Meningitis in your words

Tanya Steel's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: Teenager
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Full recovery
Tanya Steel

I had bacterial meningitis when I was 15 years old.

I was Ill with a cold for a few weeks with no signs of getting any better. I had taken a lot of time out of school due to colds/ flu etc.

One day at the weekend I started feeling really weak and tired. My parents took me to the out of hours doctors who said to my parents I had a throat infection and they gave me some antibiotics.

That evening I got iller and iller. I couldn’t look at the lights, I had such a bad headache and just didn’t want to move. My parents noticed I had a rash on my legs, they tried the glass on my legs but that didn’t work.

That night I slept on the sofa downstairs with my parents as I couldn’t make it upstairs, I got so weak so quickly.

My mum tried to wake me up in the morning but I was so drowsy and didn’t want to wake up. This alarmed my mum who then rushed me back down to the doctors (I have no recollection of what happened from here on - this is just what my parents told me).

In the doctors I sat in the waiting room waiting to be seen. I was sick in the waiting room which prompted the doctor to see me next. I then went into the doctors room sat on the bed, I threw the doctors bag across the room. The doctors asked my parents if this was my normal behaviour they replied, no. I don’t think the doctor really even examined me. He rung the hospital and told them we were on the way.

My parents put me in the car and drove me to the hospital.  On the way I was sick multiple times, apparently trying to open the car door to do so!

I got to the hospital and demanded my parents put me in a wheelchair as I couldn’t walk. Little did I know I was already in a chair being pushed to the ward.

I was then taken to an isolated room where the doctors put me on a drip etc. I then woke up the next morning (this is now where I remember from) to be greeted by a doctor asking if I was going to be nice today! I was shocked and confused as to what was going on. The doctor checked my meds and then left the room. My parents explained I wasn’t very nice to the doctor last night when he was trying to put my drip in.

I recovered very quickly in hospital over the next 3 days, so the hospital were able to release me. I had to go in every day for a week for my antibiotics.

I started to go downhill at home by day 4 or 5, so the hospital admitted me for another night for antibiotics, but after that they released me home again for good. I went back in only to have a lumbar puncture to confirm the type of meningitis I had.

" I was definitely one of the lucky ones. "

The recovery felt like a quick process for me, my legs remained purple for a while and I remember asking my parents if this would go back to normal one day (it has). I was definitely one of the lucky ones. The doctors looking after me said I was lucky I went in when I did and that I have a strong immune system to fight the disease off! A few weeks after me having meningitis a girl from another school sadly passed away from the disease, this makes me realise how lucky I am to have fought this.

I went back to school part time after this and started getting really behind until eventually I left In my last year. I went on to do a few college courses and got a few NVQs etc. Even though I’d like to think I made a full recovery I feel I seem more agitated/irritable and distracted then I was before. I’ve found this to be slowly improving with age.

I am now happily married with a beautiful baby boy and two very large dogs! I couldn’t be happier or more thankful that I overcome and fought this terrible disease.

Tanya Steel
June 2018