Meningitis Now
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Was it VM?

At the end of April this year I went from heathy energetic me to the next day getting the most horrendous headache that ever had. When the head ache came on I took two paracetamol and went to bed early. Only the next day it was still there. I called in my jobs and took the morning off to get rid of it. That morning turned into the whole day. Seriously didn't expect that at all. I've never had a head like it. I could only describe it as my worse hangover to date with out the alcohol. I phoned the doctor and they sent a prescription home for migraine. With advice to call back if it was still there the following day. Then the sickness started OMG I couldn't move because if I did I threw up. My head was still pounding the next day (Saturday) I called out of hours. They sent me to the next town to see a doctor. The worst journey of my life. We had to go in a van because the car had broken down. I was throwing up at every movement still with head pounding. I couldn't sit up straight as my neck and shoulders were so sore. When I eventually arrived and got to the waiting room back came the vomiting. In front of every one. Good job I had my trusty sick bowl with me. 10minutes later they called me in. I couldn't talk to the doctor or answer his questions it was very difficult to function. He asked me to lay down so he could examine me. I did, when he said that's ok you can get up now I simply said no it's much more comfortable here. So while he typed up my prescription I lay there feeling very very ill. He sent me home with some more pain killers for migraines and anti sickness pills to put under my tongue. My partner took me home. I went to bed in a very dark room and stayed there the whole day. Drinking plenty of water going to the loo occasionally and throwing up if I moved. It soon become Sunday . Still no better I phoned for the doctor. Out of hours again. I explained the situation they advised me to go to out of hours surgery again. I said after yesterday I didn't think I could do that journey again. They said if I couldn't then they could send a doctor it might be a three hour wait. The other option was to admit my self to A&E 45 mins drive away ( which would have meant waking up,the children at 5 am and driving us all to the hospital in the van while I vomited next to my daughter) nope I wasn't going to put my kids through that also we had only 3 seats in the van. Did I have family? Yes on holiday . I chose the doctor visiting home as I couldn't face getting in that van as I couldn't sit up staight and I knew I would be throwing up all the way there. I stayed silent on the phone....the doctor paused also. I put the phone down and went back to lying down and resting. A Short while later the doctor phoned back. They had decided that I should go to hospital and they had spoke to N&N who would accept me going with out a doctor visiting me to admit me (apparently that's the protocol). I got ready for the ambulance to come. Throwing up as I got half way down the stairs and again in the ambulance on the way. My neck and shoulders were so sore. My head was exploding.

Off to A&E. In there I had a pregnant woman on oneside and an injured person on the other. After about two hours some doctor came to examine me. The the nouroligst team came down and did all the usual things. They were thinking about wether I needed a cat scan or not. They decided it was necessary as well as an MiR and a lumber puncture. So they kept me in. Luckily I had my own room. Beeping and noises in the hospital drove me crazy. They came round and gave me paracetamol and ibrofeun round the didn't touch the sides. Eventually the next day they cam and attempted a lumber puncture......seriously that's another story. They had several attempts and the fluid did not come off too quickly and they burst a vessel and got blood in the results. Later that day I had a clear MIR and Cat scan. Inconclusive lumber puncture (not surprising) I got sent home after they pumped me full of antibiotics and anti sickness drugs feeling worse than when I went in. I spent the next 5 weeks in bed unable to do a thing. When eventually I could move and the head ache left me yes after 5 weeks. I read my discharge letter. Severe migraine uh I thought. It's now July and I'm still very tired and I have had many strange feelings through out my body. Painful and a strange head when I get tired. Not sure I'm going to be better for a long time. Physical excersise is not possible right now. I'm sure I did have meningitis but I have not been diagnose. I have been drinking aloe and taking immune building vitamins, eating healthy and and resting a lot. I can get a good six hours out of one day now with out feeling bad. Slowly does it. What have I had?

