Glandular Fever anyone?

I'm not a doctor but… 
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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Re: Glandular Fever anyone?

Postby Duck! » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:32 am

I suffered a bout of GF early last year. In hindsight, I think I actually got it six months or so prior but didn't think much of it 'cos it didn't hit all that hard; I just felt pretty flat for a few days, but felt the same as what came later.

When it hit harder, I felt flat, had a ripping headache & no appetite for about a week before it really turned to poo. Still not thinking much of it, I fronted up for a three-hour MTB race. Halfway around the first lap I knew I was in a bad way - barely able to keep the bike moving uphill, sky-high heart rate, and despite the heat of the day (35 degrees or so), shivering uncontrollably. I finished the lap & had a rest for 1.5 hr, before tackling another one. After the race I went home & into bed, where I slept until late the next day! When I did eventually wake up, I began to do some research, and things pointed to glandular fever. The next day (Monday) I rang work to advise of my suspicion, then took myself off to the doctor. Sure enough, blood & liver tests confirmed it. By this stage my throat was so sore I was on a diet of nothing more solid than poached eggs, which lasted about five days.

While things were pretty bad at that point, I got through a lot better than some of the horror stories I've heard. I was only completely off work for a couple of days. Part of that was because I also have a history of depression, and I needed some resemblance of my normal routine to stop my brain going to bad places. My boss was fully accepting of my situation, and after that couple of days off I just worked half days for the next three weeks or so, nicking off when I began to hit the wall.

I was completely off the bike for a month, and as my fitness returned I resumed commuting (flat 15km round trip, so nice & easy), first just one day a week, then two, etc.

I made a tentative return to MTB racing in late March, two months after getting crook. My basic strength hadn't suffered all that much, but my endurance had, as had my recovery time, and races hit me harder and took longer to recover from if I pushed too far. By four months I was pretty much back to normal fitness levels for the daily routine.

I had a mild relapse early this year, virtually a year to the day since really getting hit by it. Not as severe as the major bout, it was very similar to what I had originally, pretty much two years prior to the time of writing; just a few days of profound fatigue, reduced appetite and headache reminiscent of dehydration, which soon passed.

18 months on from the major bout I still know when I've gone hard, the tiredness & recovery are more pronounced than before illness, but I've got the fitness back to do 6-hour & muti-stage 2- or 3-day MTB races comfortably. :)
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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by BNA » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:27 pm

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Re: Glandular Fever anyone?

Postby merlin6014 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:27 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:Any updates on this merlin? I had glandular fever or cytomegalovirus (cmv) a couple of years ago, followed by post-viral fatigue. Besides feeling tired all the time and just wanting to sleep, I found this really affected my capcity to exercise. I had to start at a basically zero base and build up very slowly in terms of returning to exercise. I found if I did too much I would spend the next day or two in bed recovering. I hope you are ok and it doesn't get that bad for you.


Hi there well its been 5 months since the initial infection and I am still not able to ride on the road/m7 though getting close to trying. I initially had to take 2 weeks off work.

At 3 months in I did a minor weights session followed by 30 minutes on the turbo trainer the next day and unfortuanlty this brought on a relapse which meant another week off work in bed and a new round of blood tests and doctors poking me. It was really hard mentally to deal with this too. I know its not exactly cancer but it really gets you down in the dumps.

Now at 5 months I have slowly been trying to build up my base on the turbo trainer. I do 40 min sessions and keep heart rate to under 140bpm. I have been doing these sessions 2-3 times per week for the last month and so far no relapse bar the occasional headache after training. Thus I want to go get out of the trainer and back on the road but really scared of another relapse to be honest. Still Ill do it anyway and see how it goes.
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Re: Glandular Fever anyone?

Postby moosterbounce » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:57 pm

Rehab from and injury or disease is a difficult thing to cope with if you aren't used to it. People who are rarely sick struggle with this heaps more than people who suffer a few more ailments.

If you can do a trainer session for 40 minutes, you should be able to ride on the road. Maybe do a short casual ride and see how you go.

This might take 12 months for you to return to the level you were at. Small manageable chunks with achievable milestones is what you need - its confidence boosting as well as a sensible recovery. Sounds like you are being sensible anyway, just not recognizing the achievements you have made - which you need to do!! Considering what you've had, you've come a long way ;)
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Re: Glandular Fever anyone?

Postby casual_cyclist » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:13 pm

moosterbounce wrote:Rehab from and injury or disease is a difficult thing to cope with if you aren't used to it. People who are rarely sick struggle with this heaps more than people who suffer a few more ailments.

If you can do a trainer session for 40 minutes, you should be able to ride on the road. Maybe do a short casual ride and see how you go.

This might take 12 months for you to return to the level you were at. Small manageable chunks with achievable milestones is what you need - its confidence boosting as well as a sensible recovery. Sounds like you are being sensible anyway, just not recognizing the achievements you have made - which you need to do!! Considering what you've had, you've come a long way ;)

Good advice. I was in the never really sick category, so I did struggle a lot.
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Re: Glandular Fever anyone?

Postby London Boy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:50 pm

merlin6014 wrote:Doc said it can take up to 2 years to get better! though more realistically a few months from what I have been reading.

Thank your lucky stars that you'll get back on the bike. Look up transverse myelitis. It's a rare complication of glandular fever. Most people recover mostly from it with just some residual weakness, but a serious case means lifelong paralysis.
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Re: Glandular Fever anyone?

Postby Duck! » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:40 pm

Every so often the little varmint rears its ugly head & throws me at a wall, leaving me pretty shattered for several days. Usual pattern - constant headache for days on end, mild dizziness and bone-crushing exhaustion. 14 hours of sleep per night is barely enough. :| Just on the back of a week of that, and with a 24-hour HPV race (team, not solo) just three weeks away, needless to say I'm getting pretty edgy about my fitness.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Glandular Fever anyone?

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:11 pm

It is a nasty thing to try and get out of you system totally. Have you tried upping the amount of antioxidants foods to help? :idea:

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