Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This was Only Supposed to be a Short Recap

You can totally skip this and not read it. This was supposed to be a post about the funniest thing that happened between me and my Spanish tutor today, but I got sidetracked. Only read this if you want to know why I'm sick and not going to school. This is not very funny at all whatsoever but it has it's moments. I think it's lively. But seriously just skip it, I promise it won't hurt my feelings. Also this is EXTREMELY LONG, sorry about that. You can skip to about 3/4ths of the way down and there should be an actual short recap of what this whole post was about in about two paragraphs if you really wanna know but don't have the time. You probably don't. I wouldn't. 

So as I've mentioned earlier I have tutors come to my house. I don't think I really explained why exactly that happens. So here's a short recap on something I've probably never fully explained.

Around the beginning of August of 2010 I began to get daily headaches. Like right out of the blue. Well not right out of the blue, but it came from a generally blue like area. I had been really sick during the whole summer because I'd gotten Mononucleosis in May of last year. I know what you're thinking "I bet she kisses ALL the boys." No. That statement is entirely false. But I've heard it so much from anybody who's heard this story that I'm no longer angry about it. No, I got mono from sharing a water bottle in gym class. But I'm not really sure you can call it "sharing" when the other person(s) just takes your water bottle when your not looking and dumps all of their diseased saliva on it and then NEVER TELLS YOU. Thanks.

Anyways, if you don't know what mono is or you've never had it, mono is basically mini cancer. Except you can survive it. But it's basically cancer. It NEVER leaves your system, even after you're done with that whole terrible month or two months of practically dying. Mono's like "hmm it's been about a month and this place is getting kind of old and I'm tired of fighting off all these antibodies. I know what I'll do...I'll just stop being harmful and just absorb myself into the system. And this will be my home. FOREVER. And I'll spread my demon spawn babies whenever this person gets a fever and shares drinks/saliva with other people. AND THEN WE'LL TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!"

I wish I was joking, but that's the monologue I repeated in my head for about five months AFTER the mono bastard of a disease sunk its way into my immune system. So anyways, mono. It basically happened like this: I was at school one day and I was like "my throat's been killing me for a month now, I BET IT'S CANCER" Because whenever anything seems to be moderately wrong with me and can't be diagnosed, to me, it's cancer. Which is stupid because cancer is obviously diagnosed at some point. By the way, I'm still holding out that these headaches are the beginning of brain cancer. Just saying.

But so I'd been to the doctor a few days before and they concluded that I did not have strep throat but sent off my lovely saliva/disease/shit that was on my throat off to a lab to be cultured and tested for other diseases. Just as I whip out my phone my mother calls me. This is convenient because she was who I had planned to call. As a side note, when I'd been at the doctors and described my symptoms as: sleepy, sleepy, really painful sore throat, sleepy and headaches, she was like "oh it's probably mono, you know, the kissing disease" and then she gives me this weird look that I'm sure was supposed to mean something but because I'm really bad at being a girl and understanding girl things I just sat there with my head tilted to the side in confusion and looked at my mom and begged her to tell me what the lady said.

So after we established that I had not kissed anyone ever, we left in high hopes that it was cancer. Just kidding, we hoped it was just a bad virus. Now as another side note, I would just like to state that before I got diagnosed with mono, which is coming up, I had the best immune system in the whole world. Once a year for about two or three days I would get one, really bad sickness. Now this sickness could range from the flu to a stomach virus to strep throat in which I can't swallow which is almost as bad as a stomach virus where my mother starves me so that I stop puking and damaging my internal organs. But nevertheless, after the two or three days were over, I'd have a two day recovery period. I really only needed one day, but I took two, just to be sure. And then for the rest of the year I was totally 100% healthy.

So I answer the phone and instead of being greeted with the usual "hey, how was your day?" I was instead greeted with "guess who has mono?" Now obviously this isn't something you should tell you teenage daughter who thinks that any disease that isn't common to her is cancer. But that's how I found out. And I proceeded to freak out and look around nervously like some giant death bomb was going to be thrown at me because I'd been diagnosed with "The Kissing Disease." So I go home and crawl into bed for my routine nap. I usually don't take naps, but mono makes naps seem like the greatest things in the whole world. Naps are basically Jesus. And if Jesus came down, right then and there and offered to take all your troubles and pains away and give you the greatest life ever and you had to choose between Jesus and Naps, Jesus would lose.

