I do remember the ambulance staff were constantly talking to me so I would remain conscious, and I was wondering why they were saying this when I felt fine and there was no way I was going to sleep! The fact that the doctor had said potential meningitis had not sunk in at all. To be honest, like many others, I thought that it was a disease that affected children and not adults, and certainly not me – I was 39 years old.
We arrived at A&E but I have little memory of what happened next but remember shaking uncontrollably which was a seizure that put me unconscious. All of that happened on the Monday and I woke up the following Sunday at around 6am. I had meningococcal septicaemia type B, and during those days my family were told I was extremely ill and had less than four percent chance of survival. I remember nothing of that week, a week that is lost in time forever and the fact that family and close friends went through a different experience than me, makes it very hard to understand or know exactly what happened and how it was.
The days following were filled with blood tests, chest x-rays, kidney dialysis, visits by medical teams, dieticians, and of course, visits from my family. Tubes for dialysis inserted, removed, inserted again, a kidney biopsy, an ultrasound of my heart and MRI scans. There was also lots of medication and bloods were taken each day. Apart from the antibiotics there were tablets to avoid ulcers, anti-coagulant injections, anti-seizure medication, high blood pressure tablets, and at one stage the most disgusting anti-potassium powder drink! There were also high protein drinks along with pretty unappetising food!