Meningitis in your words

Hayley Waterhouse's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: Adult 25-59
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Hearing problems
Hayley Waterhouse

I'm 31 years old, 29 when I had chronic bacterial meningitis.

I was in hospital from 13th May for two weeks and then was discharged, but still didn't feel well. I was home for about a week but the headaches were unbearable, so I went back into hospital and was then transferred to another hospital to a specialised acute neurology unit.

The specialists discovered I have a defect in the base of my skull, which would explain why I have had a cerebro-spinal fluid leak on and off for the past seven years.

I did suffer viral meningitis seven years ago too, but it was only mild and I was only in hospital for a week.

"I feel very anxious and paranoid, get daily headaches and avoid social situations"

Partially deaf I was discharged on 30th June but I am partially deaf as a result of the disease, my balance has been affected and I get exhausted so easily. I feel very anxious and paranoid, get daily headaches and avoid social situations.

I have to have an operation to repair the base of my skull to prevent me from getting the disease again. I take penicillin long term and I had three lumbar punctures within a month when I was in hospital - not pleasant!”

I know it's early days and people have been affected far worse than myself but this is a terrible disease and more people need to know about the effects and symptoms of it.

Moving on I had an operation to repair the CSF leak and the surgeon believes it was a success. I actually ended up back in hospital for two weeks as I contracted meningitis through the 4 hour operation.
It’s been a long road but I’m getting there and I’m now nearly 7 months pregnant. Expecting a little girl. I feel so very lucky to be alive and starting a family.

My heart goes out to the ones who aren’t so lucky with this terrible disease

Hayley Waterhouse
July 2018

After effects
After effects

Detailed information about the after effects of meningitis