Terrible brain fog, memory/learning problems, emotional emptiness post Mono/Glandular Fever

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Hey folks,

So I came down with what I now know was glandular fever in the middle of August of this year. I was suffering all the typical symptoms (incredible fatigue, fever, night sweats, nausea, headaches, huge lymph nodes). I thought it was just your typical flu and didn't give myself much rest as I was working two jobs and just about to start college and didn't want to let being sick get in the way of my first few weeks of being a fresher! Eventually I crashed with this debilitating brain fog, stoned, spaced out feeling where I couldn't focus on anything or hold onto a train of thought, I also started to feel numbness and tingling in my left arm and feet. So eventually I caved, visited the doctor and was diagnoised with mono. Took a week off and headed home to get some rest and one by one all my symptoms disappeared except for this brain fog which at this stage is pretty much constant thoughout the day and I still get occasional numbness and tingling along with slight arm tremors. 

Basically I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this and recovered? And if so what steps did they follow if any to get better? No doctors seem to be able to understand what is going on and I've had both an MRI and a lumbar puncture to rule out brain tumors, encephaltis, MS etc. I've gone from being an active person who used to run and go to the gym 5 days a week, loved socialising with friends and studying to being reduced to a recluse who has no interest in anything, stays in his room most of the day and no longer goes out at night with friends. At the moment I feel like a shadow of the person I once was, like my personality has been zapped from me.

Apologies for rambling but this brain fog has made it difficult to add any structure to what I'm trying to say hahaha!

Any help would be greatly appricated! 

Mind yerselves guys!

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear your having such a hard time

    Brain fog is the worst feeling

    My sugestion would to

    1. Keep hydrated

    2. Take a good probiotic or see a naturopath. I did and that was a turning point for me

    3. Do some form of gentle exercise eg stretching meditatation, walking. everyday

    Its fine line between doing enough and doing too much energy expenditure through out your day. The important thing is to start slow say 10 minutes a day

    I usually knew Id done too much because the next morning Id wake up with a massive headache and deffinately a feeling like I had not slept at all. Even tho I couldve slept anything up to 12hrs a night

    4. Eat healthy and I couldnt tolerate any alcohol. So be mindful of that

    5. Bonus is that you sound young and fit until this virus hit you

    So hopefully you'll recover easily in a short amount of time.

    Yes unfortunately it is a time thing

    It took me at least 2 yrs before I felt human again. It is now 5 yrs on and every now and then Ill have a bad day and yes it still starts with a headache ...

    6. Stress and worry are a waste of the precious energy you have so little of

    So breathe relax and give your body the best possible conditions to rid its self of this virus ?

    These are all the things I learnt along my journey. I suffered terribly for the 1st year before I put these things into practice

    Which is why I believe it took so long to feel human again

    Wishing you all the best in your recovery eoghan68808

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    • Posted

      Hey Oceangirl, thanks very much for the detailed. positive and practical advise! I'm doing alot of that stuff at the moment (Drinking well over 2 litres of water a day, eating lots of fruit and veg and trying to cut out sugar biggrin And I can feel these things helping my energy levels (which are pretty much back to normal) so I know they're working to an extent, unfortunately they're not helping the brain fog rolleyes I was never one to worry or overthink things but at the moment I can't help but feel that there's some sort of irriversible brain damage done or something, as in my cognitive skills seem to be deminished to that of a 5 year old >sad Anyway I can only hope that it's a time thing as you say, which isn't ideal as I'll probably have to drop out of my college course (I'm studying maths, which isn't really compatable with brain fog lol) but as long as it means getting back to myself then so be it! 

      Thanks again for the reply, I really appricate it and I'm glad to hear you're feeling much better!

      Best wishes!

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    • Posted

      Your description of the brain fog is very common for many of us who have posted here.  It is almost impossible to describe the empty feeding I have in my mind and add to that the anxiety I feel in all social situations.  I also prefer to stay home and I only socialize with my immediate family and even then it is sometimes too much for me to handle.    This is a nasty virus with many weird symptoms that come and go which doctors cannot explain.    However, I do encourage you to keep in contact with your doctor to make sure that you do not develop any of the complications of mono.  

