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meningitis & septicaemia can kill in hours!

People who are faced with meningitis and septicaemia have to act fast to help save a life.

Meningitis in adults

53 comments

Posted by Lesley Grugel on 13 July 2009

Since I have been collecting sponsorships for the big fun run I cannot believe that amount of people who don't even know that adults can catch meningitis - let alone die from it. I tell you, its pretty scary how many people think it only affects children.

 


How about making a post about the symptoms of meningitis in adults and statistics?

53 comments

Posted on 12 February 2014

Comment by Sheila Thompson

My mum (67, not very fit but independent and no serious issues) was supposed to come to my home for Christmas dinner (2013) but rang on Christmas eve to say she was not feeling well. She thought she was coming down with something viral, would come if pressed but did not want to spread it around particularly as my elderly mother in law would be there.

I called her up Christmas day morning to see if she had changed her mind and she said she had earache (she did have some ear fluid issues) and diarrhoea so she would stay home, make some stew and rest for a couple of days, she would come over when better. She said she would probably give us a ring later to wish us a Happy Christmas but she didn't and being host to many, I forgot.

After all comers had been packed off to their homes on 28th I rang my mum to arrange to pick her up (ah, assumptions). She didn't answer. On repeated tried I rang my sister (who did not come over for Christmas having just moved to Scotland) to see if she had gone to stay with them (a very common occurrence) but no.

I was very worried as it was unheard of that she was not answering either home or mobile phone.I drove over and arrived to see the light on in her flat, I knew something was very wrong. I unlocked the front door, the security chain was on, she was in there. I kicked it in and found her in her chair, for all the world like she was napping, glasses and ibuprofen on the table next to the book she was obviously reading and half a cup of coffee left.

I later figured out from the half eaten pan of stew, the state of said coffee, the light being on and the failure to ring Christmas day afternoon that she likely lost consciousness / died within a few hours of me speaking to her, late afternoon. There were no signs of distress whatever had happened, for that I am thankful.

The coroner gave cause of death as meningitis (no more details).

My educated guess is that it is likely she had pneumococcal meningitis (from the bad earache, general flu symptoms, no rash, swiftness of decline), loaded up on Ibuprofen and was rapidly overwhelmed. She likely had no idea.

I feel terrible that I left it 3 days without speaking but hell, that was normal, that was complacent. I also rationalise that by the time I might have realised something was wrong even if she had come to my home, it would likely already have been too late. I can't change things.

I have to live with them. She would not want me to feel bad but this is scary stuff. We are so ill informed.

Posted on 06 January 2014

Comment by Carol Dimmitt

My elderly mother went through the dying process for 13 days. I was with her every day. After he death on March 4, 2013 I buried her March 7, 2013. That day I suddenly had a problem with my ear being stopped up and ringing and thought it was due to the wind blowing extra hard at the cemetery. March 9, 2013 I woke up with a high fever and thought I had the flu. I had the flu vaccine but heard that seniors could still get the flu. I was 64. I kept getting worse, by myself, and couldn't even call 911. I kept thinking I heard someone at my door trying to get in and thought, I must have called 911. Finally at 2pm my roommate came home to find me out totally out of it, called 911 and from then on I don't remember anything except being in a dark room screaming with a killer headache and someone telling me I had bacterial meningitis with sepsis caused by a sinus infection and I could die. I had surgery 2 times and 2 spinal taps. I was in icu for a week and had a slow recovery the next week including a seizure which I now have to take medication for the rest of my life. After I was released I had to figure out by myself how to get to my infusions 2 times a day for 3 weeks, 7 days a week. I have hearing loss, days of numbness and very bad depression. I am angry a lot of the time. Today is now Jan 1, 2014 and I still feel the same, not any noticeable improvement. I think the hard part was trying to take care of my mom's after life needs (headstone, curb, all that she had asked for, by myself. I have a brother but he has never had a lot to do with her except he has taken a lot of credit for it. I had to put my grieving on the back burner until I could take care of business. Adults can get meningitis and older adults certainly can. This was my second time, the first time I was 11 and had viral meningitis. I recovered from that completely. I fear I am as good as I'm going to get after this episode. However, I look around at people that are a lot worse off than I am and am thankful.

Posted on 15 November 2013

Comment by anirbansengupta

My brother has been admitted into royal jubile hospital canada for last three weeks.
doctor suspected he has a manangitis but all test result coming negative. he is in coma.
Can any one help me to give some idea regarding coma.

