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Hi all. I haven't been on here in along time but would love if anyone has any advice to offer.

 

DD (18) is on the foundation course at northern contemporary. She's loving it and currently in the thick of auditioning for BA courses in the U.K. and on mainland Europe. Unfortunately she has caught glandular fever. ????. Her main symptom has been a horrendously infected threat and some fatigue. We just got the diagnosis this evening so are all very worried and upset.

 

I was wondering if anyone here had dancers who had this and how long recovery took before they were dancing again. The bulk of her European auditions are at the end of march, start of April. However she has a call back for The Place on Saturday the 25th of February.????

 

Any and all advice on how to aid her recovery gratefully received. Thank you.

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I am so sorry to hear your news Carmen.

 

I don't know any dancers but 2 ex-colleagues had glandular fever. It was months rather than weeks before either of them came back to work and they were still not back to full fitness.

 

I expect it depends on the individual though. Have you been given any advice about the recovery process by her doctor?

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Am I right in thinking that glandular fever was what Lauren Cuthbertson originally had, and then it turned into some very nasty post-viral thing? 

 

I think I'm right in saying that if you try to rush back before you've properly recovered you can end up suffering for much longer, so do bear that in mind.  But obviously medical professionals will know more.  What I *do* know is that it can vary greatly in severity and length of effect: some people barely notice it, while others suffer much worse.

 

Sorry not to be more upbeat, but I hope your DD has a light case.

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My non DD got glandular fever age 14,which then turn in to CFS ( Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ ME ) She was out of full time education for 6 months and then went back part time for the best part of 18 mths. Sorry I know that isn't what you want to read. My advice now you have a diagnosis ( which is rare, as it doesn't always show up in the blood test )is for her to completely rest, stop everything which obviously isn't ideal. There is no reason for her not to attend her auditions especially if you have a letter for her GP and as long as she has rested before hand and she fully understands she may not be at her best but she really must rest properly before hand. . I should add my non DD went on and got straight A/A* at GCSE despite everything, it really is a case of managing and listening to your body. It's a really frustrating illness and often you feel like you take one step forwards only to go back ten. Non DD was a very fit active teenager.

 

I had it when I was 20 I took 8 weeks off work ( I worked with babies ) which was e standard advice 30+ years ago. I was also told to take vitamin B complex which my non DD daughter also took. Unfortunately glandular fever has a habit of reappearing and it is all about managing it.

 

Sorry if this seems rather depressing but this is our experience. I wish your daughter a very speedy recovery.

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That's very disappointing for you all. I was a serious dance student who contracted glandular fever when I was 14. My mum was a ballet teacher and asked the doctor about the amount of dancing I should be doing. His advice was that I should be very careful but my body would just give up if I tried to push myself - which it did! I was laid up off school for about 6 weeks and very gradually got back to school and dancing. I would say 6 months before I was dancing full out and then any virus I caught such as a cold would see a resurgence of my GF symptoms, probably for another 3 years! After that I always struggled with strength. Obviously some people have it more severely than others but for a serious dance student it is a very worrying condition. I wish your daughter a speedy recovery.

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Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences. It's grim but we have to cope somehow. She's on midterm at the moment so will take an extra week before thinking about returning to Leeds.

 

It's so difficult with teenagers as she's so frustrated at the idea of all her life stopping and having to rest. But from the sounds of it we just have to wait and see how the virus affects her.

 

I'll definitely get the vitamin b complex and any other advice gratefully received.

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I'm sorry to hear this - what dreadful timing. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you know, glandular fever, or infectious mononucleosis is caused by a virus for which there is no specific treatment so all you can do is manage the symptoms and wait. The acute symptoms last 2-3 weeks generally, but about 10% of people do go on to have long term fatigue which can last months. I don't know if there is any real scientific evidence that can identify who those 10% are, but it seems intuitive to me that if you overdo things in the acute phase it's not going to help. Absolute rest, plenty of fluids and trying to maintain a healthy diet are important, though as we all know, getting dancers to rest is easier said than done!

Another thing to bear in mind - although glandular fever is an annoying but in the long term harmless illness for most people, there are a few potential serious complications to watch out for. One is that it can affect the liver, so make sure that your DD seeks medical help if she becomes at all jaundiced. It's also important that she doesn't drink any alcohol whilst she's ill (sorry, don't know how old she is but I'm assuming at least late teens so could be important!). Another rare complication is that a small percentage of people can develop pericarditis - inflammation of the "bag" that the heart sits in, so watch out for any chest pain or shortness of breath. And perhaps most importantly regarding dancing, is the spleen. Quite a lot of glandular fever sufferers get a temporarily swollen spleen (I think its about haldf if my memory serves me well.) Mostly this is not an issue at all, but rarely it can rupture and for this reason the usual advice is to avoid contact sports for a month. Obviously dance is not usually violent like things like rugby can be....but, particularly as she is doing contemporary and may therefore be doing lots of floor work and so on, it's something to consider. If she is well enough to return to dancing before the month is out it might be wise to avoid very "vigorous" work, being lifted and so on, just to be on the safe side.