8 Replies

Hi, I have definitely had VM and what you describe sounds very similar to what I went through. The only way really to get the diagnosis is a lumbar puncture but it is worth going back to your GP and nagging the crap out of them that this might have been VM. The medical profession is taught in training that VM is never more serious that a bout of flu so you may have an uphill struggle but conversely a severe migraine wouldn't normally last this long. Regardless of the diagnosis you are not well and it may take a lot of nagging to get the medical profession to listen. The Norfolk and Norwich probably didn't diagnose meningitis because there was no rash, sounds daft but it's not until you have it that you realise how little the doctors actually know about meningitis and just how much they rely on their training to inform them despite the symptoms the patient is presenting to them. My wife told me how the A&E registrar joked with her that mine was the first lumbar puncture he had ever done and he was hopeful that he wouldn't paralyse me. Hardly inspiring.

I was discharged after 3 days in hospital because VM is only ever like flu despite the fact that two nights before I was discharged I had come within 10 minutes of my relatives being called back in as they didn't think I'd make it through the night. My HR was dropping through 27 and my BP was so low they had trouble getting any reading at all. Suffice to say I was rushed back in 3 days after discharge with even lower HR and no discernible BP under blues and twos so just shows what the medical profession knows.

I know a diagnosis helps but as I say you are definitely ill and regardless of the cause you should get it checked out and just keep going until the doctors take you seriously.

Good luck! Jonathan

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Thank you Jonathan,

I kind of gave up on the doctors as even if they confirm it there is nothing that they can do. I will go back though because when I went for a check up a new doctor agreed that I had been fighting some sort of virus. The lumber puncture went so wrong. There was a group of neurologists and it was almost like a race to see who could have a go first. One tried to carry it out and failed badly. She left me hanging off the end of the bed while she got help. The both had a good go at trying to get fluid off. But I don't think they managed to get enough. I felt like a gunierpig 😊 I could feel my body spontaneously moving as they hit nerves😔😣. Not sure I ever want to go through that again. I was given anatriptaline (not mentioned above) I have noticed from other post you are quite a few years post VM. I'm wondering when will I be active again and will I ever have that level of energy. i used to run 5km most Saturdays and do various activities 😁😁. Now I plan my days and cancel many things at a moments notice. I'm sure people think I'm just putting on. I've learned to slow down and stop when my body shows the signs. I've found a few natural ways to deal with my health and don't tend to have any of the drugs the doctor prescribed. I prefer to rest through the pain. Hard when you're self employed but it's the only way.

Thanks again for your reply.



Hi Toni, my neurologist told me to take 5 years out of strenuous exercise and once that was over I gradually went back to triathlons. I have now completed two half ironman tri's (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13.1 mile run) and I'm doing my third in a month so I think it's fair to say I'm back to where I was before I was ill and then some.

It's good that you've found natural ways to recover, I was prescribed amitriptyline as well but I reacted very badly to it so just put up with the constant background headache which varies in intensity. I'm self employed too but wasn't when I was ill so I got used to the feeling that people thought I was slacking. As you say though rest is the only way and listening to your body is a smart thing to do.

Take it easy and you'll be fine :-)


That's amazing Jonathan !

Wow! Well done I feel inspired now but will continue to rest as you said it's important. One day in a few years time I will share my fight back to my fitness on here as you have. Many thanks 😊

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You poor thing!

You have described very similar situation for my diagnosis. The only 'actual' way to confirm / diagnose VM is via the lumbar puncture results.

Be careful to look & monitor your ongoing symptoms if you are one of the unfortunate ones that experience these as there fors not seem to be any timeframe gor how long they last. 😔

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Many thanks for your reply. Yes unfortunately my lumber was unsuccessful I could face that again. I tend to watch my symptoms and rest accordingly. I have found drinking aloe Vera and taking immune building vitamins as well as fish oils have helped me tremendously. Luckily I was in the right business and had all of those things to hand. How long ago was your diagnosis?


2013 - Easter

My side effects change, but there is a dramatic difference i feel pre vm to post vm. Im lucky to have a great team of doctors ive been put in touch with this year. Im due to commence botox injections next week to alleviate my headache symptoms so im feeling quite excited that i might be about to turn a corner!

Good luck with your health, it does suck & i can only empathise with the traumatic experience you have been through. Fingers crossed you have experienced the wordt health issue of your life & youre now on the way up 😉


Thank you for sharing your experience. I do hope the Botox works. Keep me posted you will have turned a corner very soon. Best of luck 😁😊


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