I was sitting in a lovely room at Student Health Services waiting to have my blood taken because lately I’d been feeling as though I had gargled small rocks and bits of paperclip. Since all forms of Strep had just been ruled out, it was time to get tested for the big M. Oh yes, the illustrious “kissing disease.”
Now, I am quite the sissy when it comes to needles putting things into my arm so you can imagine how I felt with one taking something out of it. The nurse, however, alleviated a bit of this residual childhood fear with her valuable words (which I promise are coming up soon). I suppose curiosity had gotten the best of her, or perhaps it was just the forlorn look on my face mixed with an attempt at distracting me from the bloodsucking metal thing sticking out of my forearm, but she eventually asked where I could have possibly contracted such a pesky virus. I opted to leave out some of the rocky backstory and just provide her with the simplest answer …my ex. Go head, read it over again. Laugh a little bit more. All done? Alright, yes. At this point, the only possible source of such a sickness was my ex.
After a bit of giggling on both our parts I told the nurse that if it turned out I did in fact catch the bug from the snake, I’d just have to laugh it off some more because who has time to mope around anyway? And here is where I would receive some of the best advice
anyone has ever given me. We’ve all heard it before in some form or another. But in that moment, with a needle in my arm and a virus stuck to my throat, her words struck a chord with me. She looked me right in the eye, pointed her latex-covered forefinger at me and said, ”That’s right honey, cause’ when that door closed a window opened, and ain’t nobody got time to sit around and be sad.” With those few words and a kind smile, she sent me on my way.
At this point, I didn’t care what I had… Okay, maybe I cared a little. But I felt worlds better, which just goes to show that after almost a month of T-Swift, Lily Allen, and endless pints of Ben & Jerry’s, the best possible medicine for me in that moment was a nice spoonful of a reality-check.
As I sat back in the Doctor’s office refreshed by that little dose of truth, I was hit with one a lot bigger. In walks the Doctor with her hand outstretched holding a nice little orange pamphlet for me. The words on the front? “So You Have Mono. Now What?” Well, in that moment my “Now What” was split between a good old “you have got to be kidding me” and a very brief text message to the individual who was generous enough to share this illness with me in the first place. So I’ll leave you with this, ladies: firstly, sharing is most certainly not caring. And secondly, hurtful people will pass in and out of your life, sometimes even to the point of contagion. But let’s be real, they aren’t worth our energy if they are being hurtful. Our lives are better for not having those people in them. They’re not worth it. And for the record, neither was the mono.