As I write this, I am sick. Not as sick as I was from Wednesday-Monday, but still extremely ill. Feeling poorly is always inconvenient and difficult, but it’s even worse when the sickness takes you to the hospital and you’re alone. I started feeling under the weather around the beginning of last week as my lymph nodes started to swell and the back of my throat felt like broken shards of glass. I simply thought I had a terrible sore throat and continued spending the rest of my break home hiking and going out with my friends as often as I could. Ignoring my symptoms only made them worsen as my lymph nodes tripled in size, swelling my throat almost completely shut. I couldn’t swallow anything so I was constantly spitting and rejecting all food and water (even a mini chili plate and lilikoi juice from Zippy’s on my last night home) while forcing myself to tick off all boxes on my bucket list. I finally agreed to head to an Urgent Care facility at home a few hours before going to the airport. The doctors diagnosed me with pharyngitis after checking my throat and prescribed me amoxicillin pills. I begged my mom to fly to school with me as I continued feeling worse, but headed to Texas on my own. After my boss/friend Lo picked me up from the airport, I slept a few hours at her house and took my medicine before heading off to bed for the night. When I woke up in the early morning on Monday, my entire body was covered in hives, my throat was so swollen I couldn’t breathe, and my heart was racing so quickly I couldn’t stop panicking. Luckily, Lo took me to the Urgent Care nearby where they eventually transferred me to the ER because my symptoms had worsened. The doctors said I was so dehydrated I needed at least four bags of IV, steroids, and anti-inflammatory medicine to start healing. I had ultimately been diagnosed at home and didn’t have pharyngitis, but rather a terrible case of mono and the amoxicillin gave me an allergic reaction. I’m thankful that I wasn’t infected with an even more life-threatening illness as the misdiagnosis could have been worse. Thanks to the old gods and the new, my mom flew here to take care of me for the rest of the week. When I felt my worst on Monday, I was terrified and alone and only having my mom with me could have helped. I’m lucky that she’s here now to help and comfort me until I feel better. Hug your mom, friends, they truly are the greatest people of all.