22 Apr 2008

How to Recover From Glandular Fever

More than a page of facts, this post is to share my fight with glandular fever in order to encourage and hopefully help other people through it too.

You probably already know that glandular fever or infectious mononucleosis (mono) is caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus and is often referred to as “the kissing disease”, because the virus can be spread in saliva (though kissing is not the only method of transmission). Most people are exposed to the virus at some stage in their lives without even knowing it. However, the older you are when you contract it, the more severe the symptoms are and the more your body struggles to get over it. I was forced to drop out of university for a year to battle through it. Unfortunately my mother contracted it too and she was admitted to hospital for two weeks – the doctors were even looking for cancer before they finally figured out what was actually wrong with her – Idiots!

No doctor offered me constructive help or treatment – They pretty much said: “There is nothing you can do, just stay at home until you are better. It could take anywhere from two weeks to two years and some people never get better... ”. While this is true, it is probably only true because this is what all the doctors tell everyone who is suffering from glandular fever. A positive mind set is the most important weapon to combat the virus, so don't let doctors rob you of hope. Glandular fever is notorious for “feeding on stress”, “flaring up” or relapsing even years later, during intense periods such as exams, year end, etc. Whatever you do, do not dwell on negative thoughts, even if it’s a medical doctor who is putting them in your head – The doctor can’t/won’t do anything to help you anyway. Your health is in your own hands - The more you can soothe yourself of stress, the sooner you will recover.


As the name is supposed to imply, classic glandular fever presents as fever and swollen glands; lots of illnesses cause this arbitrary disease state, which makes the name pretty silly and the crazy thing is that I didn’t experience fever or especially swollen glands while I was ill. Symptoms include any combination of headaches, sore throat, nausea, loss of appetite, fever, swollen lymph nodes, crippling fatigue and probably more. A blood test confirms the presence of the virus and makes it official...

The disease can linger for as little as two weeks, or remain with you for the rest of your life if it spirals into full blown chronic fatigue syndrome. The fatigue is not mere laziness, but a heavy tiredness that actually results in physical pain.

Glandular fever started off as a throaty cough for me but soon matured into aching muscles, incapacitating fatigue, complete inability to hold down much food, and a horrid tenseness throughout my body and mind as if I was always on the edge, about to jump. Up until the time the doctors figured out what was wrong with me I actually thought I was going crazy, so I was quite relieved that there was something wrong with me, just depressed that there was apparently no treatment or remedy for how ghastly I felt.


But I did overcome glandular fever and I am so glad that I can now look back on the terrible experience and really appreciate that life is so normal again. Fair enough, there is no magic potion that you can take three times a day for a week that will cure you, but I have identified the behaviors that helped me to get better.

Take it easy, seriously...

As inconvenient and frustrating as I know it is, you need to remove yourself from as much as you can, everything if possible. Don’t try and be a hero and carry on or push through. Stay at home in bed and sleep properly until you feel well rested. Ideally, until you stop worrying about everything – though I know that in this state it is very difficult to stop worrying, but you must believe that you are one of the people that will get better – if you do, then you will recover.

Glandular fever is a tricky disease to understand and there will be people who show you no sympathy. Avoid them, and don’t let anyone abuse your “free time”. Encourage the people around you to learn about glandular fever, to help them understand what you are going through and how they can help you. The idea is that you get some time to rest in a stress free environment.

Vitamin B injections

This is as close as it gets to a “magic potion”. I would recommend you go for a vitamin B injection (the big neurobion one) every two weeks (alternating butt cheeks), from the time you discover you are ill, until you have recovered. Vitamin B injections have a reputation for stinging a bit, but in truth they aren’t that bad and wow they make a difference! Whether it’s a result of the placebo effect or not.

Fight with a positive attitude

Perhaps the most common advice concerning glandular fever is “not to fight it”. While I agree with this on a physical level, you must not give up in your mind. Remain positive about the situation and believe that you will recover. But at the same time remember that rule number 1 is “Take it easy, seriously...” Don’t let the idea of maintaining a positive mindset stress you out if you aren’t getting it right, it will get easier and start to come naturally as you keep at it, get more rest and learn to relax.

General Health

Even if you are not targeting the glandular fever directly, there is a lot you can do to help yourself feel better. Get enough sleep, drink lots of water, and avoid excessive amounts of junk food and alcohol. All the clich├ęd good health stuff will go a long way to improving your condition. And listen to your body! Sleep when you need to and only eat what you can manage. Red meat was off my menu and I found that not drinking milk made me feel much better too. So try and weed anything out of your diet that may not agree with you. Treating your symptoms will help too; take a pill for your headaches and antacid for heartburn. Ha ha, and try and shower at least every second day.

As you feel stronger you can try to exercise, but don’t overdo it! You are even weaker and less fit than you imagine. You might not be able to get out of bed the next day, you will feel completely worn out and it will take you a good few days to recover. But don't be discouraged. It was more than a year before I began running around, playing soccer with friends again. But I had to ease into it slowly and could initially over exert myself very easily. I am fine now.

Good People

It pains me to admit that most people will not understand and will leave you behind as you place your life on pause while they carry on with theirs. Even your family will not always understand what you are going through, but I hope there will be at least one good person that you can count on to stand by you to help you through the disease. Don’t let relationships stress you out, rather avoid anyone who makes you feel worse – You really need to look after yourself for a while, as selfish as it may sound.

I am very fortunate to have the most amazing girl who could easily have left me for someone else when my life fell apart. But she didn’t and I know it was hard for her, but her companionship and encouragement meant the difference between me staying sick forever and getting going again. I am very grateful to her for helping me through the trials, even when I was completely overcome with irrational paranoia at the mercy of the virus.

Divine intervention

I can only pray that you will become desperate enough to turn to Jesus. You can “cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7) . I am not talking about religion. The stress of religion and doing “holy” things because other people think/tell you you should (Isaiah 29:13), will only keep you sick.

The truth is, you don’t have to do anything. God loves you whether you know him or not (Romans 5:8) . No matter what you have done or who you are. God’s love is unconditional, completely independent of your actions. He cares for you and he has a special plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). He wants you to know him so that you can walk with him and he can guide you to realise the purpose that he has chosen you for. It is not His plan for you to be sick.

You will find peace, rest, safety and healing in the arms of Jesus. Accept Him into your heart and He will bring you hope and look after you.

Today, I have finished my studies and am working a demanding job as a manager with high stress and long hours, but I have left glandular fever behind... Praise God!

Note: I have recently trimmed out some of my replies to keep the comments from getting too cluttered, but I do wish all the best to all of you and that you will get strong again soon!

Glandular fever links:
glandular fever , mononucleosis, post viral fatigue 


Anonymous said...

Thanks a million. Your post helped alot. My gf is struggling through it and needed to read that.

*~Tey~* said...

Thanks sooo much for this! It is great to find someone that has been through it and doesn't make me feel 'silly' in the times that I'm really not well. I too have been soo lucky to of had a boy friend who looks out for me and often reminds me to 'slow down and take it easy'. I also trust God everyday for my health and I honestly do believe that my Glandular has not been as bad as others I know and I'm very thankful for that...I do though look forward to the day where I am able to go for a run without getting so tired.

Seth said...

Thank you for writing this piece. I currently have been diagnosed with Glandular Fever and hearing a few things from my GP has put me in a bit of a depressed mood.

Looking up help in the internet and asking knowledgeable people hasn't given me much hope for recovery, since most of the BS is "no cure, shut the hell up"
But reading your personal experience and tips has given me some hope.

Unfortunately I have also been diagnosed with a form of Hepatitis because of Glandular, and I'm hoping that I recover faster then 2 years, I have a huge amount to study and no income while I'm bed ridden. Damn, my life sucks hard right now :P

But as I've said, your post has given me some hope. Thank you once again.

rich said...

Hey Seth, wow that's tough for you. Don't lose hope though. My brother had hepatitis A a few years back but he recovered fully in a few months (I think about 3 months). You can recover from both these diseases - it's just hard that it's a double wammy I'm sure. I can't imagine how you must be feeling, but I think that looking after yourself is even more important for you in your extreme condition. I know that it's hard to get sick in the middle of your studies - that's exactly what happened to me... but don't let it stress you out, there is actually nothing you can do about it except relax and get strong again. I hope your recovery is more speedy than you are expecting. Get strong!

Katie said...

Thank you so much for writing that. I've been recovering from Glandular Fever for 9 months now, and I just feel like I will never recover! I've had to take a break from my studies... I was in my final year. It sucks. My friends seem to be getting on with their lives and have forgotten about me. The only positive thing is my fantastic family and my wonderful boyfriend who cheer me up. But, you need your friends in life and it just makes me upset that they haven't even bothered to visit. But it's true in what you said- get upset/stressed and you will feel worse. I'm trying to just think positive or keep busy reading. Thanks again for an honest post that wasn't over the top, but just frank. I needed that and I've added it to my faves.

Thanks again

elaine said...