Posted on 03 September 2013

Comment by imdad

hi.
My name is imdad wud u like to tel me about meningitis my younger brother 21 years he have meningitis after 1 month he was also admit in hspital 4 day but in this time we never get any result so plz tel the meningitis how many days attack a patient thank's

Posted on 24 December 2012

Comment by james

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Posted on 17 November 2012

Comment by Nancy wanjiku muthoni

Am 21yrs old 3 months ago i had severe headache which i was taken to hospital.I was told that i had meningitis and then i was admitted for 2 weeks.i was then discharged and from home .My only worry i have started 2 experience backpains could it be i didn't recover fully ?please help.

Posted on 12 September 2012

Comment by Kelli Hernandez

I went to hospital after a night and day attack of horrible migraines and vomiting that never let. I was previously hospitalized for six days. I am now home but scared of seizures. Is this fairly common afterwards or during meningitis (seizures)? Thanks, Kelli (Go Ducks!!)

Posted on 07 September 2012

Comment by Michelle Price

Hello my name is Michelle i have been out of hospital for four weeks now recovery from viral meningitis, in the last week i have starting to get blurred vision and stiff necks again and numb feelings around my face and arms. I have never heard of this virus until now. Doctor said if it gets worse i might have to go back in hospital, for another lumber punture. It is a very scary situation as i feel all along.
The doctors are telling me about the illness as if i should no, then i get told everyone recovers different. That dosen't help me i'm a single mother with three children. i have my family to help. I've started to get frustrated with the lack of support and answers i'm receiving, Anyone out there had the same recovery.

Posted on 02 August 2012

Comment by MRF Helpline

We hope Ron found the information sent to you helpful, we welcome discussion on our blog. Our helpline is available on freefone 080 8800 3344(UK) 1088 41 33 44 (RoI) or email helpline@meningtis.org

Posted on 01 August 2012

Comment by Ron Butler

I contacted bacterial memingitis last year Oct 2011. I like a lot of people were not aware of meningitis in adults. I started out with a ear ache that morning and went to work where I became worse and ws sent home after several hours. I ws found that evening at home passed out and rushed to the hospital. I spent 4 days in a coma and had seisures. I spent 45 days in the hospital and lost my hearing and have balancing problems.Months later I had two ear operations one on my right ear to stop fluid leakage from my brain to a tube in my right ear. Meningitis had destroyed the nerves in that ear. On my left ear I was able to get a ear implant done which has restored my hearing in that ear bascially I have a bionic ear. I fully agree that there needs to be more information done on this disease. Also workers rights need to be looked at more. I was terminated from my job and benefits while still in the hospital causing my condition to be put in a preexisting condition where insurance companies did not want to do surgery on me. Besides my life being turned up side down I have to thank the hospital,doctors & staff St. Elizabeth Florence Kentucky the nurses are angels in my mind and UK Medical Lexington Ky for the operations they performed. More awareness needs to be made

Posted on 13 July 2012

Comment by maureen mugambi

i'v bn having terrible headaches for 3 continuous days.the pain affects my neck.i hv a back ache.i feel tired most times and the light affects my eyes.i took pain killers bt my head has not stopped aching for the whole night.i thought it was a flu cz of tonsilitis.the tonsilitis has reduced.i can't sleep well,am restless.i feel something is totally wrong,its not a normal headache.when am walking,each time i step on the ground,i feel alot of pain.somtimes i cnt stand 4 long.am from kenya.cd thz b menengitis

Posted on 16 June 2012

Comment by kelsey macfadyen

I had meningitis 4 times when I was a baby I am now 16 and I'm always worrying about my heath, am I more likely to get meningitis again?

Posted on 15 May 2012

Comment by victoria murray

I have just left hospital after having meningitis 4 the twelth time :o(
I have 2 boys, one 3yrs old and one 4mnths and I am so scared that next time I may not make it home. I am so grateful 4 the chances I am given, but how many more am I going to get?
Each time I am finding it more difficult to recover yet I find myself pushing myself to be better to take care of my babies.
I am also taking part in clinical studies to help research this horrid illness and hopefully make a difference for the future.
God bless all those who didnt make it, may the angels take care of u 4eva n always, let's pray that 1 day we find a cure x x

