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It has been about one year since I became ill with mono. I wanted to post a one year update to hopefully encourage and show those that are struggling that it DOES get better!
In late February 2018 I got what I thought was the flu. It was the worst "flu" I ever experienced. Starting in March 2018 I had sudden bouts of anxiety. I was not worried or stressed about anything. I would be sitting on my bed relaxing, doing homework, etc, and suddenly my heart would start beating fast and I would feel anxious. For a while this only happened occasionally. I thought nothing of it. Then, slowly, it got worse and worse until I felt anxious at all times. The only way that I can really explain it is that in my mind I was not worried, but my body felt tense all the time and was in a constant state of fight or flight. I could not calm the sensation down no matter what I tried.
Finally, in May, after enduring two months of the anxiety for seemingly no reason, I really fell ill. I had a panic attack one day and did not go back to school after that. The worst of the physical symptoms seemed to materialize in a matter of a couple days. I got suddenly very weak, dizzy, had immense brain fog, lost my appetite, felt very unbalanced, had even more anxiety because of the scary physical symptoms. I stayed in bed all day. I was very sleepy, slept until lunch every day, and could only muster up the energy to even shower every couple days. May and June were the worst months, luckily I have an amazing family who was there with me every step of the way. For those two months they encouraged me to go outside and walk, even if it was a little. I would go to the park and walk maybe 50 steps to go sit down on a bench by the water. Even though I felt horrible, this boosted my morale a little. At times I would get weird new symptoms popping up. Things like a weird tingly sensation on one side of my face and forehead or heartburn after eating diary. Some of these would only last for a week and then go away, but the weakness and dizziness were the most persistent symptoms.
Little by little, I could walk more and more. I was able to hang out with my friends for two hours by the beach in July. I went to my sister's wedding in August. It was in our backyard but I had enough energy to talk to the guests and actually enjoy myself. I also went for a short vacation in August and was able to walk quite a bit more than usual. Finally, by the time my birthday came around towards the end of august I had enough energy to invite my friends over to celebrate. I could do things around the house like taking out dishes, and I actually had the energy to dress up, make my bed, do normal things that I hadn't done for ages.
I went back to school in September for my senior year of Highschool. At that point I was feeling better but still pretty crappy about half the time. It was hard to get up in the morning, I was still extremely sleepy and dizzy. Luckily, I got through it. I had to take some days off during the fall semester, but I can say that it only went uphill from there. When Christmas break rolled around, I was able to go skiing for a couple hours. I was also able to take a snowboard lesson and do some snowshoeing with my family. After these activities I would have to rest for a couple days and regain some energy, but I was pretty glad to get out.
everything between the Christmas break and now has been pretty normal. Yeah, I still get sleepy, I still feel a little wobbly sometimes, but overall I don't even think about feeling unwell anymore and thats because I don't. I think I feel 90% better by now, and I am able to enjoy the warm spring weather and pretty much lead a normal life again.
One other note - this whole time I not only suffered from physical symptoms but also felt quite depressed most of the time. Even after the worst months in the summer, a strange feeling of depression lingered, even as I was getting better. It has only recently subsided. So for those of you struggling, know that you are not alone. It's so hard to really describe the horrors of this virus, I could have gone on for much longer and in much more detail, but that isn't the point. These symptoms and feelings suck, but it won't be forever. It takes time and it takes patience to recover from this, but all of you who are going through it will be stronger for it. If anyone has any questions about symptoms, please feel free to ask me! Knowing that someone went through the same thing as you is very reassuring and I know the forum really helped me with that. Anyways, thank you for those of you who took the time to read all of that.
Hang in there everyone,
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