Friday, April 21, 2006


There has been some discussion at my place of employment the last few days of the mumps outbreak in the Midwest. Everyone is generally perplexed about how people are getting that shit despite the MMR vaccination that everyone gets. I don't really have the answer to that, but I can say that I got a MMR shot when I was young (whatever age that is normally done) and then again before I began college and guess what? I got the fucking mumps. I blame the sister of my girlfriend at the time, but I won't get into all that theory here.

Freshman year in college wasn't exactly my most healthy time during my stay on this planet. There was a lot of poor nutrition mixed with cramped living quarters, booze, staying up late and getting up for early mornings rowing on the Hudson. I managed to get a lot of pink eye and strep throat and cooties, but the surprise was mumps. I mean, who the fuck gets mumps?

I had a crew race the Friday of Easter weekend against Manhattan and RPI, somewhere in the Harlem River. That morning, I thought I felt a little funky, but didn't really think it was anything to be concerned with. By the time we got down to NYC my throat was sore. Not like germ-based sore throat, more like I slept contorted sore. I still didn't care, as once this race was through, it was back home for a weekend of eating and sleeping to my heart's content. After not winning (as was so often the case) and getting in trouble for mooning a Circle Line boat full of tourists, it was back to school. My parents picked me up and home we were headed. My mother had been thoughtful enough to pick me up a sandwich from Subway. My mouth and the rest of me was so out of sorts by that point that I ate about two bites of my sandwich -- which is very unlike me, if you have ever seen me around food.

So, I get home and start to get very swollen and sore. I got to the doctor. Since I thought I might be dying, I just went to whatever doctor I could see instead of my usual guy. I got some old doctor who told me, "Yup, you've got mumps," as though it were something as common and unalarming as a blister or ingrown toenail. I wondered if maybe he didn't realize what year it was and the uncommon predicament I had found myself in. This shit hurts, makes me look funny and can lead to infertility (which at the time would have been nice, but probably not in the long term).

Anyway, there isn't a lot you can do about mumps other than sit around and occasionally stare in amazement in the mirror. So that's what I did. I wish I had taken a picture. My face was so bubbled out, I couldn't even see my ear lobes when I looked in the mirror because my swollen face was blocking the view.

So, that is my story. A pointless story, but a story nevertheless. I was one of 92 cases of mumps in New York State in 1992. Where were my headlines? Damn that Midwest ... always stealing my media spotlight.

1 comment:

Lozo said...

well, cheer up. you're going to be the only person in New York state in 2006 to contract an STD from a dog. sicko.