Thanks a million for your post. I have had GF for 8 weeks now and Just when I think I am over it, it knocks me out again. Before I got GF I was really fit and on the move all the time. I am trying everything to get better. I try to keep positive and on reading your post it made me all the more determined to beat it. Thanks again.

Amy said...

Hi There!
I would just like to say a MASSIVE thanks for this post. I have been off sick for 4 weeks with Glandular Fever. I have been so ill its untrue. I have good/bad days, Today is a bad day but it has cheered me up to read this Rich. :)
My boyfriend has been very understanding but I am having trouble with my own family and his family at the minute. They all think I am a dosser, I am back at the docs next friday for another blood test.

Amy xx

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the post!! It is good to see a happy-ending glandular fever story making it onto the internet. It made me feel less alone when I was very poorly a few weeks ago.

I was diagnosed with glandular fever in early July ad was devastated, given all the 'horror' stories you hear including from the doctor. I had a pretty nasty time, acute tonsilitis, secondary infections, an enlarged spleen, and a fatigue so overwhelming that it HURT even to lie down. There have been times over the past few weeks when I thought I was never going to get better. Luckily, my family and boyfriend have been incredibly supportive and have not allowed me to wallow in the misery of it all.

But...life goes on. Everyday I feel stronger and less fatigued.

To anyone who is going through this too, some advice:

1. Rest when you need to and learn to listen to your body. I know it is a cliche but rest is incredibly important. When you start feeling better, start getting back to normal, but SLOWLY. Aim for half an hour of activity a day at first (walk to the shops and back) and gradually build back up.

2. Don't listen to the horror stories! They are not helpful.

You get to hear so many glandular fever stories....you'd be surprised how many people have had it. I made a list of all the people that had it and got better. Sounds silly, but it helped me believe that I would get better. My list has 30 people on it that I know personally and who've recovered from glandular fever. -There's no-one on my list that hasn't made a full recovery. People do get better!

3. Try to stay cheerful. Paranoia and depression are side-effects of the illness. Remember that being unhappy is just another way the virus is using to get at you.

Thanks for the blog....

Anonymous said...

I've not got the results back yet, but i believe i MAY be suffering with glandular fever. I had tonsilitous and suspected glamdular fever about a month ago but the test came back negative and i got better after a week or so.
However now i'm ill again and it is a bit worse. The tonsilitous is not as bad, but the glands in my neck are huge and painful, i can hardly eat because i feel nausious (although am not actually being sick thank god), i'm constantly light headed so much so that i have to be careful walking around the house, and my joints ache.

I did seem to start sweating out my fever last night, woke up with a soaking wet bed and the fever seems improved today, which i'm taking as a good sign.

Any help and advise much appreciated, and wish me luck.
Thanks for the post.

rich said...

Hey Oliver, glandular fever is a strange disease and it's not unusual for it to do different things to different people. I hope that you don't have it but that you get well soon either way. Look after yourself!

Claire said...

Im Currently suffering from glandular fever! i dint actually kno i had it til i had a blood test n it shown i woz positive. it all makes sense now 4 y i felt lyk crap all the tym. I try 2 rest but its not easy as im at college and i work. i dnt feel i hav 2 giv these up yet as it doesn't affect me alot all the tym. i do get really bad pain and tenderness on my left side, i think its my spleen thts causin this pain but i manage to overcum it most of the tym. i jus worry tht my spleen is at danger of rupturin but i reeli hope it doesn't. I do worry alot thou no mata how much i try not 2!!:)

rich said...

Hey Claire, just hang in there and get as much sleep as you can, even with your studies. If you find you aren't coping, It's not great to have to do it, but you may need to find some sort of compromise that takes the pressure off you a bit - deregister from some courses or don't attend the lectures. I know you might have to catch up later, but you gotta do what you gotta do to get better some times. I remember how uncomfortable my spleen felt at times - I also often worried that it might burst, it didn't but it's probably not a bad idea to get a doctor to check you out if you are worried. But I really don't think you should be out of bed if your spleen is so swollen - it's a sign that you are in no fit state to be up and about. Rather rest and get better!

benmax said...

thx for this. i will noot be going to the doctor and hearing his shit, because my ssymptoms and timescale match closely F.

fortunately, i had already restructured my life to makke it as relaxed,, stress--free and organic ass posssiblle whhich fillls me wwith confidence that my body can absorb and assimilate our friiend Epsteinn-BBarr.

and yes, i have a dodgy keyboard, not an inability to type properly :)

rich said...

thanks for the feedback benmax :) a sense of humour will certainly get you far :) Hoping for a speedy recovery!

Gina Burton said...

Hi Rich Hope you don't mind me leaving a message. You have a link to my web page on your post:
Glandular Fever Help Services: personal and individualised help for sufferers of glandular fever, mononucleosis and post viral fatigue.
Orange have suddenly deleted my account which is not good for those trying to find me: It is now found on:
I thought your blog was good. Stress, taking it easy, ignoring people who don't understand - this is all very important. Negative emotions do have a negative effect on the adrenal system.
Your blog readers may be intersted in my theory:
I always think that after a bad case of Glandular Fever, you are left with a chronic lowering of your threshold for overdoing it. If you continue to go over this threshold, either physically (with too much exercise, socialising, lots of long distance driving, moving house etc) mentally (with too much stress with work etc) or emotionally (with relationship problems, family changes etc) then the old tiredness symptoms and signs of the old Glandular fever come back. Normally it is a combination of the above and gradually you run yourself over your threshold. These stresses can be positive or negative . . . both would have a influence on your body’s coping capacity. In some cases I feel that this threshold is left very low so it would not take much for the old symptoms and tiredness to flare up again.
Looking after yourself and doing as much as you can to help yourself and encourage your body back on track is so important. Managing your health and energy levels is so very important.
Anyway if anyone was trying to find my site for help, then just to say I am still here but moved sites.I am still working on cases full time and try to give everyone as much help and support as I can.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. I'm waiting on blood test results, but have all the classic symptoms. I'm a mom of 2 little boys and had started to panick that I will never be able to keep up. Reading such a calm and realistic look at the disease, along w/ the reminder of faith and positive thought calmed me so much. Still hoping the tests are negative, but believing that if they are not, I will get thru this and still be a good mom to my boys.

Ruth said...

Hey Rich
Was nodding my head to everything you said on this post!
Been 9 months now & had flu in the middle. When I first knew I had got it the doctor as you said was very unhelpful & only offered a blood test as I pushed for one, and no advice after so went straight back into my hectic schedule- really regretting it now lol. As its been so long was wondering whether to go see them again, but your advice (minus the vit B stuff- injections arnt my forte) sounds logical, painless, means I don't have to go back to those idiots, and actually give me hope.
Thank you so much.

Ruth said...

Thanks Rich, I'm feeling 10x's better & thats just with a positive mind, regular vit intakes, & uber early nights.
Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thankyou this has been really helpfull and i am determined to get over GF but i have to say and this is nothing against rich but ive been told from 3 doctors i have seen that the actual disease lasts between 2 weeks to 2 MONTHS not years and as much as i know doctors arent alwasy right 3 highly trained medical proffesionals are hardly going to be wrong and hey even if they are or if there just saying it :P the mental effect it has is great because i honestly believe i will be better soon :) and rich you must have had it bad no soccer for a year :( i couldnt do it. Anyway thanks and for everyone out there keep faith its only a crappy virus its nothing on the grand scale of things :)

rich said...

Hi Anonymous, thanks for the feedback. There are several opinions out there regarding glandular fever and how long it is supposed to/can last. I know that it is often classed in acute phase and post viral phases and there is certainly no denying that it can linger for very unfortunate periods of time. If it lingers for an infinite period of time it is more often redefined as chronic fatigue syndrome or ME (so I guess technically it's not 'glandular fever' anymore). Studies have also shown that glandular fever can affect the brain directly (see the iol article in my links) causing mild brain damage which would also cause long term problems. I swear my eyes (which can be classed as a type of cerebral tissue) have not been the same since I was sick - I wear glasses now.

I know doctors mean well and they are always trying their best but they will never really know everything and the theme of glandular fever is heavily clouded by opinion to the point that some 'professionals' even deny that it exists. You have it though.. you know it's real, whatever they want to call it, it sucks!

But there is no reason you can't just get over it :) and I hope you recover soon! all the best - hope you are playing soccer again soon!

Anonymous said...

The doctors at the hospital say my son who is 6 has glandular fever, no blood tests were done, he gave him antibiotics which i think is for the inflamed tonsils. I am so worried about him

rich said...

I am sorry to hear your son is so sick, I know that glandular fever can be unnerving in that it seems like so little can be done to help (even antibiotics won't help with the viral root of the problem). But general good health practices will go a long way to helping, as I have outlined in my post above. I'm sure it must be particularly worrying as a mum but glandular fever just needs some time to clear up :) THe most concerning glandular fever cases I have heard of are to do with especially swollen spleens - other than that the other symptoms don't pose anything life threatening and your son is young. The theory is that the younger you are, the faster you recover. I hope you son gets well again soon!

genieinabottle said...

