Experiences and advice on glandular fever at 40...

(37 Posts)
alabasterangel Tue 19-Feb-13 22:31:44

Ok, looks like I've got it, weeks of feeling like I'm on the brink of flu which hasn't shifted. Blood tests have come back positive, she is retesting next week to confirm (not sure why that has to be done) but says she will see if the viral count is increasing or decreasing. I've had no sore throat, and no swollen glands, so hoping I have this mildy but I'm still pretty much wiped out by....
- fatigue, like being pg early weeks
- night sweats and chills
- headaches
- cold hands and feet, shivery
- aching neck
- aching eyes
- no appetite
- pain under my ribs (had a very slightly elevated ALT of 77 but feel myself this is probably due to excess wine?!)
- feel low and snappy
- vertigo, dizzy spells

I can manage to function okay when on painkillers, although when it's bad my eyes and shivers still seem to break through that.

Fairly sure in retrospect that I caught it from DS. Majority of the LO's at nursery came out in a pinprick rash and general unwellness about 5 weeks ago, went to GP she confirmed a virus but said she had no idea what it was, and within a few days he was okay. I've now learnt that's how it can present in young kids, and frankly I'm not surprised - shared chewed toys and the odd dummy on the floor that gets pinched by another and popped into the mouth. Not a surprise to me really!

Wondering what I'm in for relating to duration. Resting totally isn't an option, to children under 5 and a job, and a DH who is away quite a bit. Concerned about how this is going to affect us all.

Anyone got any advice?

OP’s posts: |
Madsometimes Wed 20-Feb-13 07:57:30

I think the best remedy for glandular fever IS rest. It's a virus, there's nothing that a doctor can do. I had it at 21. I was diagnosed in the summer going into my final year of university, and was terrified that it would wreck my degree. Luckily, like you I had it reasonably mildly. I would agree 100% that the fatigue was like early pregnancy. I did go to my lectures, but held back on socialising etc, and after a month was feeling better.

For you, I would cut back on toddler activities. Let cbeebies be your friend. Tell work that you have this, and that may need to reduce your hours, or your duties if they are in any way physical. Eat well, rest well, and get to bed early every night.

alabasterangel Wed 20-Feb-13 08:18:04

Thank you.

I'm wondering how long the 'ill' feeling part lasts. This is week three. I could cope with the fatigue (school run will be a killer next week, its taking me forever to mobilise in the morning) and can go to bed at 7 when the kids do, but the ill part is making me so fed up.... Shivery, clammy, achey...... Can that part go on much longer?

OP’s posts: |
legalalien Wed 20-Feb-13 08:29:47

I had this last year aged 41. Didn't go to the doctor until i'd been quite ill for about six or seven weeks (was sitting exAms, and then doing child stuff in the holidays, and held off until i started getting a series of secondary infections (like a staph infection in my leg). Silly me! I'd say i was reasonably ill for about 8 weeks and then tired for another several months (your idea of going to bed at the same time as the kids is a good one). Obv it's different for everyone. Sorry not to be more positive!

alabasterangel Wed 20-Feb-13 08:41:07

Ok, thanks.

I've never been signed off work in my life but thinking I might need to ask. I'm going to struggle to get dd to school, DS to nursery and me to work for 8am. I'm off this week but supposed to be back next week. No local family who can help out either.

I'm finding it quite frustrating that DH (who had GF as a teenager and can't remember much about it) thinks I'm just 'a bit tired'. I have to think about getting out of bed for about half an hour before I can actually do it, and then its like dragging myself about made of lead.

OP’s posts: |
calypso2008 Wed 20-Feb-13 10:27:24

I had it last year at 41 and I feel for you.

I definitely caught it from DD who was at nursery. Children just get over it instantly. It is just unusual not to have been exposed to the virus by your 40's.

The ONLY thing is to rest. You really need two weeks off work (I was offered this by my doctor) - you have to eat really healthily, got to bed, as you say, really early. Take lots of B vitamins.

Your spleen and liver will be enlarged (mine were) and because of this I was told no alcohol at all and no coffee for a month. (Like you my ALT was raised 100 I think, I also thought secretly it was the wine!)

