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HeronHeron Registered User Posts: 485 Member
edited August 2008 in Parents Forum
How do colleges handle mono cases? (Long story.)

Anyone with mono experience/advice?
Post edited by Heron on

Replies to: Mono

  • anxiousmomanxiousmom Registered User Posts: 5,738 Senior Member
    DD took several incompletes and came home for a period of time to recover. The most important thing is to contact the dean of students and also the individual teachers to make a plan for making up missed work.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,969 Senior Member
    Each college has its own policy & individual teachers are allowed the latitude to handle the situation as they see fit. When I had mono in college in the 70s, I had to accept an incomplete because I was unable to complete my final computer science while in bed at the student health center. (I was able to make it up promptly upon returning from Christmas break.)
    When my D had mono last semester, she was allowed to withdraw from one class, taken an "I" in another class & finish her coursework in her other courses. Her grades suffered & she still has to make up her "I."
    When we talked with various colleges about their policies about prolonged absences due to health reasons, we were told the information about how each professor is able to set his/her own criteria, particularly regarding attendance. They told us that if a child (even with a documented disability) missed 2 or more weeks of school in a quarter, they would be asked to withdraw at one of the Us my S was considering attending. The other schools we asked admitted that each prof sets individual policies and tries to be accommodating.
    Contacting profs promptly is key. The Dean of Students in the field your child is studying is also key. Proposing a plan tomake up the missed work is very helpful, while being flexible with what the teachers recommend.
    Good luck--it can be done!
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,161 Senior Member
    My daughter was diagnosed with mono toward the end of it. She apparently went through rush and two months of school before she had it checked. Her professors allowed her to take a few weeks off. She didn't have to go to the dean and was able to work it out with each professor.
  • crazedcrazed Registered User Posts: 1,972 Senior Member
    Son came down with mono the third week of freshman year (last fall). All fever/flu/ strep symptoms. Exhausted. Diagnosed on campus.

    He didn't opt to come home and didn't know if we should fly down and put him in a hotel with us. He toughed it out in the dorm room. I called the Pediatrician at home that said his roommate was not at risk as long as they were not sharing cups, etc. Called roommates Mom and it was OK with her that he stay. He had 1 1/2 -2 bad weeks. Fever abated. But he was tired for the next month or so. After the initial recovery, he would miss class now and then.

    He told his adviser when he was diagnosed who then emailed all his teachers. He then got emails from every teacher telling him to take care of his health and not worry about class or work. Some told of their own mono stories. It all worked out fine and he did not need to take incompletes. I think it all depends on the recovery. Some kids have to remain in bed for months.

    On another note, my best friends son, same age as mine, had 3 bouts of bad strep last fall. Missed lots of class. Ended up coming home a few days before Thanksgiving and having his tonsils out. Complications caused a longer stay at home. He wanted to take 3 incompletes and do the work over winter break. University denied it (and my friend spoke to everyone she could about this). They were very uncaring. So he ended up failing 3 classes.

    Experience with mono..... each case is different as far as recovery. Many kids do need to come home and drop out for that semester. Many cases are so mild you don't even know you have mono.

    Advice.... contact the dean/teachers/advisors to get their support. I doubt most try to set the student up for failure. Mono is very common on college campuses and surely there are other medical situations that arise where the student needs to be out for several weeks- ie appendectomy, etc...

    Good luck. Hope all works out for you.
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Remember that mono can be mild or severe. Some students have mild cases of mono and their symptoms get confused with colds or stress, and they can keep their normal schedules. Most students with mono can go to classes and get by with sleeping a lot, missing some classes, and getting extensions. Other students will barely have the strength to stand up on their own, will develop dangerously high fevers, be in extreme pain, and/or have complications with their liver or spleen and will need to be home for the duration of their illness, which would likely result in a leave of absence. Each of these circumstances requires different allowances. Students should talk to their professors. Professors and students should be able to work out an appropriate plan of action. If the illness is more serious, the professors are reluctant to make allowances, or it's the college's policy, it's time to talk to the dean.
  • HeronHeron Registered User Posts: 485 Member
    She actually doesn't have it, but her boyfriend was just diagnosed. Trying to think ahead to the possibility that she might get it.

    I've done some online research since posting here, and have learned that the reason it doesn't spread like wildfire is that most people have had it in childhood with very mild, or no, symptoms. Something like 90% of adults have the antibodies.

