Before reading any of these stories, remember that everyone has a different experience and a different recovery time. Talk to your doctor before you start googling.
I thought I had the flu, (even though I had a flu shot) with the worst headache of my life. My temperature was 102° and I could barely move. I went to urgent care and they suspected meningitis...but I could move my neck and my blood work was great. They told me if my headache persisted, I needed to go to the ER.
Four days later, my fever was gone but I had a horrible headache still. More than anything I was so lethargic. I decided to go to the ER.
What I learned was that the only true way to test for meningitis is through a lumbar puncture.
Here is where things took a turn. My spinal fluid was clear (good sign). The doctors came back in the room and told me I have meningitis but they couldn’t match me to a virus or bacteria. Everyone in the ER including my husband and children had to get a precautionary shot in case it was bacterial.
I then was quickly sent away on an ambulance to a nearby city with a bigger hospital where more testing could be done.
I was in isolation for 4 days.
The CDC doctors, ID doctors and regular doctors were all coming in asking questions and doing tests.
I had a CT scan, brain MRI, lots of bloodwork.
Because my condition was not declining, they assumed I had viral meningitis and not bacterial. But still waiting on tests to be certain. After four days, there was no bacteria (thank goodness) but they also couldn’t match me to a virus. Fifteen doctors had concluded that I had viral meningitis but there are so many viruses and only so much spinal fluid to test. They told me I was fine and sent me home.