To me, it feels like the Olympics were just here. Then, just to add in a cliche, it also feels like a lifetime ago – my life has changed a lot in the past four years.
Four years ago, I was in my last semester of my Anthropology degree, when I wound up at the doctors with a really sore throat. I thought “Oh bugger, not tonsillitis” … Nope. Glandular Fever. Or Mono, as many North Americans know it as. (Or its medical name, Infectious Mononucleosis.)
Of course, this had to happen in a semester where I was taking additional subjects so I could graduate faster.
The first three to seven days were by far the worst. If I thought having tonsillitis in the past was bad, it was nothing compared to the pain I was in with Glandular Fever. My throat was so sore & felt so raw that drinking water was difficult because of how much it hurt to swallow. I was going back & forth to the doctor a lot during this time for blood tests to confirm and monitor my organ functions (complications can arise during the early stages of the disease) and on one visit I was informed that if I had even the slightest amount more trouble swallowing I was to check myself immediately into hospital. That’s how serious the dehydration risk was. More to the point, that’s how sore my throat was!!
Luckily it didn’t come to that. The antibiotics for the throat infection started to kick in. However, in those first few days before the antibiotics started working, I was in a lot of pain and on a lot of painkillers, not to mention being dopey due to being unable to eat and barely able to drink.
One of my strangest and strongest memories is sitting alone in my living room, wrapped up in a blanket, very late at night (or possibly very early in the morning!), possibly very high on painkillers, absolutely fascinated by the canoe slalom event!
I think it was the rushing whitewater that interested my drugged mind. It’s not the kind of sport that Australia has an entry in usually, so I think that was why it was on late at night. As we come up to the next Olympics, I’m curious to watch the canoe slalom again – just to see if it’s an interesting sport or if my drugged mind was just entertaining me while I was in a world of pain.