|By Fredo (Fredo) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 03:55 pm: Edit|
My daughter (college freshman) has mono - which I have no experience with at all. How will this affect her re: school? I know she'll have to slow down a lot but I'm assuming she can stay at school. Should she talk to professors? Okay, everybody...let me know what we should be doing, not doing, etc.!
|By Cruella (Cruella) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 03:59 pm: Edit|
I recommend she get on supplements asap. I know that some doctors give per-natal vitamins when a kid has mono.
I am sure you already know that she needs as much rest as possible and she has to take it easy, no jogging or exercise.
|By Dcmom3 (Dcmom3) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 04:23 pm: Edit|
Kids vary with how badly they feel (or had bad a case they have.) Her doctor should check to see if her spleen is enlarged. If it is, no contact sports. My nephew ran the whole cross country season with mono--didn't know he had it until afterwards. His times weren't great but he just felt tired. My daughter missed 3-4 days of school with sore throat and exhaustion but her lab partner had complications and spent a couple days in the hospital. Don't know why it affects dif kids differently.
Your daughter should email all her professors with a heads-up in case she misses any classes or wants to try for an extension on assignments. Lots of rest, fluid, maybe a care package from home? Hope she feels better soon!
|By Alwaysamom (Alwaysamom) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 05:04 pm: Edit|
Cases of mono can vary tremendously in severity. My oldest D had it and seemed to be getting better, then it worsened so that she was very close to being hospitalized. She was relying on a doctor at student health services who apparently (and unbelievably) had never seen a kid with mono before. I drove to her school, brought her home, and took her to my family doctor. She was one very sick young lady. She had an extremely high fever, a sore throat which Percocet didn't make a dent in, and exhaustion so severe that she could hardly walk to the bathroom. She lost 10 pounds, which was considerable considering she only weighed 108 to start with. She ended up having to defer her exams that spring (this happened two weeks before exams) and supply her profs with a doctor's letter, etc. I realize not everyone ends up with such a serious case but it's good to know that it CAN be serious, and my advice is to keep a close 'eye' on her because my D definitely let it go too long before telling me how serious it was. It was frightening.
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit|
Fredo, definitely see MD to check for splenic enlargement. If she has just been diagnosed, she should know in the next few days how severe a case she will have. Definitely, contact her profs, consider dropping a class. I would tell my child to do this up front, because even if her case is relatively mild (hopefully, it will be), she may well not feel herself the entire semester. Some real bedrest now may help her bounce back faster - 3-4 days of missed classes for a first semester freshman could be a lot, depending on her schedule.
Also, I'm not trying to be alarmist, but splenic rupture is by far the most serious complication of mono - she should careful of any kind of falls or contact sports - even dorm roughhousing, until she is well back to normal. If she takes a blow, particularly on the left side, and feels weak or dizzy, it is an emergency. This is very rare (more rare than the meningitis we've discussed before), but it happens, and she doesn't have an adult around to keep an eye on her (sorry, I don't consider 18 year olds adults).
This is what I would tell my child, and I would keep close contact for a week or so, mostly to judge how miserable she is,whether she is able to go to class, but I wouldn't bring her home unless necessary. I had a bad, ignored case of mono in college - our football team was going to the DivIII national championship game, I was in the band, and I WANTED TO GO! I finally got so sick, I called my parents and said I couldn't drive home - they came and got me and I spent all Xmas break in bed, but I went back to school inthe spring, took a reduced load and graduated on time.
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 05:36 pm: Edit|
Well, Fredo, I crossposted with Alwaysamom - I think we have thoroughly terrified you now! Mono varies widely in severity, but it can make a kid feel lousy even if its not actually that severe a case. Feeling that tired can play havoc with your schedule your first year of school, and I guess you can see that kids don't alqays do what's good for them!
Can you go see her? That's what I'd do if I could. This will be my biggest worry, when my daughter goes away - her closest school is 600 miles away, we can't just drop everything to check on her when she's sick, and I HAVE TO KNOW!
Best of luck, keep us posted.
|By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 08:50 pm: Edit|
My daughter was in the same situation, just a few weeks into her first semester in college. She also got strep at the same time as mono. So what to do?
In her case, it was not possible to miss many classes. In fact the school has a policy that if a student misses three classes in a given course, they may be dropped from the class (these were studio courses and missing a class was like missing a week of classes). Further, one of her professors wasn't sympathetic at all.
But in order for her to stay in school while mending, it was necessary for her to drop one course each semester. She stayed in good academic standing by taking two courses during summer school between first and second years. She weathered the crisis, and ultimately graduated in 4 years.
Your daughter really needs to follow medical advice, and cutting back on her schedule may be the most practical thing to do. Just getting permission of professors to miss some classes doesn't relieve the overall workload. Though if she does what my daughter did, by really focusing on her classwork and cutting back expecially on "extra" stuff, there may be a net benefit to her academic progress. Again, however, it may make sense to drop a course or two. Her health is the most important thing right now.
|By Jyber209 (Jyber209) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 09:43 pm: Edit|
My daughter had mono early last spring semester at Smith. The school was great -- the infirmary, which diagnosed her, notified her dean, who then contacted each of her profs to arrange for extra consideration while she was ill. She was then given extensions on her assignments.
It was a struggle for her, but she was able to go to classes every day but one - crawling back into bed after class. She was considering dropping one class (that was an extra class anyway) to take some pressure off, but the prof suggested she just switch it to pass/fail, which she did. That worked out well.
She did have to get all her assignments, papers, etc. in eventually, but at least some of her profs said they would weigh the work done after her mono bout more heavily in determining her final grade.
So she was able to stay on campus and finish the semester in decent shape.