The bad thing about these naps that I would take, however, was that when I would wake up (I came home at like 3ish) it would be about 7. But since you're terribly sick with some brain numbing disease you freak out because, since all the blinds are closed, you think it's 7 AM instead of PM and wonder why in God's name no one woke you for school. So you run down stairs, proud of yourself that you miraculously fell asleep in school clothes (nice one brain) and run into the living room shouting about how you're going to be late and that you need a ride NOW.

And then you see your mother curled up on the couch with a blanket and ice cream watching Nurse Jackie and your brother on his laptop on the other couch. Both are staring at you like you have cancer. And so a part of you starts freaking out because their looks obviously confirmed your fear that you have cancer and that you only have a week to live and there's so much you haven't done. Unfortunately you don't realize that in your horror you've slowly and begun saying "noooooo" and now it's really loud and you're about to cry. So now your mother is frantically trying to calm you down as you cry about how you're not ready to die and that you need to travel to see the world in the next week before you die or you'll go to hell.

Mother is worried and does not know what to say. And now you're crying about how you're even going to be late for school on the day you got diagnosed with cancer and the world is ending. Then everything in mother's head clicks and makes sense. "Sweetie, what are you talking about. You're not late for school. You came home four hours ago, it's nighttime." And as you finally take notice of your surroundings you realize that it is indeed darkish out and you realize that you DID go to school and aren't going to be late. But you're suspicious, so you stop crying and look confusedly at her and go, "So I don't have cancer?" And then everybody laughs at you and you feel a great weight lifted off your chest and what is a better way to celebrate this miracle than to go take another nap.

This happened about twice a week. I'm not joking. So number one, mono makes you tired as shit. It's like some little gremlin creeps into your room each night and uses some magical didgeridoo to suck all of your energy and life away from you so that you wake up in the morning unrefreshed and still tired despite the fact that you got like 15 hours of sleep. You want to sleep ALL THE TIME. Eating breakfast? How about a quick nap. Lunch? I'll eat up in my bed. Dinner? I just stopped eating dinner and woke up with hunger pangs in the morning.

As if the tiredness isn't bad enough, your throat WILL hurt. I'm not saying it hurts ridiculously bad, mine didn't, but it doesn't feel like a normal, healthy throat. Also, you develop what is apparently a "sexy voice" to your boyfriend at the time. Maybe that's why you broke up with him. Anyways, but if you want a perk I guess there's one. It wasn't a sexy voice, it was pretty much that sandpaper-y voice that you get when you're REALLY REALLY REALLY tired and all you want to do is sleep but boyfriend keeps calling you and demands to talk to you for hours and so you probably fall asleep during a rant of his but wake up in time to say goodnight.

Mono makes it hard to focus. I now know why kids who get mono just don't come to school for two weeks. I, on the other hand, was forced by my mother and my goddamn brain to go to school on the days that I wasn't completely dying, but only partially dying. On these days I usually fell asleep in class and got zero assignments done. I'm pretty sure I gave all my teachers another reason to hate freshmen.

Finally school ended and soon mono released my from it deathly clutches only to throw me into a pit of constant sickness. And see, here's the thing, mono symptoms don't just stop. Like it's not like one day you wake up and you're like "I FEEL INVINCIBLE!!" No. You wake up each day and slowly you are less tired, but that doesn't mean you take less naps. And your headaches slowly stop happening like every time the medicine you took wears off. And eventually one day you're like "I don't NEED constant naps, but I'm totally going to still take them until I stop feeling like this. Finally two months later (July-ish) you're like "I'M ALMOST NORMAL!!!" And you celebrate, because you're down the shore and you're going to the beach and getting a tan and reading books because you can actually focus!

But then in two weeks it's August, and one day you're just watching TV and suddenly you get this headache. And you're like, it's probably nothing and you take some Motrin or Tylenol and continue watching TV. The headache goes away in time and you're fine. But then the next day you have another headache, and this one's worse than that one you had yesterday and this time the pain meds don't really help as much. And this cycle continues until one day about a week later, you have constant headaches that are 24/7 (I say that because when I say "constant" people still ask me if I was ever "headache free." Apparently people don't know what the true meaning of "constant" is.)