    Also ways to boost the immune system so that if she does get it, she might have an easier time. (Mostly vitamins.)

    Also that most colleges don't require quarantine, and that it's transmitted much like a cold -- shared saliva or mucus, contact with mono-infected sneezers, coughers, people who haven't washed their hands, sharing food, utensils, plates, etc., sharing joints, pipes. And of course kissing, but it is unfortunate that it is referred to as the kissing disease, since it is transmitted in so many other ways. And of course all those who've had it in childhood haven't gotten it from kissing!

    Anyway thanks for your responses, and more are welcome.
  • crazedcrazed Registered User Posts: 1,972 Senior Member
    Is your daughter starting college? If I remember correctly,there is about a 3 week incubation period.

    If you are very concerned, have her doctor draw bloods and test for it. She may have had it already and then you will not need to worry.

    The acute phase lasts a couple of weeks (high fever, strep throat symptoms even if the test is negative, swollen lymph glands. It is miserable, but like I said above, my son was lucky that after the acute phase was over he was exhausted and functional. Another week or two of going to just some classes, then just tired (but likely didn't get enough sleep anyway) but functional for the most part.

    Just got off the phone with a friend who found out a local girl about to start my sons school as a freshman was diagnosed a week ago with mono. (And freshmen go down to school this week!) Seems common at this age.

    Hopefully they will all recover sooner than later. Hard to start the school term off this way. Good luck.
  • crazedcrazed Registered User Posts: 1,972 Senior Member
    Thought of one more thing of importance to you....

    When I spoke to my pediatrician, he said that with mono, you are contagious for quite a while (can't remember how many months) even when the symptoms go away. That means, NO KISSING, NO SHARING CUPS, etc. with the boyfriend for quite some time. (Go on line or ask your doctor the length of time. I remember I had to tell my son not to go kissing the girls, etc., for months.)
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    my daughter had mono junior year but it was misdiagnosed for quite a while ( which is why she didn't let me know) even though many other students had same illness.

    It lasted long enough and was severe enough that by the time she felt better, she wasn't apparently ready to take a year end final that was most of her grade & had to take the year off & retake the class.

    It does vary- when I had it in junior high I was pretty ill for a couple weeks, but I was able to stay in bed- I don't know if D was able to take that time to rest.
  • bugmombugmom Registered User Posts: 322 Junior Member
    My S developed mono in October of freshman year last year, and was very sick for most of the term. It took weeks to get a good diagnosis out of campus health and then little for treatment. He saw his advisor and was told his options were he could withdraw for a term, drop a course (but would then be on academic probation) or tough it out. He chose to tough it out. He lost a lot of weight because he could not eat with the swollen glands.

    It was stressful for Mom, because he wasn't good at communicating and sounded so awful when he did. He came home for the full reading period before finals, though, and got more sleep and food. It is a hard way to start freshman year.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 11,349 Senior Member
    D came down with a pretty severe case five weeks into the semester. She chose to withdraw, flew home and spent the next four weeks in bed, sleeping for 18 hours+ a day. It took her another two weeks before she could function more or less normally. This was her second bout with mono, so she knew which tests to request at the school clinic. School was very helpful in helping her withdraw, deal with her dorm and crediting us with the tuition. Mono is common enough among students for the school/professors to be understanding.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,161 Senior Member
    Could you get mono more than once? I thought you would be immune after you've had it.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,835 Senior Member
    I got mono for Christmas vacation. By the time it was over I felt much better. I still had two weeks of reading period, and then exams. I didn't end up having any incompletes. My husband got sick right before exams and ended up in the infirmary for a while being dosed on painkillers. As I recall he did have to do a make up exam or two and had some incompletes that he finished over the summer.
  • BookladyBooklady Registered User Posts: 3,122 Senior Member
    I got mono about a month into my freshman year (1975). I was in the infirmary for 3 days with the worst sore throat I've ever had, and then...I was fine. No fatigue, no nothing. I asked for an extension on one paper and got it. At the time I didn't know anything about mono, but I realize now I must have had a very mild case.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 11,349 Senior Member
    oldfort, having mono twice is very unusual - but not unheard of. (Leave it to my kid to be 'unusual' aaarrrgh) In both D's cases, the diagnosis was confirmed with a blood test.
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