While She Was Homecoming....

...apparently Kika was sick.

She had been complaining of not feeling well for about a month now
"I think I have West Nile virus," said she.
I blamed her low energy on poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, excessive Iphone viewing, etc.
I even blamed the Pope for her lethargy,  as she he had gone with a group from school to see him in Philadelphia a few weekends ago.
Steadfast I was in parenting her with consistency and firmness that last week, I even forced her to run with me.
Amazingly enough, despite her malaise--I could not keep up with her.  (I tried until my lips turned numb.)

Anyhow, when she woke up last Thursday, her sore throat was worse. I finally decided to take her to the doctor. After all the blood work, it has been determined that she is on the tail end of Mono. 
                                                       Photo taken in the Key West Cemetery.

I guess she was sick. There goes that Mother of the Year award again.


I never heard of mono until I moved to the States and got it. I was 28 years old.
In fact, when I told my sister Karen (who lives in Manila) about Kika getting mono, she too, did not know what it was. (I guarantee most Filipinos have not heard of it)

Upon further research,
"Most people are exposed to the virus as children, when the disease produces no noticeable or only flu-like symptoms. In developing countries, people are exposed to the virus in early childhood more often than in developed countries. As a result, the disease in its observable form is more common in developed countries."
-From the internet

So in short, mono is a 'developed country' illness.
Just another perk depending on how you look at it.

Speaking of first-world illness,  I was re-reading a book recently called The Untethered Soul.
I like this book.  This book speaks to me clearly.
Anyway in this book, the author, Michael Singer speaks about how from an evolutionary stand point, humans from long ago had to struggle with protecting oneself. In today's highly evolved cooperative social structures, this survival instinct has gone through some changes. So he points out that people that do not not have to worry about lack of food, water, clothing or shelter--nor fear life threatening danger--have switched their protective energies on defending the "psychological threats."
Simply put, people that do not have to worry about basic human needs tend to have time to wrestle with inner fears, insecurities and destructive behavior patterns.
(most women from the poorest barrios of the Philippines, Haiti and Kenya are not obsessing about whether a skirt they have on makes them look heavy...)

Am I saying that mental illness, like mono, is not a third world illness?
Not at all.  Perhaps lack of resources leaves many cases undiagnosed or unexposed.
Plus, I will not pretend that I have done any extensive study on the correlation  between mental illness and socio-economic status.
But there is something to be said about how a simple and uncomplicated life might spare the mind from mental torment.
And considering that Kika is feeling extremely affected by the suicide of her friend's dad yesterday,
mental health is very much on my mind today.

Be well.