If you don't rest and take those two weeks I warn you - it could drag on and on and take forever to get over. I am just about feeling 99% right a year on although only about a month to feel fine, if you see what I mean.

So sorry you are going through this. It is hard as when you have children to rest is almost impossible, to work also not possible. My DH was equally unsympathetic. I remember clearly, one day after diagnosis him asking 'if I was better yet'

I also had something else at the same time called CMV, very similar symptoms and passed through nurseries too - in poo! You should maybe get that ruled out - if you have both it is a double whammy.

Do not be ashamed to be signed off work. Mononucleosis is serious.

alabasterangel Wed 20-Feb-13 15:25:30

Thank you. calypso - I am so sure that's where I got it from. I told nursery this morning (I had to take him despite being off work this week, I desperately needed a rest and my older DD is much better at fending for herself to a degree) but they seemed disinterested. I explained I wasn't blaming them at all, but maybe the other parents of children who had the same rash ought to know, in case someone near them comes down with it and they're wondering what's going on.

Unfortunately my DH has arranged for a family member of his to come and stay for four nights the weekend after next. I want to cancel now so the pressure is off and she knows too, but he says we need to leave it till nearer the time and ill probably be better. It'll be me doing all the catering and running about, and I wasn't relishing this particular visit anyway before this was diagnosed. Oh well, maybe I'm looking for excuses!

Sore throat started today too, I hope it doesn't get any worse!

OP’s posts: |


calypso2008 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:17:29

You must cancel your visitor alabaster, really. Also, it is highly contagious - while the symptoms last (and it sounds like you have those right now for sure) just tell the family member what you have - hopefully they won't want to come! You cannot cater and run round having a house guest - no way.

Nursery will be disintrested probably because you are the only adult with it - it really is unusual to have not been exposed at our ripe old age.

I had a rash on my face some to think of it, small blisters, I hope you don't have that joy.

There was no way I could have coped with visitors. No way.
I sent a copy of the NHS page on mononucleosis to my DH in the end. Your DH is ok of course, as he has had it so won't need to worry about catching it.
Really hope you feel better soon.

DO REST and DO take time off work and DO have no house guests. Honestly.

Syrupent Thu 21-Feb-13 17:50:41

Sorry to hear you have this OP, its horrible! I had it aged 36 , also probably from DC. I had on-off sore throat, felt vvv tired, swollen glands, enlarged spleen, general ill feeling. This lasted about 4 weeks or so, but I remained wiped out for ages, think it took a year to recover completely. (sorry!)I had 6 weeks off work, and was able to rest while DC were at school. I was advised to get more active gradually as time went on. Also avoid contact sports or you risk rupturing the spleen (as if you feel like it anyway, I certainly didn't!). Try to rest as much as poss, wishing you a speedy recovery!

alabasterangel Tue 26-Feb-13 14:30:59

Hi again, more advice needed if anyone knows.

I'm actually feeling like I might be returning to the human race. This is the first day with no painkillers, temp seems to be relatively normal now for 48 hours, shivers and aches gone. Eyes still feel a bit like they are on stalks and I'm shattered, but much, much better than this time on Sunday.

Last time I discussed it with GP she said all the 'markers' were there on my blood tests (elevated liver function, high viral count, zero bacterial count, plus I've now had a spectacular rash reaction to the antibiotic she gave me as a 'precautionary' measure). She wanted to run a proper glandular fever screen this week and check my viral count was decreasing not increasing and waited until the antibiotics had finished in case they skewed the result. She told me to go for it tomorrow. She said if it came back positive she would sign me off. I'm slightly worried that now, 4 if not 5 weeks into having it, that its 'late' and it'll come back negative.

Does anyone know if that's the case or will it still show up? Really don't feel able to go back to work.... Self certifying this week but its obviously going to be a slow process.....

OP’s posts: |
Insecure24 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:38:16

I had it aged 16. I was signed of sixth form for 12 weeks and sat my exams at home with an invigilator but needed a break in a one hour exam as I was SO tired. Think it took a good 6/7 months to put the weight back on and generally feel well again

Stacker Sat 05-Jan-19 09:59:26

Any up dates on how you are now ? Ive had glandular fever for 3 months now , feeling better but still not able to do very much 😢

MummaO Mon 22-Jul-19 17:53:03

Stacker - I’m interested in this post too, I think I’ve recently been diagnosed with GF but I think I’ve had it for about 6-weeks. Am so tired and feel poorly if I do too much. It’s exhausting! My speciality said that it could take 6-12 months to feel better x

Lel09 Mon 05-Aug-19 23:28:41


I have it too 😬 age 48!!!
I’ve had it for nearly 3 months... it’s awful... how are you now?
I was told I’m too old but tested positive after feeling really unwell for 4 weeks.

