Hi all. It's heartbreaking to read all these terrible experiences, but such a relief to know I'm not alone! I had Viral Meningitis in Jan, and hearing other people's experiences, it seems that I was very lucky that my GP not only came out to visit, but also immediately recognised the symptoms and sent for an ambulance, sending me with a letter, advising the hospital that I should be tested for Meningitis. I was given an MRI scan and a lumbar puncture, which confirmed VM. However, I was only kept in for one night and was sent home whilst still extremely poorly. I have a 3 year old daughter, and at the time, my son was just 4-1/2 months old, and I was still breastfeeding.
Since January, life has been quite difficult. After leaving hospital I had no idea what to expect, as I was told VM is not serious and I would be better in 7-10 days!! I did not leave the house for 5 weeks and spent most of this time in bed, just getting up to do as much as I could with the children, but after half an hour or so, even getting back upstairs was a huge struggle. I did start to improve, but each time I thought I was getting better, it has always been short-lived, and I keep ending up back in bed. I get headaches, back and neck pain, terrible joint and muscle pain, particularly my arms and extreme fatigue. I wasn't a very patient person before VM, but now I feel like I'm snappy and irritable all the time. I struggle with concentration and sometimes can't stand too much noise. I also have a blocked nose all the time now, but I don't know if this is related.
The advice I keep being given is just to rest, but this is almost impossible with a 3 year old and a teething baby, who sometimes screams for hours in the night. My husband and my parents have been amazing, and I have been completely reliant on them, as sometimes it has been impossible for me to look after the children. However, sometimes I feel so down that I think they would all be better off without me! I feel like such a burden, as my parents are spending so much time looking after my children, and my husband has to work all day and then come home to me wanting to go straight to bed, and he's been doing much more getting up in the night, which I always used to do. He is really struggling to deal with all of this, which makes me feel so guilty.
Idefinitely have very special bonds with both my children, but I feel so angry that my bonding with my baby boy has been interrupted by this horrible illness. I had to stop breastfeeding, as I didn't have the strength, and have spent far more time apart from him than I did when my daughter was a baby. I feel like I should be stronger for him, but I just can't be! On one hand I do know that things will get better, but some days I can't see any end to this. Its almost 4 months for me and it's been such a rollercoaster. I wish I could know when it will be over, so I can start enjoying life again!