After a year of viral meningitis is it still normal to keep forgetting things ??

since I was diagnosed with viral meningitis last year I have been forgetful and not remembering things that I should or things that I had done the previous day before I am 17 and I need to find out if there is anything that could help as being forgetful is not good whilst attending college .... Does anyone have any ideas of how I. Would help improve this??

12 Replies

  • HI Poohbear1996.

    It's great that you have posted your experience of viral meningitis. Not only to seek help and guidance yourself but for others to realise they are not alone in similar circumstances. I have shared a few posts on this forum since my own experience of VM in February 2012. You can search my name and you should be able to get a bit more background.

    What I can say is that out of all the after effects I suffered, the lasting one's have been my short term memory and concentration. I struggle to read a book or a journal at times as I just do not digest the information. Frustration leads me to give up. I can hold a conversation and minutes later I will swear that the other person never actually said what they had said to me.

    However, it has got better over time. I have constantly tested myself. Trying to recollect dates of significant events for example. Constantly trying to go over what I have done that day and previous days. It gets very frustrating at times but it does help.

    I am still employed as a sales professional for a very large telecommunications company, however, because of my short term memory in particular this has meant I have not been able to return to work. Having a conversation with a CEO and forgetting what he said doesn't work well in a job like that.

    In December 2013, my work and their insurance company sponsored me to go for physchometric testing as they suspected the VM had caused more damage to my brain than originally thought and needed to get to the bottom of the severity of it so they could work on further treatment and a possible phased return to work.

    I underwent 6 hours of non stop tests with a consultant/clinical psychologist. You can imagine how mentally draining that was. I have had the results back and they confirm that my short term memory and concentration took a battering. They have recommended a very slow phased approach back to work and running in parallel, 20 sessions of treatment to help bring back my memory and concentration to where it was. I don't know what that treatment entails yet but I am more than happy to share if with you and this forum as soon as I do.

    All I can say for now is you are certainly not alone in experiencing these types of after effects. I have come across this on numerous occasions. What I would recommend is, keep your brain active and busy. Rest when you need to but the more you use your brain, through memory tests/memory games that sort of thing, you should see an improvement. My doctor also recommended searching online for books that help. I didn't do this as I struggled to digest the information in the first place. It may help you though. We are all different when it comes to how long this takes but I'm sure it will help. I really hope it does as I certainly feel for you.

    If you have any questions at all please drop me a note at any time.

    Very best regards.


  • Hi Dave thanks for taking the time to read my story and thanks for the advice and sharing your experience with me as I am not a very strong reader I don't think that getting a book would help but I will try some memory games to see if that helps strengthen my memory I would very much like to hear about how your treatment goes thanks again. Coral

  • Memory loss is really very common after all types of Meningitis.I had Bacterial Meningitis and 6 years on ,still suffer significant memory loss which prevents me working as a teacher or doing anything which requires short term memory.I wrote a blog on here -memory problems after Meningitis ,with some of my experiences and tips.If you are not a reader then brain games are great.There is a free website(sorry I cant recall the name but it is in my post lol!) and I also do a braintraining programme called Lumosity.It costs,but given that I have had no rehab whatsoever from NHS ,as they say it is damage rather than a deteriorating condition eg dementia,I think it is worth the money.If you get for a whole year it reduces to £4.99 p/month.My Gp has looked at it and says its is excellent and one of the best things I can do to try to re wire my brain.I have found it has really helped with long term memory loss as whole years at a time was lost and now is slowly creeping back.The short term is improving according to the lumosity scores/profiles but it is still frustrating me big time.

    I use lots of aids - diaries,calendar,post its everywhere,setting alarm on to do bit on mobile.Am also thinking of getting a dictophone or recording device.The only way I can get any info to stick is to say over and over parrot fashion -a tip( as ex teacher) that does work to put facts into long term memory. Mind maps,which Im sure you will have experienced from school are great if you are a visual learner( learn best by seeing things)

    When I came out of coma in 2008,I could not remember anything -my mobile ,telephone number,address,my age of my kids names and had to re learn how to use every machine except the kettle.I still have notebooks for everything - my computer book to remind me how to switch on and off,cut and paste and so all the things I did pre Meningitis.I have the TV AND DVD book and camera instructions.

    Take omega 3 oils for brain -they help brain to rewire.Plenty water and good diet and maybe even a good multi vitamin and mineral tablet to make sue you are not lacking in any nutrients.

    Asyou are trying to study,do mention this to your college learning support person.They will be able to give you extra help or time to do exams. The college may even assess you to see if the memory loss is significantly affecting your learning.You will have to make an appointment with student support services and discuss with them.Dont struggle on and end up failing exams as your tutors are unawre of your difficulties.Wishing you best of luck and do let us know how you get on.

    This is a great forumand Meningitis Now a great support.

  • Thanks for the advice as most of my teachers and my tutor at college are aware of the fact that I had suffered from meningitis last year they have given me a little bit of leeway but now a year on they this k that I am better and I haven't told them the extent that it has affected me and I should let them know.... As I am a ceoliac (non gluten containing diet) I find it very difficult to eat the right stuff so I may need to talk to a dietitian to find the right foods to help me get a better intake of nutrition and will try get some vitamins to help boost my brain .... Do you drink lots during the day if so what and approximately how much as I lack with my intake of fluids and this gives me a headache most of the time??

