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Epstein-Barr virus what to expect? (Read 1105 times)


barefootin'

    It has been a very sweaty summer for me.  I haven't run a lot of miles in the summer before.  This year I'm hitting it good, but I am sweating a lot more than I think I should.  By the end of 8 - 10 miles I look exactly like I just climbed out of a swimming pool.  One time I notice my fingertips are wrinkled.  I'm also feeling "depleted" frequently, or just lay around a lot even though I'm getting the miles.  I ascribe this to perhaps electrolyte shortage but I have no evidence for this.

     

    Woke up 1 a.m.with a temporary fever Monday before last, felt okay in the a.m. and ran 9 miles Monday and felt a little light headed when I got home.   8 miles in I was struggling a little bit.  Ran Tuesday and felt not-so-good and cut it short, the last mile was a real struggle.

     

    Wednesday night I start sleeping on the sofa to be propped up so breathing feels easier.  Also take Nyquil for fever and get 4 or so hours of sleep.

     

    By Friday I went to work about 1 pm and lasted about an hour and went home.

     

    Saturday morning  - Urgent Care does chest x-ray, says bronchitis, puts me on z-pac.  Z-pac does nothing.

     

    Sunday - feverish, chest is feeling heavy.  Back to Urgent Care, they give me 2 liters saline drip, 1 gram Tylenol, breathing treatment.  They let me go after fever comes down.  Breathing feels worse at home for a couple hours, then about back to where it was.  They put me on Cephelexin and say to keep taking the z-pac.

     

    Monday - watch Mad Men till noon.  Then just lay there for 3 hours when my daughter comes over with Tylenol and Gatorade.  I don't get up.  Fever hits 103, decide to sit up and panic when my respiration rate equates to about my nine-minute mile pace.  Freak out, fiancee gets home we head to ER.  I'm soaked.

     

    ER starts antibiotic IV drip, then suddenly stops it.  Triage doctor says "you know you have a heart murmur, right?".  I never was told I had a heart murmur of any consequence before, and I tell him.  He says any first year med student would hear this one.

     

    They decide to admit me, I have three doctors - pulmonary, infectious disease, and oncologist/hemotologist.  They treat nothing and I'm game for that because they are trying to culture whatever it is I have.  So I'm riding out the fever and they're taking blood samples.  Sleep a couple hours Monday night.  Tuesday night, splitting headache and roommate with a kidney stone who's machine goes off every 45 minutes or something.  A long night and I sleep maybe 30 minutes.

     

    At one point the phlebotomist arrives for 16 vials of blood.  The doctors keep showing up asking questions, trying to rule out endocarditis.  Ruled out by heart ultrasound which shows no "vegetation".  Admitting doctor says Thursday will have an answer of either "very expensive virus" or "a bunch of stuff you really don't want.".    I had chest, sinus, abdominal and pelvic CT scans.  Also abdominal ultrasound because my spleen was enlarged.

     

    Official diagnosis yesterday - Epstein-Barr virus.  I hear from friends that this puts people in a wheelchair for months.

     

    Yesterday (Thursday)  I'm released, cleared for all activity.  I say "what if I over do it will I get another syndrome or something?".  He says, no just use common sense.  Obviously I'm going to be in trouble.

     

    This morning I run a mile.  It feels awesome to be out running.  I do some very minor amount of work from home, lay around a lot.  Starting a fever again now at 4 pm.  Still have a minor breathing/speech impediment that keeps improving.

     

    Has anybody had this?  My goals this year are 2000 miles, and I'm about at 1000.  I think this little setback might make that goal impossible, and that's okay there is always next year.  I'm curious what the effects will be for a couple months.  Should I even consider racing this Fall?   I know I should scale back effort for a while and I'm good with that.

     

    Also I think the sweating was abnormal and perhaps was caused by the virus.  Doctor disagreed, said "well, it is hot" but I was running at 78-84 F degrees.

    Bill Wagnon / stl


    A Dance with Monkeys

      Has anybody had this?

       

      Yes. EVERYBODY has had this. EBV is Mono. Mononucleosis. MOST people get it between ages 5 and 8, some between 15 and 18, and a few at some point another time in their life. I was fortunate enough to get it while 39, meh.

       

      Mono is highly variable. MOST people don't even know they have it. Some folks are so beat down by it that they cannot get out of bed for 6+ months. Many folks probably have a flu-like illness for a week and then are tired for 2-4 more weeks after. When I had it I could not get out of bed for a week, then set a marathon PR 2 weeks later. HIGHLY variable.

       

      So the key question: how did they make the diagnosis?


      Needs more cowbell!

        Yes. EVERYBODY has had this. EBV is Mono. Mononucleosis. MOST people get it between ages 5 and 8, some between 15 and 18, and a few at some point another time in their life. I was fortunate enough to get it while 39, meh.

         

        So how do you know if you've had it and not just had the flu (and assume that the vaccine of the year didn't cover the strain, or whatevs)?  Do they look for antibodies, or something?

         

        Bill, I hope you feel better really soon.  When the doc cleared you for all activity did he know you're a runner?  'Cause you vs. the average sedentary person gives a different definition to "activity."

