Michael Hayes

United States of America Bacterial meningitis Adult 25-59 Recovery with After Effects Other
Michael Hayes

It was 2013 and I was going through a series of headaches that were getting progressively worse day-to-day, for about a week.

One day I became sensitive to light and my neck started to hurt. I went to the urgent care center close to my house and they diagnosed a migraine. I was given some medication and sent on my way.

Later that night, the headache came back, but it was exponentially worse. I started vomiting and my vision went crooked.

I don't usually go to the hospital as it is expensive in the US, but I begged to be taken to the hospital. When I got there, the vomiting and sensitivity to light had gotten worse, and my head felt like someone had stuck an ice pick into my skull. My ears were ringing at this point and when I was given a room, I happily accepted a dose of morphine.

Upon diagnosis of bacterial meningitis, I was given antibiotics and scheduled for surgery to remove part of my sinuses so as to clear the infection.

I spent the next week recovering in the hospital, suffered a yeast infection while I was there, and spent the next 21 days with a IV line implanted in my arm so that I could self-administer antibiotics.

"My meningitis progressed from bad to worse in about 24 hours, but the after effects have lasted me 6 years so far."

I have had trouble sleeping ever since, I sometimes get about 5-6 hours of sleep, others I crash and spend 12+ hours sleeping, even with my 3 year old trying to wake me up. I have mood swings, impulsive behaviors, confusion, and frequent headaches. I also have periods where portions of my leg will go completely numb for about 20 minutes or so.

If I get a migraine and seek treatment I am immediately told to go to the emergency room based on my past diagnosis and because my migraines now make me sensitive to light. I live my life in a mental fog and the frustration that comes with it. Sometimes my body feels like it's on fire and the slightest touch causes intense pain.

This disease has definitely impacted my life, my family, and my marriage.

I just want to encourage anyone with symptoms to seek treatment early. My meningitis progressed from bad to worse in about 24 hours, but the after effects have lasted me 6 years so far.

Michael Hayes
May 2019

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