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Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Please help...Mono or something else?

 redsox7121 - Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:02 pm

Hi...I'm sure this question has been asked loads of times, but I am a bit worried. 3 months ago I noticed the gland on the right side of my neck grew extremely large (could be seen just looking at me). It was very hard, and did not hurt at all. I let it be for about a week and when there was no change in size, I went to see the doctor. The doctor felt it and asked me of any symptoms, I felt fine other than the huge lymph node, and the doctor checked and no other nodes were swollen. My only symptom was being tired and being a college student, I didn't think too much of that and neither did the doctor.

After another week passed, I returned to the doctor because there was still no improvement. I was tested for mono, strep (even though I had no sore throat) and had a CBC. I was told negative for mono and negative for strep. The CBC showed that I had a viral infection and that my platelet count was increased. They sent me home and told me to take tylenol.

About 4 days after this, I began to feel sick, just the usual cold type symptoms and decided to go back in and get tested again. This time they did a chest X-ray, CBC, Mono test, Strep test, and since I go to school in the desert, tested me for Valley Fever. Everything came back normal except for my mono test was now positive, my chest x-ray showed a nodule on my lung, and my platelets were still increased at 460000, my SEGS was 47 and my Lymph was 48 (not sure what any of that means).

I was relieved to find out I had mono, and thought everything would be better. However when I returned home from school, my node was still large. It gradually started getting smaller, but still has not returned to normal and is still fairly large.

I am extremely tired, and recently felt like I had an ear infection. When I went into the doctors for the ear infection, I decided to have them test me for mono again since I showed 2 different results within a 4 day period when I was still in school. The results from my doctor at home were that I tested negative for mono and had no signs of antibodies for it or any sign of it at all. They said this was fine because mono can make you feel sick for months, but not show up in the blood again after testing positive for it before. My concern is that it has now been 3 months, and I still have an enlarged node. I never felt as though I had mono (i.e. I never had any kind of sore throat, no other glands were ever enlarged) being very tired has been the only serious symptom I have had other than nausea and low grade temps that are on and off. And now for the past week the right side of my neck, where my gland is enlarged, is very achy.

Basically, I'm not quite sure what I’m asking other than do you think that this is something more than mono or is this common to having mono. I feel like something is just not right with me, and I have repeatedly been on my doctors case, but I feel like they are just brushing me off as having mono because it is the easy diagnosis for a 19 year old, female college student. It worries me that I tested negative for mono, then positive 4 days later, then negative again 3 and a ½ weeks later.

If anyone has any ideas at all, or has been in a similar situation, I would greatly appreciate any thoughts at all you may have! Thank you!
 sahminphx - Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:06 am

My husband has had some of the same similar symptoms for a year now and the doctors thought he had tonsilitis. They took his tonsils out but his high fevers continued. He subsequently was dx with kidney cancer In April, when he had the same episode of fever, sore throat--but he threw up a few times. I took him into the ER and they did a CT scan of his abdomen, because of the vomiting--tha'ts how they found the tumor.
So if you are having nausea, I think you need a CT Scan--but I'm not a doctor or a nurse.

The surgeon thought the fevers were coming from the infection next to the tumor. They did a radical nephrectomy. Theoretically, he is now cancer free. Except now he has still had fevers and the sore throat--so I don't know what that means either. We are going to go back to and Infectious Disease doctor. I would recommend the same for you. At least for a 2nd opinion.
 redsox7121 - Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:01 pm

Thank you for replying...I was considering going to an ID because of the mono, but haven't really gotten around to it...I'm still a bit worried but I'm hoping this really just is mono and nothing more serious...
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:21 pm

You stated that one of the findings was a nodule in the lung detected on Chest Xray. What did the doctor say about it and are there any plans to investigate it? Do you have a cough? What was the result of your ESR if this test was carried out at the same time as your CBC?

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical & Genitourinary Medicine
 redsox7121 - Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:45 pm

I had a cat scan done and they told me not to worry about it. I asked to know what it is but they just said it could be a scar from a previous sickness or an enlarged lymph node. I have no cough at all and I'm in a non-smoker. My ESR was 5 MM/HR at the time they did the CBC. I'm not sure what that means...Thank you for your response!
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:21 am

Many cases of infectious mononucleosis (mono) are asymptomatic, but in symptomatic patients, the main features are fever, headache, sore throat, lethargy, rash, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, enlarged spleen and a mild hepatitis.

The blood tests you had have been contradictory, but diagnosis is usually confirmed by a positive Paul-Bunnell test and positive Epstein-Barr Virus IgM antibodies. Do you know if these were the tests conducted? Your ESR is within normal range.

Infection with Toxoplasmosis or Cytomegalovirus may produce a similar clinical picture as mono, but of course the lab tests for mono would then be negative. With the persistence of an enlarged lymph node in the neck and other symptoms, you must be further evaluated for these other conditions producing a similar picture. The nodule in the lung detected by Xray and CT scan should also be rechecked to determine if there is a change in size.

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical & Genitourinary Medicine

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