      The way that I am handling this illness is with a good diet--lots of fruits and vegetables and clean meats, no alcohol, vitamins, CoQ10 that my doctor recommended and I try to find something everyday that is funny because laughter is the best medicine.  I also go outside everyday and walk around my large backyard doing deep breathing and noticing nature and taking care of my 6 chickens.  This is my way to help with the anxiety and depression I feel.  I also try to read uplifting books, although sometimes my brain cannot read well enough to enjoy it.

      when my Dad was 71 years old he had mono and he has fully recovered, so I am sure that I will also.  Right now I fluctuate between 50 and 80% of my normal energy level.  Unfortunately, I cannot predict what day I will feel what or what activities will put me into a mini mono relapse.  

      So my mantra is slowly but surely, I will get well!!!!!

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    • Posted

      Hey Mono1996

      Your very welcome

      Glad to hear your already doing most of my suggestions.Good on you

      Deffinately brain fog would make doing maths difficult

      I found it difficult doing the simplest of things that I knew how to do with my eyes closed. Let alone learn anything new....

      Seriously think about a probiotic or a naturopath They say the gut is the second brain. So yeah to say you have irreversible brain damage, could be very true ...lol

      Virues tend to live in the gut so Ive heard

      Do some research into the mind, gut connection and chronic fatique. My mono was diagnosed as chronic fatique after 6mths

      I read later that is believed that the mono virus affects the part of the brain that controls sleep thats why we get fatique symptoms

      Just be mindful of everything you do uses energy eating breathing sleeping let alone everything else life, deals us everyday

      Glad to hear you energy levels feel up to normal levels

      The important thing is to go slowly, you dont want to rush head long into full on life you led before and end up right back where you were or worse. Keep a diary of everything you do and eat

      It'll help to you to understand your own body and what you can and cant do

      Wishing you all the best

      Happy researching ??

      Gotta be easy than maths

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  • Posted

    Hi smile

    I had am experience similar to yours where I ignored it and ignored it. I've been left with symptoms 19 months later and although they differ slightly to yours- the residing symptoms I still have are pain through all of my muscles and a persistent sore throat/ headache/flu that is brought on after doing too much- I did have the brain fog, forgetfulness and tingling in my muscles in the first stage . I've finally been diagnosed with ME which can be as a result of glandular fever and I'm currently starting treatment and therepy to calm the symptoms.

    It might be worth you asking about something like a post viral fatigue type illness? If you get the right treatment now you may prevent it from turning into chronic fatigue/ ME later on. It is very common to contract fatigue type illnesses after a virus like glandular fever and your symptoms do sound quite similar to my initial ones.

    If it were me and I could redo my experience again I would have gone to the doctors as soon as the symptoms arrived and I'd have insisted I be signed off for a month. I would then have rested all day and only done short walks to keep fit. I think that way I would have nipped the ME in the bud. As it is, I've struggled through and caused myself much more harm. I urge you to take the rest now before you make your symptoms worse ! It will be frustrating at the time but may well stop it from progressing further.

    Hope that helps smile

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    • Posted

      Hey Gerbear,

      ME is another name for what they call Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A lot of doctors will simply write off people with glandular fever as having or going into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome if they don't recover within a few months, but I would most definitely refute this because my experience and the experience of many on here is that it can take a good while for people to fully recover from glandular fever and in no way does it mean ME or anything like that for the vast majority of people who take a bit longer to recover. Hope you are managing okay and having a good day.

      Craig

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  • Posted

    Hey there,

    I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing that horrible brain fog!! I had the exact same and I too was just about to start freshers (but had to take a year out of dance college) so know how hard it is not to be active!

    I was diagnosed in June and still have incredible amounts of fatigue body aches and pains tingling and all sorts but I can slowly notice I'm doing more in the day than in the summer.

    My brain fogginess started to subside in September! So had it too for around 3/4 months really badly, I couldn't hold a conversation either. I also thought all the colours I saw were really vivid? So strange hah. I don't really experience it now apart from when I'm reaaaally tired. My advice would be not to panic and that this is all part of the process and although I'm no where near recovered I'm happy I'm starting to see some tiny improvements. Our active lives will come back!! I'd say rest as much as possible and do what makes you happy (without tiring yourself!)

    Hope that helped, probably didn't!!

    Georgie smile

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    • Posted

      Hey Georgie!

