Edward Parnell-Tomasetti

Viral meningitis at 3 weeks

Viral meningitis

It felt like we had just got Ted home from hospital when he picked up what I thought was likely to be the bug his sister had had. He had a high temperature and was a bit grizzly but had no other outward signs of anything much wrong. So we took him to the doctor. When she saw him she said 'you're too little to be visiting me'! He was three weeks old.

She sent him straight to hospital after taking his temperature and looking him over. In A&E they ran through a list of possible outcomes – most resulting in death. We were unlucky and had a doctor with a very severe manner.

We were propelled into a flurry of X-rays and tests and when the doctor told us is was likely to be meningitis I really thought they had it wrong and that he had just picked up his sister’s bug. I had no understanding of viral meningitis at all. I went into shock and stopped producing milk. Ted was still drinking and so the nurses gave him formula. I feel like the whole week he was in there was a blur of tests and crying and fitting and silence.

He had two lumbar punctures to confirm viral meningitis, and as he had fitted he needed five months of EEGs to check his brain function until it returned to normal. Even then I could not believe the results. We were very very lucky – a three week old seems very tiny to be so ill and so far we think he has recovered completely (he is now over two). Trying to fit drips into his tiny hands and feet was awful.

We feel very grateful indeed, and finding this website helped me understand all the elements of the illness and deal with my anxiety relating to after effects and support.

February 2012