Meningitis in your words

Chloe Whittingham's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Viral
  • Age: Young Adult 20-25
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Headaches
Chloe Whittingham

I became poorly in June 2015. It started with cold symptoms and I didn't think anything of it. It was over the weekend that I became very ill.

I was aching all over, constant headache, temperature and feeling really sick. I took paracetamol but that did nothing to help with the headache or body aches. I used a flannel on my head but this did nothing to cool me down. I was hot and cold and very unwell. 

On the following Monday I felt even worse. I could barely walk, look at the light, lift my head and felt really sick. For me it was the headache that I could no longer cope with as I was burning up. My mum took me to the doctors, where I nearly fainted. 

I went into the nurse’s room while I waited for the doctor. She put a fan on me as my temperature had risen, my neck was stiff and I couldn't lift my head, as I was in so much pain. It all came on a lot worse in the space of half an hour. 

"I was scared I never want to experience being ill like that again."

Once the doctor examined me he suspected I had meningitis so he called the ambulance and from there everything passed in a blur. I was put on lots of drips, had blood tests, urine samples taken and a brain scan. By this point I had tachycardia (fast heart rate) still had a very high temperature and my headache was excruciating. A lumbar puncture confirmed I had viral meningitis. 

I was put in an isolation room where I was still extremely poorly. I was being sick, bringing up blood, so thirsty I felt like I had sand in my mouth and had an excruciating headache. It hurt to move my arms and my right side was numb. I had no feeling at all. It was a complete nightmare. I was in hospital for 8 days. I was scared and I never want to experience being ill like that again. 

I am still recovering. It's a long process but I think myself lucky that I went to the doctors when I did as it could have been so much worse. I still suffer with terrible headaches, my body aches and I have trouble sleeping. I'm ready to get back to normal but my body isn't. 

Look out for the signs there is not always a rash or obvious symptoms. No matter what age young or old you can get meningitis. Act fast and don't feel like you’re wasting anyone's time. You have to put yourself first!

Chloe Whittingham
August 2015