Posted on 15 May 2012

Comment by Jacqui Yorke

On 23/04/12 my 42 year old brother woke up fine.... but later during the day complained to his wife
as "being "out of it" & being light headed", in the afternoon he put himself to bed, he woke up to vomit a couple of times, watched TV and was slightly restless, complaining that he didn't "feel right" . During the night, he had an unsettled sleep. The next morning , my sister in law became concerned as my brother seemed disorientated, so she managed to get him an emergency doctor's appointment. Having to dress and guide my brother, she got him to his doctor's, whilst waiting for his appointment, with my sister in law by his side, my brother let out a little giggle then an almighty scream , his neck and back were arched backwards and he was fitting. Luckily, the doctors were right there and the ambulance service were there within minutes, they had to sedate him as he was thrashing about violently. He was taken to A&E at Medway hospital, where, although they didn't at the time have any idea of what was wrong with him, started administering the 2 main antibiotics for meningitis, whilst carrying on further tests. He was transferred to ICU and was put in a medically induced coma. It finally came back that he had meningicoccal meningitis, also he was suffering from pneumonia. On the 30th of April at approximately 14-40 he managed to pull himself round and has made a miraculous recovery, being discharged from hospital on the Friday 4th of May with little or no damage!! Thank you Medway Hospital for your quick medical expertise! Also just a quick word... My brother didn't have the classic signs of "stiff neck" "headache" "dislike to light" or "rash" all he had was light headedness, vomiting and later disorientation! So please warn your friends and be aware that not all of us will share the same symptoms.

Posted on 29 April 2012

Comment by mary combs

My huband who is 40 is recovering from meningits he is talking better and walking with walker but is still numb and tiggly all over does anyone know when that might let up?he feels like he is buzzing.today is 3 weeks since he came down with it.we have been home 6 days from hospital thanks for any help you can give.

Posted on 04 April 2012

Comment by jtraill

My mother saved my life 48 years ago by insisting the hospital considered meningitis after they told her to take me home - I had a lumber puncture. Last month Mum (70) was taken in with symptoms of meningitis although one of the ambulance men argued was not meningitis and was reluctant to take her in. The registrar met her at the door and immediately hooked her up to three different antibiotics. She fell into a coma with blood count of 47 (000) we were prepared for worst. She started regaining consciousness after a week and had to learn to walk and talk. She was let back home after 3 weeks in intensive care. They said she had the body of a 50 year old - she doesn't smoke and keeps active. At times she is confused, but her memory is improving all the time. She looks wonderful. Her coordination is improving, but she is very tired. We are told that it will be a year before she feels herself. We are very lucky that she was strong. As it was bacterial meningitis she was in isolation and we had to wear protective clothing to be with her. She had been vomiting, high temperature, her speech was affected, she became aggressive and had rash on her tummy.

Posted on 25 March 2012

Comment by Mary Jo Gardner

I had bacterial meningitis when I was 2 yrs old. My Mother was an RN and when I complained of a headache, she thought that was not normal for a 2 yr old and quickly diagnosed meningitis herself. I was admitted to the hospital and spend two weeks there. The Doctor said if there was such a thing as a good case of meningitis, I had it. I had no side effects after leaving the hospital. I feel so blessed, after reading the posts above. I never knew the severity of this condition. I've had both my children vaccinated.

Posted on 23 March 2012

Comment by CLARISSA I MALDONADO

my younger brother edwin was sick with meningitis when he was 8 years old and was sick for over 4 months or more in a puerto rico goverment hospital.right now he is over 60 years old and never was able to get a long time job because of his problem with the speech and slow learning capabilities .now he wants to get social security but he was told he never had enough time to acumulate for a pension ...how can i help him to get the proof of the problem of meningitis . i fell sorry for him he has been alone all his life only me helping and taking care of his needs.can i get a exam to proof of his problems...a lawyer or some of a group ?? please help him someone.

Posted on 17 March 2012

Comment by D man

O and I was hospitalized for a total of 15 days! Can you belive that? AND they didn't want to release me when they did, I asked to be sent home because I was told I would recover better at home. I did recover BUT I just don't think I recovered fully and nevere will.

Posted on 13 February 2012

Comment by Deirdre Nolan

Hi
I had Menningoccal Septicemia Type B when I was 39 (5 years ago to the day today!). I was in an induced coma for a week but thankfully I survived without any noticable side effects - the tiredness still really gets to me. I was very lucky in that my GP suspected it, gave me a shot of Penicillin and called an ambulance. They say that injection saved my life.

Because so many adults think it only effects children, I try to raise awareness that adults get it too. Everyone needs to realise that it can effect anyone at any time in their life.

Posted on 08 February 2012

Comment by Jen

When i was 13 i went home with a bad headache, feeling hot flushes. within an hour my mother said she heard a loud noise when she came to my room i was fitting on the floor. I got rushed to hospital and was in a coma for a week, then in hospital for another 2 months. i couldnt speak, walk or anything due to bacterial meninjitis and am lucky to still have all my limbs as many others lose theirs.

