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Chelsie Richardson

UK Viral Recovery with After Effects Co-ordination Problems
Chelsie Richardson
So I have suffered with migraines pretty much since I was a teenager, so when I woke up at 2am on Monday 15th February I just assumed I was having another migraine attack although this was BRUTAL! I felt like the back of my neck had been smashed with a bat and my head had gone 12 rounds with Anthony Joshua.

The pain was awful but I took some paracetamol and went back to sleep. I woke up the following morning extremely sensitive to the light! I actually had been noticing that I was really sensitive to the light for a few days prior! My eyes had started to blacken day by day which was SO scary! I carried on taking tablets and sticking forehead relief on my head, vinegar and tissue you name it I tried it. The migraine was still there by Wednesday 17th February and I had now started being sick alongside being confused and slightly slurry.

Thursday came and I decided to call my doctors for a telephone consultation and they prescribed me some strong pain killers to help and some migraine blockers. I explained to them I could not touch my chin to my chest or turn my head sideways, they said it sounds like a mad migraine attack so I started taking the meds.

aturday came and I was still feeling so awful, I was experiencing small black outs when I stood up having to hold onto something to support myself and was still unable to move my head! I had never ever experienced anything like this before. Something wasn't right.. I had fallen down the stairs and curbed my car whilst going food shopping and that scared me. Sunday 21st I decided to call 111 and they sent me straight to hospital.

After blood tests and explaining how I had been feeling I was moved from A&E to a separate room unsure what was going on. I went in at 10am and it was now 5pm and the doctor came in and told me they were suspecting meningitis. I had my bloods taken which showed low glucose and high protein, they wanted to do some more obs. A second consultant and a nurse had explained they wanted to carry out a CT scan and a lumbar puncture to try and diagnose me. The CT scan came back fine and they carried out the LP that evening at 6:45pm, this was so painful! After collecting 3 lots of fluids they said I would be kept in until they knew exactly what was going on, so a cannula was inserted and fluids and IV were given as they wanted to start treatment straight away (suspecting viral meningitis) I was so frustrated as you read that VM can be treated at home but they explained they didn't think it was just as simple as that.

The next evening one of the LP results were back confirming VM but also Encephalitis, Herpes Simplex. My spinal cord and brain were both inflamed and I was told I would need fluids every day as well as 3 lots of IV treatment for 14 days. I was so shocked and confused and upset as I didn't want to be in hospital let alone being there by myself!

The first week there was the worst, the headaches were unbearable and the neck stiffness was horrific! I couldn't sleep or eat properly and lost 4kg in 7 days! I was so sensitive to light and couldn't use my phone or even read a page in a book. The confusion was so unbearable to the point where I knew what I wanted to say yet the words wouldn't come out properly and I was stuttering a lot and confused! A week into treatment I started to feel slightly better and was told I would need a MRI scan to rule out any complications, this thankfully came back fine!

After 2 weeks isolated in a room hooked onto fluids and IV 3 times a day I finally was discharged on Sunday 7th March. Not being able to go outside for fresh air or see my friends or family was so hard but I am so grateful to all the nurses and Drs who looked after me. It's scary what I went through and I still to don't know how I managed to contract VM! But I am on the road to recovery, although it feels like it's going to be a long one.

My coordination isn't the same, I can tell already and my left eye twitches a lot! I am so tired after doing 5 minutes of work or going for a short walk so I am trying to take it easy. It's hard when your used to running through life at 100 mph! The Drs discharged me advising not to drive for at least 10 days and minimise contact with people as I also have a immunocompromised status. But I hope and pray I never get this again! If anyone is suffering with this or knows someone who has keep positive! You will get through it.

Chelsie Richardson
March 2021

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