I know that I’m under a certain amount of pressure these days. I’m working very hard to do well at a new job I really enjoy and I’m a grad school student. I spend a lot of my free times going over lectures, attending online live sessions, working on papers and projects.
But this semester something was different.
Three weeks ago I got sick at work. My throat felt like it was closing up and I had a lot of serious allergy symptoms.
Me being me, I thought nothing of it, went to get my go-to remedies, orange juice, Vietnamese chicken pho (soup) and took claritin before heading into the work site that was the source of these symptoms and taking nyquil at night.
But even as some of the allergy symptoms started to ease, I was growing actually more tired and more fatigued. I lost interest in my school work and didn’t care and couldn’t complete all of my work and at a certain point I just gave up hoping if I did miss a class to sleep all night, I’d wake up the next day, take a shower and feel like my normal self.
I’d wake up the next day begging God to give me enough strength to get out of bed to take that shower and make it to work. I didn’t want to be sick, I had too much to do. I couldn’t afford it. So, I’d eventually get up after an hour of praying and willing myself to get up and take the shower. The normal burst of energy I feel when I take showers had zero effect. I was dragging myself through my morning rituals, doing just enough not to look absolutely crazy when I headed to work.
Being a natural hair girl, you often have to take a lot of time to style your hair. No energy to do that. I had to keep my styles as simple and basic as possible, from relying on bobby pins and rolling my hair as neatly as possible into buns, or wearing a scarf to run errands.
My friends noticed that I wasn’t doing too well either and kept urging me to see the doctor. It’s pretty horrible that I’m working on my Masters degree in Public Health, killing myself to work on projects about helping people become more healthy and I’m completely worn down. So I went.
I went yesterday and my doctor confirmed I had swollen nodes, post nasal drip and left over congestion from the two weeks prior. She said she wanted to do a blood test to rule in or rule out Epstein Barr virus. My excessive tiredness, seemed to suggest that this virus may be the culprit as to why I was experiencing an abnormal tired that just wasn’t my usual. I told her I knew I couldn’t have been crazy or acting dramatic because I’m the person who often has a lot on my plate and I can push through usual tiredness, get the job done and still get up in the morning.
By the time I survived to the weekend, I could not get out of bed at all.
While I take comfort in getting closer to a reason why I’ve been feeling so bad, I don’t want to claim having EBV. It’s not even something that can be treated. You try to manage it with lowering stress and a more healthy lifestyle. But you will have episodes of extreme fatigue. This has been the worst. Last year there were about two times in the year where I felt extreme fatigue and had difficulty, but just brushed it off. The level of tiredness I’ve been feeling over the last two weeks could not be ignored. So while I was tired of family and friends asking me if I’d seen the doctor, I’m glad I went because it gave me back some control instead of just feeling bad and feeling helpless.
We just have to wait and see what the blood test reveals. My doctor recommended a B complex vitamin to take daily, however I won’t see improvement in my energy for three days. So I’m still struggling a bit right now. I’m also taking an antihistamine and a prescription grade nasal spray. So we’ll see how things go over the next few days.
I really appreciate the love and support 29tolifers have been giving me on the blog and on twitter! You guys are absolutely the best.
Do you know anyone who has Epstein Barr? How do they manage it? What lifestyle changes did people have to make to improve their lives?