I am sorry for anyone who has been through this or know anyone that has it is a horrible ordeal

best wishes Jen

Posted on 03 February 2012

Comment by P Andrews

I had spinal steroid shots to ease arthritis pain in November of 2011. The next day I became very ill. Very red rash on face and chest sent me home from work. Vision became distorted. Went to sleep. Remember almost nothing of the next 24 hours. Slept, vomited, bad back, neck and head pain. Could eat or drink nothing. I was very dehydrated. Husband was out of town. Son was at work. Was only semi-conscious. Husband tried to reach me by phone. I was unaware I actually spoke with him once and was slurring words. He contacted our son to get me to the ER. He said I argued not to go. He got me to go. The doctor told me if I had waited til the next morning I wouldn't have made it. I had developed bacterial meningitis with a white blood count of over 24,000. Three months later I still have side effects I am trying to deal with. Headaches, ear pain, eye pain, vision difficulty, weakness, tiredness, cognitive issues, etc. Do not let serious symptoms go. Get to a Dr. right away. Better to be safe than sorry. If it wasn't for a determined husband and son I wouldn't be here today. God bless them.

Posted on 27 January 2012

Comment by stacey vacon

im 23 years old , & i've been in & out of hospitals since i was 16, with really bad migraines & stiff neck , .. high spinal fluid .. even like blurry vision.. & no doctors can tell me what i have or what then can do to help? i've been threw many tests & nothing shows , & im just getting worse , im going to go blind soon,, i need help , i live in a little town with not many doctors to help me out. if someone else has ever had my symptoms let me know! thanks!

Posted on 26 August 2011

Comment by Christine

Hi, my name is Christine. My best friend's boy friend was unconscious and bleeding out of his mouth and rushed to the hospital in an ambulance earlier today... He's in the ICU and still unconscious.. they said he has meningitis.

Posted on 18 August 2011

Comment by Leonor Rancano

My sister Lourdes Del Risco, 46 years old died from one day to the other. This memorial weekend on Sunday she conmplained to my nephew that she felt like she was coming down with the flu and that they will talk the next day.the next day she was not answering the phone and we found her dead in her bathroom .After three days of grief we found out she had died of Bacterial Meningitis, a young women with two beautiful children full of life how can this happen so quick. Our family is devasted.

Posted on 07 July 2011

Comment by Dawn davis

I had meningitis when I was 21, 27 years ago. The lady doctor came on a call out she told my b/f at the time that she thought I had meningitis I had no rash so hats off to her!
I was in hospital for a week and they sent me home where I lay in my bed for over 2 months when I had to use the bathroom I would have to carry my head cocked with both hands.. the reason why I am writing this is because I have just been told that a friend of mine has got it and is in hospital now, she had this infection at the same time as me 27 years ago.. I would just like to say that I have read every one of the notes above and would just like to say from the bottom of my heart I feel the pain and sufering this has caused each and every one of you.

Peace,love & light xx

Posted on 20 May 2011

Comment by Renee Boop

My oldest Brother died from virial Meningitis at age 33, but it was a quick dealth. He died in 2 days after finding out he was diagnosis with it. Not to mention he had never been sick prior to this happening to him. One day he was taking a bath and I was told that he stated that he wasn't feeling too good, so he asked his wife to fix him something to drink, so she brought him apple juice. His systems got worst and next thing I know he was in a comma on a breathing machine all in one day. I was told later after he died that his wife put poison in his apple juice by a friend who use to work with my brother. My mind is still unsettled and it's been since 1998 when he died of Meningitis. I have a question. Can someone get virial Meningitis from someone putting a chemical in a drink? Waiting on your response.

Posted on 17 January 2011

Comment by letitia carter

My sister is 43 and battling for her life as I write to you. She was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed the day after Thanksgiving 2010. It has been the hardest thing my family has ever had ti face, There lies a beautiful 43 yr. old woman, mother of two and still in a semi comatose state. She opens her eyes and she does track. It has not been 8 weeks yet. They moved her into her own room this week and she was able to go without the respirator breathing for her for over two hours! The doctors on the floor are weening her off but and this is what gets me, the Critical Care Unit wanted and suggested it would be best if we stoipped life support: however after she was moved out of there she began to wake up more, she is smiling now, she cries when I talk to her on the phone, and she has been moving her head to the left and right some and she moved her left hand two days ago. The doctor out on the floor is very happy but the doctors in the unit told us she would never breathe on her own and she has and said she would be paralyzed forever but she has began to move. Sound like a miracle blessing from God to me.

Posted on 13 November 2010

Comment by Christine Williams

To David Hollobon re- posting 10/10/09. Please accept my sincere sympathy for the loss of your dear wife due to this most dreadful disease. I lost my dear husband Terry in the same way in Feb.1998, just 3 weeks before his 55th birthday. Since then, as a supporter of MRF I occasionally look at their website in the hope that one day I will read about a miraculous cure for Meningitis, it surely has to come ! My daughter and I miss him always, he was a lovely man. I hope in time that you and your children find some measure of acceptance and peace, for they are things that eluded us for some years, so devastated were we. Too few people are aware that Meningitis strikes adults as well as children and of course adults are often assumed to be suffering from "a virus" no worse than flu ! The consequences of delayed medical attention (in my opinion because the patient is an adult) I'm sure you will agree, are horrendous and often fatal as we are only too well aware. I just wanted to offer my moral support to your family and let you know that there are others who unfortunately, through experience, understand something of your suffering and wish you well in the future.

