McGee: ‘The kissing disease’

Do people ever get “mono” anymore? Or is it that I’m just in the age group that doesn’t know or care about mononucleosis anymore?

Surely you’ve heard of mononucleosis, “The Kissing Disease.” Don’t ask me about how it works and that stuff, this isn’t that kind of article.

There’s the worse sore throat you’ll probably ever have, you’re incredibly tired all the time and your glands get swollen.

I know, I had “mono” long ago and far away. And daggone it I caught it from just one kiss, one of those “good night” ones after a movie date to see “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”

I couldn’t tell you anything about the flick but I can tell you I caught mono from that “good night” kiss. I didn’t know my date had just gotten over mono.

Days later, I came down with an incredible sore throat. Then all I wanted to do was sleep. Sensing this was not a typical illness, my mom marched me off to the doctor.

There at the physician’s office they thunked a big ol’ needle in my arm and pulled out some of the most beautiful burgundy colored blood I’d ever seen in all my 17 years. Sometime later the doctor returned to tell me I had mononucleosis.

“Go home, rest, you’ll be over it soon,” he said as he dismissed me with the wave of a hand. “And don’t be kissing any girls for awhile.”

He laughed.

I thought, “I’m dying, DYING, and he’s laughing.”

Well, obviously I didn’t die. I retreated to my bed at the old homeplace and seemed to sleep all the time. I was back at school within a week. Or was it two? I don’t remember.

I do remember lying in that bed and thinking, as probably many a teenage boy might, “If I was gonna get this sick I wish I’d gotten more kissin.’”