Friday, July 15, 2011


It seems like Christmas in July. Well, how I remember Christmas... spending it in bed, on the couch or with my head in the toilet. It was days before my hospitalization due to dehydration. Winter was filled with painful and sick days that dispersed into the rainy spring. So here we are again, it's July, and I feel simliar to how I did during the holidays. Thanks to the antiviral!
While this seems like a whiney start to this post, I'm actually glad I'm feeling this way! It's proof that my new medication is working. This antiviral, Valtrex, has been found to help patients recover from EBV (Epstein Barr Virus). This virus, also the cause of mononucleosis, may be the cause of my ME/CFS. Dr. Lerner is one of the pioneers in the studies of treating ME/CFS with antivirals. Check out for some great and promising information! Big thanks to my lovely mom for doing so much research for me!
"Long story, short" the EBV virus hijacks the cell. It tries to force the cells to create building blocks for other viruses. The cells are then littered with viral proteins and it decreases the efficiency of the cell. Reactivation is when the virus spreads from cell to cell. The antiviral comes in and stops the process of reactivation. It suppresses the virus from doing anymore damage to your body. The longer the virus has been free in your body, the higher the viral count is. Hopefully, my viral count is lower, so the antiviral will work faster than those infected for years. The side effects of the antiviral is similar to those undergoing chemotherapy, but since I haven't been exposed to the virus for an extended amount of time, the severity and length of recovery should be shorter, as well.
So, back to those "holiday feelings", I'm now dealing with a Herxheimer Reaction. My body is overwhelmed by the toxins being released. My liver is overloaded, and all my symptoms are flared up big time. I'm extremely nauseous. My headaches have upgraded to migraines, with the added bonuses of ringing and pressure in my ears. My entire body feels like it's throbbing, and I'm very, very sore. I've also  got a low-grade fever (my body temperature is normally around 95 or 96 degrees Fahrenheit). I'm doing my best to speed along my body's natural detox process by downing jugs of water. Can't wait for those cliché, back-to-school questions... "Sara, what did you do over the summer?" "Oh, just kicked EBV's ass, and sent my ME/CFS into recession."
Ah! I'm going back to school! With the help from my friends and family, I've signed up for classes at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. While I'm only a Senior at Valley View High School, this allows some flexibility with my schedule- I'll only be going to school 3 days a week. I'm anxious when I think about trying to walk all over campus all day. I really hope I'll be able to keep up, both mentally and physically.
Honestly, I didn't plan for this my senior year. I had goals of being valedictorian, honors diploma, etc. I strived to fit as many accomplishes as I could onto my resumé. I won't be able to run Varsity Cross Country or Track, or be onstage with the school musical. I didn't expect a prescription for a wheelchair before I could work enough to buy a car of my own. I do feel like I'm missing out. I can't even go out to eat with friends without accommodating for my health! But I am extremely thankful for my youth, however limited I may feel. Now, I don't worry so much about my future. I appreciate what I have in front of me. I have the best family and friends I could ever ask for. I have faith in God, and I have faith in myself. My body's been hijacked from me. This disease has control over my body, but I refuse to let it take my faith or my optimism. God has a plan, sometimes regardless of what we want. The unexpected happens, and we're reminded we're not in control. But, maybe that's a good thing.


  1. As always you bring a smile to me at your enthusiasm and hope for the future. I really hope that you kick M.E.'s ass and fulfill all your dreams of school.

  2. Sara,
    I've followed your blog after Paige told me about it.I just wanted to say that you are so strong and so brave. i really hope that you can accomplish all that you want to in life. You of all people deserve it. Stay strong and always have faith.

    Stephanie Brewer

  3. Sara-You are one of the bravest, most eloquent 17 yr. olds on the planet! You are facing so much-there just aren't words. Praying for you- and wishing we could see you soon. <3 Marcy

  4. Thank you so much for all the kind feedback! You guys are awesome!