When he said the word ‘meningitis’ it was such a surreal sensation. As a parent this is the one word you do not want to hear. It was a hollow, wretched feeling. Never in a million years when we brought him to the hospital did I think we would be told my little boy, only 25 days old, and possibly his twin sister too had meningitis. I had watched parents talking about losing children to this disease on TV and would have talked about with my friends afterwards, about how it is every parent’s worst nightmare and I couldn’t believe I was facing it myself. All I could think of was ‘we have just been given these babies; there is no way I am letting them be taken away from us’. I remember I really wanted someone to tell me that they were going to be okay and I kept pressing the doctors and nurses looking after him to say that he would alright, but of course they have seen the very worst of cases and they just can’t tell you that. I found that very hard.
Fortunately our daughter’s lumbar puncture results were clear for meningitis but both babies were immediately put on three different high dosage antibiotics intravenously while we waited for culture results. The next few days were tough. At the time I went into shock-mode - maybe it’s the body’s way of getting us through difficult times, getting us to do the things we need to do. In the end results showed that it was viral meningitis, which was a relief and thankfully we all came home again after six days. I am very aware that some parents aren’t so lucky.
I’m still a bit trigger-happy with the thermometer these days and do tend to panic if I see any sort of blemish on my children’s skin but I’m delighted to say that both twins are doing fantastic. Tom’s speech seems to be delayed, which is possibly an after effect of the meningitis but otherwise he is a very energetic, happy and loving little toddler. And every day when I kiss his silky hair, I am reminded once again of how fortunate I am.