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Qi, baby, ain’t I good to you?

May 2, 2011

I’ve been going down … hill.

And licking … my wounds.

And spooning … ice cream. And cats, of course.

Just as I was running out of reasons to funnel obscene quantities of desserts into my pie hole — let’s face it, I could coast along on the dumped-in-an-email excuse for only so long — I tested positive for mono.

(You might be wondering the source of the virus. There’s no way of knowing for sure. But I have a conspiracy theory. It involves someone’s grassy knoll.)

Before I was diagnosed, for the second time in a year a medical professional suggested that I might have toxoplasmosis, better known as cat scratch fever. It would be an honor. It seemed unlikely, though. I mean, it’s not as if Isabel dips her paw into my cereal bowl to sneak slurps of skim milk. And Teva certainly does not chow down on baby spinach leaves in my salads. And I would never — never, I say — share a popsicle with Isabel. It’s a little something I like to call “boundaries,” kittens.

Lime is our favorite flavor.

I knew I was in for a doozy because Mango, the neck lump that taught me everything I know about my cervix, made a triumphant return, and this time brought all of her gland friends. My tonsils were so inflamed that for about 10 days, my diet consisted of only mint chocolate chip ice cream popsicles hot chocolate spiked with Bailey’s broth. I beached myself on the couch and watched “All My Children” public broadcasting. Per doctor’s orders, I missed more than a week of work and had to skip the gym indefinitely. It was awesome so sad.

During my second office visit, while the nurse practitioner was inspecting how infected my throat was, she asked, “Is your tongue always black?” No, just my ass. I gingerly rolled off the examination table, gawked at my mouth in the mirror and confirmed the discoloration. While checking off orders for a strep culture and litany of lab tests, she nonchalantly said, “I’ll prescribe a mouthwash. You have oral thrush.” You know, no big deal. Happens all the time. Nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s just a yeast infection. in. your. mouth. Feelin’ sexy.

Armed with a Sick Sense, Isabel and Teva always seem to know when I’m ill. They took turns playing the role of hot water bottle, roosting around the clock on my belly, as if good health would hatch if they could just keep it incubated.

At the height of my quarantine, when the only human I had laid eyes on in days was the overnight pharmacist at CVS, I killed a completely normal amount of time that society definitely wouldn’t frown upon by snapping cell phone photos of Isabel napping on my neck. That’s when I noticed that she seems to have plumped up a bit. And that from behind she bears a striking resemblance to Grimace.

For those of you not currently experiencing delusions brought on by fever, I’ve taken the liberty of illustrating it for you.

Amid all my ailments, I went for an MRI on my tailbone, which began aching for no apparent reason almost to the day that I turned 30 — just stop aging; save yourselves — and kept getting progressively worse. My dad wore out his knees over decades of marathon training. I broke my butt by sitting through one too many “Golden Girls” marathons. I got the better deal.

After the MRI came back normal, the doctor offered me a prescription for prednisone. Friends had warned me about that steroid. Sarah cautioned, “You’ll never sleep again.” Bob weighed in, “My dog went crazy on it.” And the orthopedist was all, “This shit will fuck you up.”

My mono may have been the best thing that ever happened to Isabel.

I declined the drugs and opted for a cortisone shot. This was after ruling out a chiropractor when I googled the treatment and came across the phrases “lubricated latex glove” and “push past the second sphincter.” You’re welcome for not linking to it.

I also took a chance on Eastern medicine by trying acupuncture twice a week for a month. It didn’t help, although it cleared my head and totally put my life in perspective. One time, I was primed and pinned, but just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was overlooking something. I’d already postponed all my sessions with my personal trainer, citing health reasons. I’d conferred with my financial adviser about my yearly Roth IRA contribution. I’d crossed everything off my Whole Foods shopping list. Then it was as if the epiphany zipped through one of the narrow needles, hit a nerve and made a beeline to my brain. Yup — eeeeee! I was out of organic cat kibble. Post-appointment, I hopped back into my Prius and picked some up before using my iPhone to call in sick to my job in the liberal media.

