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Graduation ’85

June is the month for graduations, so I should do at least one post on the subject. But since there isn’t any grad’ ceremonies in my life right now, let me tell you about an old graduation.

I graduated from high school in 1985; I was 17 years old. I wasn’t feeling real well that day, but we (my family) went to the school ceremony anyway. My step-sister was in my graduating class, too. I felt awful by the end of the pomp, and when we all got home, we took my temperature. 103 degrees.

My mom took me to the doctor the next day. By then I was full on sick and dehydrated, so he sent me to the hospital. I had mononucleosis, or “mono,” or “kissing disease.” I spent the full week after my high school graduation in the hospital.

Funny now, but not so funny then, the main hospital was full so I was bedded in the pediatric wing. Although I didn’t appreciate it then, the peds wing is actually a pretty nice place to be hospitalized. The nurses seem to have a more happy demeanor, the colors are brighter and more cheerful, and Ronald McDonald came to visit one day.

My friends all came by often to hang out — we gabbed like normal, and even played some games, including a short session of Dungeons & Dragons. After the first couple of days, when the IV fluid had restored proper hydration, staying at the hospital was pretty cool. I didn’t have any chores to do — I didn’t even have to make my own bed. Although, I found being waited on for everything a bit uncomfortable — I didn’t particularly like having to sit in a chair and watch a nurse change the sheets on my bed when I felt perfectly capable of taking care of myself.

Although I would rather not have had to go through that illness, it did give me a mildly interesting story to tell about walking across my high school graduation stage with a 103 temperature.


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