      It's good to hear from someone who's is in the same situation as me regarding college etc. So you're brain fog has pretty much disappeared yeah? That's very encouraging to hear because at the minute although I'm trying to stay positve it's very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as in I can't remember what it feels like to be normal anymore O.o ! I mean stuff that I would have been able to do with my eyes closed in school have become a near impossible task at the moment, and it's not because of fatigue because my energy levels have been normal for a few weeks! Just curious as to how the brain fog mannifested itself with you? 

      Delighted to hear that you're starting to feel better! Can't wait for the day when we're able to look back on these forums and laugh!

      All the best! smile

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    • Posted

      Hey!

      Yeah I think no time is a good time to get this illness but I feel like everyone around us is starting new beginnings and it's upsetting to think that used to be and could be you and you have no idea when that will be you again (not sure that made sense ha) You're very lucky your fatigue has gone physically! So you have to look at that as a big positive! Yeah it's mostly gone and I only ever experience it when I'm absolutely shattered. I'm so completely with you on that one. I'm still in quite a lot of pain in my body and I used dance for 7 hours easy!! But yes in the summer my brain fog wouldn't allow me to even watch a programme for too long or read or have a conversation so I really sympathise with you. I would feel like I wasn't in the room, like a drunken weird high state haha. I'd tell my friends and they would say that sounds great but it's so so not haha!! I got quite depressed about it and still have bad days now but you really have to stay positive!

      I literally cannot wait for that day!! It does upset me though as I start to feel great some days then come crashing others but I guess that's part of the process.

      Hang on in there!! smile x

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    • Posted

      Georgie your words are very inspirational - it shows me how good at person you are that despite struggling yourself at the moment you are taking the time to come on here and write words of encouragement for others - you are a treasure and we all care about you and want you to be well again soon, and I for one believe you will be smile

      Craig

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    • Posted

      That day will come Mono when you will be able to look back at the Forums and feel relief because you feel much better again - it's a painful and emotional experience to go through at the time but there is recovery, I think everyone who goes through it doubts that at times and feels like their body will never be strong or resilient again - but the body has marvellous powers of recovery and eventually gets on top of the virus, so try not to worry and just be patient, very hard and frustrating as that is I know!!

      Take care

      Craig

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    • Posted

      Hey Georgie!

      Just checking in to see how you've been holding up? I've some good news! As of earlier this week my brain fog has almost completely lifted, over night!! The past few days I feel like a new man compared to how I've been over the last couple of months. Although I still get the odd headache from time to time and my body isn't in the best shape physically because I haven't exercised for so long I can't get over how dramatically quick things have turned around! Just goes to show for anyone reading that this horrible virus can be overcome smile Right now I'm focused on trying to somehow catch up on 12 weeks of college work and pass my christmas college exams and then trying to get my fitness back for the new year! I genuinely hope you're seeing some improvement too, your words really helped when I was at a low point!

      Best wishes smile x

      Eoghan

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    • Posted

      Hi Eoghan!! 

      I'm so so terribly sorry about not replying sooner I'm not sure what has happened to my notifications?! I am unbelieveably happy for you!!! This is absolutely amazing. I'm so pleased that you're able to function and live life normally. I am beyond pleased for you (although that is a lot of work!!). Yes I completely understand that lack of fitness espeically as a dancer haha. Honestly, don't thank me. I've been improving so so much over the past month or so energy wise however I was told I have tonsillitis and the antibiotics have completely knocked me back which is so upsetting as I was doing so well now it feels like square 1 again. But thank you so much for asking and I really appreciate you letting us know that recovery is imminent! 

      Many many thanks,

      Happy New Year too!!

      Georgie x

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    • Posted

      Hahaha that's so weird, around christmas time I was put on antibiotics too for a chest infection, which knocked me back off me feet for around two weeks again! I'm beginning to come around again though! Guess our immune systems are basically non excistent at this stage haha!

      Same to you, keep your recovery going! smile

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    • Posted

      Hang in there Mono, hoping you are feeling better, it's so true that flu's or colds or other infections can floor you so much harder when you have glandular fever / mono. Remember your body is resilient though and has the fight to beat it - but it requires respect and patient, plenty of rest and reduction of stress - all key! Thinking about you and believing in your recovery.

      Craig

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