Dealing with Mono

It’s 4:30am and I’ve been up for nearly two hours trying to fall back asleep. Welcome to my new life.

I’m 34 and I have mono. Again. And the symptoms are much worse than when I had it in college.

Sure, many people make fun of mononucleosis by calling it the “kissing disease” but it’s nothing to laugh at.

  • I’ve had a low-grade fever every day for the past three weeks. Every. Day.
  • Slight nausea started before the fever and was extremely intense while on antibiotics.
  • I’ve been on Amoxicillin, Azithromycin and even Rocephin via IV infusion. None of the antibiotics helped.
  • My tonsils were so inflamed that I had problems swallowing and breathing.
  • I just finished a course of Prednisone, which should have reduced my swollen tonsils but it’s still painful to swallow.
  • I had migraines from a severe sensitivity to light.
  • I still get horrible headaches if I’m awake for more than 4 hours at a time.
  • I’m taking 3-5 naps throughout the day. The fatigue is unbearable.
  • It takes me nearly an hour to fall asleep each time.
  • I’m much weaker. My arms constantly ache, especially when trying to sleep.
  • Gatorade is the base of most meals. A loss of appetite has resulted in forcing meals in between naps.

Now the good news:

  • The swelling in my lymph nodes is finally starting to reduce a little.
  • My eyelids are no longer swollen.
  • The white patches on my tonsils have drastically decreased from the Prednisone.
  • My thermostat is set 2-3 degrees cooler than normal, which hopefully will be reflected in my NISPCO bill.
  • I’ve had a few days without nausea.

Yes, the list is short but not dealing with nausea on a daily basis is a HUGE plus for me.

Many sites say that the major symptoms last for 2-4 weeks, longer for older adults. It’s been 4 weeks since the fever started but I’ve only dealt with extreme fatigue and strep-like throat for 2 weeks. The fatigue seems to be getting worse so I’m hoping that things will turn around soon.

The physical symptoms are bad but the worst part for me is all the frustration that comes with the disease. I’m not big on watching tv and I get bored with movies. I’ll sometimes play on Pinterest while “watching” tv but that’s the extent of my online life now. For someone who built her professional credibility on twitter and in Facebook groups, it’s sad to see this decline but I just don’t have the energy to maintain it now. And for future reference, jokingly referring to mono as the “kissing disease” to those infected only makes things worse. I’m exhausted, irritable and frustrated. Please tread lightly.


  1. Katie Cook

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. It sounds like a tough illness to bear. I am glad that you are trying to be positive. You’re right, a lower utility bill may cheer you up a little. 🙂
    I (and the other tourism geeks) are here for you whenever you want to share/unload.

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