Monday, June 30, 2014

A Sharp Turn Down the Road of Life

Well, as many of you may know, I am out in Omaha, interning at WOWT in the sports department. I'm having the best summer, getting hands-on experience in a newsroom, and living the dream covering some Triple A baseball and the College World Series. Guess what; I'm not there.

After just two days in the newsroom, I started feeling very sick. I could barely keep my eyes open, because the light hurt my eyes. I was fatigued all the time, trying to fit multiple naps in somewhere throughout my day. I couldn't talk, because my throat felt swollen. My head was pounding non-stop; I didn't know what was wrong with me. I thought it was a 24-hour bug so I went in to the station the next day.

I was still not feeling well, but I was better than I was the day before. I went in to the newsroom, and I was trying to find some energy. I was getting weaker and weaker. I was using so much energy to just try and keep my eyes open. I went to a doctor, and they told me it was a sinus infection. They gave me some antibiotics, and I went on my way home.

A couple days later, I was still wasn't feeling well. I ended up getting sick while I was on the job. I went to another doctor, and they gave me different antibiotics. It did nothing; I was getting really upset, because I was missing all these days at the station without getting any better. Finally, my uncle noticed that I was red in the face and not my normal sunburn red. I looked in the mirror, and it looked like I had chicken pox all over my face. I went to a doctor for the third time. They said it was either strep or mono (mind you, I haven't had strep since I had my tonsils and anoids removed when I was 5). Doc came back after running a blood test and told me I had tested positive for mono.

Those were the hardest six words I have ever heard. Those words meant my internship was done, my part time job I had was done, and I would have to come back home to Chicago. I was balling my eyes out, knowing that the summer I was so excited for just disappeared. I went back to my uncle's house and just could not stop crying. I called my boss at the station, and he was really understanding of the whole situation. I was only in the newsroom for four days, and he still offered me the internship for next summer. That was the absolute last thing I expected; I was waiting for a "Well, it was great working with you for a short time. Feel better and enjoy your upcoming school year." Four days and I still received an internship for next summer? I was astounded.

I called my parents, and my mom flew out to come and get me on Father's Day. I just sunk into depression on the entire eight hour drive back to Chicago. Granted, I was given a second chance for next summer, but I wanted it this summer (you will come to find that I can be very impatient). I was so upset at myself for not taking care of my body throughout the entire school year. Instead, I ignored any health problem I had so I could be with friends, study, or be at WOUB on campus.

A month and 20 pounds later, I am almost over this disease. I had red dots all over my body, I lost so much weight, my hearing was damaged, and I slept for practically a month. Blood test after blood test, aspirins, constant visits to doctors; I swear Northwestern Hospital should know me by name by now. All this free time that I've had this month has helped me instead of harmed me, like I originally thought.

I have been spending this time getting healthy as a way to continue my work. I have been writing constantly, whether it's on this blog or it's a sports piece for SportsRants Women. I have been working on my memoirs non stop. While my family went on their vacation, I spent time with my grandfather (by that, I mean he spoiled me). I've found this new strength, both physical and mental, that I've never experienced. This time has taught me to think of each sharp turn down this road of life as the long way to acheiving my goals and aspirations. Eventually, I'll get there with hard work, connections, and a bit of luck. Am I happy I got mono? No, but I am happy with what this disease did to me: open my eyes a bit more and just go along for the drive on this road of life.