Of course the likelihood is that she will have no complications and will recover fine, but its best to be aware of these things. Hopefully your DD's doctor has told you all this and more already, but I think most regular health care professionals have little idea of exactly how physically demanding dance is, so they might not have thought to mention the spleen.

Hope she gets better soon.

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I have had glandular fever and it is a horrid illness so my heart goes out to your daughter.  Recovery is very slow and any exertion can allow the symptoms to reoccur.  I was ill with symptoms for about a month, but it was three months after that before I was fit enough to do any strenuous activity.  I would say recovery is between 2 and 6 months for most people, however some people develop longer term health problems from it.  

 

I do have to say that 30 years on and my glands swell every time I get a cold or any viral infection.

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My DD had glandular fever when she was 16, her liver was affected and she was admitted to hospital for a week. However, 2 weeks later she declared herself fit and went back to dancing. She bounced back very quickly, she was one of the lucky ones.

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I would echo the advice of Pointetoes and stop everything and completely rest. Again, if she is rested and well enough I see no reason why she shouldn't attend her auditions but I would make sure that they are aware of her diagnosis so that they can take it into account during an audition. I would also make sure you talk to her college to make sure they can put her on a reduced timetable that will benefit her the most. One of DDs friends had glandular fever during the graduate year and they worked with her to make sure she covered what she needed without getting overtired. She was diagnosed end December/early January and was back full time in March.

 

I really do hope that your DD is one of the lucky ones who recovers quickly. I had glandular fever myself aged 17 and it is the tiredness that I remember most from it. I took ill mid September and went back to school part time mid October, only a couple of mornings a week at first as I would actually fall asleep at my desk in the classroom. I was back at school full time by early December. my school had had a student the year before with glandular fever who had done too much too soon and unfortunately their glandular fever returned during their A levels so with me the school were determined to give me all the support and time necessary

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Thank you all so much for your advice and kind words.

 

It is so helpful to read the accounts of others experiences and the really helpful advice you have given. We shall wait and see what the next couple of weeks bring in terms of her recovery and take it from there.

 

Once again thank you for taking the time to read and respond. ❤️

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a girl on my course was diagnosed with it a few weeks ago but has now been told it's not as serious as they thought it was! so maybe don't worry yet if you've not had all the tests done etc?

 

but even so your DD is young and still has her whole life ahead of her, education can be postponed for health! i hope she feels better soon :)

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I had glandular fever when I was about 26 and it was the longest time I had to take off work in the whole of my career.....about four weeks.

There was no way I could have danced in that month!! Your body will dictate that to you!! My energy was non existent and I remember one day having to climb the stairs up to the flat I was in in Tufnell Park in London on my hands and knees. I had never felt so tired.

Initially I didn't know what on earth was wrong with me so was glad to get a diagnosis via a blood test.

At the time there were dire warnings around about how you never get rid of it and sometimes have to be hospitalised so I was very worried. However after about a month I gradually began to feel better and went back to work but still didn't feel up to dancing for another three to four weeks. Because I lost my appetite I lost about a stone in weight during the next six weeks or so. Apparently I had a mild dose of it but luckily it has never reoccurred since then...so over some 40 years ago now!!

 

It is all very individual so difficult to say in your daughters case but she will I'm sure know herself how much dancing if any she can cope with especially in the first couple of weeks. The February 25th date might be the most difficult to meet but she may be okay by the end of March.

Hoping she has a speedy recovery anyway.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought I'd come back on and update here after you were all so helpful.

 

DD has made a fantastic recovery. Once off the antibiotics for the infected throat she started to gently exercise again. She did an audition here in Dublin for a Dutch university and was offered a place, then flew that night to London for her audition at London Contemporary who also offered her a place! And Northern have also offered her a place too!

 

So after being so upset and worried two weeks ago things are really looking good for her now. She is taking great care of herself, resting and eating well and taking supplements. I hope there will be no relapse but at the moment all looking good.

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Wow Carmen, if that's what she can achieve when she is debilitated imagine what promise the future holds!  Great news re the places and, more importantly, her health!!  :)

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