I am told they thought I had had a heart attack when they got me to hospital because they were finding it difficult to find a regular heart trace. I was put on a general ward initially but, suddenly, I was swiftly taken to ICU as they suspected meningitis. I remember whilst in the ICU not being able to move and all I could see were red ants running everywhere (a side effect of the medication). I learnt that it was touch and go at several times and they thought that I was not going to pull through, as I was not responding to the medication and my body was starting to shut down.
I was later transferred to a heart ward as they had diagnosed meningococcal pericarditis. Whilst there I began to learn to walk again, I found that the illness had also affected the hearing in my right ear and subsequently I have very little use of it.
It is a little over six years since I fell ill and it is only recently that I have found that I am getting back to some kind of normal life. It has been hard some days, particularly as my concentration was affected, and I get frustrated with tasks that I used to be able to do but now struggle with. I am having to learn how to adapt the 'new me' into what I can and cannot do and try not to get too angry with myself when I cannot.
Subsequently I wanted to find out more of what had happened to me and whilst searching the internet came across the Meningitis Research Foundation, who have been invaluable to me, if only for support at 3am on the helpline.