    Thank you for replying to my question.

  • efinitely talk to a dietician.I am gluten,wheat and dairy intolerant so have to take especial care to get right nutrients.I see a herbalist/nutritionist and follow a really strict diet -no caffeine,alcohol only on special occasions,no additives etc etc.It is not easyand must be ver yhard when you are a student,but just try to eat natural foods rather than too many manufactured,proccessed foods.Yes drink plenty of water-one of signs of dehydration is a headache.I drink lots of herbal teas-they are an acquired taste but there are some very nice fruity and herbal ones.I like ginger,mint,chammomile and lemon and ginger teas.

    Talk with college again and explain that you are still suffering after effects.Meningitis NOW has a leaflet on after effects of Meningitis -perhaps you could take this to college or GP.I remember someone posting about this and taking it to a disbelieving doctor.It s still thought that viral is less serious than bacterial,but recent survey on here showed thatt hose with viral experience many of the same after effects.I had bacterial and have been left,6 yrs on with lots of hidden disabilities.

    Treatyour self kindly and remember that the kinder you are the quicker you may recover.I was offered rehab in a far away hospital,but just wanted to get home to my kids,but with hindsight is was a bad move as I am still struggling 6 years on.Even if you had to take time out college to recover properly,you will make it up and have you whole life aheadof you.Take care -I feel for you as my own are 17yrs and 20,so cant imagine how they would cope .You are very brave and in the future it is something that you can include in your cv -it takes a lot of pain,courage and determination to live with effects of serious illness.I know it has changed my whole outlook on life.

  • Thanks again as I am not much of a tea drinker I don't think that this would be for me but I have never tried herbal tea I could give it ago I do try and stay away from unhealthy foods but need I say I'm a teenager I love fast food but not too often it must b difficult to go through SSO much when you have a family to look after as well I bet there very supportive and patient mine are well they tell me a lot that most of it is in my mind and if I try not to think about it then I will recover quicker .... How can you not think about it when you get pain occasionally or for example today when I was reading something it wasn't sinking in and I was getting frustrated so I stopped and went back to it still didn't sink in I just guess I'll have to read it again tomorrow. I don't want to be taking time out of college as I'm in my second year and I'm almost at the end but I will be able to have a rest after as I need to find something to help me progress I thinking of doing an apprentership in accounting as I love working with numbers and I am very business minded so I have set myself the goal of making sure I achieve a good grade in business at college .... Thanks again . sorry for the rambling

  • Lumosity

  • Perhaps you could show your family the booklet on after meningitis -I will check for you if it can be downloaded from Meningitis Now.It may help them to understand.Im afraid it has taken my family a long time to come to terms with the new me and I don't really feel they understand.My mum only the other day asked if I couldn't even try walking a little without my crutches .I can assure you that if I didn't topple over I would try lol! I am unable to drive,walk,travel far now and would most definitely walk if I could.Same with the memory loss and difficulties learning new things.I used to be a teacher and now I cant do things myself.

    I am sure it is not a case of them being disbelieving but rather trying to cheer you up or even they just don't want to admit that you have been through a serious illness with perhaps permanent after effects.I know exactly how you feel though as Meningitis makes you super focused on any sensations in body and naturally we worry.Every time I get a migraine,a bad vertigo attack,sore muscles I worry-is it Meningitis.It is very natural indeed.I find my head is like a barometer and feel my body doesn't like cold,damp weather either.It is very hard to ignore pain,fatigue,memory problems -but there are always things you can do to help.This is where personal experiences are so valuable as we all have different ways of coping.

    Have you contacted Meningitis Now Helpline-it is a great source of support and is free 24hrs a day.They can chat with you and also refer you to their other support sources.They offer free counselling,a 1-2-1 contact where you are matched up with someone of similar age and experience of M.This may be very helpful to you-it can be by phone,in person,txt,email,however you choose.I had counselling in 2009 which was a real lifeline to me as unfortunately my whole family fell apart after M-am now separated.I now volunteer as a 1-2-1 contact and it gives me a lot of pleasure and purpose to be able to use my experience to help others.

    Wishing you the very best with your studies - a great subject to do.You take care and keep posting.

    Hope a few more viral M folk may post later.

  • Thanks for the advice I will have to check that out see what its all about I hope you can start walking without your crutches maybe try like a couple of steps everyday if you can manage it without them and gradually work up to walking for like 5 mins without them it may help. Thanks again

  • Are you worried that you can get Meningitis from your friend?Please call you GP,NHS 24 or Meningitis now helpline for advice.

  • Meningitis isn't contagious but it depends on the type your friend has if your friend has viral your fine if she has bacterial and your worried then go see a doctor about it but you should be fine .... It could just be a headache and usually when you have meningitis you generally get a cold type ache round your body as most people on this forum has said that this was one of their symptoms ...... But if your worried then go see a doctor about it.

  • my freind deasnt have it she has larijis

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