Bouncy Ball

October 28, 2008
By Lauren Fields, Culver, IN

“Your test results came back. You tested positive for mono,” the doctor drawled, flipping through the papers on his clipboard. I must have been his twentieth patient at sick call that day. At boarding school, illness comes in waves. I got the diagnosis five days before my hockey team was leaving for the biggest tournament of the year.

My spleen swollen and my hopes crushed, I packed my bags and headed home. I’m a competitive hockey player, very competitive. So when I ached all day, all over, I just kept pushing.

I didn’t miss a hockey practice until pus-y, white spots blanketed my tonsils. I figured I’d go to sick call, take a day off, and come back well-rested. I was stunned when he told me I had mono, a disease that can swell spleens, ache muscles, inflame throats, and raise temperatures. Mononucleosis lasts around two months. I didn’t have two months—I had five days.

And it got worse. He ordered No physical activity for a month.

At home, my sore throat lasted eight sleepless days and nights, despite the codeine. I kept thinking about my teammates and how they were doing at the tournament.

Despite the doctor’s orders, I headed to the gym ten days after diagnosis. With sloth-like speed, I ran sprints. My muscles felt like Jell-o as I stretched and lifted weights. But when I felt like giving up, I thought of our upcoming games. I was determined to come back skating at the same level as I when I’d left.

I handled disappointment and pain and hard work and I returned to the team and finished my season as team MVP. Mono taught me how strong a person I am. A friend once told me that life is like a bouncy ball; no matter how hard life throws you down, you are always capable of bouncing back even higher.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 27 2010 at 1:19 pm
my sister had mono, she had it for about six months, actually, you still retain the virus for 18 months. my sister's muscles were affected so bad, she would collapse at any given time.


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