Coming up to 60 and never previously having been seriously ill, I had bacterial meningitis and sepsis three years ago. At the time, I was unaware of what was happening.
The teams at the hospitals were absolutely fantastic. Not until you start feeling better do you realise what has happened. Bit by bit, you understand what your family have gone through - the not knowing, the several stages of touch and go.
Caught quickly, I am left with a numb right foot, profoundly deaf, unpredictable energy levels, dizziness and can't plan anything. Working and travelling the world as a professional musician for forty years, I've always been very independent - that has all gone.
Being reliant on doctors, family and friends is hard. A lot of what I previously took for granted, particularly when it comes to communication, is now extremely hard work, mentally and physically. Not being able to hear conversation or listen to music is like a loss of another limb. Thank goodness for books!