Meningitis in your words

Christine Bauer's story

  • Location: USA
  • Categories: Pneumococcal
  • Age: 60+
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Full recovery
Christine Bauer

I had no idea I’d been exposed. I had no idea being a splenic could put me at risk.

I knew about pneumonia risk but not this. Students got it. It was pandemic in the Sub Sahara. Epidemic in Central Mexico. A serious issue in Ireland. But Northern California?

I had no symptoms at all. But I don’t believe I’d be writing this if after a fall from my ISH Jack from which I developed crippling migraines that could not be cured.

Busy morning starting at 5. At 11:30 dressed to go ride as I did every day. Suddenly a migraine. Texted the barn to walk Jack. Told au pair what was going on. Took 100 mg Imitrex and did what I did with migraines, went to lay down. At some point THIS WAS NO MIGRAINE. The pain was indescribable. I actually thought I was having a stroke.

The au pair called 911. I saw a clock as I’m being taken to the ambulance. It wasn’t even 2 pm yet.
I was unconscious just as we entered ER. In and out of consciousness but lost track of time. I still remember the dreams; horrible dreams.

When I woke my doctor told me what had happened. I also developed bacterial pneumonia and septicemia.
Out of ICU and in a room I slept most of first day. I hallucinated once.

By the second day I tried walking. Hard but possible. I knew I had to start walking. I’d been in ICU on a vent for 2 weeks.

I suffered no lasting side effects. Certainly nothing I’ve any right to complain about when I see how devastating this infection is to others. As an equestrian my hands seem a bit stiff but I’m now 67. I tire sometimes but I’ve a demanding life.

" If I’d hesitated my doctor said they would not have been able to save me at all"

I want everyone to take this infection deadly serious. You can have NO SYMPTOMS until it’s almost too late save you. I had head pain that was NO MIGRAINE. If I’d hesitated my doctor said they would not have been able to save me at all if I’d come in any later. But I was well, busy, and active that morning.

These disease can be insidious like a predator. Strike without any warning and kill or maim you. Please use the vaccines. Please be aware of unusual things such as a headache worse than any you’ve had or a loved one.

Don’t hesitate. Seek emergency care at once! It’s better to be wrong than dead. We, most of us, are aware of stiff neck and high fever of a flu like malaise that steadily worsens. I had none of those symptoms. Merely a headache that started like a migraine but was no migraine.

Christine Bauer
September 2019