Meningitis Now
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7 year old diagnosed with viral meningitis and can't stand or walk due to pain

My 7 year old was diagnosed with viral meningitis two weeks ago and is now dealing with some after effects of the virus. He tries to stand but screams and falls due to pain in his legs (muscles). He tries to push through the pain and sometimes is able to take a step or two before falling. There are also times while he is sitting or laying down that his muscles start to hurt immensely - and he is in unconsolable pain. These episodes last about an hour and a half. He is also sensitive to the touch on his stomach and legs - any amount of pressure causes him pain.

The doctors are not sure why it is this severe and why it is lasting this long with NO improvement (he has not been able to stand in 15 days). Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Any and all advice/info/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

4 Replies

HI, I had near fatal VM in 2002 and was discharged from hospital unable to walk, the reason they discharged me was because I could stand up (with the help of two nurses) and I was confined to bed for about 6 weeks. I could only shuffle at best and even then not for long. I had intense muscle aches and severe fatigue having gone from very fit triathlete to this in less than two weeks. It was about 8 weeks before i could walk properly and even then not for very long.

The key thing here is that the medical profession is taught that VM is only ever a mild disease with no long lasting after effects and this just isn't true. They may be therefore looking at non-neurological causes for what your son is going through and so if you're in the UK I would suggest you give the Meningitis Now helpline a ring for advice on how to make sure that the doctors listen and take note of the potential causes. The helpline is staffed by nurses who have extensive experience of meningitis and are used to hearing that VM is not taken seriously or that doctors don't associate after effects with VM. The key to recovering from VM is though rest, please don't let him push through the pain because in my experience, and that of a lot of people on here, is that this just sets you back further. Rest, rest and more rest is the best advice I can give and because your son is young I'm sure he'll bounce back given time but it is time he needs to recover. You can get the MN helpline number (and a whole lot more besides about meningitis) free from their website here:

Good luck!

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Thank you Jonad for the response. We have been dealing with this for the past month and still feel we dont know what we are dealing with. We have made numerous trips to the hospital and still come away with no answers. The more I read,the more i fear this could be a long fight for him. I appreciate the info and response. god bless


Please let me know how it turned out. My son is in the same position right now.


I am sorry that your little boy has has had to go through such trauma at such a young age. I had VM last year and too experienced pain in all my joints with a neck so stiff I could not move it. I had Physio and this seems to have helped. It is now only 6 months later that I seem to be recovering from the joint pains. I was on lots of anti-imflamatories which also helped. I hope he recovers soon.


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