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Hello people of the forum, my name is Nick and it has been 18 months since I started feeling unwell, and 15 months since I got a mono diagnosis. I figure its as good a time as any to give an update as to how things are for me.
Quick back story for people who haven't seen me post, I'm a 28 year old male with a history of allergies and asthma but otherwise quite athletic and energetic. Started feeling a little lower energy summer of 2017, and in August had a period where my heart raced and felt faint coming in to work one day. Developed a sore throat, periods of dizziness, and feeling sped up/"taxed". Missed a few days of work but nothing major. In early November, things were still bad and I was worried what was going on with me. Got all the tests done, even wore a holter device to check my heart rhythms for a week. Heart has always shown up to be healthy on the tests throughout. I suggested it might be mono, they finally tested me for it, and lo and behold I had the Igm positive for recent infection. I got a week off work and several more of reduced hours. November/December of 2017 I felt my worst, and was at my most stressed.
2018, my symptoms waxed and waned at different times. I felt like I was close to full health around June, and proceeded to push things quite hard with a lot of physical activity and travel, which I believe coupled with the summer heat, caused me to have a bit of a relapse and have some weeks of feeling unwell. Also, in October 2018, I seemed to get pretty run down feeling again and actually missed about 5 days of work, but fortunately felt better and got back into things.
Since then, my health has been more steady. I still get taxed/winded more easily than I did before, but it varies on the day. I still get a scratchy throat at times during some days. My allergies seem to have gotten a little more sensitive to indoor allergens. I will occasionally feel periods of spaciness, mild anxiety, and malaise, especially if I overdo exercise, but its not all the time and my fiance always reassures me I complain about these things less frequently.
At my worst back in Winter 2017, I had symptoms of periodic heart racing, sore throat, waking up in the middle of the night with a feeling of malaise and dread, random abdomen and chest pains, thirst, dizziness, sensitivity to sounds, and this feeling of a pulsing in my body, especially in my chest and throat, easily developing canker sores in the mouth.
Nowadays my sleep is much better, I don't wake up feeling ill in the night, maybe just a couple times in the last 6 months, and nothing like back in 2017. Heart racing episodes haven't happened in a number of months. Dizziness/malaise type feelings are more uncommon and usually only last for a couple minutes when they occur. My anxiety is way better, I've realized how many people suffer for over a year with this type of thing, and I know I'm not getting any worse, so I keep a good outlook as much as I can. The body pulsing at night is way less, I've always pictured the pulsing as some colony of mono bugs living in me and going active at night. Anyone feel body pulsing like that around their throat/chest? Anyways, things are good overall. I'd rate myself as about 85% better or something like that. Some days I feel pretty much perfect, some days I have to take it easy.
Here's a few things I accomplished over the last year despite being hindered by this virus.
I got engaged.
I changed jobs from a job that was okay to a job doing something I really enjoy, which is teaching and coaching rock climbing.
I went on several climbing trips, and although my energy wasn't as consistent as it has been in previous years, I was still able to have a great time and overcame my fears of getting sick while traveling.
I worked 30 hours a week or more consistently all year except for one period in October where I missed five days.
Around Christmas, I took a trip to Guam to meet my fiance's extended family. Despite 14 hours of flying, a sleepless night in an airport, and all the stress of travel and adjusting to a way hotter climate, I made it, I was able to do active stuff almost the entire trip. There were times when I felt a bit overtaxed, but nothing bad came out of it all.
I mention those things to try and offer hope to people suffering currently. And I want to say that even if you're not back to 100%, I think its really valuable to try and engage with life and get back out there as best you can. On all the trips I took, I would have apprehension about committing to them, but now I'm glad I did all of them because they were great experiences even if I didn't always feel perfect the whole time. I realize my case of mono is a lot more mild than some of those suffering out there. When I say I get sick if I overdo exercise, that means overdoing difficult rock climbing. Most of my friends can't tell anything is ill with me, I appear very fit and healthy, but I know there's still something dogging me at times.
But still, I say this because I'd like to think there is a well of strength in us that we can draw from. If I always let my fears get the best of me, I would never have done some of the meaningful things I've done this year for fear of getting sicker. But I did, and am glad I did. So I hope that might be some food for thought for someone out there.
The things that have helped the most are going to sleep at a good time and not looking at screens before bed, eating foods you make at home, not packaged food or restaurant food, meditation, and being around good people and laughing and smiling. Sounds sappy but its so true. A good friend can make you feel so much better a moment after you felt meh. I believe I am continuing to heal. I have read many accounts of fellow athletes who got dogged by something like mono or just some fatigue period in their life that lasted a year, two years, three years, before disappearing in its own mysterious timing. Its crazy how many stories are out there!
Anyway, thanks for whoever read, I hope this can be a source of hope to some. Will probably write another update in another 6 months or so.
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