Although I was diagnosed quickly on arrival, my stay in hospital was far from OK. On the first night, my head was so bad and my legs so painful, when I asked for help to go to the toilet, the nurse laughed and told me it was only a little headache! I asked her if she'd ever had meningitis and she shut up! Because I have such small veins, they kept collapsing and the antibiotics were virtually burning my veins. By the Sunday, because of the pain and the burning I was crying and begging them to stop the pain, the nurse turned round and said I was lucky I wasn't having chemotherapy! Just what you want to hear. I may not have had cancer but I was still fighting for my life. Also because I was in isolation, all medics and my husband had to wear masks, aprons and gloves to come into my room and the nurses all but admitted that when I rang the bell for attention (they took an awful long time to arrive. I waited one hour once for someone to come) they left me till last because it took them so long to gown and mask up!
Despite all this, I started responding and 11 days later I was discharged. I hadn't seen my kids for over 2 weeks (we'd sent them to stay with their grandparents a couple of days before I went into hospital so that my husband could look after me and not have to worry about them so much as well) and seeing them again made all that I'd been through worth it. I still get bad headaches, am almost constantly tired and still get terrible pains in my legs and knees (just had an x-ray on them to see if rheumatoid arthritis has set in) and my memory and hearing are not what they were, but I'm still alive and for that alone I have a lot to be grateful for. I have days when I'm so depressed thinking what could have been a very different outcome. My husband and parents can't understand why I keep going over the past but I suppose they don't understand. The consultant said when I was discharged that I was lucky to be alive. It's been 6 months now and I know I'm very lucky but I still can't help thinking how close I came and thank God everyday for my life, my husband, my kids and my family, because without them I wouldn't have come through this.