Gary Stevenson

Pneumococcal meningitis at 43

Pneumococcal meningitis

My Name is Gary and I was 42 years of age at the time of falling ill with Pneumococcal Meningitis.

On Friday 5th October 2012 I started to get Ear ache. My right ear became blocked and I couldn’t hear the TV or people talk properly. Now this wasn’t that unusual for me as I had always had problems with wax build up, so I just carried on as normal.

On Saturday I went for my usual afternoon meeting with friends for a couple of beers and watch the football. My ear was still aching and getting worse by the hour.

By Sunday I could hardly hear anything so my wife decided we should go to the walk in centre nearby. The duty nurse prescribed me some antibiotics.

Things got a lot worse after that and I got the shivers in the afternoon and decided to go to bed to sleep it off. I was so cold. I had every blanket in the house over me. Later that evening came the nausea. I was bouncing off the walls trying to make it to the bathroom to be sick. I think the final straw came when my wife could not get any sense out of me. I could not talk. The next thing I know is the paramedics in the bedroom. As it happens this is the last thing I remember until about late Monday afternoon.

I woke to find that the doctors had told my wife to call my parents to the hospital (Apparently I wasn’t responding to treatment during the night and was within an hour of not making it through).

I was so lucky how things fell for me on that day. I got to hospital really early and a specialist brain infections consultant was on duty in the hospital. My wife could have easily let me sleep that night thinking that this was a bit of “man flu”, but I think something told her that this was not quite right.

I had 5 months off work due to some concentration and memory problems but apart from that I feel physically ok. I am still scared stiff when I get a cold and tend to lose my temper a lot quicker than I used to but I feel so lucky.

I am now taking part in a study for Liverpool University Hospital, which is how I came to hear about Meningitis Research Foundation. The reason I wanted to share my story is that it could have been so different and so easily been missed and mistaken for flu.

I can’t believe that after all this I am running in the Bupa Great Manchester Run in 2 weeks to raise money for Meningitis Research Foundation. www.justgiving.com/garystevenson1

Thanks for reading

GARY STEVENSON
MAY 2013