Praise Jesus. My partner has got it and he got it so bad that he can't even get proper rest cos of the haunting rashes which the anti-biotic left him (before the diagnosis). i am really comforted with your post especially with God's word. I really needed that. Still, thank you, happy to know you have recovered fully and stay bless. God bless you always. Cheers

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for your article.
my daughter was diagnosed one week ago, she also had a terribe rash from head to toe due to penicillan (because we thought initially it was an ear infection)
She has got a lot better 6 days on and feels she is over it,
every other article and comment say it takes a long time to get over glandular fever, does this make sense that she is already over it. she proabably had the symptons for 3 weeks prior to diagnoses. she was due to go on a 4 day bush trek a week after diagnoses, she cant understand why she cant go, she is 16
what do you think?
regards Julie Z

rich said...

@Julie Z - It's great that your daughter is so much better that she feels she could go on her camp already. Glandular fever never ceases to amaze me in the individual way it seems to manifest in different people. I would say that if your daughter is 100% certain she is up for the camp then I can't see why she shouldn't go. The important thing for her to remember though is that if she feels over exerted she needs to take a time out. So the camp people need to understand that she may not be able to participate in all the activities and may need to lie in or have afternoon naps on a few days - The camp and the conditions surrounding it need to accommodate her if she suddenly feels that she can't keep up - Because the key to recovery is to listen to your body and slow down when your body can't keep up.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich, thanks for your reply.
My daughter didnt go on the camp as she was diagnosed on 5th May and due to go on the 11th May, Her teachers said they wouldnt want to chance it,
My daughter believes she was well enough to go but is only this week returning to school after a week off and will be returning to her 8 hours of dancing this week,
I suppose it will be a wait and see if she starts to feel unwell or tired. I will let you know, my query was that so many people say it most often takes weeks to months to recover fully
regards Julie Z

rich said...

Pleasure JulieZ, glandular fever seems to affect different people in very different ways - There seems to be no set formula for what soothes it or makes it go away or how long it lasts. I would say it's not impossible that your daughter has recovered so quickly - she is very fortunate. But at the same time she must go easy on herself in getting back into her old routine - She must take a break if she can't manage everything she is doing, especially with all that dancing, because glandular fever has a notorious tendency to relapse and that's the last thing either of you want. So it's important that she looks after herself - she mustn't jump back into everything too fast and she must make sure that she is getting a good amount of good quality, solid sleep :) But I hope she stays well from this point on!

puffy eyes said...

Hi there I have been suffering from GF for over a year now, got it in my first year of uni, was horrible and worst of all it affected my liver (hepatitis) i was horrified GF could have this affect on my body.

Basically i have been suffering with a low immunity ( i seem to easily pick up colds, flu, tonsilitis) fatigue has also been a major problem

Along with that i have also been suffering with anxiety and have felt very down since having it, just dont feel myself and it is really troubling me!

it is reassuring to hear i am not the only one suffering like this though!!

would love to hear from you!

Adam said...

this was a very well written and reasonably informitive blog, its just a shame that you had to sully the rest of the article with religious nonsense. To think i put some stead in what you were saying (atleast until i read the final paragraph)

Mike Bull said...

Um, this is Rich's blog, not yours, and it has helped many people. Please, show some respect.

rich said...

Hi Adam, thanks for the criticism. I am not religious though, I'm a normal person. But I know that my healing only came when I started really trusting in God for healing - How could I not give him all the glory and share this with sick people who are looking for relief?

I couldn't agree with you more - meaningless religion, doing things that self righteous people say we should or expect us to do is a waste of time and will only bread frustration, resentment and our own self righteousness (all bad things) - I am sorry if you have been hurt by religious people, they are not always operating in the will of God.

We have to all find God, (Jesus specifically) for ourselves. He is our only hope, the way, the truth and the life.

Always remember Adam, that He loves you unconditionally (that means no matter what - in spite of what anyone might say) and He will always reach out to you, even if you cry out to him as a last resort. I hope you remember this always and I hope you find your way.

Keep looking for the truth and you will find it.

Anonymous said...

I first got glandular fever as a student a number of years ago. It hit me for about nine months and I steadily had to build my way out of it - which I did completely. I have recently had a proper reoccurance and I've had to book a month off worth to recouperate. It stinks. Even second time around it is still scarey, even though I know that I can build myself back up again.

For anyone that is looking for an effective supplement/remedy I use Metatone Tonic (no I don't work for them) a very small amount diluted into a pint glass, with half a 1000mg soluable vitamin C tablet in there - add to that a daily zinc and multivitamin supplement PLUS around 3000mg of L-Lysine amino acid per day (remember to avoid Arginine rich foods like the plague - they feed the Epstein Barr virus it is said). Plenty of fresh green veg like sprouts, cabbage and broccoli are good too. But nothing beats pure rest and proper sleep. BTW I take the metatone/vit C combo three times a day (before bed, after breakfast, and one in the afternoon).

Remember - remember - NO chocolate! It really is dreadful and although it is a comfort food, it will fuel the virus unfortunately.

I can understand the references to God in this blog - I'm not what I would regard to be a deeply religious person, but I found reassurance in faith as well. Protecting yourself from dark thoughts is vital - the negativity of affirming to yourself that you're never going to get better is a locked on self fulfilling prophecy. If you reverse that the opposite will be true - you will get better. Do what you have to do to get that belief ingrained into you - it doesn't have to be religious - but it does have to stick.

BTW I'm not a doctor or medically qualified - the stuff i have talked about only works for me by practical experience.

Get well soon

Helen said...

Thanks Rich, this is the most useful thing I've found on the internet. I was diagnosed almost 2 months ago, and had it quite mildly. I'd known a few people who'd had it and got over it quite quickly, so when after 3 weeks I felt completely fine, I went back to work, started going out with friends again etc. Bad move. I now feel awful and exhausted in a way I didn't before, and can't believe I was so idiotic. I just need to learn a bit of patience, I suppose...

Michael Ward said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your blog it was a help to read it. I must admit i have been quite down lately as it has been a struggle. 1 year ago i had Glandular Fever and it was not too bad. But 2 months ago i had pnemonia and gastritis in my stomach, i was quite tired and when i was on the road to recovery my blood test has now become positive with Glandular Fever (EBV) and i FEEL SO SO TIRED and it feels as though every day is a struggle. It has been 3 weeks so im just trying to stay postive. It feels so weird when you have it as you must know, feels like you are in a different world!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich,

Not sure if you still follow this post -

I'm about to hit the 6 month mark of being diagnosed with acute EBV, and I gotta say, I'm kinda bummed.... I go through weeks where I can go on runs, do power yoga, do a little rock climbing, etc, without terrible repercussions...and then there are weeks like this week. Totally, scarily wiped out after one yoga class (has taken me 3 days to feel better!) Do you think these ups and downs are normal?

I keep thinking I should go back to the doctor, but every time I go, he/she either says it shouldn't last this long, or says there is nothing to be done...

The worst thing I do is go hunting online and read things about people who never got better. So depressing.

I hope you're still doing well!


rich said...

Hi J, thanks for the feedback. It sounds like you are really getting back into everything after just 6 months. Just a reminder that this thing alters your baseline though - It can take a long time to get back to your "normal" levels. So don't be discouraged by set backs. Do rest when you need to and don't push through stubbornly. I hope your strength is restored soon. I'm still doing great thanks - I hardly look back now really, I can't believe it's been almost four years since I was sick :)

Tasha said...

J you have my greatest sympathy! I have just hit the 7 month mark and like you have periods of a couple weeks or so where I hardly notice the Glandular Fever. During those times I can pretty much get back to normal apart from noticing a slight dull ache in my glands if I over do things. Then all of a sudden I get times like now where I get a couple of weeks of feeling tired during the day with painful glands. Its so hard to feel like I will get better! My boyfriend encourages me to stay positive and think how I felt constantly bad a couple of months ago and what a long way I have come, but in 3 months time I start my university course to become a Teacher. Something I have wanted to do for so long and I'm scared I won't be well enough to cope. I guess staying really positive is the best thing for us!

It's so reassuring to find a site full of support rather than either scare stories or medical experts saying you get better after a few weeks!


rich said...

@Tasha, meant to mention, don't let the studies stress you out. It may just mean you will need to be disciplined about your priorities. Don't forget that glandular fever alters your threshold of "normal", so it may just require that you focus more on studies and push other things to the side lines. And make sure you get enough sleep. You will be fine :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, but the whole God bullshit kinda ruined it at the end.

rich said...

@Anonymous Thanks for the feedback, but I am not going to apologize. This blog post is based on facts and the end of my story involved God. That's just how it is. Keep looking for the truth and you will find it.

gabriella said...

