I kissed a boy and I thought I liked it. Turns out he gave me glandular fever. He was cute and nice, it happened in my favourite trashy club in Bristol and I was pretty damn happy with myself. I went on the ski trip the next day unknowing that he had infected me with what is known as “the kissing disease.”
The number one thing you’re not meant to do when you have glandular fever is drink. However, I immediately went on a party ski trip where I drank twice a day, every day for a week. Of course I didn’t know I had it at the time, I was slightly more sleepy but just assumed that it was because of the excessive amount of vodka.
Unfortunately for the human who gave it to me I hadn’t been kissing that many boys recently so I could pinpoint exactly who it was with the infectious salvia. The irony is that he was training to be a doctor, should have made him nurse me back to health.
As soon as I got home in London I couldn’t move. I would wake up every morning soaked in sweat. My cheeks suddenly flamed up with a fever and my family were very concerned.
“You look awful!”– my dad
“You look dreadful!”– my mum
After a week of being asleep in the day and sweating at night like some sort of rabid hamster, my mum tricked me into going to the doctors and they gave me chest infection antibiotics. I tried to work but I was so tried, thinking it was just a reflex that my body had developed to avoid revising.
I decided that the first antibiotics were working and met up with my friends, continuing to drink at the pub as a healthy denial coping mechanism.
I even decided that I was well enough to go back to university, but it just got worse. Next I got tonsillitis medication and they booked me in for a blood test. The doctor insisted that I took painkillers and stopped going to lectures. Don’t have to tell me twice!
I was slowly becoming a hermit, even my friends didn’t want me in the flat as it looked like I had the plague. On the day of my blood test a rash came up all over my body, on my face, legs, arms, stomach, getting worse around the joints. I looked like a rashy dot-to-dot book. Join them up and what do you get? A really sick Bristol student. I was just going in for my blood test until I rolled up my sleeve and they were like WHAT IS THAT?!
I ended up waiting an hour to see another nurse who said that a doctor had to see it as well. After becoming a human zoo the doctor concluded that it was probably glandular fever. I was devastated.
My blood results were not good. My liver and spleen were badly affected, over triple the level they were meant to be and very swollen. I had to be really careful about what I did, making sure I was getting iron in my diet and obviously NO DRINKING.
When I insisted my Dad took me to a market so that I could see the outside world I started having hallucinations. I had already taken nine pills that day and could barely walk or talk. He quickly took me home after I started to fall asleep mid sandwich on a bench.
They’ve recommended that I eat liver and black pudding, but on a very professional level I have prescribed myself steak instead.
I never get ill. I was in complete denial and it was an eye opening experience for me as I realised I find it really hard to look after myself. I didn’t accept that I was sick for so long that I have no doubt I made the situation worse. It felt like a catholic school girl tale:
If you kiss a boy girls, you won’t be able to leave the house for two months!
I am one cursed female, doomed to live the nun life.
Unfortunately there is no way to avoid glandular fever, but a lot of people get it when they’re a child or don’t even realise they’ve had it! After three months of replacing alcohol with blended vegetable drinks and plenty of blood tests, I am finally completely better. It was scary to have my health affected so badly and having to stop repeating the phrases “I’m fine” and “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” as I proved myself very wrong.
Good luck out there people! Just when you thought you should be worrying about STI’s…