My first week of college as a freshman. Full of tears and false diagnoses.
The first week of college has a very precise picture in all of our heads. We imagine the cutest room with twinkle lights, fluffy pillows, and mini fridges stocked with our favorite snacks. The most attractive looking guys in all my classes. And being very independent.
I avoided anything college related as much as possible my senior year of high school. I did what I had to; get accepted, rent an apartment, take out a loan. But I didn’t want to think about the huge change that was about to rock my little world. I knew eventually the day would come that I would have to leave home and move to college. But for as long as I could, including the summer before college, I would live life without thinking about it.
What I was looking forward to that summer was my senior trip, which was the planned for the week before college started. It came and went so extremely fast. My family and my best friend’s family spent the week in San Diego, boogie boarding away the days and dumping on the sunscreen. We got heaps of sun, but I didn’t look or feel sunburned. I just seemed to get more tan. We flew home Saturday evening on a bumpy flight (thanks to the heat). An hour after we got home, I went on a date to a rodeo. My face and lips had started to swell a little bit.That night the guy asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes. I must’ve not looked too bad. The six days before college began had been just about perfect.
I woke up Sunday morning feeling terrible. My body was on fire, my face was red and swollen, my leg was all scraped up from boogie boarding. I looked more like I’d been beaten up. My mom packed up enough clothes, food, and bedding to get me through the first week. We drove to my apartment and somehow I made it through the first night. Monday morning I woke up feeling fevered and tired. I barely ate and headed off to my first day of college. People would sit by me and begin a conversation with me. They wouldn’t be looking at my eyes though, all their attention was on my rough face and swollen, blistered lips. I fell asleep that night on top of a bunch of stuff on my bed. The next day, I felt much worse. I finally texted my mom and told her I felt like crap. I went home that evening. We decided if I still felt this bad the next day, we would get a doctor’s appointment.
Guess what? The next day was just as horrible. My mom made an appointment for me for the following day. At the doctor’s office they let a medical student do the examination. She concluded that I had a sinus infection. She then gave advice on how to heal my face. Then the real doctor came in to give the diagnoses. He walked in and looked at me and said, ”We’re going to test you first for Strep, but from the looks of you, you have mono.” I told him I didn’t think I have mono. My mom agreed with me as well. He said that since I was a young pretty girl in college and by the looks of my face, I for sure had the mono. I tried to explain that my face was swollen from too much sun and I had only been at college four days. He was like, “No, it’s mono.” I felt like CRAP, and this guy wouldn’t listen to me. They did the test for both. Strep and mono both came back negative. The final verdict was a bad sinus infection.