Hi Rich my name is Gabriella I have suffered from Glanduler fever for over a year I couldnt work for about a year now im working casualy in a childcare centre but i still get very tired so I may have to look for something not ad tiring.
But I read through your story and I really appreciate that you wrote that as some days I feel really alone and If I tell people that dont have it they just dont understand.Some days its so hard when you want your whole life back but this virus keeps holding you back it can be so depressing. Im going to try some of your hints and see how I go.Such a horrible thing to get

Anonymous said...

thanks so much!! Especially for the spiritual advice. I am a 49 year old grandma of 8 and have been having GF for nearly 5 months.I am still very emotionally upset about the symptoms but am having a B12 injection tomorrow!!Thanks again for everything.

Anonymous said...

i have just been diagnos with glandular fever. i have found it so frustrating at the moment i am single mum with 4 children run my own business everything has gone on hold. i am use to doing everything but at the moment i can bearly stay awake longer then 2 hours at a time. the fatigue and the ache and pains in my body.
thanks heeps for sharing your experience. i love the scriptures u share i just need to trust for full recovery quickly as well.

Sophie said...

Thank you so much for writing this and making it available to everyone. It is more than 2 months since I was diagnosed with glandular fever now (having just started a degree in medicine!) but now I know the symptoms etc I think I have been suffering since last summer actually. Times are really tough at the moment and, as you found, having to postpone my studies is pretty devastating. I can identify with so much you have written and it feels so good to share our experiences as GF can be so lonely when it comes to talking to those who really know what it's like. I am lucky that I have a wonderful family and amazing boyfriend to look after me and they do their best to understand but having never had it before I know this is hard for them.
Thank you so much for your words of inspiration. One thing I would add is that I am finding that I need to snack every couple of hours to keep myself from feeling totally devoid of energy and like I might collapse. I really do find that helps and it is easy to forget to eat that often so I need to keep reminding myself!
To all of the other GF sufferers out there, keep your chins up, we're in this together and we will recover soon - bring it on!

Anonymous said...

Hello there I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever at the end of november 2010 and still have it. i feel exhausted and tired the whole time. I am in my first year at University and my parents are keen for me to go back and carry on as normal. I am unsure of what to do ?They think its all in the mind and do not seem to understand the pain I am in. My sister thinks i am making it up.
I feel far from God but I am praying for his help.
I am on homeopathic treatment also.

rich said...

It goes without saying that this disease takes advantage of stressful circumstances. So the general advice is to do your best not to allow yourself to be stressed out. More specific advice would be to get your folks to have a chat to someone who understands glandular fever (not always the doctor). At the very least, if your folks do get you to go back to varsity I would go and visit the HOD and explain your situation. The university may be more helpful than you would imagine. I know it's hard but it's important to learn to take things in your stride and to recognize that your stride may not always be as great as you would like it to be. I do hope that things work out for the best for you though.

Andie said...

Thank you so much for this!

I am currently suffering from Glandular Fever... it couldn't have happened at a worse time in my life... but I suppose that was the point of it all... to sharply remind me that I had overly abused my health and now it was time for a shocking reminder.

I had the tonsilitus symptoms for about a week and they finally calmed down (although I could still see my glands were swollen) for a couple of weeks and then I got hit with the fever and flu symptoms at the same time. Now, I've had Dengue (I live in Nicaragua) and this was WORSE than Dengue!!!

Most of the flu symptoms have now gone and havent had fever symptoms in a few days. I've modified my lifestyle to still function but not to overwork myself.

I'll keep checking this blog as and when I can.


Rick said...

Hey Rich,

I'm too tired to write a lot. (Glandular fever is a real bitch.) But your blog on glandular fever is the best thing I have read today.

I am determined to recover.

Stay well, and thank you very very much.

Andie said...

Ok, this sounds absolutely crazy, but I'm going to post it anyway...

You know, glandular fever has been a real wake up call for me. I've always been pretty health conscious... but when I get overly stressed and over work myself... the health always goes... and I always fight this try-to-find-the-balance fight... until I'm forced to deal with the out-of-balance issue.

This is the first time this has went so out of balance. And I've known it for a long time. I usually sacrifice my health for a few months... maybe 4 to about 7 for whatever I'm doing. This time I sacrificed it for almost a year and there was no way in the near future I was planning on dealing with that issue, because I had bigger fish to fry...

Well... didn't I just get a sharp waske-up call that I DON'T have bigger fish to fry. So far, I'm up at 65% functionality. The mood swings are a killer. I've been wondering why I've been feeling a little depressed on and off for the last 4 months... it was ready to hit. I'm just having to ride through it.

Vitamin B and Enchincea are worth their weight in gold... can I just say that?

Anyone one else have a terrible cough that kept them awake all night?

Izzy Butcher said...


Since currently have glandular fever which the Doctors are now saying is a virus. I have become very health conscious - I never used to be, but now I am very health conscious- no dairy products at the minute or chocolate. Lots of fruit and vegetables and soup even though eating tires me out. The mood swings are hard and also what is hard is when people around you don't know how you feel -my family keep telling me to get on with it and forget about it and its like I would if i could! It's quite debilitating I find.

echinacea is really good, and vitamin c the fizzy things you get from tesco and put in water. And can I just say how good roobios tea is too :)

i am in my first yera at uni and going in as when i can - three days at week but still trying to do all the work ...
Thank you again for the blog.

artur said...

Hi Rich, when did you start to feel better? Was your recovery gradual? Did you also have bad and good days? I'm in sixth month with this malady and I'm loosing all hope that it will ever end. I'm so depressed and anxious. Over the internet I find only horror stories that people never get over this, not many come back to tell good stories! Your story made me feel more positive.Thanks

rich said...

Hi Artur. I was pretty much sick for a year. My discovery was very gradule, but it did accelerate towards the end and suddenly I was much better. But yes, good days will be peppered with bad days, so don't let that get you down. It is something that you need to manage actively though. You must make sure that you are getting enough sleep and eating healthy. Do what you can to manage your stress as much as possible. I still live this way in fact. Don't lose heart though, it is totally possible to feel normal again! All the best.

Andie said...

Finally... there is hope...

Two weeks ago I went to a Japanese clinic and THEY TOLD ME what I had... but they didn't explain it as... oh you have glandular fever so you have these symptoms... they treated the symptoms in a holistic fashion. They told me in two weeks I would feel like an angel. I laughed.

Two weeks later... I went back to the clinic... the vast majority of the symptoms are gone. The treatment they gave me helped me to sleep... I am sleeping 10 hours a night just now which is DOUBLE what I usually sleep. I have transformed completely. There is hope.

This needs to be treated holistically. You have to change your lifestyle completely... but I would strongly advise going to a Japanese clinic. I feel balanced. And I must maintain it or it will come back... they warned me... my new equilibrium has been drawn and I must repect it.

Have hope. You can win this fight... and win a better relationship with your mind, body and spirit.

rich said...

Hi Andie

Thanks for the feedback again. There is no doubt that recovering from glandular fever requires a holistic approach.

I am glad that you have found something that works for you :) And again, I think it is key to identify and accept that you have to work with a new threshold or equilibrium as you called it :)

Hope you continue to get strong. All the best.

Anonymous said...

hi i have just been diagnosed with glandular fever and its great to read about other people's experiences. i didn't know that the lethargy which was getting at me in the past weeks could be something downright medical. however i dont feel as tired as most of you are explaining. i just have these enlarged lymphnodes otherwise im fine :) i wonder when i'll be totally recovered! thanks again for this post. i'll be reading it more than once that's for sure :)

ollie said...

you just described what my life has been like these months , i have missed some big exams because of it and my life is very stressful and no one understands what its like but at least there is someone who understands. I even started reading the bible and if you knew me then you would know what im getting at !! but thanks for the info

Rich said...

I don't want to be too annoying by repeating myself. But stay strong! There is always hope :) Keep looking towards the light and it will be okay in the end. I know it's difficult to get through it but I also know that you can get better!

Anonymous said...

What a helpful post. Heartfelt thanks for the hope :)

I am currently waiting on blood test results...as someone who is always on the go, I was so worried at the thought of having it. But now, I am coming to terms with the fact I might...

The guilt about not being at work is crazy, I feel like if I am checking emails at home, I should be able to manage going to the office! But realistically it is not physically possible.

Oh well, let's see - I have taken on board your comment about resting and sleeping/eating when and what your body needs.

Thanks again


Rich said...

Hope you are feeling much better soon HG! Take it easy.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rich,
Thanks for the site.I picked up Glandular Fever late last year after racing Ironman Hawaii. I have just started some vitamin infusions i.e. B,C,Zinc via my doctor and I am certainly feeling a little better hopefully I can back on the training track.
Best wishes to you all, stay positive.
Cheers, Jon

Kirsty McGhie-Fraser said...

hey, I have been suffering with GF since November last year now, and its still going strong. I had a cold/flu for about a month in December/January, and have forever since been suffering with tiredness. Its just so overwhelming! I didnt know I had GF until about March, which i then took about a month off work. I went back to work feeling okay, but then the tiredness came back. I have since had to quit work to get over it, but no matter how much i rest i dont seem to get better! I dont know when i should start doing normal things again; when i feel rested enough? but when i do, i get an overwhelming sense of tiredness which knocks me out for a few days. I dont know what to?