Posted on 28 July 2010

Comment by anthony schlabs

i recently was given about 4 lychee fruit from india and 2 days after i started getting a really sore neck in the back and sensitivity to light i was wonderin if the fruit could pass on the disease i have felt out o energy and like my head is of sinus like symptoms kinda like the lu anyone with any suggestions i have no insurance so i am worried if i go to dr it may be nothin or if i dont im worried i might be sick any ideas?

Posted on 19 July 2010

Comment by marian bailey

Hi i have been feeling unwell for the past 10 hours or so.i suffer from migraines but its worse than normal and i havea stiff neck, i have a tempeture but im freezing...it is possible i have meningites or is it just migraine or the flu...i have never had the flu so i dont know.... im a bit bothered right now...

Posted on 17 July 2010

Comment by tracey crawford

after 1 week of flu like symptoms and stiff neck severe headache and confusion, my husband was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis...this was 10 months ago...after 2 weeks in icu and near death he recovered but has total hearing loss...ever since his recovery hes not the same person still very weak off balance and some memory loss...now he is complaining with a stiff neck and pain behind his ears and ringing...could this be meningitis again?

Posted on 04 May 2010

Comment by Richard Coates

I contracted bacterial meningitis back in 2008, I was 27 at the time.
I initially woke up and turned to check the time on my alarm clock. The pain that came from my neck was agonizing, I couldn't turn it at all.
At the time I was in the process of buying my first house, so still lived with my parents but they were on holiday!
I managed to get dressed, call my GP and book a taxi to get there. I was furious when he told me that I "have a crick in my neck" and then said "what do you want me to do about it!" I didn't get a better explanation.
The next day my neck felt a little better, however, just about every other joint in my body ached. I refrained from going back to my GP due to the lack of bedside manner that I had recieved the previous day.
The next day a rash appeared on the palms of both hands, the first thing I did was to do the tumbler test, the rash faded and I thought no more about it.
The next day was the day my parents returned (thankfully) as severe headaches started and the rash was now on my feet too (but still fading,) unfortunatelly by this point it was the weekend and the GP was shut, so, my mum took me to the local A&E, the young student doctor I saw there told me that it was probably just a viral infection and that it would go away on it's own.
Sunday was exactly the same and I took the young doctors advice of rest and relaxation.
Monday morning and the headaches had become so intense that I had barely slept the night before, the rash on my hands was still fading but the rash on my feet did not! Back to the GP and a different doctor. This time I was told that I may have some other random virus and arranged for me to have blood tests teken by the practice nurse (the rash on my feet was not even looked at and a comment of "You don't have Meningitis" was passed to me when I mentioned it!
Finally, I got to see somebody who really cared, the nurse, when she saw the distress I was in with my headaches she told me that she was going to take an extra vial of blood and test it for something else (I don't remember what that was, but it probably saved my life!) The test of course came back possitive (although I was still told that it was probably viral meningitis by yet another doctor) and I was then sent into hospital for treatment (a whole week after the initial stiff neck symptoms) where a lumbar puncture confirmed that it was bacterial meningitis.
I don't really remember much more of my time at hospital only that I kept getting really cold (but in reallity burning up,) more of the headaches and loved ones been with me (my now wife never left my side) whenever I was conscious enough to notice.
I made a full recovery although that now feels like a miracle having lived with the symtoms for so long before diagnosis. I did have a bout of intracranial hypertension duing my recovery which was directly related to the meningitis (this meant more lumbar punctures unfortunatelly!), I still get slight headaches from time to time but nothing severe and my short term memory is a little worse than before.
I am now in training for the Great North Run on behalf of the MRF in a hope that I can give something back to all of the researchers that ultimatelly saved my life and hopefully help to prevent it happening to others.

Posted on 24 March 2010

Comment by Neil Hardman

Hi Assia,

Best wishes from all of us to you and your brother - I hope he's doing ok in hospital.

I've asked one of our Helpline team to contact you directly as I think it would be good for you to talk to them. They can give your support and answer any questions you might have.

