Salty’s F’in Mono Log – 6.8.16

Mono. F that shit. I’ll definitely be writing all the glorious details about mono in adulthood and how to handle running and stuff later. But in the meantime, let me throw somethings in a fit of rage and go into excruciating self-involved detail as I vent about the f’in bullshit that is the epstein-barr virus.

It’s the summer and here I am a couch potato. I haven’t run a step since May 23. Well, this morning I had to run about 100 meters from the door of my daughter’s camp to my car after my son who was waiting for me accidentally tripped the alarm by trying to open the door while it was locked. But anyway, here’s what’s been going on and how I hope things go.

So, mono in people over 25 is pretty rare. The older you are the weirder it is for you to have it. 90% of people have had it by age 40. When children get it, you often wouldn’t even know. It just seems like any other random virus. But when adolescents or adults get it, it is nasty. Often, the older you are when you get it, the worse it is. Greeeaaatt.

I wouldn’t know if my case is worse than anyone else’s, but hearing about people not knowing they have it until after it’s over, makes me think I had it pretty bad. I knew I was sick. I mean, I have never ever been that sick in my entire life. I cried I was in so much pain. I couldn’t get out of bed. I think my husband would have had to carry me out in case of a fire on the worst day. I mean, WTF?! So, let’s assume I had it bad.

Anyway, how it went was that for a couple of days May 15 and May 16, I felt like I had a cold. I blew it off and proceeded with my life as normal. By May 17, I was in bed with a fever and an insane sore throat, which lasted until May 19. The fever broke, and I felt better, but it seemed like a really bad case of strep throat. My whole family had symptoms of strep so we went to urgent care on May 20, where all 5 of us tested positive for strep. We all went on antibiotics and, even so, while the sharp soreness of strep abated, I felt, at best, the same, and as the days wore on, worse. By May 24, I was in a bad way and returned to urgent care where a rapid mono test came back negative. The doc decided I just had really bad strep and gave me a prescription for heavier antibiotics. I knew that wasn’t right. On May 25, a different doctor called me and told me the blood they sent to the lab for a more sensitive mono test, tested positive for epstein-barr, which is the virus that usually causes mono. Based on the results, it looked like I was about 2 weeks in and she advised me I had at least a month left to go. *cue sobs*

At my mono worse.
At my mono worse.

By the next day, I was completely bed-ridden and the pain intensified daily until it peaked about Saturday, May 28. Every day since then has been slightly better. Officially, once the pain is gone (it’s due to insanely swollen lymph nodes in the head and neck – seriously ew), I entered the convalescent stage, which is the long drawn out bullshit of feeling like an old lady for weeks. Lifting my 3 year old feels like lifting my 7.5 year old. I was walking kinda funny my legs were so weak. I get pooped out after a little activity. At first, I’d get pooped out by getting up and making toast. Now I can be up and about for about 4 hours of light activity before needing to rest for a couple of hours. I expect this to last at least another couple of weeks.

Running? Well, I’m not ready yet. But if I feel up to is, I plan to start short walks this week and might try to walk jog for 20-30 minutes to start next week and go from there. I hate it, but I think I’ll wear my heart rate monitor for a while and make sure I’m keeping the effort very light until I’m out of the woods. I feel like the earliest I can expect to be out of the woods is two months after the illness started, so mid-July. And that’s best case. But, I really don’t want to relapse or to prolong the convalescent stage to 3, 4, 5, 6 months or more. Yuck! I ain’t got time for that! Better to be safe now than sorry later :/

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. This is awful! I’m so sorry!! Is the diminished likelihood after 40 because adults are less susceptible to the virus? Or is it just a minimized chance of exposure thing?

    1. Most people (90%) get mono by the time their 40. You will only be sick from the Epstein Barr virus once in your life and after you develop immunity. I was just lucky to never have it before, I guess! I’m just glad I got it now and not while pregnant or trying to take care of a newborn!

  2. Seriously, what an unpredictable and awful way to spend the first half of the summer! : ( I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend, and I’m confident that you can be the champion of mono recovery! Also, it took me like DAYS to notice “monologue.”