Hope things go OK for your D.
|By Fredo (Fredo) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 09:32 am: Edit|
Thanks for all the advice and Cangel, yes, I did get a bit worried about your post!
She wasn't feeling well parents weekend (sept. 25th), went to student health the 27th and they tested for mono but didn't turn up positive. they told her if she still felt sick in a week to come back. So she went Oct.4th (yesterday) and the mono tested positive. Mainly it's her lymph glands on her neck that felt swollen and she's been tired, obviously. Doctor said it wasn't a severe case. I don't think there were any other swollen spots but I'll have to double check with her.
She has school this week and next and then has a week off for fall break. She isn't far - only 1 hr and 15 min. - although we've already seen her 4 times! I talked to her on the phone and stressed a lot of what you all have said: take it easy, rest a lot, listen to your body, back off the "extra" stuff and talk to profs. She had already missed a few classes and told her teachers she was sick but I urged her to tell them she has mono so they know she's really sick.
Dr. said don't kiss anyone for 1 week!! (I asked her if that was an issue and got a vague answer in reply...!) She worked out two days ago and said she just felt a little tired afterwards so maybe it's not too bad. She said she had a handle on it and would be able to take care of herself.
I sent her an e-mail today repeating a lot of this stuff. Part of the dilemna is that she's been very clear about back off and let me be independent now and I've tried to respect that. She doesn't like a lot of contact at all so it's a fine line to tread. I will probably just take it day by day - try IM if she's on-line, or a quick call (e-mail doesn't really work - she never answers mine!)to check up and try and gauge how she's doing. I told her in the e-mail that if she needed ANYTHING we'd be there in a heartbeat - homemade soup, dad's chocolate chip cookies, TLC, whatever. I guess my biggest worry is that it sounds not too bad right now but I don't want it to get worse and then she'll miss school.
She only has 4 classes and one of them is first year seminar that's really easy so hopefully she can get through this. Plus the full week of fall break will really help - I wish it was next week!
|By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 09:34 am: Edit|
My D had mono second semester of HS senior year. Her doctor actually said this was the best time to get it (she had already gotten into college ED). The spleen is definitely an issue -- rupturing is a risk, apparently, and she should be careful w/physical activity for that reason if nothing else.
My D was tired a lot of the time but somehow managed to miss only one day of school, and that was when I MADE her stay home. She was essentially fine after about 10 weeks. But during that time, she did little else other than going to school and doing HW.
The doctor did tell us she has had college student patients who have had to take a semester off, so I think my D must have had a pretty mild case. So if your D is up to it, she can certainly stay at school, but she should contact her profs and let them know.
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 09:44 am: Edit|
Fredo, that sounds great, it sounds like she has a mild case - if she doesn't start complaining about a truly awful sore throat, she may well get off easily. Fall break will help a lot, I predict that, despite her desire for you to back off, she comes home for fall break, goes to bed and doesn't emerge for a week! After which she will feel much better.
Rhonda's right, she can cut down to just HW and class, and probably be fine.
Keep us posted.
|By Alwaysamom (Alwaysamom) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 09:50 am: Edit|
Fredo, I'm glad to hear that your daughter seems to have a somewhat mild case. As Cangel said, watch out for that awful sore throat. That seems to be a precursor of them getting worse. That fall break week will be good for both of you!
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 10:04 am: Edit|
I'm not sure if the sore throat means they are actually getting worse, but you feel a lot worse because it hurts so badly! She (and you) will be fine, with war stories like ours to tell.
|By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 10:05 am: Edit|
Fredo, that's encouraging. She has to be careful not to wear herself out. It really takes months to get rid of mono, with possibilities of relapses, so slow and easy is the best approach. (I think the sore throat that people are referring to is usually a strep, so it's serious if she gets it and needs immediate medical attention.)
|By Iflyjets (Iflyjets) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 01:52 pm: Edit|
My D had mono last spring just after HS graduation. She ran a 102-103 fever, felt tired (slept 18-20 hours a day), had body aches, and large, whitish swollen tonsils with lesions on them (they can get so large during mono that breathing may be impaired, and this is why steroids are sometimes prescribed). Interestingly, the sore throat (and accompanying swelling) was the symptom that drove us to the doctor (we, too, thought it was strep at first). After much research, I learned that an intensely sore throat is the primary reported symptom after fatigue. Additionally, strep throats are NOT commonly found in mono cases and is usually NOT the cause of the sore throat symptom, although some doctors threat with antibiotics just to be on the "safe side" (adding to the growing problem of overprescribed antibiotics in this country). The sore throat occurs because mono affects all the lymph glands and other related tissues causing swelling; these also include the tonsils and glands in the mouth and throat, a primary target region for swelling. This is also why the spleen may enlarge (a related lymph system member), which is does in most cases, even if just a small amount. The three troublesome spots are: swelling in the throat (and possible blackage of the airway, although not common), enlarged spleen, and changes in liver function. Besides a "mono spot" (a quick test) for the disease, her doctor also order a blood test to look at liver functions which can be affected due to mono. She did show some negative changes in liver functions, but recovered from these within 2 weeks.
As for kissing, you can actively carry and transmit the disease for many months after symptoms are gone (and that from the CDC website). Even sharing water bottles, drinking cups, or eating utensils can transmit the disease.
Have her contact her professors, explain the situation, and do her best to filter assignments through. Otherwise, rest, fluids, and vitamins (along with as much good nutrition as she can comfortably swallow/eat) are the only "cures." Some articles I read suggested that athletes recover faster (which my D did, took about 3weeks), but take up to 6 months to get back to their full form, an interesting note since my daughter was playing competitive tennis when she became ill. Good luck.
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