Wednesday, January 13, 2010


When things hadn't gotten better with Thing 2 over the weekend, in fact they seemed to be getting worse, we went to see the pediatrician on Monday.  After an exam in which he found very little wrong besides fever, swollen glands, and strangely her eyelids and inside nasal passages are puffy and swollen, he said we should have another round of blood work and do some more tests.
Thing 2 kind of missed that part of the conversation.  I didn't feel right springing it on her, but in retrospect that might have been better than warning her, because she immediately started crying, and worked herself up into a fit by the time we walked down to the lab.  The very nice nurses tried to reason with her, and calm  her down, but it was like watching someone wind a spring up tighter and tighter, nothing helped.  She just got more and more frantic.  She was sitting on my lap, and screaming and crying "No, Mommy, No!"  It was breaking my heart, I started tearing up. Finally they called in a third person, an older gentleman who tried to help distract her, and finally ended up just helping hold her down.  I was thinking they were going to stop and reason with her, but when I could see they were going in, and they all seemed resolved to forge ahead I put my hand over her eyes and turned her head and whispered in her ear and in went the needle.
Thankfully she held still, though she kept crying and pleading and breaking my heart.  Later she confessed to Thing 1 that when they were counting "1, 2, 3" she thought it was to put in the needle, and it turns out they were pulling it out and she was quite surprised when they said "It's over!  You're done!"
They said it would take a day for the results of some of the tests, and longer for the results of others.  I didn't expect to hear from them until after 5:00 yesterday, when the office starts  shutting down and they start to have time for that sort of thing, but the doctor called at 3:30 and told me that Thing 2 has mono.  She is six years old, mind you.
I was kind of stunned, and didn't ask all those good questions that mommies want to know, I didn't even know kids this age could GET mono.  All I could stammer out was how would she have gotten mono? and he told me that isn't even worth worrying about, it could have come from anywhere.  My next question was how long will it take to get over it?  His answer was "As long as it takes."

Web searches have been somewhat helpful, I just found one dealing more with the pediatric side.  Is different from, but a branch of the Epstein-Barr Virus, and they are calling it EBV in this description which says:

Is it contagious?
EBV is contagious. The virus lives in the saliva, and can live for several hours outside the body. Kissing gets the notoriety as a means of infection, but sharing eating utensils, foods, drinks, and toys (in day care) are significant ways to transmit mono.

Live EBV is in the saliva for 6 months or more immediately after mono. But EBV remains in the body for the rest of the life. It reappears in the saliva periodically throughout life. On any given day, about 1 in 4 people who once had mono will have EBV in their saliva.
How long does it last?
The virus usually multiplies silently in the body for 30 to 50 days after infection. Once the fever appears, it often lasts for a week or two. If there are no complications, the major symptoms usually last for 2 to 4 weeks, and then gradually resolve. Some continue to have fatigue for months or even years after the infection.

About 1 in 20 children with mono also have strep throat at the same time. Mono should be suspected if proven strep throat does not improve quickly with antibiotics.

Who gets it?
EBV infects more than 95 percent of the people around the world. The average age of infection varies from place to place (in Africa, most are infected by age 3 to 6). In most developed nations, the average age is 10 or above. But EBV infection can occur at any age.

How is it treated?
Rest, fluids, and medicines to relieve symptoms are the mainstay of treatment.
Alan Greene MD FAAP

 So now you know as much as I do about mono in children. 

Thing 1 has been a little jealous that Thing 2 gets to stay home from school, though watching her cry that she misses her friends, and the fact that she collapse into a nap the afternoon has been sort of a compensation.
The dog has been going crazy.  He barks a lot, and when I send him outside, he barks out there and I'm worried my neighbors are going to start hating me or complaining or both.  He's just got too much extra energy that I normally burn off with a long walk each morning.
I put hubby on a plane to India this morning.  He'll be back the 25th.  Sigh.  It's going to be a long couple of weeks.

1 comment:

  1. ugh...mono....I had it when I was 22. It was rough. I can only imagine how hard it is on a little girl! I hope she is feeling better. All I remember from mine is that I slept for 6 months straight! I hope that isn't her experience! how careful do you have to be about contagiousness? That would really be awful...two with it! I hope all is ok.


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