Oddly enough, the roof on my house got new shingles the same time I was suffering with shingles of my own. And suffering with a capital “S.”
Donning a multi-colored striped turtleneck to hide, somewhat, my itchy blistered-from-shingles neck, I self-consciously strode into high school as a junior on a steamy hot June ’01 Saturday to take my ACT test.
Weeks later I learned I scored a 27 out of a possible 36. However, only minutes after the 4-hour exam, I had to uphold my end of the agreement I made with my doctor and allow myself to be admitted into the hospital for 8 days. The reason? Fiercely committed to my schoolwork, I refused to enter the hospital – I even had to sign a hospital waiver declaring that I was aware of the potentially harmful health-related consequences of my actions with the serious illness – beforehand on the grounds that I knew I’d never be more mentally prepared to take the test than I was right then.