Friday, November 16, 2012

A 5 year old with mono? Yes, it's possible!

A week ago, I took Zoelle in to see our regular pediatrician. We regularly are in contact with a natural doctor, we all see the chiropractor on a regular basis, and because of that, our trips to our regular ped. are rare and far between. In fact, when I brought Zoelle in for her 5 year check up, our ped. mentioned how healthy our girls are and to just continue what we are doing.

Thus, last week, taking Z in was a bit unusual. But I did so because she had several symptoms for 3 weeks and last week, they seemed to be escalating and getting worse. This mama was getting worried. Her symptoms were:

-More emotional than normal
-An on again/off again fever
-Fever was low grade, but at the end of last week was jumping to 103 at night
-Complained of a neck ache
-Not herself
-Said her throat was a little sore
-Often told me, "Mama, I'm just so tired."
-Her new molars coming in hurt

Since she is getting her 6 year molars, I automatically assumed that all those symptoms were related to getting new teeth. I know that getting new teeth is no fun, and so it seemed natural to me that she was fighting off that.

However, last week, she was just more and more "off" and I couldn't ignore it. Every night her fever would jump to 103 degrees, and I would be convinced to call the doctor in the morning to make an appointment, but then by morning she would be back to her spunky self. No fever! I was baffled. Thursday, she slept on and off the whole day, and so knowing that I would be soon going into the weekend, I made an appointment for Friday afternoon. I was soon very thankful I made that appointment, as Thursday night she was really sick. She was feverish, clammy, and completely out of it. I had her sleep with us several nights in a row as I was so nervous. But this night, I was extra worried as I knew something was wrong.

I spent many hours googling her symptoms. All that kept coming up was meningitis, new teeth, or strep. At one point, mononucleosis came up, but it was dismissed because of the fact that children rarely ever get mono.

Zoelle and I made a date day of our ped. appointment being that his office is an hour away from our house. We went, talked to him about her symptoms and he did a blood test (which is no fun for a little girl), a urine check, and a strep check. All came back clear and he mentioned wanting us to come back in on Monday if she wasn't better, and for sure to get her blood drawn again. He brought up the possibility of mono, but said it would never be the case because of her young age.

After our appointment, we went to get a "coffee" drink. Zoelle ordered a chocolate/caramel steamer. She got through about half of it before she told me her tummy hurt and she didn't want it anymore. We headed home, got the girls from my parents, she ate a tiny bit of supper, and then we headed back home for bed.

We are in a habit of making our own kefir smoothies, and because she wasn't feeling well, I wanted to make sure she got hers. She drank hers up and almost immediately started screaming to me that her tummy hurt. She was insistent that it was her belly button that hurt. After googling (again), I kept getting appendicitis. So off to the emergency room we went.

I was exhausted as I had been gone and/or driving all day, but I wasn't willing to let a sore tummy go on another day. Especially when combined with her other symptoms. This mama just knew something was not right.

We had a wonderful male nurse, who took her temperature and it was then I found out it had jumped to 104.6!  My little girl was very sick. However, she was still able to loudly declare as the nurse was leaving the room, "I thought only girls could be nurses mom, not boys." To which I muttered something about how I had failed as a parent to show only stereotypical gender roles! Yay me!

When the doctor came in, I immediately recognized him as a doctor Zoelle has had before on another emergency room trip. I remember that he was kind to her before and did a nice job. He asked me the typical questions and I told him everything that had been going on. He told me right away he didn't think it was appendicitis, but that he wanted to take her blood again just to make sure. In the meantime, he also ordered an x-ray. Doing blood work on an overtired, five year old, at midnight is no fun and she put up quite a fuss. But we got it, and then we waited. Thankfully, I had brought my younger sister, Selena, with for company.

Finally, at one in the morning, he came back in and told me that her blood work was fine, and the x-ray was fine. However, he decided to run a test for mono as he has been seeing it more and more in young children. And sure enough, my five year old has mono. He mentioned that it is extremely rare in kids her age as it is the "kissing disease". To quote him, "Normally, you see it in 15 or 16 year olds who are hitting the books and other stuff late at night". So naturally, the mom in me asked him how in the world she got it at age 5? He looks at me, and without missing a beat, in the straightest face ever says, "Because she's 16". I stared at him and then smiling I told him, "Some days she acts like she is." His response, "I know, I heard her with you before". little Z making an impression even on the doctor!

So outside of lots of rest, we have upped her water intake, upped her kefir, and she is taking a lot of Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, and Olive Leaf Concentrate. All in an effort to boost her immune system. She still seems very tired, but for the most part her fever has gone away. I'm thankful that the ER doctor thought to check her for mono, when our regular ped. did not as we could have had a very long weekend. Oh, and if you are wondering where the sore tummy came from, it was from a swollen spleen and liver, that were fighting off the mono.

I know this blog post is long, but I wanted to document it so that way if anyone ever has a child going through the same things as us, they can see that mono is a possibility. Even in someone as young as five!


  1. Oh goodness, poor girl :( I had mono and strep at the same time at 17 (surprise, surprise) and it darn near killed me. I can just imagine how she's been feeling. Glad it was caught though and she's on the mend! And, hopefully her getting it so young means she won't have to deal with it when she's older.

  2. Poor Zoelle! I hope she starts feeling better soon!

  3. wow! good to know! i never knew little kids could get it!! i hope she's on the mend!

  4. Thanks everyone for the thoughts and prayers! Still struggling. Some days are better then others, but this definitely isn't fun and I feel so bad for her! :(

  5. i am so sorry to hear about your daughter i wish both of you the best of luck

  6. Thanks for this, my five yr old is exhibiting the same symptoms.

  7. Thanks for this, my five yr old is exhibiting the same symptoms.

  8. Kristi-I hope your daughter feels better soon!!

  9. I too had mono at 5 years old. I remember it vividly. I was so lethargic and exhausted all the time. I know this post is older, but it came up when I was doing some research. Watch her as she gets older. I'm 28 now, but when I was a teen, and even now, if I get a fever it gets really high. And I still suffer from lethargy from time to time. Most doctors don't think it has to do with the mono, but I beg to differ. I feel like it compromised my immune system, but then again, I had a really bad case if it.

  10. After my oldest son got mono, I did A LOT of research. Especially since I'm in the medical field, I also searched within the medical community. I learned that, while it is not well known, mono stays with you for life. It has active and inactive stages. And when it's active, you are in fact contagious. But you may not have any symptoms. That is why mono is so widely spread and a common illness. My son got it at 12, now 19, and has had a few "relapses". None have been as bad as the first. All 3 of my children now have it, and I'm fairly certain I do too. And my 5 year old daughter included. The reason I came across this article is because I was looking into mono symptoms in young children. She was diagnosed last year with it, and I think it's active again. Took her to the doctor 4 days ago for high fever, they diagnosed with flu, but not by testing because they ran out of flu tests. Now her fever comes and goes, and spikes at night. So I'm thinking its active mono again, not flu.