Epstein Barr(ghh) Virus


For the past few months I’ve had random days where I feel inexplicably tired and fatigued, like a zombie is how I like to describe the sensation.

During these days my mind wants to do so many things that my body just doesn’t respond to. I’m so tired I have to take a lot of naps during the day and am in this continuous state of tiredness. Even if I slept well the previous night (7-8 hours), or take a good nap after lunch, I still wake up feeling like a zombie.

To make matters worst, it is sometimes difficult to even sit in a chair and look at my computer screen, get up to grab a glass of water, take a shower, or even brush my teeth.

Because of my generalized anxiety disorder I kept getting negative thoughts about myself; “you’re lazy”, “you’re a bad employee”, “this person is older than you and does a lot more in one day”.

I’ve worked on these negative thoughts and feelings in therapy and they have improved, but they often come back to haunt me whenever one of these random zombie days happens.

In addition to fatigue, tiredness, sleepiness, and lack of energy, I get really sweaty. I can be in my chair shirtless and still sweat profusely as if I were sitting in a sauna.

These episodes can last for a single day or several days, and they then take several more days to recover from. Just this past weekend I completely slept all of Saturday, and was forcing myself not to sleep on Sunday while fixating on my watch until it was bedtime. It was a horrible weekend and one where I did absolutely nothing.

Monday was a difficult day, I managed to stay awake and be productive at work but was sweating a lot in the morning and early afternoon. Once I was done with work I just napped and stayed in bed until it was bedtime.

Tuesday was a little less though, I managed to pick up my 3DS and play Fire Emblem Fates for 30-45 minutes. Wednesday was slightly better (I watched the final quarter of an NBA game, YAY!), Thursday was slightly better, and the same goes for Friday.

This has been going on since the end of last year until this day.

At first I thought it might be that I’m taking too much anxiety medication and it could be making me sleepy during the day, but then I’d lower my meds and still get my zombie days.

I kept thinking it might be psychological, or that I’m just plain lazy, but that didn’t explain the sweating or other changes I felt in my body.

So, earlier this week, I got tired of wondering what is wrong with me and decided to go see a doctor. My therapist recommended a very good internist that had helped her in the past.

I had some blood exams done along with an EKG during my appointment on Tuesday, and by Wednesday I had my results and was looking at high glucose levels, and positive results for Epstein Barr Virus, (referred to as EBV from here on out).

I can honestly say I know little to nothing about EBV yet, this is something I’m just getting started with.

My doctor told me that as kids EBV can manifest itself as mononucleosis, as adults it can produce a myriad of symptoms and conditions amongst which is one I had always dreaded hearing: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

He explained the symptoms it can produce, that it’s the reason why I might have lost so much weight in the past few months, why I feel tired and like a zombie on random days, and why I might have high glucose levels in my blood.

The glucose, he told me, could be due to hypoglycemia, which is something about my body not processing sugars correctly and not getting what it needs at the right time.

He also told me this is something that can last 3-6 months, but it can be shorter or longer (even lasting several years) depending on individuals. Because there is no cause or treatment, there is no way of knowing when it will go away.

I’ve been sent some homework until our next appointment. I need to read up about diets, beneficial foods, and juicing for EBV and hypoglycemia.

I also need to go in next week before breakfast to have my blood sugar checked, then have breakfast and return two hours later to check my blood sugar again. This will help determine any glucose problems and how to address them.

To be perfectly honest I’m not thrilled about the whole situation. I’m very blessed in many ways and I can’t really complain much, but I would like to not have to wake up every day wondering how I’ll feel.

As for food, I’m not gonna die if I eat some pizza or things that contain a lot of carbs, sugar, or fat, but it is certainly something I want to avoid specially on work days, or whenever I need to be awake and avoid any glucose problems.

The journey is just beginning and in a few more days and weeks I shall know more about the glucose problems, at what stage the virus might be in, and have a game plan on how to tackle it all. In the meantime it’s back to reading and doing research.