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 Post subject: Glandular fever
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
Posts: 489
Location: S E London
DS has gone down with glandular fever which has also affected his liver, and he has tonsillitis on top of that too.

He is in the 4th year of an integrated masters, so 50% of his course is a masters project and 50% taught, He is highly likely to be offered a PhD place in Germany, working on his first choice of topic

He is totally wiped out, has been for the last two weeks, and I think is unlikely to be able to do much for the rest of this term. I think he would be better to suspend his degree for the rest of this year and start the 4th year again next October, as I don't think he will be able to do 2 terms of work next term whilst potentially still being exhausted, but he is not keen at all. He is a college chapel scholar and coaches rowing, and I think both of those would have to be dropped if he stayed. and if he went back next year he could take those up again. But on the other hand his girlfriend and friends all graduate this summer.

He should have a meeting with the college support team today (he is at Durham so has the college system in place to help him sort this out) so we will see what they think

I was just after opinions from other parents. I went to see him at the weekend (before he had the diagnosis) and thought he had the flu, but this is more serious. We live south of London, so can't just nip up to see him (and he can't just nip home either)


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 Post subject: Re: Glandular fever
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:31 am 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 4760
Location: london
Oh dear poor DS and poor you. DD2 rowed and got GF (although not as badly as your son it seems) and although she was able to soldier on after a while it definitely took its toll. It sounds like he has a bad dose and I understand both yours and his views about what to do. DD1 was at Durham and yes, the college system will be brilliant in pastoral terms/advice. Personally I would wait a bit to see how hard he is hit and for how long before deciding whether to suspend the degree. Most of all of course he must not go back to his commitments too quickly, particularly the freezing cold early starts on the river. If he is anything like DD this will be the thing he ignores you on the most, but hopefully the college can provide some firm advice here. I do feel for you 2childmum, it is at times like this that Durham seems so far away. I hope things improve soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Glandular fever
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 9744
Location: Herts
One of dd1's friends caught GF in the summer term this year and was totally bedridden and his parents had to come and take him home.

He was taken straight to hospital and spent some weeks there over the summer.

He was fortunate that it was almost the end of the summer term and then he had the whole of summer to recover so he was well enough to return in October.

Having seen him at his worst (which was physical incapacity and emotional exhaustion) in your position I would come up with two plans, one that he recovers quickly and is able to resume his work in January. The other that it is severe in which case you need a plan for resuming studies in September. DG


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 Post subject: Re: Glandular fever
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 1894
I agree that at this stage it's too early to predict.
I've seen young people with awful liver tests with GF who bounced back to normal in a couple of weeks and others where it takes longer.
But the cases that one hears about - weeks or even months to recover - are far less common. Often people are better by the time the blood results are back.
So I agree with DG - make a couple of plans. Expect the best and prepare for the worst


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 Post subject: Re: Glandular fever
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:25 pm 
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Having gone through this with DS1 a few years ago and now with DS2 (although still waiting the blood test diagnosis) - and both have them have an immunocompromised system, so they get it very badly...I can sympathise.

DS1 was admitted to hospital with kidney and liver failure - so it was awful. There is very little you can do except make sure he eats healthily (when he is hungry) drinks lots (non alcohol) and rests, rests rests...Initially no sport (as he will be tired) and definitely no contact sport (or anything that invloves too much bending, as the spleen is very fragile).

But, whilst it really feels like they are on deaths door early days, some teenagers bounce back very quickly, some take a bit longer and some end up with a type of Chronic Fatigue. We are currently taking DS2 into school in the mornings and bringing him home at lunch to sleep all afternoon. Perhaps he could do something similar at UNI through the initial chronic stage?


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 Post subject: Re: Glandular fever
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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+1 for not jumping to a decision too soon. I cant remember funding rules but it's worth checking if there is any advantage to making a decision before the end of this term.


Having seen the impact of Chronic fatigue close up I would try to get him to focus on long term health above all else. Taking care now might avoid protracted and potentially life changing illness.


At some universities they can extend final deadlines into the summer/ take exams with re sits in the late summer. He wouldn't be able to graduate in the early summer with friends but less dramatic than doing the whole year again.

If he doesn't bounce back quickly then yes, someone needs to do some direct talking about rowing in particular but also the music. I had a DC who was passionate about a university sport and while it was a great experience it isnt as fundamental to their futures as long term health.

Your DS is obviously responsible for himself by now but when they are ill we as parents rightly wish to support them. Its such a tricky balance. Sending very best wishes.


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 Post subject: Re: Glandular fever
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
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Location: S E London
Thanks everyone for you replies. DS has a meeting with college this afternoon, so we will see what they recommend. I'm sure they will have dealt with this before!


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 Post subject: Re: Glandular fever
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
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Location: S E London
Just an update. DS spoke to college support yesterday who phoned the department on his behalf. They have said that they are happy with his progress so wait and see how he is doing, but they can move his exams and research report deadlines to later in the year if need be. So he is staying up for the time being (and getting very bored). His throat seems to be improving, he is making it down to most meals ( the head cook realised he was ill yesterday and made him some honey and lemon!) and is beginning to sleep better with fewer feverish patches. He seems a bit brighter on messenger too, so hopefully the worst is behind him.


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 Post subject: Re: Glandular fever
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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Glad to here it.
Try to persuade him to stay away from rowing until next term at least!


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 Post subject: Re: Glandular fever
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
Posts: 489
Location: S E London
He really isn't up to getting further than the dining room at the moment but I will chat to him about it - although he is coaching rather than rowing himself. He is someone who loves to be busy, so this is making him very frustrated but I think he is being quite sensible.


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