Tales from the Crypt

As a child, I was enamored with the the writings of both Dickens and Poe. Both wrote of the plights of orphans, hardships and bizarre circumstances that I could relate to. Little did I know that my life would play out a strange tale in itself. It all depends upon one’s perspective, doesn’t it?

For instance, in the Poe story, The Fall of the House of Usher, the hero has a strange affliction of deterioration and spent nerves that described perfectly the Epstein-Barr syndrome I had for a few years. This disease that attacked me came from nowhere and left me weak for months. Even though the current opinion of doctors was that no one could get Mononucleosis twice, I believe in fact that I had long sessions of it 3 or 4 times. Severely ill and weak for months impacted my life greatly. My doctor was currently on the famous CDC staff in Atlanta. The CDC was the authority on germs, illness and physical diseases. But what I had, they didn’t, know. Dr. Carlos said that he was unsure of what sort of virus I had. It mimicked Epstein-Barr, but he was not 100 % certain. He said that the reason he was unsure was due to the fact that viruses mutated so rapidly that it was hard to determine what it was.

“Huh?” I thought, “He is the authority?”

It really didn’t matter too much since there was no “cure.” I had to out live it.

Life was miserable for many months. Every little sound grated on my nerves. I was weak and had no energy. There was no strength to do the most simple tasks, much less take ballet class. Physically weak, I somehow continued to teach ballet and struggle through. In the end, I outlived it.