Rich said...

Hi Kirsty. Sorry to hear you've had such a rough time. I know it can be very discouraging. There were a few times when I was sure I wouldn't get better too... I can only imagine that needing to quit your job must be especially stressful though. You must be looking after your basic health needs already? But you must make sure that you are sleeping enough and eating healthy. Have you tried vitamin b shots? I've heard that Echinacea can be helpful too! Recovery is a slow and frustrating process, don't over do it or you will end up taking steps backwards. There is a fine balance and you need to remember that Glandular fever resets your activity baseline - there is only so much you can do now, but you can increase your baseline again, slowly. Do what you can to separate yourself from sources of stress and allow yourself to go through the process of building your strength slowly again and getting better. All the best!

Anonymous said...

I got GF on 1.June.2011.It started with feeling tired ,fever and sore throat with the white cheesy material on the tonsils.Then The fever became high grade 40C,no power and vomiting.These symptoms lasted for almost 2 weeks.After that the fever only occurred at afternoon.I forgot to mention the sweating at night.Really a nasty disease and depressing.My spleen and liver also got enlarged,
The good thing is that following these steps helped me to recover a lot during my third week:
1- Complete bed rest and lots of sleep.
2- Lots of VIT C-Which I got from oranges and grape fruits Plus I eat garlic everyday in the morning.
3-Lots of pure water.
4-Warm salt water for gargling helped my throat.
During the third week I started ti feel better,of course with some days of great fatigue,but no sore throat or any fevers.
My advise is to rest rest and rest...get to things very slowly.


Anonymous said...


this post has helped me as i believe my glandular fever has definatley been feeding off my stress. i was in hospital for a week, and just like your mother they were looking for cancer, leukemia in particular. it was a devastating time for me, now i know i must take the stresses out of my life in order for me to recover fully.

Rich said...

What a traumatic experience. I hope you can recover soon now that you know what the real problem is! But what a relief to know it's not cancer.

MikeOConnor said...

Thank you.

I hope the simplicity of my statement echos its sincerity.

Rich said...

Only a pleasure Mike - I hope you get strong and well again soon!

Rachel Murray said...

Just to echo what everyone else has said really! Thanks Rich a great blog to read. Just been diagnosed with GF and have 3 kids under 5 (including twins) I seem to be fine one min and the next shattered! Especially if any of them have nightmares and wake up in the night.

I am finding it hard to accept I just need to rest and accept the help from my friends..but thanks I'm positive I'll get there

Rich said...

I wish you a speedy recovery Rachel, hope you find your strength again soon!

david hughes said...

I got this 2 years ago at uni and have never felt normal since! had to leave because of it. I went through a period where my throat stopped being sore and I had a bit more energy but then I got to uni in october and I think the stress has brought it all back, sore throat and jaw and extreme lethargy. I'm 22 and it's very hard to have a social life so find myself being a bit isolated from everyone going out at uni. Anyway glad you did it, I hope I can too some day!

Rich said...

Hey David, I remember how hard it was to make the transition back to normal life as well. You need to be careful not to allow yourself to be stressed out by the worry that any stress you face will cause a relapse or you will unfortunately get caught in a vicious cycle.

It's also important to understand that you do have limited energy, so you need to prioritise where you spend it and make sure that you replenish it. I know this is difficult as well because forgoing social stuff can create its own kind of stress.

I would recommend you read a book called 'Battlefield of the Mind' by Joyce Meyer - It helped me greatly to engage with positive thinking and get my mind in the right place to manage with stress.

I do hope you have break through soon! All the best.

Anonymous said...

This is all so accurate, glad I found the site.
I have been suffering with GF since September 2011, I picked the awful virus up during a stay in hospital for long term kidney condition I have. Because of this debilitaing condition I am totally immuno surpressed and can't seem to fight anything. Some days I find it takes me about 3 hours to get a shower and get up. With all the added worries of paying a sole mortgage and work, its sometimes hard to wonder when its all going to end. Whenever I come across anybody who has trouble understanding GF i will be telling them to read your article. Its enlightening. Thank You

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your encouraging thoughts. I am a missionary and was wondering if I might have glandular fever or maybe I am just burnt out. I was sick for about 4 weeks and now am left totally exhausted. My glands hurt when I am more tired. Been checked for thyroid problems but they are negative. Time to go back to the doctor I think! Your comments about Jesus and resting in his arms have blessed my heart today. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, reading everyone's posts has been really informative.

I was diganoised with GF in Nov 2011. Dr says I no longer have it. I had 3 weeks where I was unable to even feed myself. I am now back at work and suffer great lethargy.

I also still have huge swollen lymphnoids on my neck and am wondering whether they will ever disappear. I have had to grow my short bob longer to cover them as they look alienlike.

I am wondering if anyone else has this ongoing problem from their GF and if they no any solutions to getting rid of the glands. My bloods are all back to normal. so as far as the DR is concerned I no longer have GF and the glands will go down when they are ready. Call me paranoid but, it took them 3 weeks and a course of antibiotics that I reacted to with a measle like rash before I was told I had GF.

again this site has been an interesting and informative read.

Megan said...

Hi Rich
Thanks for writing this - your comment about showering every 2 days had me laughing for ages - so true!!!
I had 3 months off work last year (July-Sept) with GF and then took another 2 months or so to get back to work full time.
I got back into (short) triathlons in Nov with my normal positive mindset and determination to get back on with life and into the things I love doing. However, I have been back to the tired state over the last month and have had to pull out of recent tri's. I am slowly realising the need to take time to recover, to ignore the expectations of others and to generally not beat myself up over not being able to do everything I used to.
I have changed a few things this month which have helped me feel better... I start work an hour later in the morning and have an extra hour's sleep - this has been fantastic and has helped my energy levels remain higher throughout the day. I have found acupuncture has worked really well with relieving my tiredness symptoms and giving me more energy (I recommend searching around and finding an acupuncturist who has a very traditional understanding of this practice). I'm also trying changing a few things in my diet to help out my liver function (cut out all alcohol, change coffee to herbal teas, more green veges).
On top of that, keeping a positive outlook on life, focusing on the things in life that are good and knowing that others have got through this helps!

Katie said...

Hi Rich,
I just wanted to leave a comment to acknowledge what a great blog you posted about glandular fever.
I fell ill with two bouts of tonsillitis within a month of each other in and an awful viral infection that lasted for 5 weeks, most of the time i was bed ridden. It was only 2 months later that i was diagnosed with glandular fever and i have been suffering ever since. I have no energy these days, have to be in bed by 9 and by 6pm i just cannot function properly. I have a few good days when i feel positive and can get things done but the absolute exhaustion and a fever will catch up with me. I do try to stay positive and get on with things but I have to be honest, at times my positive mindset slips rather and i find myself wallowing in my own pity. I keep asking myself why it was me who contracted the virus, what did i do to deserve it? I'm a law abiding, healthy eating, regular exercising, sociable happy student trying to get the best degree i can. I have been offered an incredibly prestigious year long placement in the USA starting in August and I was one of 7 chosen out of over 300. I'm beginning to wonder whether, if worst comes to it, i'll have to pull out from it. Other stressors include my upcoming exams. I just feel inundated with things and wish I could just hit the pause button on life.
You are SO right when you said that most people don't understand. I am very fortunate to have loving and understanding parents and although they live 4 hours away, they are truly there for me when i need them most. My sister and many friends on the other hand, are a different story and i can already feel some of our friendships slipping away. However to be honest, right now, i just really don't care. My health is much more important.
Thank you once again Rich, I know it is nearly 4 years since you posted it, but it is a lovely and encouraging find for anyone suffering from this virus.
Chin up people, we'll get past this :D

Nory316 said...

I am suffering from GF presently. I'm about 6 months into recovery and it's an incredibly difficult journey. I have also created my own blog here:


And I would be honoured if you would let me add your blog to my blog roll. I have a lot of fellow sufferers visit my page and a story like yours is genuinley inspirational for those of us still on the way back.

Thank you for taking the time to put your experiences down in writing. It gives us all hope.

Armando said...

Share Scientists have developed a vaccine against glandular fever - the 'kissing disease' - which hits thousands of teenagers and young adults each year.

A vaccine has been developed by SmithKline Beecham which will provoke the body's immune system to repel the virus responsible.
Doctors at Edinburgh University are mounting a trial - funded by the Medical Research Council - to inoculate 2,000 students to test the vaccine's effectiveness.
A small initial trial at Liege University in Belgium showed that the vaccine works, but a larger scale trial is also required.
If all goes well, the vaccine could become available within the next two to three years. It would probably be given to children while still in primary school or earlier along with other childhood immunisations.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-30176/Can-jab-stop-glandular-fever.html#ixzz1uAW5hyyB

Penelope said...