MummaO Tue 06-Aug-19 06:28:28

Hey Lel09, sorry to hear you have it too. I’ve had mine since end of May and am still suffering with the post viral fatigue. I’m only working 2-mornings a week which is plenty. I was really fit, healthy and active before it struck me. I have heard that it can last for a very long time. How are you feeling? Are you off work too? X

Lel09 Tue 06-Aug-19 20:37:27


I’ve had it since the end of May as well... no idea how I got it either.
I’m still suffering, it sounds like you’re on the mend.
I still get a sore throat every few days & I feel exhausted & really sick on most days but not all day thankfully. Some days I can do stuff other days I’m just pottering about the house. Really frustrating.
I don’t work but if I did I’m not sure I’d be back yet... it seems to be taking a long time to shift.
Do you feel normal most days now?
It really is an awful virus!
Lesley. X

MummaO Tue 06-Aug-19 21:22:06

No I don’t feel good at all today! If I do too much then I really struggle the next few days afterwards. Am seeing the doc again this week to get his thoughts as I am getting really frustrated. My glands are also back up today and I feel exhausted x

Lel09 Tue 06-Aug-19 22:12:06

Do you mind me asking how old you are?
I’m 48 & was told it’s very unusual.. X

MummaO Wed 07-Aug-19 05:48:00

I’m 46. I have also been diagnosed with Epstein–Barr virus. I thought I had GF when I was younger but I’m not sure now if that diagnosis was right.

Lel09 Wed 07-Aug-19 10:15:09

I’ve read that you can’t get it twice but I know someone who says they have so who knows!
I was also really fit & active... I went to the gym 4/5 times a week... have suspended my membership now.
Am really fed up with it now...
I hope you’re having a better day... let me know what your doc says.. X

MummaO Wed 07-Aug-19 10:49:19

Thank you Lel09, I’m exactly the same was kickboxing and doing heavy weights at the gym, 7-8 hours per week as well as lots of walking. This post-viral fatigue is a nightmare x

MummaO Fri 09-Aug-19 13:22:06

Well I’ve been to the doctor and still have the diagnosis of post viral fatigue, doc says it’s usual to last 4-months + so still early days for me!!

Lel09 Sat 10-Aug-19 10:36:39

Thanks for the update.
Bit of a nightmare summer isn’t it!
I haven’t been to the gym since May, that upsets me more than anything😬
Someone I spoke to recommended Metatone from the chemist, it’s a mineral drink you take 3x per day... I’ve had it for 5 days & felt so much better... not recovered but a great improvement. Hard to believe really.. give it a go. X

MummaO Sat 10-Aug-19 14:07:19

I’m exactly the same, haven’t been to kickboxing or the gym since May. Don’t feel like I could even get there to be honest! Thank you for the tip re metatone I will give it a try. I’ve also heard that alternative therapies can be effective so I am seeing a holistic therapist next week. Meditation is also on my agenda but I fear I will just fall asleep as that’s what happens when I practice it at home! Fingers crossed we will get through this x

Lel09 Mon 12-Aug-19 19:07:36

How are you today.. any better?
I thought I was on the mend two good (ish ) days, Friday & Saturday & then it’s back!
Felt really unwell Sunday & today... haven’t even got dressed. Feel sick & really weak.
I cannot believe it’s lasted this long... 11 weeks today since I first felt unwell with a sore throat.
I had really hoped to go away somewhere next week, doc says it’s ok but I couldn’t face an airport feeling like this. Trouble ya you just don’t know how you’re going to feel from one day to the next.
I don’t know how you can go to work, even if only for two days... my GP keeps saying to rest all the time. Boring!!
Anyway, I felt like a moan... sorry... school holidays nearly over & I feel like I’ve missed the lot!
Really hope you’re improving. X

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