Posted by: E (The Third Glance) | January 28, 2012


Warning, this post is purely selfish and full of whining. I’m sick and it sucks, and I needed an outlet.

I’ve been feeling incredibly sick and awful for the past 2 weeks. Sore throat, cough, fever, complete and utter fatigue, whole body hurting as if I’d just done an intense 4-hour full-body workout. I thought it was the flu, and I’d be over it pretty quickly. 6 days after I got it, I ended up in the doctors office, because I was feeling so awful and in a lot of pain and wanted some answers. They said it was probably the flu, rest and if I still felt bad in a week to come back. Well it will have been a week on Monday, and I’m very likely going back. For anyone w ho knows me, you’ll know that I *hate* going to the doctor. I never communicate well and sometimes shut down – it’s an incredibly stressful situation, and if I can self-treat at home without going in, I will. I usually only end up at the doctors office when I have run out of spoons so completely that I can’t function – when I stop being able to use the limb in question, or when I have been feeling really sick and not getting better, sometimes getting worse, for weeks on end. I know it’s not a good way to do things, but that’s how it is. Going to the doctor is just such an awful, stressful situation that I will only attempt it if there are no other options.

I’ve never had mono, but that’s what they think this is. My lymph nodes are swollen almost painfully, it hurts to move my body, and I’m beyond exhausted. My throat hurts, my tonsils are big, and I’m running a fever. And worst of all my brain isn’t working very well. And it SUCKS. I get to find out on Monday when I let them poke me with needles and prod me and see if they can figure out what’s wrong. I hope it’s mono, and not something worse. Because something is definitely wrong. Mono, at least, runs its course on its own.

I’m a graduate student. Full-time. I don’t have time for this. I’ve spent the past couple weeks just trying to keep up. Every time I start feeling a little bit better and I do a little more work or push a little more than I should, and I spend the next 3 days feeling colossally worse. If this was the flu, it wouldn’t be doing this. I’m behind already and it’s only a few weeks in. I have a travel grant due on Wednesday and a major class presentation on Thursday. And I need to do those things. I’m really excited about both of these things. I want to do them. And I have to do them. There’s not really any other options.

And yes, I know, I should have spent the 30 minutes I took to type this, working on something productive, but I didn’t. Instead I wrote a post about how crappy I’m feeling. I don’t feel any better at the end of it, but oh well. At least you now know why there haven’t been any quality posts recently. I promise just as soon as I’m feeling better and have pulled myself out of this hole, that I have several posts backlogged that will appear. They’re not finished yet and my brain’s not working in a capacity where I can finish them now and have them turn out to be any good, but hopefully soon.


p.s. comments make me happy. If anyone has had mono and wants to share their experience with it, I’d be interested to know what I might be in for here. Or if anyone has any tips for surviving doctors appointments, that’d be nice too. I haven’t mastered those yet.


  1. I am so sorry you are ill, especially with so many responsibilities on your shoulders. I feel for you. When I am unwell, I have trouble focusing and my self-regulation goes out the window.

    I had mono as a kid, in first grade. It seemed like I was ill forever. The worst part of it was the fatigue. Total exhaustion. By best buddy, a tough Aspie Biker dude was flattened by mono. The good news is, they have anti-virals that can help you recover quicker.

    I also hate doctor appointments. I write myself scripts for them and bring a paperclip to bend. Bending the paperclip helps me dissipate tension without getting too twitchy. I am still twitchy, though! 🙂

    One more thought–when I wait I write descriptions of my environment or the people around me. It keeps me from ruminating over my future appointment.

    I wish you the best during your challenging week. I hope the doctor can give you some meds to bring your energy level back up!


  2. You have my utmost sympathy.

    To be honest, my way of handling doctor’s appointments is to take tranquilizers before I go in, and bring a cheat-sheet of notes that I can read off of when, as invariably happens, my brain shuts down altogether and I can’t even remember why I’m there.

    I have not had mono, but I have a great deal of experience functioning while sick and exhausted beyond all reason. My advice is as follows:

    1) Slash your “to do” list. Everything that isn’t essential– forget it. Do the absolute minimal necessary laundry, cleaning, etc… You’ll catch up on it when you feel better. Eat packaged foods. Drop all correspondence that isn’t critical to your current work/study.

    2) Rest as much as you can. Nap without guilt. Sit down between tasks and close your eyes. Work in a comfortable position whenever possible.

    3) Do the things that make you feel good, emotionally or physically. Let yourself cry, or take the time to write an entry like this, or reread a favorite book. Relaxation can give you strength and help you heal, and so can laughter.

    4) Do what you can of your required work. Prioritize. If you absolutely cannot do something, tell the people involved. Explain that you will make it up as soon as you cab. Generally, they will understand.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you need any more advice in specific areas.

  3. Thanks guys. Last time I was this sick was about 4 years ago with what ended up being called “viral-infection NOS with autoimmune complications.” Basically I got a virus that when my body tried to fight it, it took 4+ months and turned on me as well. Antivirals didn’t have any positive effects. And that time it wasn’t mono, as several rounds of bloodtests came up negative…

    I’ve tried the cheat-sheet thing, and most of the time I shut down and forget to say anything on the cheat sheet. It doesn’t help when I’m in a university health system and don’t see the same person each time.

    I’m just hoping this gets better soon.

  4. Sorry to hear about your illness… good luck with getting better soon.

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