College Students With Mono

Thinking freshman daughter probably has mono. Waiting for confirmation and trying not to get too far ahead.
Any parent have experience helping their college kids through this?
Thank you.

Sorry to hear this. Best wishes to your daughter.

I had it in college...along with half my dorm. It can be mild or more serious, but either way, the Rx is rest. I went home for a couple of weeks to rest and then made up the work I'd missed. You can't really power through it, but most professors are sympathetic and will help the student get back on track.

Might be helpful:

yep, rest is needed! at home sweet home. best wishes for speedy recovery for your college girl.

deborahg said:

It can be mild or more serious, but either way, the Rx is rest.

This. When I was in high school it was going around and most of us who caught it were in bed for about a week. We felt beat down afterward but were able to get back to school.

Have your daughter see a doctor because there are certain restrictions after having mono, no gym or other heavy physical activity IIRC, something to do with a swollen spleen. Your doc will be able to confirm mono and if that is what she has the doc will also be able to relay all the precautions needed.

If she can come home for uninterrupted sleep in her own bed, that would be ideal. Advil for the pain. A a probiotic every morning on an empty stomach. A few glasses of 1,000 mg Emergen-C-per day. Chicken soup, fruit smoothies. Most important- sleep.

My niece had it last year right before finals. She had to work with each professor to sort out making up the work. She could do bits and pieces of things, but not a full work load for a couple of weeks.

Thankfully she's a freshman, so this is probably the best time for her to get it during college. Some professors will be sympathetic, some wont be, but since she's a freshman any impact on her academic record will be easy to recover from. Worse comes to worse you can usually take an incomplete if you have medical documentation to back it up.

She'll need rest, and lots of it. Some colleges have dorms with single rooms for people with conditions like this. If she can stay at school she can get notes from her classmates etc.

My SIL flew to my nephew's college location, rented a hotel room, and brought him there to sleep for four or five days while she nursed him back to health and made sure he was okay.

Cubby, my daughter was diagnosed week 3 or 4 of this (her Freshman) year in Alabama. We couldn't go to her or bring her home so it was really stressful. She got a shot of steroids for the pain and immediately felt better. In fact they were so effective that the challenge was in getting her to take Mono seriously. She did need to drop a course, and her GPA did have a small impact. But overall she managed ok without having to come home or get really sick. Inbox me if you want to talk. And of course my best wishes to you all for a speedy recovery.

Thanks all. She went back to health services and they confirmed the diagnosis. She's already made some adjustments (took a leave from her dining hall job). She feels she can function on advil and promises me she'll get plenty of rest. She did say her spleen feels like a balloon; argh.

Aren't steroids immunosuppressive? I would think that would be contraindicated. Hope she feels better soon!!

I think steroids might be used for swollen tonsils that impede breathing or for a very severe sore throat. My daughter was told to just take advil which seems to be helping a lot.

I know that she was in a lot of pain - tonsillitis and unrelenting headache. Good luck to her and let us know how she's doing.

alisons said:

I know that she was in a lot of pain - tonsillitis and unrelenting headache. Good luck to her and let us know how she's doing.

Thanks so much for your well wishes!

I had mono freshman year. The best advice I can give is to stay on top of the academics. Have her talk early and often to her advisor and professors and get whatever extensions or leniency she can get. I didn't do this and I paid the price with some bad grades.

Anybody have their child with mono seen by an ENT of Infectious Disease doctor? If yes, who did your child see? I'm wondering if I should be setting that up.
Thank you for any recommendations

Internist would be fine, unless it is somehow a complicated case that is not getting better. Then ID doc.

ENTs treat diseases of otolaryngology (and do surgery), which this is not, even though it might involve a sore throat.

She's being seen by a nurse practitioner. I think they're giving her good care but not positive. This is nerve wracking

ENT or ID doctors don't have some secret treatment that other providers (even Nurse Practitioners) don't know about. They'll just concur that yes, mono sucks.

However, one non-steroid medicine that can reduce the pain of a sore throat - "my throat feels like it's on fire!" is to start taking an antacid like Pepcid or Prilosec. They reduce acid production in the stomach and that change is felt up in the throat. It's also a good idea if she's taking a ton of advil since that can affect the stomach acid as well.

To be thorough, she should have someone ultrasound the spleen before she returns to any contact sports. If she's not sporty, or only runs or does ballet, I wouldn't bother. Soccer, I would.

Good luck!

When my daughter was diagnosed, I reached out to our local pediatrician for a phone consultation. They would not speak directly to me, because she's over 18, but she called them and they talked to her for a while on the phone. She told me that it was a helpful call and that while they suggested tweaking the treatment, they were overall supportive of the protocol that was being suggested at the University Health Center. This assuaged some of my concerns.

Thank you. Yes, I do think I'll call and at least speak to a nurse at Dr Gruenwald's office. She's on prednisone now which is helping a lot and she's not a sports kid. Her spleen is "sore."

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