Can this have created the meningitis?

Ok, bit of back story (oh and hi!!! Newbie here)

5 weeks prior to being struck by this illness I had a tooth taken out. It was a difficult extraction and took nearly 40 mins to complete. I then suffered from dry socket and was treated on 3 different occasions with antibiotics for infection. I started getting small shards of tooth/bone, making their was to the surface.

Then on new years eve I was rushed to hospital with symptoms of meningitis.

A&E were great, immediate brain scan. Clear. Then taken to isolation on aau. A lumbar puncture was taken which that evening was confirmed as viral meningitis. However my bloods were coming back with a severe bacterial infection. They ruled out the herpes side if it.

Due to the bacteria/virus confusion, they treated me for both. I was in for 6 days and then thrown out even with still severe symptoms. Thankfully I am now 80% recovered. One of biggest after effects I have is the nightmares, I am so exhausted,!

I won't go into how awful the staff were. Most of the time the nursing staff came in to give me paracetamol for my 'migraine' (that was the tip of the iceberg).

My discharge notes just said viral meningitis.

I am now getting larger shards of tooth coming through my gum which hasn't yet healed even though it was taken out mid November.

My query is this. Could the bacteria have triggered the virus or could it have been bacterial meningitis even though scan and lumbar ruled that out?

Basically, I want to put a complaint in to the dental hospital anyway but obviously it makes a difference if this illness was directly caused by the extraction.

Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance if you can

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15 Replies

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  • I really can't give you an answer to your question. I had fallen on Monday of that week and was taken to the ER where they diagnosed me with a concussion. On Saturday of that week I started having symptoms of viral meningitis. On Sunday I was taken to the ER again and after going through another spinal tap I was diagnosed with viral meningitis. The doctor told me that the fall and concussion had nothing to do with the viral meningitis. Who knows!

  • I'm not an expert either but bacteria cannot cause a viral infection, VM is usually caused by an infection already present in your system, mine was chickenpox, and in my case it occurred because my imune system was on the floor with working 60 hour weeks and training for triathlons as well although my fitness is what saved my life. I'm not surprised that the hospital didn't take the VM seriously, I was close to death on the Sunday and discharged the next day as the medical profession thinks of it, because they are trained to, as a mild illness akin to flu. Consequently I was rushed back in on the Thursday close to death and not expected to make it through the day. Exhaustion is a very common side effect and you just have to roll with it as it does improve little by little over time and I'm afraid patience is your best friend for a while. In 2012, ten years after the attack that nearly killed me, I completed my first half ironman triathlon so it does get better. I'm doing my third in August so it wasn't just a one off.

    Do make a fuss about your treatment as this is the only way the medical profession will learn. I was given paracetamol as well until I passed out with the pain and was then given morphine, they also left the TV on in my isolation room, all night so the nurses had something to watch when they were doing my observations. The fact I had extreme photophobia didn't seem to dawn on them. I was too tired and weak to tell them.

    I write a regular blog on this site about my experiences of being a VM survivor which I hope might help you in the early stages. Good luck!

  • I think your tooth is unrelated to the VM.It may have weakened you and the dormant virus took over. There's a lot Doctors do not know about the onset of VM. I was diagnosed with VM 18 months ago and I'm still not completely recovered. I weened myself off headache pain medication because of Rebound Headaches. I was taking Tylenol for 18 months until I finally listened to my Nuero Doctor. Guess what,it's been 5 days and I haven't taken any pain medication. It was rebound headaches,something I never believed in. I'm still a lot weaker than I was because every time I tried to workout I was straining and causing headaches. All my blood tests were normal and here I am 18 months later and still trying to kick this. It does get better and better,but very very slowly.I might mention that I had 3 MRI'S,2 MRA'S,2 CT Scans and 3 Spinal Taps. My first Spinal showed 360 white blood cells,2nd Spinal showed 160 white blood cells and 3rd Spinal showed 60 white blood cells. Your Spinal Fluid is only supposed to have 4 white blood cells.The higher the cell count,the more serious the infection. Give it time and Good Luck in your recovery!

  • So sorry to hear of all your trauma and glad to hear your are feeling much better.This is a very difficult case to prove re dental hospital ! I am not a doctor,but know enough to say that anything that lowers your immune system( and gut flora) eg antibiotics can make you prone to more viral and bacterial infections.I have Me and also endometriois and got bacterial meningitis in 2008 -despite being bedbound and not being outside for the 2 months before.At hospital they said it is rare to get Meningitis unless your immune system is very low.Could it be the courses of antibiotics which led to low immune system and Meningitis? Re the tooth shards -this sound very abnormal and you need to get back to dentist asap.It could be related to Meningitis if infection from your tooth extraction if infection has gone into your bloodstream and has crossed blood/brain barrier?Perhaps the antibiotics used for tooth did not wipe out bacteria from tooth infection?Meningitis antibiotics are specific to the bacteria causing it,so if you weregiven a broad spectrum one it may not have worked.If it was bacterial Meningitis,the tooth antibiotics may have actually wiped it out or perhaps enough to make it not show in lumbar puncture.