Best wishes

Neil

Posted on 22 March 2010

Comment by Jenny Winfield

Hi
My dad, aged 76, is in hospital with Meningitis. Last Wednesday he went to bed with no symptoms, but on Thursday morning had a temperature of 39 degrees celcius and was not responsive. He was taken to hospital and treated with antibiotics before being diagnosed with Bacterial Meningitis. Due to his age and compromised immune system (has low-grade leukemia) we were told to prepare ourselves for the worst and that he probably would not make it through the weekend. It in Monday and my dad has started responding to some questions. He still does not know who I am and will spend the next 2 weeks in hospital. I hope he continues to improve every day and that he does not suffer any of the after effects of the Meningitis.

Posted on 22 March 2010

Comment by assia hussein

Hi everyone my brother is in hospital with bacterial meningitis, sometimes he knows who I am other times he just stares, he gets agressive pulling off his wires and stuff... it is heartbreaking seeing him like this as he has a very sick daughter at home age 6 months who has already had 4 operations due to heart problems, and he has two young sons 6 and 8 years old. He is 29 himself. Any advice please? He is on the hdu.

Posted on 01 March 2010

Comment by Wil Nelemans

The story of our daughter Noortje.
Our daughter Noortje Nelemans moved into digs in September 2009. She had just spent her holidays together with her boy friend in Crete, Greece, in July.
They had had a wonderful time together. In September she continued her Social Studies at the AVANS College at Breda , the Netherlands.
She was a third-year student and had found a trainee post at a nursery for mentally handicapped children. She was responsible for 5 kids.
The nursery staff were very pleased with our daughter’s contribution.
She did very well and the kiddies loved her.
She turned out to be a very talented trainee. The right person in the right place, and socially fully aware and involved. Her future wish was, to find a suitable job, to buy a house and start a family together with her friend.
She gradually developed into an independent 21 year old lady.
Both on Christmas Day and Boxing Day she came home to have lunch together with her grandpa and her grandma. After New Year on the 2 January she came home and had dinner with us and stayed until 22:00 hrs. She complained of a slight earache. The next morning(Sunday) I rang her in the morning at 10.15 hrs. On the phone she told me that there was some blood that came out of her ear.
I was a bit worried and called the GP early in the afternoon. That particular day he was off duty and I was transferred to the GP Centre at the hospital. I spoke with a doctor’s assistant. She told me to give my daughter acetaminophen and nose drops. Her diagnosis was that her eardrum was damaged. That’s why some blood came out of her ear. A typical otitis media(inflammation of the middle ear)
We simply had to wait for 2 days. If her condition would not improve after these two days, she would have to be seen by a doctor.
Later in that very same Sunday evening our daughter rang us again and told us that her other ear was in the same horrible condition and that she had a terrible headache and a temperature of 38.8 degrees(Celsius). We transferred this once again to one of the assistants, and they gave us the same advice as early in the afternoon. Otitis media can occur in one or two ears.
On the following Monday our daughter still suffered severe headaches, although in the afternoon when my wife paid her a visit, she could still drink and eat and had even done some difficult homework. We, as parents, were not alarmed by her symptoms. My wife went back home by four o’clock in the afternoon. In the evening by 18.30 hrs we received a phone call from one of the other lodgers, telling us that it would be wiser to pick up my daughter and to put her in her own bed in our house, so she could be taken care of.
Then the other lodgers had not informed us of her terrible condition. Later we found out that she had vomited and had been delirious.
Once she arrived at our house she immediately went upstairs into her own familiar bed.
As she could still walk up the stairs and went straight to her bedroom, we did not get suspicious.
It may sound strange, but we still thought that she had a terrible flu together with an ear infection.
We put on her pyjamas, gave her something to drink and tucked her in, hoping she would feel better the next morning.
The next morning our 23 year old son found his sister dead in her bed.

We have such a huge sense guilt. Why didn’t we take her to the hospital on Sunday evening when both her ears were infected?
The provisional autopsy report says that she had developed a mastoid in her ear.
The final report will not come earlier than in June this year. We’ll have to await the results of the CT scan, the toxicological and neurological examinations.
We still believe that we could have rescued her, if we would have seen a doctor.
But doctor’s also have difficulties in making the correct diagnosis in these particular cases.
We think she died of meningitis or encephalitis, but we shall have to await the final report in order to know what bacterium, virus or infection struck her.
Why on earth did her merry, healthy, and warm life end so abruptly?
We shall never know.

