Growing up can be pretty tough at times…

With your brain & body going through all its gyrations, growing & developing was difficult enough, but being susceptible to all those sicknesses really sucked.

Being sick is pretty terrible. Your entire consciousness centers around the illness & hope quickly you’re able to get it out of your system.

(Pls note: I have the greatest respect in the world for those people saddled with serious illnesses & diseases…and my heart literally breaks when they’re children.

Here, I’m just referring to “normal stuff” & would never, ever minimize the things that other people are going through.

My wife died of cancer & I have a number of incurable conditions myself, so I can closely relate.)

When I was a freshman at Xaverian HS in Brooklyn (along with Regis HS in Manhattan, one of the 2 highest-rating high schools in NY!), I came down with strep throat.

That, in & of itself, wasn’t a big surprise as I would get strep throat almost EVERY year since I was born.

The sore throat & accompanying fever weren’t any fun at all.

But I also had a bad molar that developed an abscess. It swelled up half my face & hurt like hell!

Oh, yeah, my wisdom teeth were coming out, too! One on each side which made it impossible to close my mouth all the way.

And to top it all off, I had a very bad case of Herpes Simplex II, the non-VD variety but probably (I’ve never had the “other one”!) just as bad & as painful. I had sores all over my lips, my tongue, the inside of my mouth & down my throat!

Strep throat, abscessed tooth, wisdom teeth & Herpes Simplex II… ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!

Never was there a more miserable human being than me during those 2 weeks

The fact that I couldn’t even close my mouth entirely did not help with all the sores & blisters not being lubricated.

I was unable to speak (but I could moan). My Mom even gave me this small bell to ring when I needed here. I felt so bad for her that I tried to use it as sparingly as possible.

I was taking plenty of medication, including this Keflex, a relatively-new & powerful antibiotic prescribed by our family doctor, Dr. Taglianetti (a personal friend of my parents, though I’m not sure which occurred first…their friendship of him being a doctor). It really didn’t matter as he still made house calls for me!

Everything was so bad & so incredible painful that I hadda swallow a bunch of Xylocaine, a numbing agent, just so that I could swallow my pills & medicines!!!

It would numb my throat so I could swallow without excruciating pain.

Man, I was so miserable! Couldn’t wait for it to be over…the illnesses or my life, whichever came first!

After 2 weeks, everything seemed to leave my system simultaneously.

I had lost almost 20 pounds & went from “husky” to “lean & mean”!

But never again! I was so happy to return to school & pick up on all my sports again!

Though, to this day, I’m still not sure that it didn’t somehow affect my brain in a negative manner…

Thank you for listening!

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