Despite a few lingering aches and pains, I’m feeling mostly better. Everything’s run its course. Except me. No running, just resting — doctor’s orders. Bummer. But to recap, I got an injection in the crack of my ass, I quit exercising while simultaneously becoming hooked on sugar, I’ve been hallucinating a McDonald’s mascot, there was an overgrowth of fungus on my tongue and I still may have the remnants of a highly contagious virus transmittable by kissing.

Please tell all your single friends: I’m ready to start dating again.

48 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2011 4:41 AM

    So sorry to hear you are feeling crap. The recap had me in stitches though… If you cannot laugh at the stupid things happening (and you have had a few things eh) then life will suck even more.

    Hope you’ll feel better soon. Enjoy the ice cream that is a must while being ill.

  2. May 2, 2011 4:43 AM

    I love that last image of you and Isabel. Those glasses just scream sex appeal

  3. hawaiianryan47 permalink
    May 2, 2011 5:46 AM

    funny. izzy is a tub 🙂 i love fat cats.

  4. May 2, 2011 6:55 AM

    Oh, baby, so sorry you’re sick — and considering the probable origin of your myriad diseases, we’d probably start instituting some sort of health-screening quarantine program for your future dates. Like when you take a cat to England, but for people! Get better soon — and stay off that broken ass!

  5. May 2, 2011 7:34 AM

    what? no pictures of your throat? well, the “sexy sick pin-up gal with kitty” shot at the end will have to tide us over… here’s to a speedy recovery. did you know Ben and Jerry’s is beta testing “Chicken Soup Therapy” flavored ice cream?

  6. May 2, 2011 8:21 AM

    You have a lot of my autoimmune symptoms, by the way! Sjogren’s Syndrome…google. I will blog about my neck lump that led to the discovery of my tumah and inflamed lymph nodes. Just for you!

    Feel better soon!
    xo Susie

    • May 2, 2011 2:03 PM

      Well, I googled that. Thank you for encouraging my hypochondria.

      I did have a lot of autoimmune symptoms. It made for a fun talk about HIV with my nurse practitioner. (The test came back negative. Just like my general outlook on life.)

  7. May 2, 2011 8:40 AM

    I didn’t think I could love you more, and then here we are.

    I’ve taken prednisone, twice. It’s actually fine for me. I get a little boost of energy, my house gets clean and my lungs stop trying to strangle themselves.

    Also, I’m taking a med 2x a day where I have to rinse my mouth out or brush my teeth because there’s the possibility of getting thrush. Although I thought when babies get thrush, their tongues turn white. Is baby thrush racist?

    • May 2, 2011 2:07 PM

      Baby thrush probably thinks Obama was born in Kenya.

      My tongue wasn’t really black, just kinda discolored. There are some really awesome photos on the internet that show a more typical occurrence.

  8. May 2, 2011 8:52 AM

    OMG you have been through the mill! I have been wondering where you were! I am so sorry that all of this happened…..I am glad that you are at least on the mend….I DID laugh at “I’m ready to start dating again” lol
    Be kind to YOU!

  9. rholmes1987 permalink
    May 2, 2011 10:09 AM

    I’m ready to start dating again too.

  10. May 2, 2011 10:40 AM

    I know a cross-eyed quadriplegic cancer victim with West Nile Virus and a tapeworm named Joey who lives in her gut who’s recently single. I should totally hook you two up….

    • May 6, 2011 8:49 AM

      Wait- is it the friend or the tapeworm that’s single? : )

  11. May 2, 2011 12:29 PM

    Oh, honey 😦

  12. Roxanne permalink
    May 2, 2011 12:43 PM

    Oh no! You are still not well! Hopefully you’ll be getting some mail soon that will cheer you up…I don’t think it’ll be especially useful though…I’m sorry Jess! This must suck!

  13. May 2, 2011 1:00 PM

    Dude, I’m sick all the time and it’s NEVER this funny. You are making me a little bitter. OK, FINE, MORE BITTER.

