You ever feel like you’re getting sick and then immediately decide “No I’m not!” and do whatever you can to ignore it? Early last month, I wasn’t feeling so hot, or rather, I hadn’t been feeling great for about a week or so, and simply disregarded it (who has time to be sick?!). But when my oldest, Natalie, struck up a fever 5 weeks ago Saturday, I figured we both had acquired oral strep after my youngest, Sedona, had just gotten through rectal strep.
Being a Saturday, I wasn’t in a rush to take my 5yo to Urgent Care, so I put it off until around 6p; 3 hours later, we finally saw a doctor. She swabbed both our throats for strep, asked each of us a bunch of questions. More than usual. Half an hour later, a nurse comes in to take my blood. She wouldn’t tell me why, or if she did, I didn’t understand her (she barely spoke English). All I heard was that Natalie tested positive for strep, and when I didn’t, they wanted to run my bloodwork. Half hour after that, we got discharge papers. I assumed I was fine… she ran through Natalie’s antibiotic dosage, etc. Then, she turns to my page, and I read Diagnosis: MONONUCLEOSIS . I’m like “Wait, I HAVE MONO?!” The nurse looked at me with big sad eyes and said “Yes? Doctor not say?!” At this point, it was 10p, I wanted to GO HOME. So I just said “thanks” took the paperwork, checked out, thinking “WHAT THE WHAT?!” and text’d my husband: “Finally on our way home. Natalie has strep. I don’t, I have MONO!? WTF?! Be home in 10.” Natalie & I got home, Greg put Natalie to bed, and then, we sat in shock. Where the hell did I get mono? Still don’t know, but then I started telling him about the sore, swollen throat & neck I had for a week or so along with the random headaches and pure exhaustion it made sense. Ignoring it didn’t make it go away.
The next morning was Mother’s Day. Uh-huh. Happy fucking Mother’s Day! I got woken up by my kids and husband at . I’m pretty sure I could’ve slept until noon, but I think I was going through the pissed-off stage before hitting acceptance, so I doubt my brain would’ve allowed me to sleep any longer. I laid around most of the day and the hubs & I talked about what we were going to do for the week. He ended up working from home on Monday, but work was in need of him so that was the ONLY day he took off while I had mono. Yup. I do have to say, that even though he went to work every day, he did come home early when he could, which was helpful.
Some of you mentioned that having had mono in high school or college, how the heck I could have mono with 2 kids? First of all, mono doesn’t affect kids like it does teens & adults, so being “contagious” wasn’t an issue. If they did catch it, it would be like any other virus, and they would be fine in a few days. The hubs, on the other hand, can’t kiss me for another 5 months! And, the whole how do you DEAL with 2 children when you are so sick issue?! Well, when you’re a mom, you find all sorts of ways to cope & survive the overwhelming, rough days. Sometimes, you have a beer with lunch. Sometimes you call the sitter to see if she can relieve you for a few hours. Sometimes you go to the bathroom & lock the door for the duration of Blues Clues. My kids watched more TV than they have in their entire life the last 5 weeks (that’ll be a fun habit to break!). And for me, I was already addicted to caffeine before mono hit, but now it was a survival requirement, along with 4 ibuprofen, to start my day. Then, just after lunch, I would need a green tea or a chai to make it until the hubs got home and then I’d usually crash for at least an hour before stuffing a few bites of dinner down. On the bright side, I have lost 15lbs!
Now, I know what some of you are thinking: “Why didn’t you ask for help?” yes, I know I need to take my own advice. The usual helpers in my life had issues of their own they were dealing with. My neighbor helped as much as she could, taking the girls a few times, coming over to clean, etc. Love her! Our awesome sitter came a few times to help with the girls and even cleaned my kitchen. Our folks were dealing with medical & personal issues, they were useless. None of them offered to help, and honestly, I really didn’t want them to infect my home with their issues. Sometimes, people like that only make what you’re going through harder. I didn’t need that! So I accepted the help I got and just dealt with what I had to. I spent a lot of time in a recliner and bed.
Despite being incredibly sick, I did have some positive moments over the last 5 weeks. One day, the girls and I spent some time in my bed watching TV together and doing our nails. All 60 of them! They don’t spend a lot of time in our bed, so it was special. Also had a prior commitment, and because it was just ME going through this, not my children, I was determined to follow through, because it was special. One was singing with the hubs at an award presentation for the community theater company where we met. It was in our hometown of
Another positive light of the mono, was not having the energy to stress out about stupid little things. Had some drama come in & out of my life and there wasn’t a heck of a lot I could do about it but ignore & let it go. It may sound odd, but being able to simply sit back, allow myself to rest and nap was nice for a change. I’m always on the go, and there’s always something to do. I don’t relax & take time to snuggle with my girls as often as I should, and this definitely taught me to try to do that every day.
The last couple of weeks, I’ve been slowly getting my energy back. Although I am still wiped by the end of the day, it’s nice to feel up to doing the dishes & the laundry. Wait, did I just say that outloud?! I must still be sick…