One Friday night in February 2011 I woke in the middle of the night with an earache. I visited my local out of hours service who told me I had an ear infection and prescribed antibiotics. I do remember, even at this stage, covering my eyes as the slightest ray of light was causing immense pain.
I went to bed on Saturday afternoon and by Monday I still hadn't moved from bed, and I was getting worse. My husband took me to our GP who spotted meningitis immediately. I was very lucky as I was treated in a specialist ward very quickly. A lumbar puncture confirmed what everyone suspected, meningitis which had come from the infected ear.
After three weeks, and a host of scans checking for long term effects on my brain, I went home to my wonderful husband and children, with only a little damage to my ear, no real long term effects.
What's scary is if I hadn't had someone in the house with me, I would have stayed in bed and I'd never have survived. It creeps up on you, and it is so debilitating so quickly.
Reading on the MRF site the literature on how I may feel after the experience, and reading the experiences of others, has been a huge relief and comfort. It is emotionally difficult to come back from this, I'm OK physically, but still scared stiff it should happen again.