So you go to sleep with a headache and then wake up with the same headache and you've even upgraded to Excedrin Migraine, but alas, nothing is working. The pediatrician has also diagnosed you with strep throat. So suddenly you're happy, because in your head you're like "this is only because of a virus. when the virus goes away, so will the headaches!" and you get really excited. You finally come to the day when you take your last steroid (no, I don't play sports, and even if I did, I doubt that having a lot of muscle would help my coordination. I'm pretty sure I would just injure people more than I already do) but these are medical steroids that don't give you moon face and beards. YAY! You're a little concerned, because the headaches haven't really improved, but you're positive that all it will take is this last pill and tomorrow everything will be all smiles and sunshine.

You were wrong. Your throat feels much better and you can talk without coughing up a fit every two seconds. But the headaches are still there. Now we're about the 3rd week of August. Last year there were five weeks in August because two were half weeks. Anyways, you're getting concerned, because you convinced your mother to drive you up to Reading, which is a good two hours away, with your best friend to go see your favorite band of all time live at the 2010 Uproar Festival. You know that if you tell mother that you're not getting better she'll cancel this. But this is basically the greatest event of your whole life. But you can't lie either, because if this gets worse, then she won't take you seriously and you'll die of something like cancerous aids.

So instead of lying or telling her, you just don't tell her anything and slowly the days that count up the concert are less and less and soon it's two days before the concert. You've by now been diagnosed by what it most likely just Viral triggered migraines that will go away on their own. You're still taking Excedrin even though it doesn't do much for you, not because you're a drug addict, but because it does more than what regular pain meds do. So you dress up and head out for the best concert of your life. Which it was. It was fucking awesome. But you also are forced to leave early. Avenged was not the headliner, they were co-headlining because of Jimmy's recent death. So after their set it done, you've done enough screaming/singing and headbanging to call up an 8/10 headache. This is not good. You've already taken Excedrin and have nothing left. So you stay for a few Disturbed songs and then decide that their seizure inducing lights and headbanging rhythms are probably making things worse. So since you don't want another visit to the emergency room, you peel out. Best Friend doesn't mind because she really only wanted to see Avenged as well. Mother hates all music that I love and eagerly drags us out.

I just realized that this was supposed to be just a "short quick recap" and that it is not. This has spiraled out into a monster of the shitty things that have happened in my life. So here's the quick version:

I got mono from gym class which I already despised, not because I hate exercise, but I hated that I got all sweaty and then had to get dressed and go to my last class smelly and sweaty like nothing happened. Then I was sick for two and a half months. Then I got strep throat which was accompanied by headaches. I got steroids for the strep. They took away the strep, not the headaches. I went to the emergency room for some liquid morphine and then left before they took my headaches away because I didn't like being in the hospital. Then Sophomore year started. I was absent. A LOT. Then I went to multiple neurologists. They diagnosed me with chronic migraines. But my case was peculiar because they just started out of the blue and were pretty much always there from the start. First neurologist is hooked on the fact that it's a viral spiked migraine and gives me a shitload of preventatives and steroids that don't work. Second neurologist is supposed to be the greatest neurologist in the area but becomes fixated on the fact that I was "mentally scarred" from being bullied from the end of school into the summer. He made me cry a lot.

Finally we arrive at my third and current neurologist. His name is Brad. We like Brad. Brad made my constant 24/7 headaches that were 8/10 all the time become 5/10 all the time. This is the greatest success we've seen in five months. But then headaches go back up. So we go back in for IV Infusion (it sounds cool as hell, but it's really not. it's basically the worst three days of your life. and i had to do it. TWICE) this time bringing it down to a 3/10. It doesn't sound like much but it is. Unfortunately you've missed like 50 days of school and are so behind in classes that it's physically and emotionally tolling to get up and go to school every day. This makes you sad. So you just stop going to school. Unfortunately you can't just up and stop school. You have to enter this thing called "Homebound Schooling".

No, your parents don't get to teach you. You get assigned tutors that you go and meet at the local library for an hour per tutor each week. But wait, you also have elective classes this semester! Homebound program does not teach electives. But you need electives as prerequisites for the classes you want to take next year. So you make a deal with your two teachers to continue by yourself. One teacher works on an honor basis and sends all work and tests home. It's a lot but you love that class. Other teacher decides, out of the goodness of her heart, to come to your house for an hour every week and teach you Spanish.

The story that was supposed to be posted her was about what went on today between me and my Spanish teacher and it was the greatest thing ever. But I would have had to explain this sooner or later so I'll post about that tomorrow.  

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