I have mononucleosis. In the beginning stages of my illness, I had 5 days of agonizing headache and neck stiffness. This went away as my illness progressed though. 2 weeks later I fainted, and due to my body jerking around while it happened, they did an EEG. It came back normal. In the hospital they did an ECG, physical exam, neurological exam, and blood work. All they found was mono. I got sent to a neurologist who did a more extensive neurological exam and he looked at the info sent to him from the hospital and he told me he isn't concerned and that I'm totally normal, just sick and dehydrated.
But this headache was excruciating at the beginning. My neck hurt upon moving it side to side. I could do it, but it felt really sore/stingy. The doctors seemed to not be worried about this, but I read that encephalitis is a complication of mono and severe headache/neck stiffness as well as loss of consciousness are symptoms. Is it possible I have encephalitis with my mono?
Headache and stiff neck are also very common in Mono. If you had symptoms of encephalitis the neurologist most certainly would have found it during his exam. Bloodwork would have shown signs if they were there. There are special maneuvers that the neurologist can check that would indicate if the were inflammation on the brain or spinal cord. I'm sure he would have looked into this and if he had suspected anything of the sort he would have done a lumbar puncture and checked the cerebrospinal fluid. Is your fever getting better or is it continuing to rise? If it is getting better, it is very unlikely you have encephalitis. Your fever would continue to elevate, you would be confused, vomiting and very sensitive to light, have memory loss and extreme weakness. You would not be getting better. Mono can make you very very ill and it does take a while to get over. Relax, try to stop worrying and get yourself better.
Dear Krc90... so sorry about your illness. Re: the possibility of encephalitis... yes it is true that nuchal rigidity (stiff neck) and headache are hallmark signs of encephalitis. But u need to put the whole picture together. R u running a fever? If not I doubt that u do have encephalitis. The only way u would definitively know is by a spinal tap. If u r this concerned I would definitely discuss this with your physicians... mainly your neurologist. Most definitely u need to let them know about your headache and neck stiffness. Perhaps more tests need to be run??? Mono can also give u these symptoms. Your glands n your neck area will be swollen thus adding to the feeling of stiffness. Also severe dehydration will cause a really bad headache. Get plenty of fluids, preferably those with electrolytes... sodium, potassium, chloride into your body. So before getting yourself too terribly upset as to whether u have encephalitis I think u need to convey to your medical team ALL of your symptoms and concerns. Mono takes a lot out of u and u will b very tired so please get enough rest and let your body do its job in healing itself. Get plenty of fluid intake. All my best to you my friend. I will most definitely remember u n my prayers for your fast and complete recovery. Please keep us updated on your progress. My best and most heartfelt regards..pup
Subscribe to receive email notifications whenever new articles are published.
Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex (updated Jan 9th, 2019), Cerner Multum™ (updated Jan 14th, 2019), Wolters Kluwer™ (updated Jan 7th, 2019) and others. To view content sources and attributions, please refer to our editorial policy.