When I was 30 years old, I found myself in hospital being treated for Viral Meningitis. 7 years later, I am living with the after affects of this. I can remember the day I started to feel ill really clearly, I was on a lunch break at work and was walking to pick up some lunch. I was on the phone to my mum in Scotland and told her I felt really dizzy when walking, could not put my finger on it, but I knew I didn't feel right.
This went on for a few days, I was now being sick and just wanted to be alone with my head resting on something. Four days later I eventually rang my GP. I visited my GP where I was told I had a possible ear infection and it should go away. I left thinking 'that's odd, I feel so so ill'.
The following day, I called 111 as my head was so sore, I just did not want nor have the energy to move. They advised I call the GP surgery back, which I did - this time a migraine tablet was left at reception for me. I called round some friends to go and collect the tablet for me, I was desperate, no one was free. I thought to myself, 'this will help, just get there'. That walk to the GP was the longest walk ever, I was being sick with each step I took, everyone looking at me in disgust. Fast forward a few hours and no one had heard from me, the friends I had asked to help and my parents were all trying to get hold of me. One friend in particular (Amy) had a feeling something was not right and called my mum, who told her she was worried about and hadn't being able to reach me.
Amy decided to walk to my flat to try and get in touch, she managed to wake me up and took me straight to Kings college. Who knows what would have happened without Amy coming to my rescue. I don't really remember much here, but Amy told me that within 15 mins of arrival a wonderful Scottish doctor had already started treating me for meningitis, I had asked for the lights to be turned off in the bay I was in and put two and two together.
As I was so poorly, the only place they could find a vein for a canula was my foot. I can remember thinking what an earth is that. I was placed on a ward, then moved to a room of my own until my lumbar puncture results were confirmed. Visitors had to wear face masks, thanks to COVID-19 that's become a common sight but back then it was pretty scary, thinking that all these precautions were being taken to stop others getting what I had.
Finally my mum arrived from Scotland, I had never been so happy to see her. I felt so so poorly and so far away from home. Sadly, 7 years later I am being treated under neurology at Guys and St Thomas Hospital for daily migraines. I did not ever think that all these years on, I would still be affected by the illness. It has changed almost every aspect of my life and lots of the things I used to do, go clubbing, concerts, shopping in the West End, long haul flights are now not possible for me, some days getting out of bed is too much. It's super frustrating and at times the pain is unbearable.
I hope that this will shed a bit of light on what living with daily migraine is like and how we need to be kinder and more understanding of people who don't necessarily look ill. Deep down I know I am super lucky, and hope that one day I will be headache free.