While laid up in bed for days with mono, I joked to my mom that I should keep a diary of the experience and call it the Mono Chronicles. Of course, I said it then as some comic relief when I was feeling like shit. But now looking back, I should have taken some notes. Hopefully what I remember about the experience can help someone out there maybe going through the same thing or something similar.
So here it is, Part 1 of what I’m calling The Mono Chronicles. Enjoy.
Most of the time, when I get sick, I turn to Google to diagnose me. Of course, most of the time, it turns out Google is very wrong and I’m not going to die in 3 days.
So in April of 2018 when I got a sore throat, I figured it was just a symptom of a seasonal cold that would go away in a few days.
Boy was I wrong.
This sore throat was unlike any other I’ve had before. I had weird white bumps all over my tonsils, and it was so swollen that I could barely get food down my throat. Then I woke up one Sunday morning with puffy eyelids that I couldn’t explain. This then happened again on Monday and I felt like a monster so even going to work was a feat. I figured it was probably worth getting checked out by a doctor so I left work that Tuesday morning on April 24th to go to my local Urgent Care.
There they ruled out just allergies being the cause of this eye puffiness and sore throat. The doctor decided to test me for strep throat, a common illness indicated by a sore throat. My rapid strep test came back negative, but they informed me they would send it to the lab for a full workup and call me in 48 hours with the results. In the meantime, I was diagnosed with viral pharyngitis (basically just a fancy name for inflammation in the throat).
The doctor advised me to take Tylenol for the physical pain, suck on cough drops, and drink tea and lots of fluids in order to soothe my symptoms. These were all typical remedies for a sore throat that I’d used a million times in my life.
For the next 48 hours I prayed that I had strep so I could be prescribed antibiotics and get rid of this sickness real quick. I had already missed some days of work and I was feeling worse by the day. Finally, I got the call I had been waiting for. And the test came back negative again.
I was immediately disheartened and quite frankly annoyed with my diagnosis. There was still something very wrong with me and no one could figure it out. I called my mom freaking out, worrying that there was something we were missing. After she calmed me down, we decided it best to see another doctor. Instead of just another ER, my mom called up the primary care physician that my dad went to and I got an appointment for that Thursday the 26th of April.
I showed to my appointment that day in immense pain, exhausted and not myself at all. I explained to this doctor all the symptoms I was having, wincing with pain at every word (at this point it hurt to even talk), and after being tested another time for strep, she wanted to run a test for one last thing. Mono.
The word was already familiar to me. I had a childhood friend who got mono as a young girl. And a friend at work joked that I had mono when I told him how sick I was. But hearing my doctor saying it could be the cause of my symptoms was dreadful. I knew mono was not good.
Before I left the office my blood was drawn and after almost passing out, (I’m not good with needles y’all) I was sent home to rest and continue my regime of throat care. My doctor also prescribed me some mouthwash that was meant to numb my throat so I could at least get some food down.
A day later my blood work came back and my mom got the call from my doctor that I had been waiting for.
And it was both good and bad news.
What do you prefer to hear first? I usually always choose the bad, but that’s just me.
I had mono.
And the good news? At least I had a real diagnosis finally.
To be continued…
Thanks for reading!
Check back soon for Part 2.