When I was 19, I went away to Dublin for a friend’s birthday.
It was the day I was due to fly home. I was up all night with horrible stomach cramps, my head felt like it was going to explode, I could barely wake up and I was completely delirious.
Somehow I managed to get home... It wasn’t until 2 days later my mum came and found me semi-conscious at my friend’s house. I’d been like that for 2 days, I kept waking up and I remember looking at myself in the mirror and I can picture it to this day, my face was all distorted and blotchy.
My mum rang 999 straight away and initial observations were taken, my temperature was over 43 degrees. I was confused, couldn’t stand the light, couldn’t stay awake for more than 2 minutes and I remember how heavy my head felt. Like it was going to explode any minute. I didn’t have a rash anywhere but I had every other symptom.
I blacked out in the ambulance but my mum told me we went on blue lights and the paramedics made my mum aware that the hospital were waiting for me,
I remember going in and out of consciousness and seeing my mum there but I couldn’t remember who she was.. when I went for a CT scan on my brain, my mum told me (after I recovered) that a specialist from intensive care came down to see her and explained what they were treating me for and if necessary they have a bed ready there for me and they had everything sorted if they needed to comatose me. Thankfully I didn’t need this.
The day after I had my lumbar puncture, twice as the first time the nurse didn’t do it properly which just added to the excruciating pain I was already in. it was quickly confirmed I had meningococcal B meningitis - bacterial. It was so severe the nurses told my mum they didn’t think I’d last an hour. Continuous IV drops we’re going through my body to try stabilise me. My left knee began to swell up to the size of a balloon and after my parents seeing this, I was rushed to theatre 3 times in 5 days, to remove the infection as I had septic arthritis in it.