TB meningitis changed my ideally healthy world four years ago in October 2006.
I was experiencing severe headaches when my husband had to call an ambulance to take me to the hospital, where I was misdiagnosed to have liver cancer. Due to lack of beds I was transferred to another hospital close by. There, I was again misdiagnosed to have brain cancer.
Because TB meningitis was not prevalent in British Columbia, Canada, the doctors had a hard time diagnosing it. Apparently, I picked up the TB bacteria during my trip to the Philippines, which laid dormant for six months in my liver, the weakest organ in my body because I had hepatitis A as a child. But, after six months, the bacteria travelled from the liver through my central nervous system, and went to the brain, giving me TB of the brain, where it then affected the meninges, causing the stroke, which left me paralysed on the left side of my body.
I was the first case of this disease here in BC, so the doctors (oncologists, etc.) had a very hard time diagnosing the disease correctly. I've had a brain scan, CAT scan, MRI, etc. which were not enough for correct diagnosis. The last procedure was the lumbar tap, which correctly diagnosed the TB meningitis.
I stayed almost six months in the hospital, from October 8, 2006 to March 31, 2007. The stroke caused some paralysis on the left-side of my body, affected my short-term memory and left me unable to walk.
It's now 2011, I'm still struggling to walk properly as my left leg/foot is perpetually stiff, numb and spastic. I can't use my left hand because the fingers are constantly cranking – it can't grab anything. I use my right hand only in everything I do. The stroke also affected my eyes! I suffered Graves’ Disease, which nearly caused some blindness. I had to have two eye surgeries to save my eyesight but I still suffer from double vision. I may have a third eye surgery in spring 2011 to correct the double vision, however I'm grateful my eyesight was saved!
Now, I have given up my wheelchair and practice walking without any aid, however wobbly and shaky, but I'm learning to walk just like a baby on his first steps. I have physiotherapy every Friday and a massage therapist every Tuesday. Both come to the house to treat me. I still take Gabapentin for my pains, and 80mgs of Baclofen for spasms. My left limbs are constantly in spasm, my left limbs are constantly causing unpleasant sensations.