I have definitely had an education this week! I've learned some things that I never really wanted to know! Just like most everyone I know, I grew up thinking of mononucleosis as the "kissing disease". I literally thought that you got mono anytime you kissed someone who was not your husband! How naive I was. I know for sure that Nathan has not kissed anyone but me...so far! He still ended up with this dreadful virus....and it's worse than anything we've experienced before! Here are some of the things I NOW know about mono.....
1. Your body cooks it for a long time before you actually have symptoms! They tell me it's been percolating in his system for 30-50 days! During this time, Nathan was exposed to a ton of other crud (pneumonia, strep, gastroenteritis...etc....). This means that he very well could have mono AND something else. This is just disturbing to me!
2. His doctor said that the most likely culprit for acquiring this awful thing is.....drum roll please......the drinking fountain at school. Apparently, kids are not very good at avoiding the water spout itself! This....is just gross! Please send your kids bottled water to school...or a few bucks to buy a bottle here and there! Allowing them to rely on the drinking fountains is just asking for trouble.
3. The symptoms of mono mimics the symptoms of strep throat and consequently, many people are misdiagnosed. It's sad to think that you could be taking an antibiotic needlessly (heellllooooo, isn't that rampant these days?) , especially since there really is no way to "get rid" of mono. It is self limiting and must just run it's course.
4. While we had some symptoms resolving....there were others waiting just around the corner to jump out at you. For example. His first symptom was a very sore throat. About the time that was starting to ease up...he was slung with a heavy duty fever (>102). The fever started to go away after about 5 days into it...and then he developed a pretty nasty cough. He was coughing so hard, his left eyeball was all red from the blood vessels breaking. When his cough had slowed down some....he got hives! HUGE HIVES ALL OVER HIS BODY! They were itchy and uncomfortable. Benadryl worked for about 3 hours and then the hives would return.
5. Hives are pretty much gone now, but today, he had some wheezing and breathing problems. I brought him into the doctor today and she immediately gave him two breathing treatments. She said his pulse ox was low and that if it didn't improve after the treatment, we needed to go to the emergency room! This scared me to death! After his exam today, we find that the HIVES have resolved but he now has an ear infection and has completely lost his appetite! They sent him for some lab work and a chest xray! Thankfully, there is no pneumonia!
6. If you were not a crazy nut before for your child gets mono, you will definitely become one after about one week of this awful, awful disease.
7. Most of the annoying symptoms will eventually resolve...but the fatigue can last for up to two months!
8. Even when you are all better and feeling great....you can still pass this one on to your friends for about 18 months!
9. It's a very expensive disease....$25 co pays each for two doctor visits....$69 for the chest xray (incorrectly processed....our xrays should be covered at 100%...but I'm going to have to fight with my HR department to resolve this one).....$85 for prescriptions and about $30 for over the counter meds. In addition, there is a rental cost for the nebulizer machine but I'm not sure how much that will be yet.
10. Even though a child with mono might technically "look" like they are OK...chances are....they are NOT ready to try doing homework. When their face is pale and his eyes look a little sunken in...that's your clue to NOT force the math issue.
11. Last year, when we homeschooled the kids.....we had ZERO, NADA, ZILCHO illnesses! So far this year...it's been a disaster.
12. When you are paying a ton of attention to your really sick son....your daughters will feel jealous and will begin to act out....like writing on the wall and throwing a Dora chair at her sister.
13. Your laundry won't get done.
Add a near fatal car accident where your mother-in-laws arms are broken....and you have yourself a situation that could involve a straight jacket.....or lots of alcohol.....maybe both!
Please pray for my poor Nathan as he recovers from this awful, awful virus!