The recent severe flare of Epstein Barr first started four weeks ago from yesterday, which also happened to be the day before my period started. I wasn’t sure if it was Epstein Barr or not (it took me a few weeks to find a doctor who would even run the CAEBV panel) but did think that it was weird that it hit right before my period. So, I did some research and found that women’s immune systems can actually be lower right before their period starts. Also, there is such a thing as a period cold, where a women gets virus-like symptoms during her period. Because of this phenomenon I didn’t push as hard for an EBV test early on.
I felt really crummy for about two and a half or three weeks. After that, I was able to start leaving the house again and started doing Yoga as well. Even though it was hard to have Epstein Barr again, I feel like I got so tired of doing very little at home that when I felt well enough to leave the house, that I was happy enough about it that my fear of driving has actually lessened. I guess that it is a good thing to at times take time off from whatever you’re afraid of and then try it again rather than try it over and over again while your fear about it is high. This pattern of trying things that I’m afraid of over and over again seems to create more rather than less fear.
So that is one good result of having EBV. Also, I feel like I’ve been able to prove to myself that I can be somewhat functional while I am sick. I talked the other day about how I’ve still been able to write my blog and keep up on chores for the most part. It was only on the days that I was at my very worst that I had to have David pick up some of the extra work around the house that I didn’t feel like doing.
Frustratingly enough, though, on Wednesday I started having a flare. It started with an earache and tender glands, and then moved into a sore throat by yesterday.
My ear pain was/is so severe that I was worried that I might have another ear infection. Because of this I went to a walk-in clinic yesterday to get checked out. This was an adventure in and of itself because the first clinic that I went to had a five person wait, and when I called to check on another the receptionist said that there was a 35 to 50 minute wait. I went to the second clinic then because that wait was shorter than the first that I tried, and interestingly enough there wasn’t much of a wait at all.
The doctor looked me over and told me that I do not have any infection. It seems like the viral flare is just causing pain in my ear and throat. I told him that I have anti-viral medication at home, which he told me to start taking. And I did start taking it yesterday after I got home.
The really strange part of all of this is that this flare again happened right before my period. It is one day off from four weeks since my last flare up. Today a nurse called me from my primary clinic to see how I was doing and I told her about this pattern, and she confirmed to me that my immune system is down right now because of where I am in my monthly cycle.
She also told me that there is nothing that can be done for EBV, and that even a infectious disease doctor said this (they were consulting about my case). But, I know from my naturopath, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and from my Facebook CAEBV support group that anti-virals like the one that I have can help with EBV. They lessen symptoms when you have it and shorten the length of the virus, as well as lower the risk of future outbreaks. I told the nurse that I’m on anti-virals as prescribed by my psychiatric nurse, and although she hadn’t heard of that with EBV she was supportive of it. Still, I find it interesting that an infectious disease expert knows less about how to treat CAEBV than a naturopath. However, my psychiatric nurse practitioner is also an infectious disease expert so I’m guessing knowledge of CAEBV and how to treat it differs among professionals.
The nurse I talked to today from my primary clinic told me to take a number of supplements, all of which I have been taking since January, when I got diagnosed. She told me that those supplements plus a reduction in stress should really help me. Also, she recommended yoga, which has become my go-to exercise anyways. I am finding, though, that due to ADHD, 15-20 minutes of yoga is the right amount of time for me.
I’ve forgotten to make an appointment with my naturopath for awhile so I need to schedule that. In terms of dealing with the CAEBV I’m going to take medication and supplements as directed by my team of doctors. Hopefully this flare up doesn’t last long so that I can get back to my Yoga practice soon.
Thanks for reading! I hope that you are well. Feel free to comment below!