swollen and white they touched each other. They didn’t feel much better. He retrieved a culture and left me alone in the exam room saying that he would be back soon. After 5 minutes of waiting for him to come back, I took a nap on the exam table. I was woken an hour later when a nurse came in wearing a surgical mask. She thrust a pamphlet into my hand, and a prescription note written from my doctor. Then she asked me to leave immediately. Great omens.
I filled my meds and took a look at my pamphlet. There was a concerned looking teenager on the front giving me a brooding glance and stamped across the bottom it read, “So You Have Mono”. How quaint.
I knew a little bit about mono, and I knew it was kind of a big deal, but I also thought the nurse/doctor treatment was a little extreme, even for Theilen.
I immediately called my mom to complain that I had yet another medical problem (somehow I get something new and awful about every 3 months) and I walked my sick ass home. I quickly crawled into the borrowed comforter and didn’t leave for 2 weeks. I eventually pulled myself together and finished off the school year without so much as a blip on the radar that anything had gone wrong, but for a full month, I felt like I had been hit by a truck and sent to live in Alaska.
Mono isn’t fun guys. Stop the spread, nobody kiss for 2 years.
*The students often called the on-campus health facility Theilen Death Center, because it has a notoriously bad reputation for curing its patients. This was the first time I’d ever heard a professor say this, and I distinctly remember liking her for it.