So glad I found this blog. I'm 43 years old and have recently been diagnosed with GF. 7 or 8 months ago I was very stressed and started having anxiety attacks. About this time I started noticing a change in vision. I only wear reading glasses but my eye sight felt weak and my eyes very tired. I had a couple of months where I was very fatigued but felt better. Then my eye sight deteriorated. I had to force myself to focus on anything. Optometrist said all was well. Fuzzy head and extreme fatigue. When a flu kicked in and kept me in bed for 10 days, I was finally diagnosed with GF. I'm improving after 3 weeks but still the fuzzy head and vision problems. The fatigue has brought the anxiety back. I've started stressing there could be something more serious going on. Has anyone else had this bad fuzziness and wonky head and vision? This is an insidious virus that creeps on and hits hard :(

Rich said...

Hi Penelope, I sympathise with you - I remember being very worried and completely not at home in my own skin by the way the virus made me feel. You need to try and stop this though - it only causes anxiety which fuels the problem and the downwards spiral. It is possible to get better - focus on that. But it sounds like you should still be resting mostly.

I'm not sure if you read all the comments above, but I have actually mentioned that my eyesight deteriorated when I got sick as well and I wear glasses now. The optometrist found some interesting scarring on my retina, though I have no idea if this was caused by the virus - it could have just been coincidence.

I think that GF can cause a bunch of unpleasant symptoms that are ultimately caused by the extreme tiredness (even your eyes get tired). Rest and control of your thoughts are the most important keys to feeling better and I hope you start getting much better soon!

Penelope said...

Thanks Rich. I did read your comment after I had posted. I was getting stressed as I'd had 3 days of progressively feeling beter then I just crashed again. I spoke to the Dr who said that looking at my recent blood tests I was still in the worst phase of this virus and must expect this roller coaster ride for another 2 or 3 months. He suggested vitamin C and ecchinacia, magnesium and zinc for the moment. He also said that in a couple of months time I could start taking a product called astra 8 Vusion. It's a mix of 8 Chinese herbs that will help the immune system but one must be out of the "worst phase of GF before taking this. Meanwhile I'm deep breathing, going back to bed and going to sleep with a hypnosis cd. Thanks again for taking the time to write Rich. It is a huge relief to read that other people understand what I'm going through and we can support each other. :)

ruby starr said...

Hi Rich,

Thank you so much for your article. It felt so good to finally hear from someone who understands what it is like to experience the long term effects of glandular fever!

I have been off for four months now and have been trying to go back to work but completely unable to finish my shifts and often needing to rest for a week after trying to go in. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place as the doctor thinks I should do what I can at work but then not go in if I don't feel up to it. Work are putting me under pressure to work and getting annoyed because they don't have the cover.

My family have tried to be supportive but all have an attitude towards it that I should have been better within 6 weeks and don't believe that I can't work more than I've been trying to.

No-one really seems to understand that I don't want this to be happening to me and if I could do more then that's what I would want. I've become extremely depressed since contracting the disease and just want my life to be back to normal.

Your article gave me the power to know that I'm not alone and am not wrong to be experiencing the difficulties that I am.

Thank you again and God bless

Penelope said...

Hi again. I just wanted to post another follow up. A friend sent me to a highly recommended acupuncturist 2 and a half weeks ago. I was still in the worst throws of GF. She gave me some acupuncture for my wobbly head but most importantly is the potent Chinese medicine which she referred to as 'anti-malerial'. My health has improved dramatically almost every single day since starting on these powdered herbs. For a few days this past week I felt almost normal again! The past 3 days I'm not as well as that but am certainly much better.
Rich, I've also spoken with 2 doctors in the past 2 weeks (one a friend of mine) and after explaining my symptoms of terrible wobbly head and blurry vision, both of them told me I'm suffering with encephalitis which is not uncommon with GF. This explains the feeling that my brain was moving around even in my sleep, the bumping into walls and memory blanks that were occurring!
Hope this helps some folks. Thanks so much again for your blog. It helped me during the scariest moments of this virus. :)

Suzy said...

Thanks for your blog, it does help to read about other people getting through it! So many people keep telling me I'm going to be sick for years, its so disheartening.

I have been off work for 6 weeks now and am well and truly sick of this virus! Its interesting that you mention the stress and anxiety that comes with it, I thought that was just me. I am getting myself into serious debt as I don't get sick leave or anything at my work. The ridiculous thing is that I am so tired and clearly need lots of sleep but my financial troubles have me so stressed I can't sleep at night.

Lying about in bed all day, getting no exercise, I feel myself slipping into a bit of a depression. You feel so lonely and forgotten while the world carries on without you. Its heard to stay hopeful.

I'm trying to keep on with my uni studies, at least I have time now that I'm not working! I'm only doing it part-time by correspondence so I can work at my own pace from the comfort of my bedroom. Its the only thing keeping me sane although I'm not sure I can keep it up all semester.

Anyway, thanks for the blog. Just searching for the strength to get through this.

Kate said...

Hi fellow GF sufferers ! I had GF 12 years ago ( blood tests came back inconclusive but Consultant still diagnosed me ) which then developed into ME - took me 20 months to get back to work. Still, I refused to be beaten by it, I wanted as much of my normal life back as was possible and did achieve my goal thankfully. To my surprise though 12 years later, I fainted recently and then started with a fever - my Dr diagnosed a GF relapse - blood tests inconclusive again ! It has affected my kidney function this time but my Consultant is expecting this to rectify itself as the GF abates. Didn't expect it to get me twice but at least I know the drill from experience - Rest, Rest, Rest initially, B12 shots if required then a gradual return back into normal life. You do get there - honestly !! Regards, Kate xx

wishuponastar said...

I actually got Galdular Fever on Christmas Day 2011 and I am still suffering from the fatigue and muscle ache. 6 weeks after I contracted GF I started my position as a primary school teacher. Being a first year teacher who has glandular fever is challenging. I am constantly tired and go to bed around 8pm every night. When I get home from work I am too tired to do anything. I can spend the day doing nothing On a weekend and still be exhausted at 8pm. It's frustrating. I am only 22 years old. I no longer have a social life. I made a decision to stop drinking any alcohol because it made me sick with a cold everyone I had any. My friends don't understand why I don't go out anymore or why a 9pm movie session is too late.

It has been 9 months and there have been days where I thought I would never be normal again. I miss my old life but I know that things will improve eventually. I just have to be patient. Thank you for everything you wrote. It made me feel a lot better.

Louise Sterling said...

Hi Seth
A close friend in her 40's contracted glandular fever, which attacked her brain tissue. She was sick for about a year - just unable to do anything except rest, journal, reflect on her life. She couldn't even walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Her specialist was amazing - and just urged her to rest and reassured her with the bizarre symptoms from the haemorrhaging brain tissue. She recovered fully, returned to work and adopted a little girl. Now, 10 years later, another friend contracted the disease while pregnant. She had an emergency caesar at 28 weeks, and is now in the critical care unti fighting for her life as the disease is attacking her organs. As has been said here, this disease affects everyone in a unique way - please all take care - this virus can be very serious.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous. My daughter, now 38 and the mother of two, had GF when she was 16. By chance I read an item about it in a magazine which recommended Metatone, L-lysine, and Garlic tablets. After all these years I don't remember the dosages, but I'm sure it could be found somewhere. It worked a treat, especially after the GP said there was no treatment.

rachel thomspon said...

Thank you for helping me understand what my teenage son is going through better. He's been sick 2.5 years. Just when he thinks he feels better, it's back.
I will be even more patient now.

Vicki said...

Thanks to Rich and everyone else who has posted; this blog has helped me immensely. I became very despondent after several weeks in to my recovery and I couldn't bear to think of the fatigue lasting any longer! It really helped to hear others' experiences. Like others, my GP said there was nothing that could be done for GF other than rest - Gah!

Ideas from this blog made a difference. I too found that acupuncture, Chinese herbs and magnesium made a big difference to my recovery. My acupuncturist also gave me a list of foods to consume a lot of, and those to avoid. Feeling empowered that I could do something (other than rest) made me regain my positivity.

Within 2 days of taking the herbs and magnesium, my muscle aches were gone....and my energy levels have improved and improved with each passing week. 4 months after my encounter with GF and I still have days where I feel wiped out, but am so much better...

Thanks again everyone - and best wishes for your own recovery!

Anonymous said...

