Posted 8/24/2012 5:04 AM (GMT -7)
I have also recently been diagnosed with EBV. Since giving birth to twins 8 months ago via ceaser, i have been experiencing chronic pains and exhaustion unlike anything i've ever felt before. Not believing this was "just" a part of having had a caeser or the strain of adjusting to life with newborn twins, i have visited my medical centre more times since December, than i have in my whole adult life. I am 35 years of age, and up until this EBV infection, i had never had need to visit a doctor. I had previously exercised daily and felt great. After refusing to leave the doctor's surgery yet again with the usual advice of, "lose weight, stay warm and rest", i persisted and managed to find a female GP who ran the gambit of tests - blood tests, chest xray, ultrasounds. Having always believed it was a "kissing" disease i was shocked to learn that i had recently become infected with EBV and, as a double whammy, had been exposed to Ross River virus (a debilitating viral illness, caused by mosquito bites, and apparently common in certain parts of Australia - who knew! I had not even noticed a bite mark on me!).
Joint pain, night sweats, inability to lose weight (despite exercising regularly), swollen and extremely painful glands, esp in the left side of my neck, crashing for days after any great physical exertion - i was, funnily enough, relieved that it was "just" EBV; as punching those symptoms into Dr Google will bring up a range of nasty illnesses from HIV to lymphoma (the one that scared me the most!). Although the GP has told me that it will take up to 2 years for me to recover, and that it is a matter of waiting it out, i am going to be proactive about this bloody thing and use it as an opportunity to become even more healthier than i had previously been. Now that i know that i wasn't "imagining" the symptoms, that i have blood results to prove that i am feeling physically lousy for a reason, has given me a new found sense of power, as now that i know what i'm dealing with, i can learn about it, and take charge.
My vitamin D levels at diagnosis were quite low (24) - so i am currently on 5000 iu/day, and am starting to feel fantastic - I would recommend to anyone who has EBV or CFS to check their Vit D levels twice yearly, as it's such an awful state to be in when levels are low - it lowers your immune system's ability to fight off illness, and i contribute my getting the debilitating EBV symptoms to my generally lowered immunity (caused by pregnancy and limited time in the sun). The aches and pains, whilst still present, have certainly started to diminish, after a month on the vitamin supps. The swollen glands still persist, and they are something i am very much made aware of, unfortunately. I am eating more protein (less carbs), and i am trying to walk everywhere, instead of relying on specific workout sessions to shift the post pregnancy weight. I find the exercise helps to raise my energy levels temporarily; but boy, do i pay for it the next day. If the pain is quite bad, i just take some paracetamol, or use a Chinese ointment that i rub onto my joints, and i find it helps immensely. Fish oil is also fantastic - i've upped my dose to 6 capsules a day. If nothing else, i'll end up with great, wrinkle free skin ;o)
I have tried acupuncture recently, and whilst it helped the swollen glands somewhat, it's not something i see myself continuing with - as i came to realise that i really do hate needles and the sessions were quite painful! lol Am planning on finding a good immunologist who can advise me of further treatments that i may not have thought of in helping me stay as healthy and energised as i can during this recovery period.
Whilst it's not a nice illness/infection to get, compared to what other people suffer with, i am happy to take it, become better for it; and, knowing that i am doing all i can to beat it (for the sake of my children and my career, which i love) empowers me and helps me power through all the awful days.
Best wishes to all. :O)