Its been a year since my daughter had viral meningitis, and i thought i would let you know how she and the family are getting on.
Headaches and vomiting - It took a few months for her to recover, the headaches subsided before the vomiting. Once she stopped vomiting it took a while to regain her appetite but she did eventually put back on that vital stone she lost.
Temperature control - Initially i was concerned with her temperature control, as she was always hot this took about 3 months to settle down and become less bothersome, not to her but i did not like my girl walking around in short skirts and t shirts in the middle of Jan (not the type of dress code for the cold English weather). There are a few things that still are not 100% but these are little annoyances rather than big troubles.
Memory - She gave up sixth form and her A levels - biology, chemistry and psychology - we were expecting bad results as her memory was affected. She took this hard as she was an a grade student. The decision to quit was made after the government decided to change the curriculum yet again and demolish modular exams. One exam now taken at the end of the year, her memory isn't up to that. She still has a few issues - the largest is that she isn't as organised as she was before. This is not a bad thing really as shes become more like a normal 17 year old.
Fatigue - She has decided to go into the police force by enrolling into a uniform services course at the local college. She has no real problems with fatigue, only now and then she can sleep all day, which is good as the course has a grueling fitness regime.
Speech - Her speech still is rapid at times and she does talk continually, we have accepted this part of her and although sometimes a little annoying, it generally makes us laugh.
Temper and depression - My even tempered daughter who threw about 6 tantrums in her entire 16 yrs is finally back as well, although she does have the odd shout at her sister. In the months following VM she was bad tempered and actually depressed. We carried on with life and encouraged her to do the same, especially after her exam results. There wasn't any pressure from us, we shrugged our shoulders and reassured her that we all were expecting those results after what she had suffered. She changed direction in her career in which i worried about, but i realised that her depression could get alot worse so encouraged her and supported her. She finally came out of her depression once she accepted that life carries on and interestingly enough once she started to put weight back on.
Life after VM - All in all although we went through total rubbish with the VM we have come through it relatively unscathed. However VM returned as such exactly a year later when my other daughter complained of a severe headache and stiff neck , unable to move it completely, and photo-phobia, thanks to her sister i was able to be more assertive with the GP's and the hospital staff. She received antiviral and antibiotics for VM. the results from the lumbar puncture where normal but the drs have not dismissed VM although the GP has. She is better, the neck still sore and headaches mild after 10 days, however i think its a common virus because i now have the same symptoms. I am grateful in a way that daughter no.1 contracted it as i was move quickly for daughter no.2. There is for us life after VM but it was pretty rubbish for a while.
Thanks for reading our story - i hope this helps someone if only to reassure that things will get better. I know that i needed it in the weeks after the first diagnosis.