Can you believe it? My children and I have Mononucleosis (other wise known as “mono” or “the kissing disease”). The only thing I ever knew about mono was from kids in high school who had gotten it and missed like a month of school.
For us, it all started back in March when my son, who was around 16 months at the time. Once of the glands under his jaw had gotten extremely swollen and he was very cranky all the time. We took him to the doctor to get checked out. We even had bloodwork done, but somehow they missed the fact that it was mono – kinda frustrating. If I knew, I would’ve done all that I could to prevent it from spreading.
Well, once the summer started back in mid June, my oldest son (6) had gotten very sick with strep throat and then a few weeks later, my daughter (4) got a bad stomach flu. She had some other odd symptoms, so I decided to take her to the doctor to see what was wrong. They wound up doing blood work on her and it came back positive for mono. I then took my other 2 sons to get checked as well and they came back positive for mono as well. Over the course of these past few weeks I picked up a few things myself – first bronchitis, then the stomach flu, and now a sinus infection. I have been very weak and tired and I really think that I have mono as well. And the reason we are all picking up these other random sicknesses is because our immune system is already compromised because of the mono.
So, I have mono and I have 3 children who have it as well. What a summer right? We have been stuck in the house for weeks. Mono is highly contagious so we have not been able to do any of things that we had planned to do over the summer with our friends.
I did a lot of research about mononucleosis in children and I found the same things that it says about older children or adults – there is really nothing that can be done about it than ride it out. Mono is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It is spread by saliva and close contact. And how can you avoid that with small children?
According to Google Health, it says that mono can cause a whole myriad of symptoms, but the main one is fatigue and a general sick feeling. Other symptoms include:
- General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches or stiffness
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck and armpit
- Swollen spleen
Each of my children has had different symptoms from each other so it has been interesting to watch and definitely not easy to understand.
And since there is no medicine or antibiotic that will kill this sickness, the only thing they suggest is to relieve the symptoms. These are some of the things that will help.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Gargle with warm salt water to ease a sore throat.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and fever.
The thing that bothers me the most is that you really don’t know how long it will last. It can often last weeks or even months. And it can also be contagious for that entire time as well.
So, there goes our summer! Another crazy trial we have to face…
The thing that I am grateful for though, is that even though we cannot really be around other children right now – my children are able to be with each other and entertain themselves. I am so blessed to have 4 children and even though when sickness comes in our home, it is definitely harder to deal with… I would not want to trade my family for anything in the world.
So, how about you? Have you ever had to deal with mono? What symptoms did you have? How long did it last? I would love to heard from you.