Wil and Ans Nelemans
Vincent van Goghlaan 29
4907 PE Oosterhout
E-mail: wjnelemans@cs.com

Posted on 25 February 2010

Comment by Alison Mitchell

My son has recently been diagnosed with Mollaret's Meningitis. This is a recurring meningitis and is very difficult to diagnose, as it presents itself each time as something else, like flu or chest infection, etc. Unfortunately, he has the rarest form of this rare disease, which leads to major fits and comas, after which he can be unconscious for several days. It has been mistaken for epliepsy but each time he has been tested and no epilepsy found. After four attacks over 10 years (starting at the age of 19), he was finally referred to a consultant, who immediately suspected Mollaret's Meningitis, and my son certainly meets all the criteria. Alarmingly, GPs and hospitals do not appear to be aware of this rare recurring condition and there is not a great deal of research or information available on the internet. Each attack is very distressing and the last attack led to him being diagnosed with meningo-encephalitis. Fortunately, he has made a full recovery each time and the information available suggests that the meningitis sometimes stops re-occuring after a number of years. Does anyone have any more information about this rare condition?

Posted on 29 January 2010

Comment by Jade lynda marian bowers

i had meningitis when i was five.. and have had problems ever since.. i am now 16 and i had the blood 1 ... the one you can lose linbs from and die .. my best friend died of it wen she was five.. please help support ppl like me and my friend to servive xxx

Posted on 27 January 2010

Comment by Sandie Pickering

Hi
I am just recovering from bacterial meningitis at the age of 48. I have nothing but praise for the staff in A&E for their rapid assessment and treatment that I received. Although they did not confirm until I was admitted and had all the test that it was meningitis they acted very quickly in assesssing my symptoms and setting up the appropriate treatment. I can not thank them enough, as the doctors said I was very ill.I had no idea that it could have been meningitis when i went to bed with earache and avery bad headache. the symptoms developed very quickly but i thought it was a severe migrain. Although i didnt have a rash it was in my blood stream and because of the rapid treatment i have been very lucky. I like so many people I thought meningitis nly affected young children and students.

Posted on 27 January 2010

Comment by Jenny Wilkes

I would like to know what NHS follow up is usual (if any) when adults have meningitis. My partner developed hydrocephalus as a complication of meningistis & had a shunt to drain fluid from his brain. He sadly died 10 years later from cerebral odema.
He was very ill for the last year of his life & 9 months before he died was in hospital with meningitis-like symptoms but there was no referral to a neurologist.
Does anyone have experience of follow up (or lack of ) with shunts to correct hydrocephalus?

Posted on 17 December 2009

Comment by Victoria Oakey - Helpline and Membership Officer

Hi Sheila,
Thank you for sharing your experience on this post, following your devastating loss.
MRF has a Telephone Befriending Network for anyone who has experienced meningitis and septicaemia. We are usually able to put you in touch with someone who has had a similar experience to your own.
If you would like to know more about befriending, please be in touch through our Freefone 24 hour helpline 080 8800 3344, or via the Befriender Network page on our website.

Posted on 16 December 2009

Comment by Sheila Ransom

I totally agree with all that has been said my Son Andrew succummed to meningoccocal B meningitis in March 2008. He was a forensic science student at Sheffield Hallam University. Within 24 hours of the first symptoms we were turning off his life support machine. He was just 18 years old.I am a nurse myself and although we went to the GP surgery, we were told it was a viral infection and we went home and a few hours later Andrew collapsed. I called the Emergency Services they came very quickly and things were done quickly but it wasn't quick enough.It was a devastating loss for all and one we will never get over.

Posted on 13 October 2009

Comment by Sam Hynds

Hi I caught meningitis @ the age of 59 when on holiday I like others was amazed when Iwas told that I had meningococcal B type. my grandson had the disease afew years earlier @ 6 weeks old and I thought that it was a child's disease. I also had a cousin died of it when was18 months old in 1938. in my casemy neck was locked solid and my head hurt. the Dr. thought I had had a stroke.

Posted on 10 October 2009

Comment by David Hollobon

Hi
My wife Barbara died aged 55 from Meningitis with Septicaemia just 2 days before Christmas 2007.
We both thought she had flu. She had no headache or rash. She died just 2 hours after being admitted to hospital some 36 hours after feeling unwell. This disease is so dangerous in that it can appear to be similar to flu and the speed that it can progress is awesome. With hindsight I now recognise that other symptoms she had at various points during her last hours where an indication of Meningitis and Septicaemia. These were a period of rapid breathing, rather dopey and very tired, a high temperature initially but cold on the second night and Diarrhea. Much later large bruise like marks appeared on her legs (not a rash though).
The shock of her death was immense. Both my children and I miss her.
It's such a dangerous disease and it is so important that people are aware of the possible symptoms. Keep on with your good work MRF.

