Beware; Mono is out there!


| 4 Comments

Recently I went to health services and found out that I have what is called Mononucleosis. Most people know it as Mono or the Kissing Disease. From personal experience so far I will tell you that it freaking sucksssss.

          sick.jpg

Mono is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It can cause fever, sore throat, swollen lympnodes, fatigue, headache, enlarged spleen, cough, and just overall muscle aches, pain, and stiffness. The cough is terrible sounding and annoying. The swollen glands are painful and huge and you can feel all these weird lumps on your neck. The headache is ridiculous and is consistent for days on end. The fatigue is no joke. You can barely stay awake (I've missed a week of classes because I can't even stay awake during the day). You just feel completely weak.

                     lymphnodes.jpg

If you have these symptoms see a doctor right away. I first made my appointment because I noticed a huge painful lump on my neck. When I got to the doctor and described my symptoms they knew immediately. They did a strep test and blood work and within 10 minutes they knew they were right.

The worst part they could have said was that there is nothing they could do for me. You have to let mono go away on its own and it'll take about 4-6 WEEKS! However if you have an extremely severe case they may give you steroids to reduce some pain. They gave me penicillin for the strep which is common with mono. Secondary infection is common because your immune system is already busy trying to fight the mono.

The fever drops within about 10 days, but the swollen spleen can take up to 4 weeks to heal. Because your spleen is enlarged, you cannot work out, consume alcohol, or play contact sports. All of these things can cause your spleen to rupture which can be seriously dangerous to your health. The only way you can tell your spleen is swollen is just some discomfort you feel in your side.

Luckily mono is not contagious like the common cold is. To catch mono you have to come in contact with the saliva or bodily fluids of someone who has it. This is why it is called the Kissing Disease because it is most commonly contracted from kissing or sharing a drink or utensils or anything that transfers saliva. This is also why it is most common among college students.

Once you recover from mono the symptoms will be gone forever, but you will always carry the virus. The virus can become active every now and then without causing any symptoms. But when the virus is active you can spread it without knowing it.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001617/

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/infectious-mononucleosis-topic-overview

4 Comments

I feel very, very bad for you! I had mono my sophomore year of high school and it was the worst thing ever. I had a realllly bad case and almost had to be hospitalized! I missed school for more than a month! So... I feel your pain! Another thing to be careful about that you did not mention is your liver. Mono usually only mildly affects your liver, but sometimes it causes people to develop jaundice because of an increase of the liver's bile protein in the blood. In extremely rare cases, the liver can even fail. Also, depending on how serious someone's case is, they might not get any symptoms besides tiredness and fatigue. When I had mono, my friend had it as well. She was just tired but could walk around, eat, and go to school perfectly fine. For me, I could barely get out of bed and my mom had to force food down my throat... It hurt so badly to swallow and I was too tired to even chew! I had strep throat while I had mono too, I never knew why until this blog post! It makes sense now. It sounds like you have a bad case like I did. Feel better!


http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-mononucleosis-basics

Fortunately for me, I have never experienced this myself, but I hope you feel better. However, a few of my close friends have had it. One of them had to be hospitalized because of how severe it was. He literally thought he was going to die. His mom was out of town and was crying for her for hours on end. Being around someone with mono is one of the most helpless feelings you can experience because there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. By no means does it look like a good time and I don't want anything to do with it.

Check out this video I found. I uses animations and cartoon clips to help describe mono. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boQpx7L5zxg

This is interesting for me to read because I got mono when I was a freshman here. Unlike you, though, my mono was very and I barely even felt it! I went to the health center because I noticed my glands were huge, and when they told me I had mono I freaked out. From hearing others' stories, I was expecting my sickness to get terrible. Surprisingly, though, I continued to feel almost fine. I didn't have to miss class or anything. The only real problem was that my glands looked like golf balls and I had strep throat as well. Other than that I never really felt that sick and i wondered if they misdiagnosed me. I researched mild forms of mono and found this article. Under the symtoms section it states, "mononucleosis symptoms may be nonexistent or so mild that most people are not even aware of their illness." I guess I was one of the lucky ones that wasn't stuck in bed for weeks because of the symptoms. However it is a bit scary to think that people can be walking around with this sickness and not even know it.

Source: http://www.headandneckcenter.com/articles/mononucleosis.cfm

Wow, I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this! Right from high school I've always learned about mono and have been terrified to catch the disease. I find it so weird that you only suffer from the symptoms one time and then never again. That is both good and bad because either way you're still carrying the disease, so I guess one cant celebrate too much. What are the chances of catching mono on a typical college campus? Hope you get better soon!

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