        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

        '14 Goals:

        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


        barefootin'

          Yes. EVERYBODY has had this. EBV is Mono. Mononucleosis. MOST people get it between ages 5 and 8, some between 15 and 18, and a few at some point another time in their life. I was fortunate enough to get it while 39, meh.

           

          Mono is highly variable. MOST people don't even know they have it. Some folks are so beat down by it that they cannot get out of bed for 6+ months. Many folks probably have a flu-like illness for a week and then are tired for 2-4 more weeks after. When I had it I could not get out of bed for a week, then set a marathon PR 2 weeks later. HIGHLY variable.

           

          So the key question: how did they make the diagnosis?

           


          After the diagnosis I looked it up and saw that 90-95% of people over 40 test positive for antibodies.  I mentioned that to the hematologist and she said my diagnosis was based on a positive EBV titre.

           

          What I also don't know is if this is a one-time thing (like chicken pox).  I thought I had mono in high school, but maybe I didn't.  They did not define my illness as mono at any point.

           

          I feel like I should have gotten a "Living with EBV" pamphlet, but maybe the results are so variable that it would be too general to mean anything.

           

          Your experience Trent with the marathon surprises me.

          Bill Wagnon / stl


          barefootin'

            Bill, I hope you feel better really soon.  When the doc cleared you for all activity did he know you're a runner?  'Cause you vs. the average sedentary person gives a different definition to "activity."

             

            I was very clear with the doctors about my barefoot running affliction, and my vegan diet.

            Bill Wagnon / stl


            A Dance with Monkeys

              Do they look for antibodies, or something?

               

              Yes.

               

              Bill, it is not enough just to know that the titers were positive. It is important to know which antibodies they tested and what the actual numeric result was. That can indicate the timing.

               

              Everybody gets EBV once. Like Chicken Pox. That said, some folks occasionally can have a recurrence of the EBV with which they were originally infected (like Chicken Pox, it spends the rest of your life with you).

               

              Cytomegalovirus causes a mono-like illness. Many people with CMV are told they have mono. Often, the only way to distinguish the two is antibody testing. Antibody testing is not likely something they were doing when you were in high school (no, not a jab on your age Smile ).


              A Dance with Monkeys

                Your experience Trent with the marathon surprises me.

                 

                I had a prior soft PR. I was probably in 3:30 shape and ran a 3:47 (I think), which was a PR at the time. So it was not a good race given my conditioning, but it still counted. The next day I ran a sub-4 marathon, so it was a good weekend for me. But that good weekend was followed by a couple months of some degree of relapse and deep fatigue.

                  I  think how they diagnosed it is semantics at this point. If you are getting better that is the best thing. The fact that you were that ill for that long tells me you better take it easy for an extended period. I have seen some people push too early after an infection like that and never fully recover. You can always find some one who says they recovered in x days and went on to do great things in a short amount of time, but they are the exception. I would put all goals on the back burner and just focus on feeling good for at least a couple of weeks. Then if you are still feeling ok, you can slowly pick things up. glad you are doing better. Scary stuff


                  A Dance with Monkeys

                    I  think how they diagnosed it is semantics at this point.

                     

                    Unless they mixed up IgG and IgM, and were interpreting an old infection as an acute one, thereby missing some other issue.


                    barefootin'

                      After the diagnosis I looked it up and found nearly all references online are just to Epstein-Barr being the cause of mono.

                       

                      So I asked if the positive result for Epstein-Barr was just a result of an earlier mono infection and the answer was the Epstein-Barr titre was positive.

                       

                      I go back to the pulmonary doctor and the infectious disease doctor this coming week or next.

                       

                      Slept in about 3 hours this morning because I was totally wiped even after a good night's sleep.  Got two miles just now.  1st mile, okay.  2nd mile a lot of walking.  Apparently my calves have atrophied because they have become very tight in the time off.  I'm just going to take it easy and do what I can.

                      Bill Wagnon / stl


                      barefootin'

                        Okay - I was one of the 5 to 10% of 44 year olds that never had mono.  This was my first Epstein-Barr virus.  CMV is still negative.

                         

                        It's now 7 weeks since my first fever, and I haven't run in six weeks or so.  Doctor yesterday said my spleen & stuff is "normal" and I'm not restricted from anything.  He didn't say I couldn't run but he said I need to recover more and I will know when it is time.  Last week I worked about 5 hours total because I was too wiped out to do more.  A flight of stairs yesterday left me only slightly winded.

                         

                        I think September 1 will be my first day back, of course Isaac is coming through and we are supposed to get 3 to 5 inches of rain.  Maybe I will go out Friday to hit 1000 (need 2.5 to get there). 

                         

                        My goal of 2000 miles in 2012 is pretty much shot as I would need 250 miles a month for the rest of the year, and I know September I will be doing well to hit 100.  I have a couple new goals.

                         

                        Managed to put on 10 pounds in 7 weeks but I'm not too worried about that because I was eating to feel better. Laying around, watching tv and turning into a couch potato haha.  

                        Bill Wagnon / stl