Meningitis in your words

James Bellman's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Viral
  • Age: Adult 25-59
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
James Bellman

June 2013 my daughter was graduating high school. My son and his family came to visit and see his sister graduate. I had been waiting to see my granddaughter for the first time during this event.

When they arrived my granddaughter, 2 years old, had what we thought was a cold - all her symptoms were that of a cold. The visit was for a week. Within the first two days everyone in the house was experiencing cold symptoms. I have emphysema so my immune system is already working overtime.

By the third day I was very sick with a severe headache. I had no sick time available at work, so for the next 3 days I worked getting sicker and sicker. The headache never eased up.

Saturday we went to the graduation ceremony. I went to work afterwards for mandatory overtime.

Sunday morning I got out of the bed and passed out. I came around and my headache was still severe, so my wife took me to the emergency room. The doctor said that I might have meningitis but he didn't think, so they sent me home

"From then till now I have struggled with extreme high blood pressure, headaches and severe migraines."

Around 6 that evening, back to the E.R where they did a lumbar puncture to test spinal fluid and told us it was viral meningitis. I was admitted and spent the next 6 days in hospital.

From then till now I have struggled with extreme high blood pressure, headaches and severe migraines. I also experienced some hearing loss as well as memory loss and balance issues. I have endured sphenocath, Botox injections, and more medications than I could count. The only thing that helps with my headaches is ketorolac injection that I have been giving myself almost daily for the last 3 years as well as being out of work for the last 3 years and, yes, I am still fighting for disability.

I am waiting for a doctor to figure out how to help slow down the migraines or for my kidneys to shut down from all the medication.

During the last 3 years my blood pressure stays high 120/80 before meningitis and 150/110 after meningitis with spikes around 180/134 at rest several times a day.

At some point I will experience a stroke or heart attack from the blood pressure.

Has anyone else experienced the daily migraines and uncontrollable high blood pressure after having viral meningitis?

I also had Bell's palsy at the age of 24 that is why the face drooping in the photo.

James Bellman
August 2016