True stories of dealing with mono

Darla Jean Atkinson*, of Dubuque, Iowa, came down with mononucleosis just as she was moving into a new neighborhood, where she knew no one at all.

"My life was so hectic those last few weeks, arranging for the movers, packing, utilities, and all that sort of stuff. I know I was barely sleeping, and not eating right at all. Moving is so stressful. It's no wonder I got sick."

Soup and Magazines

"I got to my new apartment, directed the movers a bit, then realized I didn't feel well at all. I kind of crashed on my bare mattress, and my throat felt sore. I slept for more than 18 hours, barely registering how much time had gone by while I'd been sleeping.

I was really alone. I knew absolutely no one. Anyway, I knew I had to get help, and somehow in the fog that was my brain, I actually came up with a great idea. Or-if it wasn't great, it sure turned out to be great. I called directory assistance-thank God the phone had been hooked up-and I asked for the number of a church, any church!

Next thing I knew, all these people were coming over with soup and magazines. The church set up a rotating schedule of people to come sit with me and help out.

Today, a lot of these people are my good friends, and I might never had met them if I hadn't had mono. To this day I don't know what made me come up with the idea of calling a church, but it must have been some primal instinct set off by the mono. Whatever it was, I'm glad it happened."

Dedicated to Bachelorhood

Pete Houston* of Birmingham, Alabama, is a man dedicated to bachelorhood. He likes to date but doesn't like to get entangled in relationships.

Pete is very independent, and when he discovered he had mono, he didn't call his family or a girlfriend to come help him out. Instead, he used the internet to order what he needed and had it delivered.

"All I really wanted was to suck on Popsicles, but I tried to buy the kind that were made from real fruit, so there'd be a bit of nutrition. The cold soothed my throat. I just did what my body told me to do. I knew I needed to eat more than that, so I ordered up a whole slew of Cambell's soup, all different types, chicken soup with noodles, chicken soup with rice, and whenever I could drag myself out of bed, I'd heat up a can and eat it out of the pot with a spoon-one of the perks of singlehood," said Pete with a wry grin

"Basically, if you have internet, it's easy to cope. If I needed aspirin or a hot water bottle, say, I ordered it online, no problem. The main thing was to just listen to my own needs and handle them one at a time, as they came up."

*Names have been changed

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