I WISH...i had seen this blog this time last year... my 9 months of hell started early 2012.An astmahtic cough (was rushed to hospital with severe breathing difficaulties)in January, followed by bouts of throat thrush and pharangitis in feb/march...I was 48, high pressure job, travelling the globe, sports mad (bike,swimming, gym every day) played drums in band...so a hectic life-style. BUT isnt everyones life hectic, what makes GF sufferers any different? I found out quickly, trying to do the things i always did whilst i wasnt fully recovered from these setbacks took a massive toll on my immune system...by then it was too late...the unbeleivable tiredness, throat like it was filed with glass,ok u know the symtoms! 1 month of antibiotics did nothing to help, a blood test failed to spot EBV but by then the specialist had already diagnosed it...3 month in and 3rd blood test showed EBV+CMV, a really bad combination. I felt like someone was literally ripping my quad muscles out of my legs, the burning and aching was at times almost too much to bear...unless youve experienced it you will never understand the despair of this 24 hour aday hell on earth, it comes in waves and when it does you just want to curl up and die...i had the darkest of thoughts. Only the thought of the pain id leave behind kept me going. like many i had a lot of false dawns, this is the hardest thing, willing your recovery and when you think youve turned the corner, boom you are back to square one. There is no magic formula, there is just YOU and your strength of character to not be the next ME or MS sufferer ( i was told i probably had ME after 6 months) ....but one thing that bonds us sufferers together is that we are strong minded people, go getters, glass half fullers....and that is what will get you through...TRUST ME...i cried many times, alone and in front of my family...the despair was crushing at times...but i never gave up hope that id recover. So now 1 year on im 95% there, back at work full time...first rehaersal with my bandmates is tonite after 1 whole year. YOU too will get there...dont lose hope. Use the journey to enrich your life afterwards. Tony

Rich said...

Thanks for the inspiring comment Tony. All the best and have a blast at band practice :)

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I discovered this really useful advice. I have been ill for over 6 weeks now combined with anaemia. It is a bit like going to hell and back as pretty much no one can see how bad it feels. I kept getting flu, chest infections and then was diagnosed with gf following a blood test. It is the most painful and loneliest place to be.

amy said...

ur blog is great and perked me up a bit. I have all these symptoms and have been in bed with no appetite for a week. i'm having to force myself to eat little bits. I have the gf blood test tomorrow and I hope it is gf so then at least i'll know what i'm dealing with. thanks again for this page x

LIV said...

I love how other people are writing there stories for others to see, posts like this have insprired me to do my own, i am just annoyed that i didnt see this when i was at my worst... thankyou for this :)


Rich said...

Thanks for your link LIV, I will add it to the bottom of my post soon. I hope you are doing much better. All the best :-)

Anonymous said...

I just want to thank you for writing this. I was feeling so down as I have been suffering with glandular fever for about a year now and have felt very low in myself and was close to depression and I am 14 years old. God hasturned my life around. Thankyou and I hope your now fully recovered

Rich said...

Thank you, I am much stronger now :) I am glad you found some encouragement from my post - there is definitely hope, keep looking up and I hope you find your strength again soon!

Anonymous said...

I have sooo many questions...my 11 year old son was diagnosed with GF a week ago he has since had the swollen tonsils etc and kept asking me if he was dying...just today he has felt soo much better, his eyes aren't nearly as puffy and he has a spring back in his step....he is still very pale, and his glands are up in his neck and groin....he desperately wants to go back to school...he has only had 5. Days off....I am scared he will relapse...what are your thoughts....he is 100%on what he was 2 days ago. It is just such a random infection...I want to let him go but do wonder...help...I don't want to be neglectful.

Rich said...

I am glad your son is doing much better :) I have heard that younger people do get over GF much faster than older people, but you will know your son best (even better than he knows himself at this stage I'm sure). In general it's fine to slot back in to some old routine, as long as you are sure to take it easy - maybe just don't let him give himself 100% to all his old commitments straight away, go easy on the after school activities for a while and explain his situation to his teacher so that she can keep an eye on him as well. Hope he's 100% and you don't have to worry any more soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi im struggling with this too :( and it has pissed me off for the last time so i said to myself im going to find a cure :), dont listen to those stupid dotors half of them dont know what they are talking about or are just in it for the money . now the cure, if you know anything about frequence youl understand this.... i know that everything has its own frequence e.g high pitch, low pitch whatever just like if you play the right tune too a wine glass it will shatter because its resonnating with the wine glasses natural frequence. So all someone has too do its resonate the virus (glandular fever) and you will be cure for ever be serious

Anonymous said...

Then play the frequence through some speakers while your sleeping or whatever and you should be cured pre soon, but finding out what the frequence is for glandular fever is going to be hardest part. And if you cure it with this technique just image what else you could cure e.g Hivaids,herpes even the big C cancer i did not beileve this would work until i done some digging and found out that this technology was invented 50years ago the inventor named raymon rife was killed and all his work stolen by yours truthly the govt why would they steal his work ? Coz he was a nut case perhaps..doubt it! he was onto something big that would change human life and put the pharmisutical companies out of buisness

Anonymous said...

Hello Rich and thank you for the hope and sincerity of your message. I am going through the process of GF and its true what you've said about doctors, exactly the same advice was given to me. The negative is they will not allow me to go back to work yet even on structured return and my job is on the line as I only started it 5 months ago. I relocated my whole family to take this job on and yes Im in my 50s. I am now at risk of losing everything if I cannot work. My doctor also said it could develop into CFS another negative.

The greatest and most positive thing that has come out of this situation is I have more time to draw near to God.

I first had high temp and chest infection turning to sore throat 5 weeks ago, now intermittent malaise. I just don't know what to I am inclined to push myself too much and my husband is inclined to allow this. Anyway I have had lots of prayer this gives me strength and joy. I suppose I must trust in God a bit more and know he is with me in this. God Bless ,

Anonymous said...

I have been wishy washy depressive,low fatigued and ill and this began over a year ago,a lot of stressful things had happened in my family and I finally succumbed just as I went on holiday, on my own for the first time in 10 years age 49.. I had already given up alcohol or I may have made myself worse, also I am vegan and don't smoke either or take any kind of drugs, recreational or prescribed. I went to a 5 day festival and the weather turned for the worse, so there I was with a high fever sore throat and swollen glands on my neck, beside my ears and throat...I slept in the afternoons and somehow managed to cope..I (even with a fuzzy head) had a reasonable time considering, despite the buffeted tent in the night in the wind and the rain. I returned to more stress as my inaction and lethargy made my boyfriend suspect I was just freeloading on him, ( I just could not concentrate or motivate myself to find more part time work as I felt exhausted off and on and foggy headed- I actually felt like I was having a sort of breakdown) and he said he was "sick of it" I was obviously in bits as it felt like I was about to lose my relationship which I had been in for 9 years, I thought I had just had a heavy cold so was very mystified by how lethargic he said I had been for a long time and how ill and dreadful I felt.Off I went to the Dr - tests came back fine, then the second test "ooh a marker for glandular fever" The relief I felt at a real diagnosis was very big, but my boyfriend then insisted there was "no such thing" and that it was family stress put on me that has made me ill and made me susceptible.."er..to G.F?" which showed in my blood results? I have been up and down ever since and ANY stress or arguing ( we are still together) seems to set off lethargy, swollen glands,foggy head and excessive sleepiness. I cant seem to get him to understand that I am doing better than a lot of people with this- and worse than some, it is not his fault in a way as he struggles to empathise as he is in a lot of pain due to being disabled by a spinal injury, so applies his toughness to me. Every so often he freaks out that I am just barely functioning,( I am gradually despite his lack of support getting less "episodes"- but the other day he shouted at me so much I had pains in my arms and legs and felt shivery and could not get warm in bed, and was good for nothing, flopping around in front of the tv,and he looked worried, like he had pushed me too far. I keep saying to him that it is well documented that GF is quite nasty and makes lots of people quite poorly for a while and it would help if he recognised it instead of blaming my entire family for stressing me which only makes me feel worse. I know I am making him sound like an ogre, but I am illustrating this tough side of it and wonder if others feel this illness has not helped their relationships, I feel a sense of running to keep still, but like I said I DO feel I am beginning to break out of it, I do understand that my lethargy seems like laziness and malingering, but trust me I really do not want to lose what prior to the awful stressors and GF, was a great relationship. Right now he seems to be happier,I am in counselling which is easing the stress a bit,despite glands up again and feeling rubbish,I am mostly seeing the possibilities for me instead of feeling low. Good luck all x

Anonymous said...

I was so pleased to find your site, I have been suffering from GF since March this year and very slowly getting better from first symptoms, its the tiredness that I am finding the most difficult and over coming this to get back to my job full time, initially I was not diagnosed by a doctor until June and feel this has hampered my recovery just kept being told I had a virus until a blood test uncovered the sinister GF. hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel and I hope that day is soon to arrive but thanks for letting us know we are not crazy as that is how it makes you feel x

Winner said...

Here is a guide to recovery based on my experience which has worked very well since I am all good now!


Ruth said...

Hey Rich, thanks for writting this, i really appreciate it. i found out a few days ago that i am in my 10th day of GF and due to that i have needed to put my university course on pause and go home to my family. This post really helped me as i can relate to pretty much everything you have written. most of my friends whom i made at uni and whom i thought were my best friends, have now pushed me to the side and pretty much want nothing to do with me, which was and is like a big punch in the stomach. not very nice.
i have been told, as you have said, to pretty much do nothing, sleep, eat when you can, drink alot of water and just allow time for your body to restore. which is pretty much what i must do, as i am at the point where even watching a movie, makes me really tired afterwards.
however i feel like im a burden on my family as none of them have had GF and we live in quite the stressful family life. i have thought about going to live in NSW with my aunt who has had it earlier on in life, however i dont want to be a burden on her either. in your opinion, what do you think i should do?