David Hollobon

Posted on 01 October 2009

Comment by Gillian

I had meningococcal septicaemia in Jan 2008 at age of 42 and had a horrifuc experince which left me with post traumatic stress.Despite dispalying almost every sign of the disease and being rushed to hospital by ambulance I was seen by one very young,nusupervised dr and told I had flu and would be much comfier at home!Despte my protests and worsening symptoms I was left alone and unmonitored for 3 hrs with no buzzer to call for attention.y hubbie had to drive me 25miles home and drag me to bed.My last memory was of desperately trying to phone my husband on mobile as he was sleeping downsatirs but not being able to see.I woke up 7 days laterinITU having been on life support.Thankfully I had fitted and fallen out of bed thius alerting my husband
He had had flu so it was assumed I had the same and I do wonder if Id not mentioned this if Id been observed and not sent home.

We could have sued as I have suffered loss of balance and cant even stand up so am on crutches and wheelchair but deciede to take to Scottish Public Servisce Ombudsman who fully upheld my complaints about hospital misdiagnosis and malpractice and have orded various changes wich will help every patient who passes through casualty and also healp alert medical staff as to the difficulties of diagnosis.

Posted on 01 October 2009

Comment by Linda Evans

Everything above is so true, I had bacterial meninigitis 4 years ago aged 46. I had no rash, and had gone to bed with cold symptons and an earache and woke up a week later in intensive care. My life saved my husband who had found me collapsed and incoheherent. Thank goodness it happened at night when he was home, as probably his speed in calling the doctorswho then sped me to hospital 25 minutes away, saved my life. Lets remember the trauma and stress our families our put through whilst loved ones are fighting this frightening illness.

Posted on 01 October 2009

Comment by Susan Heenan

I was lucky enough to survive meningitis and septicaemia when I was 54 (5 years ago). The paramedics thought I was having a panic attack, the medical staff thought I was having a heart attack. It's so vital to be aware that this dreadful disease CAN affect older people. I feel there should be regular awareness campaigns for older people - I think most of us are, by now, aware of the signs of meningitis in young people and babies, but how many adults would tragically put their symptoms down to a bad case of flu??

Posted on 01 September 2009

Comment by Claire Way

I was not very aware of the after affects of meningitis. I had it last year and remember being so surprised when I was told what I had in hospital.I remember over hearing a conversation in High Dependency about another patient who would be having his leg amputated. I felt so terribly sad for him, not realising that could have happened to me. I always used tocheck the children if they had a rash when they were young but did not think it would happen to me!

Posted on 21 August 2009

Comment by Georgia Elms

Hi

My husband Jon died at the aged of 38 from Meningitis. He went to bed with tonsilitis and woke me at 4.30am being sick and falling over. I rang an ambulance and he was taken to hospital however they could do nothing and his life support machine was turned off at 9.38 am on 26th July 2006. I still cannot believe that a healthy adult could be struck down so quickly and die so suddenly. It was 2 weeks after our daughter's first birthday and the day after he died I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd daughter. He had everything to live for and not only did I lose a wonderful husband but my children will never know or remember their father. Whenever I tell someone what he died of they are so shocked as they expect this disease to only affect babies and students.

Posted on 17 July 2009

Comment by Claire Knight - Medical Information Officer

Hi Lesley, thanks for your post. It’s very true that whilst the age group most at risk from meningitis and septicaemia are babies, followed by teenagers, adults can also get the disease. There are twice as many cases of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia in people under the age of 25, as there are in the over 25s, and that’s why you tend to hear about it more in young people and children. However, although the disease is rarer in adults, when it does strike it tends to be more severe. We have run campaigns in the past highlighting the disease in adults, and we also produce specific adult protocols as well as child protocols for hospital doctors treating meningitis.

Paste this link into your browser for symptoms information:
http://www.meningitis.org/symptoms/young-people

It’s important to remember that a rash is usually only found in meningococcal disease. Other types of meningitis and septicaemia can occur without a rash, so the absence of a rash doesn’t rule out meningitis or septicaemia in a person with other symptoms above. The early symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from other illnesses like ‘flu, so tell someone if you’re feeling ill, or keep an eye on an ill friend or family member. Contact us if you would like copies of ‘Get It Sussed’ (aimed at teenagers and young adults), ‘Race Against Time’ or symptoms cards (both for all ages) that you can keep in your wallet.

 

Posted on 17 July 2009

Comment by Tina Stoodley - MRF Befriender Co-ordinator

Hi Wendy
Thanks so much for sharing a little of your story, and we are so pleased to hear that your daughter is making a steady recovery. If anyone has experience of these diseases and would like to talk about it then please don't hesitate to contact the Freefone 24hr helpline on 080 8800 3344

Posted on 16 July 2009

Comment by wendy wilson

I agree we need more awareness about the symptoms in adults. My 17 year old daughter is recovering from Meningococcal disease. We were lucky to have caught this eary but she still spent time in ICU on a ventilator but some of the symptoms she had I was totally unaware of.

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