Alright, so I’m going to start off by confessing that I am NOT a writer. I’m purely here to share my last decade of health experiences as well as a few fun travel adventures! With that being said, please don’t expect any fancy writing, it will simply be written how I talk 🙂 Second, this post is going to be long… if you don’t care about the background of my future posts then I’d invite you to skip these and wait for the fun stuff!
I’ll be writing these first few posts in “acts” to provide the background of my health crisis then I’ll get into more of what I’ve personally learned.
Alright, so everything started in January 2011. I had recently graduated from college. My body had been through hell and back. I slept very little, ate garbage (loads of carbs and sugar), drank so much caffeine I might as well have had an IV with coffee hooked up 24/7 and seemed to be a magnet for stress. College in a nutshell right? I was to start my full time job in the middle of March, but my body… well it had other plans. I woke up with a sore throat and generally felt like crap. After a trip to the doctor I was sent home with a diagnosis of strep throat and a prescription for amoxicillin. Later that evening I was covered in hives! I returned to the doctor who did one more test. It came back positive for Infectious Mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr Virus). I was already a bit delirious and didn’t think it was “all that bad”. I had no idea how it would change the course of my life forever (no dramatics I promise). I slept from Friday to Monday and ate very little. By Thursday I thought I was ok and headed to my college town 2.5 hours away for a friends birthday party. Why am I sharing this level of detail? Well, I wasn’t fine. I didn’t listen to my body. I woke up Friday with a head to toe rash that covered 90% of my body. It was on my scalp, the soles of my feet, my palms, my throat and worst of all in my ears! Q-tips became my best friend! No joke. Anyway, my face was so swollen that I couldn’t close my mouth. My wonderful, loving parents made the trek to come pick me up and take me home. Monday morning I was back at the doctor to have them take a look at the ugly rash. My younger PA brought in her senior physician to consult on the case. At first, his words, “I’ve never seen this in my 40 years of practice” didn’t bother me too much. Little did I know it would be a telling precursor for the next 7 years of my life. After that visit I stayed in bed for 2 months. I was to start my new job in Mid March but had to push back my start date as I could barely stand without passing out, I slept more hours of the day than I didn’t and I was so weak I could barely pick up my water glass to drink. My poor father was constantly harassing me to “drink more water” while I just vegged out the entire day binge watching tv. Sadly this was pre Netflix or at least my knowledge of it so day time television it was! I knew the prices almost down to the cent on the Price is Right.
Two months later I was hitting the gym trying to regain a bit of strength. My job was semi manual and required me to be on my feet most of the day, climbing stairs, lifting and such. So I started my job a month late and by month 3 my body was pissed. I had to rotate shifts (I worked in manufacturing) and my body rejected that 3rd shift (11PM – 7AM) switch! By the fall of 2011 I was still exhausted but it had lessened a bit, my rash was still covering my legs especially when I was in the heat or just getting out of the shower. I knew that after 8 months, I had not recovered. I visited the doctor and was told it could take over a year to fully recover… anyone else heard that before? Well, if you are in that same boat or currently are, I feel your pain! It sucked when someone dismissed something so personal. I mean this was affecting my entire life. I was doing everything I could to make a name for myself with my new job, start a social life in a new city and grow up all at once. Any one of those things are challenging on their own! Throw in “chronic mono” or whatever they called it and I was having one heck of a time. But no pity parties here… just the truth.
So fast forward to April 2012 – I’m still feeling tired and now my tonsils are filling with “gunk”. Nasty, semi hard, white crap. I’d use a q-tip and push them out… yeah I gagged.. a lot. It was gross. Anyway, back to the doctor I go (see a pattern yet?) and for the first time am told that I may be mildly depressed. Because you know, I’m sleeping a lot and don’t want to hang out and socialize with people… because I’m constantly tired! I’ll write a whole post on depression and my interaction with doctors and antidepressants so be sure to check that out later! So over the next couple of months the “gunk” in my tonsils continue to worsen and I finally see an ENT. He tells me I have Tonsil Stones and I could live with them (forever) or I could get my tonsils removed. So I decide to do the latter. All I will say is that I personally would not do that again. For many reasons. But my personal opinion is that my body was trying to tell me something and instead of listening to it I just cut out what I thought was the problem. It was not the answer for me. The exhaustion continued and I began to develop new symptoms but more on that in Act 2. Act 1 covers 2011 and 2012. Check back soon for 2013 and 2014! I wish you health and peace!
Disclaimer: The content of this site is purely my opinion and personal experience. I am not a doctor or healthcare professional. Nothing in this post and/or site is mean to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent disease. You should consult with your medical doctor or qualified licensed healthcare professional before making any changes to your healthcare regime.