I had mono once. I was 18 and a college freshman. I came home for Christmas feeling sick and exhausted, which I figured was from finals week. The next morning, I was taking a shower, thinking about how sleepy I was, when suddenly… I was lying on the shower floor, with water splashing down on my face. Apparently I’d collapsed. The mono had worn me out so much that I didn’t panic or even stand up. I just lay there, feeling warm water raining down, thinking about how interesting it was that my body knew how to fall so it wouldn’t get hurt, and also how glad I was that the shower had a hard sliding door rather than a curtain. And why weren’t there horizontal anti-gravity showers?
I had one of the worst cases of mono the doctors had seen. I was mostly asleep for seven weeks. On Christmas Day, I remember being handed presents, which I would open and then set down–only to have another present appear in front of me. I was falling asleep in the 5 minutes between presents. I only woke when I had to do something, which means that Christmas was subjectively nothing but presents for me: never-ending Things and Stuff, but no memory of what I got or where it went.
Other memories of that Christmas include a no-edges jigsaw puzzle (goldfish… how I started to dread them) which I know I worked on but could never sit up long enough to make progress on. I think I assembled maybe fifty pieces after hours of work. And my cat–a wise creature, who would appear briefly, purr for a while, then vanish like an opened Christmas present.
My dad brought me lots of cranberry juice and 7-up so I didn’t have to get out of bed. I went back to college in the spring semester, which might have been foolish, because I kept relapsing all semester. At least I took a super-light courseload.
Anyway, I was reminded of all this because I’ve started allergy immunotherapy (shots). They’re not supposed to have much effect, except maybe itching at the injection site.
But often they make me feel like I have mono again. Yesterday I played computer solitaire and then lay down in bed, feeling like someone had stapled me to the mattress. Even today, I’m yawning like crazy and can barely keep my eyes open, despite getting plenty of sleep last night.
This sucks, Beavis.
I did some research online, and “tiredness/flu-like symptoms” are an “uncommon” side effect. Sigh. I’ll talk to my allergist again… if I can just get through this first part, where the shots increase in strength, I can handle being exhausted once a month. But being exhausted twice a week is really a lot.
Guess I’d better go lie down for a while.