August 23, 2010

Mono No Es Bueno

Girlfriend has the mono.

Mono as in mononucleosis.  Not a cool mono like mono-poly or mono-cle or even mono-Ginobli.

Any of those would've been fine, but this mono is a beast.  Racked with fever, achy all over, throat swollen to the point of swallowing being painful, fatigued to the point of moving around the apartment like Shaq in his later years...  Girlfriend is not a happy camper.

I love Girlfriend very, very much and hate to see her suffer, so I sprang into Dr. Boyfriend mode as soon as I heard the diagnosis, scouring WebMD and anything else I could find to see what I could do to help and what sort of treatment options there were.

Sadly, mono, much like cancer, the common cold, and Pac-Man Fever, has no cure.  She was just told to rest.  And take lozenges or the occasional ibuprofen.  And rest.  And keep cool.  And rest.  And she was not, under any circumstances, to do any sort of heavy lifting or other physically exhausting activity, as her spleen may have become swollen and could burst.   Damn that spleen.  It is a bad spleen.


It hasn't been a fun ride so far, to say the least, and my long-held belief that I could heal anything by doing the Mr. Miyagi hand-rubbing thing from Karate Kid has been soundly defeated.


Also, she really didn't respond favorably to my suggestions of "Sand the floor" and "Paint the house."

Another problem that freaked me out a bit:  She got so feverish at times that she was literally hot to the touch.  In bed, it was like spooning a lightbulb.  At first, I thought, "Cool, Girlfriend is actually the Human Torch in disguise!!"  And I envisioned us fighting evildoers and her blasting supervillains away with plumes of fiery awesomeness while I threw out sweet one-liners like "Hot enough for ya?" and "You're fired."


But sadly, this was not the case.  Girlfriend is not a superhero conjured up by Stan Lee.

So as the illness wore on through its initial, awful days, I felt paralyzed; powerless to help Girlfriend out of her mono-induced funk.  I bought lozenges, rubbed backs, dampened and re-dampened cold washcloths, bravely sat through more episodes of Without A Trace and Bones than any man should have to endure, stocked up our Netflix queue with loads of stay-in-bed-and-watch movies; I even put on American-flag shorts and challenged the mono to a boxing match like I was Rocky and it Ivan Drago.  But the mono would have none of it; all fell short of curing her.

Coming home from work during one such day, the great idea to buy her flowers popped into my head.  "I'll buy her some lilies," I thought.  "Lilies are her favorite, that'll brighten her day a bit."  (Note: Guys, if you don't know your lady's favorite flower, you're doing something wrong.)  So I walked up and down the blocks of the Upper East Side, searching out a flower vendor or a bodega that carried the lilies I so desperately craved.  After almost losing hope that I'd never find such a place, I stumbled upon a store that had one bouquet of lilies left, shining like a great beacon on a hill.


I walked into the store, over to the rack of flowers and reached out to grab the lilies.  Just as I picked them up, another guy, coming from the back of the store, made a move to snatch them.  I pulled them back to my chest, like a 5-year-old kid protecting his favorite toy, and probably instinctively gave him some sort of Clint Eastwood-esque glare.


Me:  Hey, sorry guy, I'm getting these.

Guy:  (Trying to shake off the stink of defeat)  Oh, it's cool.  I just really wanted to get them for my wife.  She likes 'em.

Me:  (Not buying his ploy)  Yeah, same here.  My lady's favorite flowers.

Guy:  Mine too.  Had a rough week, thought these would cheer her up.

Me:  Mine has mono.

Guy:  (pause)  Alright, have a good one.

Victorious and with lilies in hand, I began my proud walk down the street, buoyed by the knowledge that I was doing one of those good-boyfriend things.  A few blocks from home, I passed a couple walking hand-in-hand in the opposite direction.


What was funny was that seeing a guy carrying flowers, ostensibly, home to his girlfriend/wife prompted such different and obvious reactions in each half of the couple, and it's something that always, always happens in this situation.



Undeterred, I made it home and presented the lilies to Girlfriend.  She loved them but, sadly, wasn't instantly healed like she was Super Mario and they a magic mushroom.  But, to be fair, I think I used them wrong.


The worst of it has seemingly passed in the days since I started writing this post, and hopefully soon we'll be completely free of the mono curse.  According to WebMD, while her symptoms will eventually go away, Girlfriend will always carry the virus.  It'll lay dormant somewhere deep inside her, waiting for a time when lilies are scarce and our Netflix queue dips terrifyingly low.  Then, and only then, will it slowly and apathetically lurch to the surface, like a sloth on the attack, to sink its teeth into Girlfriend and transform her into one of the walking not-dead-but-kinda-dead-ish.

But this time, I'll be ready.

(Cue the Rocky theme.)

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Girlfriend's mother thinks you are very very funny!! Thanks had a great laugh over your blog.