Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mononucleosis and strep throat

So I've definitely been neglecting this blog. I have an excuse. Well, no, actually my excuse may not be acceptable to the blogging gods. The reason is a general sense of lethargy... and a case of mononucleosis with a pinch of strep throat.

It all started soon after July 4th. I just did not feel like my normal self, lacking energy and having bouts with extreme headaches defying rest and pain killers. This all lasted about a week. Then, strangely, I began to feel like I was bloated or "full" all the time even though I had not excessively eaten. I found this strange but nothing odd. Really.

One night I felt the need to take my temperature. Which I did. And discovered it was 101. This was the confirmation I needed that I was ill. I began to monitor my temperature on a regular basis. It fluctuated from 101 to 103 for about a week, when I decided it was time to go to the doctor. My theory regarding doctor's visits go like this: wait as long as possible to ascertain whether or not symptoms will magically go away by themselves. I was sticking to that philosophy. I made an appointment with my physician who asked many questions, then kept asking, "Do you have any other symptoms?"

I answered, "No."

He asked that same question about three times, then stated that he wanted to do a blood test to determine if what I had might be bacterial. He told me he was certain I had virus but wanted to do the blood draw to be sure. Of course I found it strange that my diagnosis was "a virus" which seemed awfully vague. I received a call later that day to confirm I had a virus.

So I went back to work and tried to power through my days. This did not work very well as the week seemed like an eternity. The fevers persisted. I stared having cold sweats. And then I got a sore throat. I scheduled another appointment at my doctor's office; since he was not in that day, the physician's assistant saw me. Immediately she postulated that I had mono. When I told her about feeling "full" she was almost certain. Apparently one of the symptoms of mono is an enlarged spleen and liver which pushes against other internal bodily matters. She ordered the mono test and it came back positive.

The saga does not end there.

I took off work to rest, eat well, and drink fluids. That is how mono is treated. For someone who doesn't take sickness well this was a doomed prognosis. I did the best I could to follow the course of action against this mono. Mono was winning. My throat became extremely irritated to the point that swallowing, eating, and practically breathing became torture.

As a whining sick person, I scheduled another appointment. Not with my doctor whom I was still perturbed with for his vague viral diagnosis. My PA was my go-to savior. She was nice, empathetic, and wanted to do her best to make me comfortable. I joked that I'm not a good sick person. She said her husband isn't either. She basically said guys are wussies. Well, she didn't really say that, but essentially that is what she told me. I didn't care, because she was still being nice and sympathetic. She checked out the white grossness that was canvasing my entire throat and decided to run a strep test. If that didn't come back positive she wanted to take a culture to be definite I was okay. At that point I decided I was going to schedule all appointments with this PA. I became more disgruntled against my doctor who apparently didn't care to be as thorough as her.

The PA walked into the exam room. "You're falling apart," she stated. The throat culture was not needed. I also had strep.

I left the office with an antibiotic prescription and what the PA called her "secret concoction" that I could use for gargle to control the throat pain.

From that point forward, each day became painfully, yet slowly, better. The clingiest dog in the world received his greatest dream: his father sequestered in the house with him, unable to leave. Charlie followed me everywhere from the couch where we lounged, to the bed where we slept. He was my faithful companion. I have no idea how I got mono, and I'm still slightly convinced that maybe Charlie had the canine mono while I had the human mono. Together, we enjoyed countless hours on the internet (reading, amongst other things, everything there is to know about mono), viewing Olympic coverage, and watching season DVDs of the TV show The West Wing to pass time. I enjoyed revisiting episodes of my favorite show, relishing in the genius of Aaron Sorkin. While Charlie loved out time together, sitting around the house has never been my thing, and, I became restless. There is only so much I can do in the confines of home before my mind becomes anxious and I miss people.

I attended my sister's wedding, because, let's face it, mono was not going to make me miss that. But I was miserable.

I missed:
  • David, my brother-in-law's baseball game
  • Katy, my sister-in-law's birthday
  • A Counting Crows concert
  • My plan to take time off of work to finish my kitchen remodeling project
And, evidently, mono makes you also forget that you have a blog. And I'm happy to say my energy is back. And it is great to be amid the living.

1 comment:

  1. Bummer about the mono, Todd :( Glad you're doing better though!