  14. May 2, 2011 2:29 PM


  15. May 2, 2011 8:43 PM

    My Niece-2 gave me the germs from her sore throat recently. While generosity in the young is encouraging, I didn’t expect to be on toast and tea and horseradish pills for a week. Or, perhaps my throat just has sympathy pains for you? When it gets better I will sing “just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”… feel better, beautiful Girl!

  16. May 2, 2011 9:27 PM

    oh, man, i had thrush once, that sucks. that was last winter when i was sicker than i’ve ever been in my whole life, and prednisone totally healed me. it also made my (very bad) skin way better. try it! hope you are on the up side of this badness. kiss kiss meow.

  17. May 2, 2011 10:19 PM

    Dude. I blame whats-her-bucket for all of this. One can only hope that she, too, has mono. (P.S. Prednisone made me go insane once. True story.)

  18. May 2, 2011 10:24 PM

    The expression on your kitty’s face with the popsicle is priceless!

    Oh, and um, I’m with your buddies here – I’m sorry you’re feeling poorly. 😦

  19. May 2, 2011 11:10 PM

    I love the popsicle picture and the delusion illustration.

    My cats have that same sixth sense about illness. Whenever I’m feeling sick, the cats will pile up on top of me, urging me to conserve my strength until it’s time to feed them again.

  20. May 3, 2011 1:22 AM

    Thrush is the sexiest of all the mouth yeasts.

  21. May 3, 2011 5:34 AM

    Yeah, but look how pale and interesting your skin is . . . Isabel doesn’t look happy, maybe she don’t like cameras? I have dog(s) like that. Enjoy not exercising. I’ve enjoyed not being able to go to the gym inclines causes me to cough so much that it a/renders me immobile, and b/ makes all seals in the area look around to see who the new seal is. . . .
    Feel better soon.
    Josie x

  22. May 3, 2011 5:40 AM

    Hmmm. You know… All of this sounds suspiciously like you might have caught zombie, and no one’s managed to pick it up yet – You should probably get that checked out.

  23. May 3, 2011 9:07 AM

    Is this you coming onto me?

    ‘Cause I tend to assume most posts are people coming onto me.

    And I do love Popsicles…

  24. May 3, 2011 3:38 PM

    I’m pretty sure it’s wrong of me to mention that the Grimace photo made me spit out my Diet Dr. Pepper — in a good way, I mean. Also, when I was 15 I was rushed to the ER because I was convinced I was about to die, but really my appendix was about to burst, but know how they found out? It involved the latex glove over a grown man’s hand and pushing past the second sphincter. I kid you not. Now, THAT shit will fuck you up. Get better soon!

  25. Melissa permalink
    May 3, 2011 4:48 PM

    Damn! Sorry you’re feeling poorly. Sending good thoughts your way. *hugs*

  26. May 3, 2011 4:50 PM

    Being sick sucks. Luckily you had two furry hot blankets to nurse you through the worst of it. I’m glad you are on the mend and let me say getting a needle in the crack of the ass does not sound fun. You’re like Wonder Woman with cats 🙂

  27. May 3, 2011 5:01 PM

    Aw man!!!!! That chick RUINED you. All her fault. Mouth thrush? Ass pain? Surely HER FAULT. I blame Canada. At least you got to relax. I would give anything to relax. I’d even cuddle with the real Grimace. I’ve always wanted to try out a plush fantasy.

  28. That Girl permalink
    May 3, 2011 6:12 PM

    I feel I must apologize. It appears that a lot of lesbians in my life are getting mono and having ass ailments. This is patently unfair to them as I am the one slutting it up like a champ and they are being proper ladies. So I apologize for your mono and thrush. My formal apology will be delivered in an embossed envelope promptly.

    I have not yet figured out the rash of ass ailments among lesbians, but I’m sure I can be held accountable.

    And I hope you feel better soon. Mono is the devil.

  29. May 4, 2011 1:22 AM

    i am absolutely sure that if you mailed it to me, i could manage to completely screw up your computer in a matter of days. we could try this… : ]

  30. DearSweetMama permalink
    May 4, 2011 2:23 PM

    Ooooh – thrush – I had it when I was on antibiotics for a lifetime when I became septic and they could not find a reason why. It is no fun – use your rinse. And feel warm DSM vibes heading your way with a little Italian ice, iced gingerale with a short straw (so you don’t have to waste energy sucking too long) and a nice bowl of chicken soup. And love, don’t forget the love.