    I had meningigtis in 2008 and still feel it was misdiagnosis,as well as a long term untreated inner ear infection.I got nowhere complaining,as medical profession will close in ranks.Howver if you do want to complain I would advise going to Citizens advice bureau.They provided me with detailed info on how to go about complaining to NHS hospital and also how to take it further .There are specialist charities who can help with medical malpractice and also law firms( you have to pay) who will take on a case.I had no luck with my NHS complaint,so took to Public Service Ombudsman,who did a full,free investigation and upheld all my complaints.No compensation involved but I felt it gave me closure and helped others as hospital had to make lots of changes re the diagnosis and treatment of suspected meningitgis.

    Feel free to privately email me -just click on my user name,if I can be of any help/It is against forum rules to name/shame any particular person/hospital,so I have been very vague!Hope this helps a bit?

  • Just posted then read jonads comment - think it likely that it was viral rather than bacterial meningitis due to low immune system.If it had been bacterial I thibk it would have shown up or you would have got progressively worse?

  • Wow! What a support and great response Thankyou so much!!

    Compensation is not my aim. I'm basically just trying to figure out what triggered it. And as I said I am going to complain about the tooth extraction anyway as the size of the shards coming out of my gum are large enough that the dentist who did it, must've known the tooth wasn't complete.

    Like many of you have said a low immune system could have triggered the virus. And at the end of the day it was low because of the recurrent infection due to poor dentistry.

    In hospital I was treated with both iv antibiotics and antiviral for 6 days and 2 consultants said I was lucky to be alive. I didn't think viral could be that serious.

    I know I have been extremely lucky/blessed/whatever, to have such a swift recovery. I still have a tremor in my hands which is slightly scary as I go back yo work on tues as a hairdresser! And it goes without saying that you have to learn to manage the headaches. Although I must say that I freak out a bit when i get slightly photophobic and my neck hurts.

    I guess we can at least say, although we have suffered greatly, we are posting here which means we have survived and still alive. In the past I have had such low times that I didn't want to be alive. Now I'm in such a good place that for the first time in my life I'm so, so happy to be alive!

  • Yes - we are all blessed to have survived Meningitis.A serious illness,brush with death changes our priorities in life! Believe me I have at times ,after Meningitis wished I had slept away, as my after effects are disabling and unpleasant,but then I think of those who did not pull through and feel ashamed to complain.I have a strong faith and I believe God allowed me to live to see my children grow up and to use my experiences to help others who have been affected by this cruel disease.I wish you all the best in your recovery.How are you feeling today - hope it is just after effects.You are in early days yet and will get return of symptoms if you overdo things -esp head[ian,fatigue.Are you ready to go back work?

  • I also had VM after a tooth infection, so have alway's wondered if this was related also. I went back to work after two months but had to give it up as i just couldn't cope with fatigue, and memory problems, not to mention the fierce migraines with photophobia. I have never been the same since. I also have a great faith in God, and am most grateful to be alive as i have had this VM twice in the past few years. Its great to have this forum in order to communicate, encourage, and help others. Hope you are all feeling 100% very soon

  • Yes you are blessed to be alive. My daughter passed away 13 days ago due to bacterial meningitis she was 21

  • Ok, so woke up with flu symptoms this morning.

    Got the kids to school did a few bits then went to bed around 11am and woke up at 7.30pm!!!

    Then when I woke, neck was killing, bottom of my head sharp pain, bruised eyes, skin feels like sunburn. And an excessive thirst for ice cold drink.

    Trying not to be a hypochondriac but it's the same symptoms as the beginning of meningitis. I know it's not that. But very easy to freak out. And I'm going back to work tomorrow.

    Any of you had these after effects? It's been 4 and a half weeks since I was first taken into hospital.

  • Oh and don't worry about the kids, I'm divorced and they went to their dads tonight!

  • Just hoping you are ok after having flu symptoms?Do not feel like a hypochondriac!I found that for years after Meningitis,if I overdid anything,or didn't get enough rest,made a journey my symptoms would come back,especailly headaches,fatigue and nausea.Each time I would get anxious and even phoned nhs24 one night as I was worried it was coming back.Good luck back at work -but do take it easy,even if you are one of the lucky ones and feel you have recovered well.

  • The exact thing happened to me when I was twenty. I believe I had bacterial meningitis though the lumbar puncture was inconclusive. The head of the neurology department treated me as if it were bacterial. I had five bone debris surgeries before going into the hospital for a bone infection. While being treated for the bone infection I contracted meningitis. The doctor believed it was in direct correlation to the bone infection. I was in the hospital three and a half weeks. I had IV antibiotics four times daily for eight weeks. All of my long term effects are common with a bacterial infection.

  • yourdentistryguide.com/toot...

    This site briefly mentions that a bone infection of the jaw can lead to meningitis. I am sure there are articles in medical journals to back up this statement. If you haven't already, have a bone scan to determine the extent of bone loss in your jaw. This test will help your doctor to determine right course of action. Go to your GP or an internal medicine doctor. Not your oral surgeon

  • A year last October from diagnose of vm. My headaches are greatly improved but still get them mostly noise or stress induced. Still really tired, concentration issues, sometimes balance, still can't sleep all night even though I'm tired.

    My allergy/immunologist dr ran several test and found out I now have lupus and sojgren's disease. After that diagnosis and looking into the symptoms it made since. Extremely dry mouth, headaches, tired, & dry eyes. You might talk to your dr about running a few tests because vm and the high fever can bring on dormant autoimmune disorders.

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