Rich said...

Ruth, I think you should do whatever you feel most comfortable with at this point and where you will be least stressed. It's nice that you have more than 1 option to choose from, but don't let the decision stress you out - that's the last thing you need.

Rich said...

Just came across this interesting article on NewScientist:

Chronic fatigue breakthrough offers hope for millions

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich,

Ive had glandular fever (mono) for around 1 year now, with a story very similar to yours. Fortunately in the last few months Ive started seeing a lot of improvement to the point that now I feel really close to returning to normal sometime soon.

I wanted to ask you, after your first year when you finally got better, did you experience any relapses ? (since 2008)

Thanks for this page btw, great to have people actually writing this stuff, its priceless for so many people going through such an illness to know that they are not alone (And not crazy, despite what many doctors might tell them).

Rich said...

Hi Anonymous

I never experienced a full blown relapse. But there have certainly been times when I have felt that I've needed to take it easy.

All the best!

anonymous said...

HI Rich. I have been battling mono for now one year. I started really feeling better around the 10 month mark and I made a stupid decision to start running again. Well, I relapsed pretty bad and now I am recovering from that. I wake up everyday with the heavy limbs, fatigue and achy muscles. Sometimes, the fatigue leaves and I am ok for the day but then some days, it stays and I am struggling for the day. I have noticed too that they mono causes a lot of psychological impact, such as depression and anxiety. I am not sure if you also experienced this or not. Your post has left me encouraged I am a strong Christian and I have been turning to Christ for strength and comfort through this. Thank you for the post. Its great to know that someone actually recovered fully from this terrible disease.

Rich said...

I would say that the psychological impact of glandular fever is perhaps its most debilitating because you can easily get sucked into a downward spiral of negativity that feeds off itself and makes things worse. This is why it's particularly important to have hope and look up instead of down. This is where God can play a tangible role in giving you strength to push through and leave this disease behind. I hope you feel stronger soon and back into your running. Look after yourself though. All the best, Rich.

Brooke E said...

Rich, Thank you for the post. I was wondering if you experienced many relapses after your one year mark. I have had mono now for one year and I am still experiencing relapses that consists of fatigue, muscle aches, depression, brain fog, etc. I guess I am just wondering if this is part of the active illness still or am is this normal in the recovery phase? I just need this to be over. The relapses can still be unbearable.

Rich said...

Hi Brooke

By the grace of God I have never relapsed. It did take me a long time to find my new limits though. You need to listen to your body and not try and get back to normal too quickly...

fin said...

Hey Rich,

I'm in a pickle and would appreciate your advice! i found out I had gf last august in the middle of my uni semester. I had to quit my job and couldn't go to uni as often. The swollen glands and throat only lasted a few weeks but then I felt run down for a month. In December i felt a lot better, was able to go back to gym and do the things i loved. but only recently i have felt like my glands are up and throat is swollen and I'm really tired. i was planning on going to uni full time to do 5 subjects and work 3 days a fortnight. but now with this relapse (its not as intense) i feel like i should go part time. i don't mean to sound over the top but uni is so important to me and i was looking forward to going full time. whats your thoughts?

Rich said...

Hey Fin

I have been very fortunate in that I have never actually had a full blown relapse. I think it's because I have been cautious not to over commit to things, but I was also sick a very long time ago now.

No one can really tell you what to do, you know your own capacity and I don't know you, so can't really comment too much on that. But my advice to you would be that you should probably do the part time route if that's what you are feeling. You need to believe you can manage with what you are choosing to do or you will be off to a very stressful start from the get go. And that's exactly the sort of position you don't want to be in! Remember this thing needs to be managed actively, so you need to be kind to yourself - don't stress yourself out unnecessarily.

Don't forget that this is not an ideal world and all of your efforts will not be focused on work and uni - You need to allow yourself capacity to deal with other unscheduled parts of life as well... so remember to factor that in when you make the decision.

But ultimately I wish you all the best with your studies and that you don't relapse again!

fin said...

Hey Rich,

thanks so much for your reply! Like you, I am someone who does a lot and is very active. did you ever get bored or depressed though because you had to wait to do things? i was talking to my psych today and she told me to do a full time load- I'm so confused about what to do!


Rich said...

Yes! People with glandular fever are at high risk for boredom and depression. That is why you mental health and attitude is so important. You need to stay positive and I know that can be very hard at times (particularly because you may start to feel even worse if you aren't managing to stay positive).

I'm not sure if your psych has an agenda or how well they understand glandular fever.I'm sure they know you better than I do, so their input is worth seriously considering. At the end of the day you are the one who has to live with your decision though and you need to be comfortable with it. Whichever path you decide on , it may be worth thinking ahead and asking yourself... "If I go ahead and do this, how will I manage a relapse if it happens?". Some kind of basic contingency plan might give you more confidence to choose a direction and commit to it?

Sally Bell said...

Crikey God played around with you and lots of others for a bit too long didn't he! All that praying and faith and you stayed sick as dogs for at least a year. Not too keen on his sense of humour.

Rich said...

Sally, God uses most of life to shape and strengthen us and He is equally able to heal right now as next week or next year. You can think what you want to but My testimony is that I would not have recovered from glandular fever without the hope that my faith gives me.

Leanna Kay said...

I was diagnosed with GF two weeks ago, but I think I've had it since Christmas time 2016.
It was so refreshing to find this post, I as well am a Christian and I've been trying to use this time to "be still". I know that The Lord has a plan for me and that it's important to trust him and have hope. I'm thankful it wasn't anything worse however It is discouraging when I realized that this could go on for months and months...I am a music teacher and a singer songwriter, and it has completely put my life on hold. I'm having a hard time not letting it get me down. Music is my life, and it's very hard to see past "right now" and realize I won't be sick forever.

How did you help your family and friends understand? I know that mine all mean well, but physically I am so limited, and I feel very lonely. I've had a fever/night sweats/stomach pain every day and it definitely gets worse if I try and do anything besides lie in bed.

Anyway...Idk if you're still following the comments on here, but if so truly THANK YOU :)

Rich said...

Hi Leanna

I know that it is very hard. I'm not sure that most of my family or friends ever really understood - I think it's difficult to give generic advice on this point because it varies so much between personalities and the relationship that you have with family / friends. Boundaries are important whatever the situation though, and most people do get the message if you repeat or remind them that you need to be taking it easy / focus your energy very specifically on the most important things, because your reserves are limited. Don't allow people to wear you out, you need to be jealous with your energy to make sure that you get better. You may find that you need to be more intentional about prioritising your music because you won't have the same energy to do multiple things at the same time for a while. But try not to put pressure on yourself either way.

My stomach also gave me a lot of trouble when I was ill, but you can usually treat these symptoms with antacids etc. I hope that your fever breaks and that you are feeling much better in general soon.

Anonymous said...

This post has helped me so much! I have felt real bad for about a month now and I'm trying really hard to stay "positive" this disease really is hard to understand unless youve experienced it yourself. I have recently had a blood test to confirm if I have the disease but I have all the syptoms and I'm convinced it this.. I got so ill one day I went to the hospital and the doctor told me I was depressed and I had no lumps in my neck.. I have always been the happy go lucky girl so when I heard the word depression i wasn't convinced.. being such a positive, active smiley person it's hard for me to stay so positive after hearing someone say " I think you will find your actually depressed" but when I read this... it gave me hope.... THANK YOU x

Anonymous said...

I missed 7 months of school and I've had it for over 4 years now I'm just not getting better and idk what to do anymore

Kim said...

I just wanted to share my story, but I am still recovering! I got sick in April 2018 but didn't know it was GF at first so kept up with my usual activity. Upon being diagnosed after a blood test, my constant exhaustion and vertigo made sense! I had to take five weeks off work. I constantly slept during those five weeks, day and night, and was taking strong painkillers to help with the pain but after five weeks I was able to go back to work doing half my usual hours. After a few weeks of doing this I was able to go back to my normal hours (3 x 6 hour days). I think if I was working full time there is no way I would have been able to go back so quickly but I have been blessed to find myself in this position. I also have two kids that I've had to look after during this time (one with additional needs). My partner has been absolutely amazing. He does everything around the house despite working full time because he knows how tired I am. I'm about five months on since the initial onset of the illness and sometimes I have my bad days where I think I'm never going to get better but I always find it uplifting to look back on how I was when I could barely get out of bed. I can now spend most of my time out of bed (but still resting) and I can sometimes go to the shops without exhausting myself. I am also no longer taking the strong painkillers. We need more positive recovery stories out there! There is so much gloom and doom surrounding GF. When I was at my sickest and reading the stories I would burst into tears, convinced that I would never get better. This is horrible for your mental state so please stay away! I will be trying your suggestion of Vit B12 injections. Thank you for sharing!