I have to start this story by saying (demanding?)… don’t you dare stop sharing yourself/being yourself because of the internet and real life trolls of the world. You can be empathetic towards others and their opposing views/opinions of you while still using your voice to encourage, uplift, inspire and help others. It’s not either or. You don’t shy away, not this time! There is someone out there that desperately needs to hear your story of strength and courage… they need to know they are worthy of that same strength and courage. Your story matters. YOU matter.
Sharing and being vulnerable is NOT always easy. Someone will always have an opinion of your life and what is going on. If they don’t understand, that is simply something you CANNOT control. Let it gooooooo (Frozen style..mmmk?)
Ok, on to the nitty gritty. I was diagnosed with mono in 2015 and i was honestly like…oh, this is easy peasy! I didn’t have the typical fatigue.. it was just through routine blood work that my doctor was like oh by the way, you have mono! Cool. This isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be I thought! Wellll… fast forward to every month into the future beyond that point.. my thyroid progressively got slower and slower, I was tired, I was gaining weight even though I was eating healthy and working out daily, and then just some crazy off the wall symptoms happening beyond that point that my doctors for sure believe is ALL related to this vicious virus reactivated in my body. Oh yay. I’ve had endless episode so nausea/diarrhea.. randomly dizzy.. randomly anxious.. everything is random and seldom comes with a warning. Allll these things came creeping into my body AFTER the mono/epstein barr diagnoses and the virus never leaves and once its activated it can cause a whole slew of issues. It loves to live in your gut, nerves, and brain. Greeeeeat. NEAT! Jk. It has been anything but glamorous. I am left always questioning. What is this new symptom I am experiencing? Is this normal? Why is there a new symptom just when I think I am in the clear? It is exhausting, my friends. I am done trying to wish away how I feel, done trying to pretend how I feel is my new normal, done not feeling my best self. I am so thankful for a positive and safe group of friends I have been able to share these things with but it is exhausting. it is time to FIGHT. This is my year to fight. If you are struggling and unsure what is happening in your body, don’t quit asking for answers, don’t stop.. you are worth it! I am going to share with you a lot of things I am doing to help fully heal my body and I am also sharing in hopes that it is something that will speak with you as well and perhaps help you on your healing journey. Remember, you are not alone and I would love to chat with you at anytime about any of this!
Here is some SUPER helping information I have been learning on my quest to full healing. If you don’t have this book I am about to share about, you need to get it!
Helpful bullet points from the amazing Medical Mediumarticle on EBV:
Epstein-Barr is responsible for mystery illnesses of every category: For some people, it creates fatigue and pain that go unnamed. For others, EBV symptoms prompt doctors to prescribe ineffective treatments, such as hormone replacement. And for so many people walking around with EBV, it gets misdiagnosed.
There are many ways to catch EBV. You can get it as a baby if your mother has the virus. You can also get it through infected blood. Hospitals don’t screen for the virus, so any blood transfusion puts you at risk. Transmission can also happen through other bodily fluids, such as those exchanged during sex. Under some circumstances, even a kiss can be enough to transmit EBV.
Someone with the virus isn’t contagious all the time.
There are Four Stages of EBV:
Stage One: EBV goes through an initial dormant period of floating around in your bloodstream doing little more than slowly replicating itself to build its numbers. If you physically exhaust yourself for weeks and give yourself no chance to fully recover, or allow your body to become deprived of essential nutrients, or undergo a traumatic emotional experience, the virus will detect your stress-related hormones and choose that time to take advantage.
Stage Two: EBV turns into mononucleosis, the infamous “kissing disease.” This is the period when the virus is most contagious. It’s also during this stage that EBV seeks a long-term home typically in your liver and/or spleen. EBV has a best-friend, a bacteria Streptococcus which can travel up to create strep throat and/or infest the sinuses, nose, or mouth. It can also travel down to create infections in the urinary tract, vagina, kidneys, or bladder . . . eventually causing cystitis.
Stage Three: Once the virus settles into your liver, spleen, and/or other organs, it nests there. From this point on, when a doctor tests for Epstein-Barr, they will find antibodies and take these to indicate a past infection. The doctor will not find the EBV presently active in the bloodstream, your body thinks it has won, your immune system returns to its normal state, your mononucleosis ends, and your doctor tells you that you’re healthy. During this stage the virus can also creates three types of poison which trick your body into thinking it is experiencing lupus, hypothyroidism or lyme disease.
Stage Four: If EBV has successfully worn you down in Stage Three and you abruptly get clobbered with some physical or severe emotional injury, the virus will take advantage of your vulnerability and start to cause a multitude of strange symptoms that range from heart palpitations, from buildup of EBV’s poisonous virus corpses and byproduct in the heart’s mitral valve, to generalized aches and pains to nerve pain. Blood tests, X-rays, and MRIs will reveal nothing wrong, so doctors won’t be aware of the virus inflaming the nerves. The issues that result from this viral inflammation can include muscle pain, joint pain, painful tender points, back pain, tingling and/or numbness in the hands and feet, migraines, ongoing fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, unrestful sleep, and night sweats.
Medical communities are aware of only one (^) version of EBV, but there are actually over 60 varieties. The strains can be organized into six groups of escalating severity, with roughly ten types per group. I won’t go into detail of all the groups except the one we believe I am experiencing.
EBV Group 5 will create noticeable issues as early as age 20. This is an especially nasty form of the virus because it strikes just when a young person is setting out to start an independent life. It can create symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain fog, confusion, anxiety, moodiness, it feeds off negative emotions such as fear and worry. Doctors who can’t find anything wrong, and perceive these patients as young and healthy, often declare “it’s all in your head”.
You can heal from EBV, and depending on it’s severity healing could take anywhere from 3-18 months.
EBV is a beast BUT healing can happen. You don’t have to live this way.. you have the control to handle your health and take care of it. You can tell it what to do by how you fuel your body and how you treat your body daily. Stay positive, friend and be kind to yourself. Life and health tend to come in cycles and seasons. Keep your thoughts positive and continue working towards feeling good.