Meningitis in your words

Dave Holloway's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: Adult 25-59
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Speech problems
Dave Holloway

We were in Wales on holiday, that is my wife and two kids. We had been to the beach on the Tuesday and after we had put the kids to bed I noticed a rash on both lower legs. I showed it to my wife and we passed it off as something picked up from the beach.

Later on that week I noticed more increasingly a throbbing headache which wouldn't go away. Early the Friday morning I woke up with a pounding headache and took some painkillers, I had taken my allowable daily dose of ibuprofen by 11 that morning and felt no better. My head throbbed, hurt when I moved my eyes and I seemed to be able to feel my head pulsing. At this point we had forgotten all about the rash.

We were not due to come home until the next day but my wife decided it would be best to go home so she drove the 200 mile journey with me dozing in the front seat.

"That evening I ended up in hospital, and other than the headache I generally felt ok"

We got home and I wanted to go straight to bed, so I did and about an hour later my wife came back upstairs and asked if my rash was still there. We had a look and it was, did the tumbler test and the rash stayed. Many of our family called round for a second opinion and all said call the GP and get checked out.

That evening I ended up in hospital, and other than the headache I generally felt ok. The next morning I saw the doctor and they said they don't think it is anything sinister but to be sure I had all the tests, blood, CT scan, urine and the dreaded lumbar puncture!!

The lumbar puncture came back showing positive for bacterial meningitis. I remember the doctor telling me and he was as shocked if not more than me. I suddenly didn't care about myself and immediately thought of my wife and two young kids. The doctors couldn't tell me for sure if it was contagious but didn't think it was. I was immediately given IV antibiotics for 4 days after which I was allowed home to return everyday for my daily IV antibiotics for a further 5 days.

I remember the doctor bringing other doctors in and asking what they thought was wrong with me as they couldn't believe I had meningitis. It just goes to show that symptoms are a guide but it's people's instincts that seem to trigger into action.

"I feel I owe my life to my wife"

It is now only 3 weeks since hospital and I feel like I am recovering pretty well. I do seem to have some of the after effects, mood swings, lack of concentration, sometimes speech problems, the odd headache, but am hoping that these will disappear over time. How long though I don't know?

I feel I owe my life to my wife, I would have been happy to stop in Wales and try and sleep it off. You always think of the what ifs. I am just so happy I'm here.