Living with chronic mononucleosis (Epstein Barr virus or glandular fever)

The Epstein Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis or glandular fever, has the ability to establish a lifetime presence in the body. In most people, a healthy immune system keeps mononucleosis at bay. However, some people have chronic or recurrent mononucleosis for weeks, months, or years after the initial infection.

Symptoms of chronic mononucleosis often include fatigue, weakness, a sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms can vary from day to day and week to week. Periods of well-being are often followed by a relapse, as people try to resume normal activities or exercise.

Living with chronic mononucleosis can be a very worrying and frustrating time. Constantly feeling ill, worrying about money, losing a job or study opportunities, loss of independence, social isolation, and receiving little support are just some of the things you may have to deal with. For some people, the future is uncertain. You don’t know what’s around the corner. You don’t trust your body. Will you get better or worse? Can you get help and support? Are there treatment options? All of these factors can lead to anxiety, depression, and the feeling that your health is out of your control.

So what can be done in the midst of chronic illness to help achieve inner peace and happiness? According to spiritual teachers like Dr. John Demartini and Eckhart Tolle, instead of worrying about the past and the future, we can all be brought into the present moment to find balance. Always thinking about the past or the future can cause negative states of mind that distract you from the potential for a fulfilling life.

Despite how bad things get with chronic mononucleosis, hopefully we can find more comfort and joy in the simple little things in life. For some bedridden people with chronic mononucleosis, the simple pleasures may be listening to music, audio stories, meditation tapes, or listening to birdsong outside.

For those who are more mobile, simple pleasures can be as easy as cooking, painting, doing a lot of things around the house or garden, cleaning a drawer, putting family photos in an album, finding an absorbing hobby, or doing some fun. meditation or yoga. Some people find joy in helping others; This could come from reading to children, talking with friends and family, caring for animals, or joining online forums or support groups to contribute your experiences and advice on chronic mononucleosis.

When I had chronic mononucleosis for over 15 years, my simple pleasures were things I could hope to do every day. They gave me a sense of accomplishment and pride, and I’m sure they kept me sane. Some of the activities that helped me were sitting in the sun every day, enjoying a hot spicy chicken soup, relaxing in a hot Epsom salt bath, doing some yoga every day, and immersing myself in books on health and alternative therapies. . In fact, it was during this time that I decided to study naturopathy and launch my career in a different direction.

For one of my very sick Epstein Barr patients, all he could do was lie on his back in a darkened room. His eyes were so swollen and sore that he couldn’t even read a book or watch television. Instead of getting depressed and sad, she focused on listening to beautiful music that would inspire and renew her.

Another of my patients, who was a teenager, was cut off from her friends at school and from the social circle because of Epstein Barr. She had terrible symptoms like a raw, red throat, extreme lethargy, depression, and little to no appetite. Her mother kindly went out and bought her the complete series of the television sitcom “Friends”, which they watched together on the couch. Their mother says this gave them a chance to laugh and focus on something rather than the illness all the time.

Even with chronic mononucleosis, there should be many things in your life that you really love and enjoy. Starting to reflect on your daily life and see if there is anything you can be thankful for is a good start. Enjoy the beautiful and special moments of your day. You may even want to write them in a journal or journal, or have them photographed.

I recently read an article about a photographer Hailey Bartholomew, who embarked on a personal project called “365 Days of Gratitude.” Every day for a year, Hailey took a single photograph of something she was thankful for. Her photos range from the simple delicacies of her favorite food, the fall leaves in her garden, the shells on the beach, her cozy warm socks, her garden growing herbs, her artisan work, scented candles and pictures of her. family. This simple daily act of focusing on the positive things in your day turned your depression and stress into a mood of anticipation, satisfaction, and joy.

Learning to be mindful and appreciate the little moments in your day can enrich your life and make your journey through chronic mononucleosis that little bit easier. Life will always have its ups and downs. Being grateful for what you have is a valuable lesson that we must all learn. Even when you’ve gotten over mononucleosis, being grateful is a life skill you’ll never forget.

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