  31. May 4, 2011 4:14 PM

    I just realized that “Qi” is the word I always spell when I get a Q in Scrabble because I’m too impatient to wait for better letters that spell a cooler word. Which reminds me that yesterday my sister sent me a text that said she was playing Scrabble with my mom who asked if NOONER was a word. For real.

  32. Nadine the Minx permalink
    May 4, 2011 8:40 PM

    Oh Sweetie! The sickees really suck; but you do get to catch up on episodes of “Tabitha Takes Over” and get some well-deserved rest.
    Just one more thing– the pic of you and Isabel in bed together was so damn cute! The two of you were wearing the same expression! I just wanted to bring you warm brandy and gently rub both of your foreheads; one with each hand. And no boozing it for Isabel.
    Sanitized for Your Protection,

  33. May 6, 2011 8:31 AM

    Your ability to create laughter must make you a national treasure. What ever you do, don’t get writer’s cramp.

  34. May 6, 2011 10:12 AM

    I had oral thrush once. I was sure it was cancer. I got mine b/c I thought it would be a great idea to keep mouthwash in my mouth for at least 15 minutes at a time -extreme gum disease prevention.

    If your cat was a tabby, you might have hallucinated the Hamburgler.

    I love the pic of kitty enjoying a lime Popsicle!

  35. May 6, 2011 2:25 PM

    FTW? Why aren’t your updates showing up in my inbox? WHY?????

    I digress.

    I feel your pain. Literally. The reason I declared my womb a child-free zone was because thanks to mono, I spent two weeks lying on the couch watching the horror they call TLC’s “A Baby Story”.

    There is so much funny in this post that even the mouth thrush doesn’t phase me. It just makes me heart you more. In fact, it’s almost like I’m thrushing vicariously through you.

    (I don’t know what that means.)

  36. May 6, 2011 3:02 PM

    GOOD LORD. Did all the germs in your body have sex with each other and birth MUTANT SICK GENES? That is a LOT of strange sick, lady. Hope you continue to feel better!!!

  37. Melanie permalink
    May 7, 2011 12:14 AM

    LOL, Cat Lady, LOL. Bravo. Especially liked the Grimace grimacing from the back of Isabel’s head. P.S. I would give a 16-lb. adorable-but-very-needy infant anything sleep for hours on end with a cat on my neck.

  38. May 7, 2011 9:50 AM

    I feel your pain – although not really, because I don’t know what mono is. Do we have mono in England? Or is it called something else? *Googles ‘mono’*

    Also, disappointed this post does NOT have a picture of your black tongue within the text.

  39. May 7, 2011 9:52 AM

    Oh glandular fever!!! That’s what mono is. In which case, yes, I feel your pain. Although, still not really because I’ve never had glandular fever (mono). But I did have tonsilitis (not mono, or glandular fever) once and that was pretty bad. So, I sort of semi-feel your pain. But hope you get better soon lots.

  40. May 9, 2011 9:09 PM

    Man, and I thought the six-day cold from hell that my roommates and I all got was bad! ((I wasn’t smart enough to stop exercising…doing group power yoga with an infinite amount of snot dripping down my nose every time I went into downward-facing dog made my sex appeal skyrocket). I hope you continue to feel better. And that picture of Isabel with a popsicle is ADORABLE!

  41. May 11, 2011 6:00 PM

    LMFAO!! Thank you for the Grimace illustration. That frigging killed me!!

    Also, sorry about the mono…

  42. May 18, 2011 10:08 AM

    oh man. i totally missed all this. glad to hear you’re on the up and up. that bee-otch completely ruined your immune system.

    holly’s mom had that weird thrush thing on her tongue. we made fun of her for it–but only a little. i’m sure girls in baltimore wouldn’t mind dating a girl w/mono. or thrush. even tho it’s “the city that reads” i don’t think anyone actually reads here (even wikipedia) so they wouldn’t even care.

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