In May 2019, I contracted bacterial meningitis and sepsis as a result of an ear infection, resulting in hospital admission for three weeks. My symptoms were acute earache, headache, vomiting, light sensitivity and extremely high temperature. I dialled 999 because it felt that I was dying and I was taken by ambulance to St Mary’s.
In A&E, the doctor immediately realised that I had a life-threatening incident and I was fast-tracked to the HDU department and had an ECG and a brain scan. The doctors diagnosed my condition as probable bacterial meningitis. I was given intravenous antibiotics immediately and had blood tests. Whilst waiting for the results, my body turned purple/blue and I developed Sepsis.
Overnight I was monitored and the next day I was given a lumbar puncture which confirmed that I had bacterial meningitis. They also drained the fluid off my brain to release the pressure. I was admitted to the infectious disease ward. My treatment was a course of intravenous antibiotics four times a day for 18 days and intravenous steroids twice a day for a week.
The first week I was suffering from hallucinations, seeing dragonflies and Stevie Wonder and his back-up band. The side-effect of the drugs was intense concentration, like a highly stimulated brain. The symptoms of the brain infection are extreme fatigue, headaches, loss of hearing, blurry eyes, disturbed sleep, anxiety, depression, agoraphobia and low concentration. To date, I am still experiencing the side-effects which can appear to be invisible to other people, I regularly receive comments that I look well but in reality I am still suffering from the side effects, which people are unaware of.
I was discharged after 18 days and continued to experience extreme tiredness and low energy. I only left the house to go to the doctors and this felt like I was walking through treacle.