Eddie was ready to meet my parents. We’d been seeing each other for two months, but it felt like a year. Since we both had fall breaks coming up with school, Eddie suggested we drive back to the midwest and meet everyone. I was ecstatic! I called my family and told them Eddie and I were making the drive.
The first week of October, I came down with a sore throat. At first, it felt like I was coming down with a typical cold. But then, after a day of class, I was in some serious pain. I went to work at A&F, complaining about my throat. My manager sent me to the coffee shop for some citrus tea. It didn’t help at all, and I said I was going home.
I went to bed that night, hoping to feel better in the morning. But I awoke in the middle of the night and couldn’t swallow my own spit. I slept for the remainder of the night with a towel on my pillow, so I wouldn’t choke.
The next day, I told Eddie I was sick. In attempts to make me feel better, he arrived at my house with a gallon of cookie dough ice cream and a pizza. It was sweet, but I physically felt awful.
In the morning, I drove myself to the campus health clinic. When I approached the counter, I had to hold my throat with both hands to speak. They didn’t believe I was sick. I begged them to take my temperature.
When the thermometer marked 102 degrees, the nurse took me seriously. They insisted on doing a blood test. As much as I hate needles, and my own blood, I didn’t care. I felt like I was dying. After a blood test, the doctor took me in a room to tell me I had mono.
Mono? From who?
He told me I needed to rest, but they would give me a shot and some medicine to take home. Eddie and I were planning on leaving for Indiana that afternoon. When I left the doctor’s office, I drove to his house and threw my bags in his car. We hit the road.
“Umm yeah, so the doctor told me I have mono,” I said.
“Really? All of my girlfriends get that!”
I didn’t know mono was a lifelong contagious illness. But I was feeling better on my medicine, and Eddie promised to drive us the entire way.