The following day the doctors came to my bed and told me they thought it may have been a strong migraine. They briefly spoke about having a lumbar puncture but I was sent home before it could be done. My worried parents came and got me and I went back home with them to recover.
Three days later and I was being sick again and had another awful headache. I was taken to the local health centre and was given a sickness injection and told to wait for an ambulance. When I finally got to hospital I felt so woozy and out of it that I barely felt the lumbar puncture. When I was told it was meningitis, I just felt relief that I knew what had been wrong with me that I didn’t think what the implications of having the illness were. I stayed in overnight at hospital having been woken up every two hours for observation just in case.
About a week and a half later I was feeling better and was getting my appetite back when I went to drive. But as soon as I got in the car I couldn’t remember how to do it.
The following morning I was being sick again and this time I was rushed quickly back to hospital. This time I certainly felt the lumbar puncture! At first I was told to stay in hospital for the weekend which soon stretched into two long weeks. During that time I had MRI scans, EEG scans, memory tests and lots of drugs! Eventually I was allowed home after contracting a rash which was linked to the drugs I was given and the doctors felt I was ready to go home. When I got home I was desperate to celebrate!
I have never been to the doctor about any after affects but I do feel like there are some changes in myself. Although I was never very active before my illness, I do feel like I get out of breath quite quickly. Sometimes mid sentence I can forget what I am going to say and need to take a minute to remember. I was never told about any organisations that would help me after my time in hospital and I wasn’t warned about any after effects. I do think it’s true that viral meningitis is sometimes over looked but I can safely say it’s still very painful.
My relationship with the Foundation started when I interviewed Robbie Coleman from MRF for an article I was writing for my journalism course about students and meningitis. After giving me a lot of useful advice for both my article and myself, I wanted to give something back and joined the Foundation. In the future I would like to do some fundraising and talk to other students, helping them realise the signs of meningitis. I would say my experience with meningitis has taught me to stick to my guns and make sure you get the right treatment.
Victoria Helena Pease