I am a middle-aged woman, otherwise in generally good health. I have polycystic liver disease, but it's not really doing very much to me - it's been stable for years. I have mild osteoarthritis in my hands and bulging/blown lumbar discs that I'm managing with exercise and accupuncture. I've had all the usual childhood diseases for my ear (mumps, measles, rubella, chickenpox, etc., etc.). I usually walk at least a mile to a mile and a half a day and am an avid gardener. I've been sleeping fine, as far as I know. I rarely am ill, not even with a head cold. I am careful what I eat. Other than being low on vitamin D, per the doc a year ago, for which I take supplements, I take no medications.
About six weeks ago I began to be increasingly more tired - the kind where you wake up tired, and take naps in the daytime because you must. The "you fall asleep watching tv at 6:30 in the evening and you eat cereal for supper because it's too much work to cook after working all day; and you can't do the things you really like and want to do, because you are just too tired" kind of tired.
I have had a few very low grade fevers on and off, no sore throat, no cold symptoms, no enlarged lymph nodes (that I'm aware of), no headache, no coughing, no muscle aches other than the usual ones. I tend to wear a back brace because of a ruptured disc, and it has become uncomfortable to do this - seems to make being "out of breath" a bit more noticeable. I have been some noticeable problems with brain fog and memory, especially when I am tired in the afternoons at work. I've put on several pounds in the last month as well, but my activity level is way down so that fits. My hair also seems to be falling out more than normal, as I have just had to disassemble the vaccuum cleaner to cut the hair from around the roller where it was jamming the machine. (I have long, thick hair.)
So I finally went to my HMO primary care physician after managing to drive to the grocery store, but being too tired to get out of the car to go get groceries. He listened to my heart and lungs with a stethoscope and had me describe my symptoms. That was the complete extent of the exam, except for his nurse taking a BP, temp, and O2 sat. He ordered a huge number of blood tests, including thyroid and CBC.
I have all the results, and they are all resoundingly normal except that I seem to have a slightly high ferritin level, a positive mono blood test, and slightly elevated liver enzymes (still within "normal" but 1/3 again higher than some I had done last year). He also ran a urinalysis (only unusual result was "hazy") and the EBV test and a CMV test are both negative. Took a lung xray (normal) and an echocardiogram (fine, for my age). I took several days off work and basically slept the whole time and now am better, though not completely over this. It's still dragging on, especially the brain fog.
I have had dogs and cats for years, as well as rats, hamsters, birds, and tropical fish. I was also around cattle and horses for many years as a young person. I had Bird Fancier's disease about 5 years ago, which is why I ultimately went in to the doctors as this was somewhat similar - a bit out of breath too easily and so very tired all the time was how that started and I was afraid it had come back, even though I have had no close exposure to birds or even feather pillows in years. However, my O2 saturation levels are just fine, so that pretty much rules out a return of the BFD.
I had a wonking bad case of mono when I was 25 years old, swollen glands, positive test, etc., confirmed by a medical professional. Was sick in bed for several weeks. I was always told I could never get mono again.
So, the doc is saying "it's mono". I am still tired, though not nearly as badly, three weeks later, which is basically 7 to 8 weeks after this all started. The only thing that says "mono" is that blood test. No EBV antibodies, no positive CMV test. That doesn't follow, does it, really? I've asked him about the negative tests and he says they "really don't know a lot about mono, there's no money in research for it" and to just let time do the healing.
While I am getting better ~very~ slowly, I'm extraordinarily uncomfortable with that answer. I was never asked about pets, so toxoplasmosis was never on the table. In fact, we do have a rat right now that has a serious (and will be eventually fatal for it) lung disease that is common in rats. And I did spend at least 40 years with at least one cat in the household and fostered cats from various cat shelters over the last 20 years.
I wonder if it's worth bringing any of that up at this point? I've emailed him and asked him one last time, could the mono test be a false positive caused by some other infection? The ferritin would seem to indicate there was some sort of immune thing going on. But I've received no response at all.
I'll wait a few more day, and then will ask to see another doctor - which will mean I'll have to switch PCPs if I can find one that is accepting new patients in the HMO, as this will not go down well with the first one. HOWEVER, if there is really a way to have mono with nothing but the mono blood test indicating it, there's no need to do this.
Any info at all for me?