The past few months have been very strange.
I’ve felt like myself yet…not.
All of the time. I have no energy or desire to do anything but lay around and sleep as much as possible. My excitement levels aren’t skyrocketing like normal. I’m happy but I’m also sad because a lot of my passion has diminished. My brain feels foggy and it takes a while for me to fully focus on something. It’s annoying, inconvenient and downright depressing.
I’ve had a weird discomfort in my side that I can only describe as a fist under my left rib cage that often radiates down my entire side, low back, pelvis/hips and lately, down my legs. It’s a tight, uncomfortable pull that feels like if I could just stretch enough, I could loosen all those tight muscles. I’m very much into yoga, stretching any spare moment I get yet it’s still there: that tight, uncomfortable pull that is constantly weighing me down. Again, annoying, inconvenient and downright depressing.
This has all been going on for years off and on but the past few months, it hasn’t let up. I hate not having the desire to do much of anything; it feels like someone blew out my candle. Even writing requires too much effort and energy for my little body, turning me into a puddle of moosh.
After the pain in my side continued to radiate around my lower back, keeping me up two nights in a row with my normal dose of Ibuprofen & a heating pad NOT doing the trick, I made emergency appointments with both my general practitioner as well as my girlie doctor. I had my GD check for kidney issues as well as do a pelvic exam for any kind of cysts; everything was normal. He did however listen to the symptoms I described and noticed they often heightened around my “monthly visitor”. He felt my symptoms were a clear sign of endometriosis (a disease that can cause lots of pelvic pain, which was something I’ve had constantly for years) and suggested going back on birth control to help balance out my hormones.
The endo has been affecting my left side, low back, sciatic nerve, hips, pelvis and amazingly enough, the base of my skull, which is tight all the time.
However, it was the result from my GP that was a bit more satisfying. I tested positive for both EBV Ab/EBNA (Epstein Barr nuclear antigen) and EBV Ab/VCA Iga (indicates prior infection). The diagnosis of Epstein-Barr lit my little brain up like a light-bulb and I began piecing together the weird puzzle that my body has been going through for roughly 6 years.
In the summer of 2009, after a weekend Fourth of July trip, I got red bumps about the size of a quarter down both of my shins that stopped on my ankle. There were four symmetrical marks on each leg that at first, I thought were bug bites. By day two, they were now swollen, bruised, full of fever and tender to the touch.
(this image is not mine but is the closest I could find to what my legs looked like)
At the time, I only had a girlie doc and she couldn’t see me until the next day. On day 3, it hurt to walk. I limped into the doctor’s office where I was told I had Erythema Nodosum, a rare occurrence caused by an allergic reaction to birth control. Instead of doing a blood test to properly diagnose what caused these nodules, I was simply given antibiotics and told to stay off my feet for a week.
After everything that’s been going on with me since then, I now know that the Epstein Barr Virus was the culprit instead of being wrongly diagnosed with having an allergic reaction to my birth control.
The antibiotics cleared up the Erythema Nodosum but I honestly don’t know if they had any affect on the Epstein Barr Virus itself. And once you have the EBV in your system, there it stays. For most people with the virus, it doesn’t cause too many problems later on in life but it’s becoming a much bigger issue in the health field. The virus buries itself in your internal organs, such as the spleen, thyroid or liver, causing these organs to become inflamed or enlarged. This can cause SO many different health problems in SO many different areas and is the main reason why it’s so hard for doctors to really pinpoint why so many people are chronically fatigued. Doctor’s don’t know much about the virus so they tend to either dismiss patients who are chronically tired, achy and lethargic or prescribe pain meds that often cause addictive behavior. It’s not something that should be overlooked when it’s affecting over 95% of American adults.
My symptoms over the years include:
-chronic muscle/joint pain
-enlarged spleen (that fist feeling under my left rib)
-recurrent bacterial infections
-loss of appetite
-lethargy and depression
-super low Vitamin D levels
I am NOT a doctor and am in no way qualified to be one but in my humble opinion, if you have chronic fatigue, experience depression or ANY of the above symptoms, I highly recommend getting an EBV test done. It may be the answer to MANY of your health ailments. It won’t be the key to any kind of mental health issue but knowing if this virus resides in your body is good information to know.
I’m a habitual researcher who does way too much reading when I’m interested or curious about something. After hours of reading about other people with this little bugger and what has worked for them, I went to my local Vitamin Shoppe. The natural route is the only road that goes somewhere good so I set out to get immune booting supplements that also increased my energy levels, helping me get my groove back so to speak.
The following 5 supplements I got specifically to help attack the EBV, recover the immune system and heal:
Monolaurin: an anti-microbial agent that kills virus and bacterial cells
L-Lysine: lowers EBV load and is a central nervous system anti-inflammatory
B-12: increase energy & strengthen the nervous system
Spirulina (specifically Hawaiian grown): Rebuilds central nervous system
Lemon Balm: Antibacterial, kills EBV cells & strengthens immune system
I also take Vitamin D, Folic Acid and Vitamin C daily on top of drinking nothing but water and coffee. if I drink alcohol, it will be champagne for a birthday or New Years Eve but other than that, I am a no alcohol girl.
I’ve been on this new supplement regimen for almost 2 weeks and have already noticed improvement. My brain fog has cleared up a bit, I’m more excited about things, I have more energy and that sad feeling is working its way on out. Like I said, I’ve felt like myself over the past few months (ok, years) yet… not. Normally, I’m a very happy, optimistic, excitable person. When I was sitting around doing nothing but feeling tired and sad, I knew something was up. The pain I was in was being caused by an endometriosis flare-up but the chronic tiredness, achy (and LOUDLY popping) joints, etc are due to Sir Barr. Thankfully, I feel quite confident in the knowledge of this information bringing me fully back to my original goofy and AWAKE self. Updates to follow!!!
If you have been diagnosed with EBV or endometriosis, feel free to share your stories below. If you have any questions, I can do my very best to answer them with the bit of knowledge I’ve gained but remember, I ain’t no doctor, yo! And I also was NOT paid to promote any of the above products..