I have mononucleosis, and I want to whine.
There is no cure, no antibiotic to prescribe and no course of treatment to follow other than waiting and resting. More interesting things about mono: although I'll probably be a carrier of the causal Epstein-Barr virus for the rest of my life, it is highly unlikely that I'll exhibit symptoms ever again (but if I do, I'll be in sad sad shape). I could infect people for weeks or months or intermittently for years. Epstein-Barr just won't die. Most cases of mono happen in kids from 15-17. At nearly 24, I am on the elderly end of the mono spectrum, and the symptoms supposedly get harsher as the age of the victim increases. (Ha. I am a victim.)
So far, Epstein-Barr has not been too terribly awful to me. My neck hurts because of some tangled up lymph nodes. My throat hurts because of my enlarged tonsils, and my spleen might hurt because of some mono-related swelling, but really, how can you tell where your spleen is and if it really is your spleen that feels kind of achey inside there? The biggest problem is the annoyance of feeling exhausted. When I do something, I feel like all I should be doing is lying on my couch or sleeping. When I lie on the couch or try to sleep, I feel like I should be doing something. Annoying.
Also, mono makes me irritable. Beth is in Korea, so my sickness and whining has been foisted upon John and J and Sara. In general, boys do not know how to be comforting when someone is sick. "All you have to do," I told them, "is listen to me whine and complain, and instead of making the jokes that come immediately to your mind, just nod, tsk, and say 'oh, I know, Dana, it sucks.'" They're learning - bringing me dinner and sitting with me for hours, even - but for some reason, my irritability lands squarely on the heads of these two men.
The other night, I argued with J and John for a long time about the origin of the word onomatopoeia. I was absolutely and positively convinced that it originated with the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. His NAME is IN the WORD, for goodness sakes! I swear, some teacher in my past taught me this (as it turns out, erroneous) fact and I have believed it for years. It's wrong. It is blatantly and obviously false that the GREEK word is in anyway related to the work of a contemporary American poet. John (who hates it when I try to replicate his jokes, so don't tell him I did this) made fun of me for longer than the argument lasted: "What happened before Poe? People just went around unable to talk about sounds...'That clock! It's making some sort of noise, but I just can't put my finger on it...I wish I knew the word TICK!'" We argued, I insisted, I consulted the Oxford English Dictionary, I am wrong. I hate to be wrong. But usually I don't get so upset about it.
I think it's the mono-brain.