Viral meningitis recovery

It was the beginning of August I suddenly got the most horrendous headache I have ever experienced!! I assumed I had a migraine so I put up with the pain all night and half the next day with paracetamol and ibuprofen not touching the pain so I rang my doctor who said it was probably a migraine and prescribed the strongest dose of co codamol these didn't touch the pain.

Tea time that day I started vomiting and a couple hours later my lower back started to hurt a lot! So I figured I had an awful migraine and that was also causing me to vomit and I assumed because I was vomiting I was getting a kidney infection because I wasn't retaining any fluid! So I thought to myself I'm going to look like a right idiot if I go to the out of hours doctors or a n e with a ' really bad headache!!'

Overnight I lay awake crying in excruciating pain and anytime I moved an inch I was vomiting so I gave in and rung for help and they told me I needed to go into talks doctors. By the time I got there I was in so much pain and my blood pressure was so low I pretty much unconscious and they were carrying me into the hospital. Straight away they said they thought I had VM. They gave me 2 bags of fluid and it took IV morphine 3 shots of oramorph and IV paracetamol to get rid of the pain.

The next morning they gave me a clinical diagnosis of VM and said they were sending me home after a lumbar puncture. When I found out there was no treatment I refused the LP I told them I could see no point in putting me through the stress and the pain of that to just send me home and not be treated!! I was given no info on VM and recovery etc so I went back to work 4days later thinking it would be a welcome distraction and I would just 'work through the it'.....what an idiot!! 😂

But to my defence nobody had told me anything until I found meningitis now as a result of my own research and they have been a life saver!! After there advice I took 3-4 weeks off and the past 3 weeks I have been doing a phased return to work just working until 1pm which has been going well until this past week.

Ever since Wednesday I have been exhausted all day everyday and suffering with awful headaches! Is this normal?? Meningitis now have advised I take the next week off to rest but my employers have been so great and understanding, but I feel like because I have proven to them I can manage to work until one but now suddenly I feel I can't manage at all at the moment that they are going to think I'm a massive fraud!! God knows I certainly feel like one!! I would really love some advice please??!?

18 Replies

  • Don't worry this is all completely normal. VM was one of the most difficult times of my life and it can leave u with after effects which goes on for months or years never mind weeks. When I had it 2 years ago I called the on call doctor in the middle of the night and they sent an ambulance only because of the stiff neck which accompanied the excruciating headache and vomiting. It's only because I have a little knowledge due to my job that I highlighted the stiff neck or else I probably would have been fobbed off like you. Try not to be hard on yourself. I had a month off work but looking back I should've had longer. It was so difficult. I was left with debilitating headaches like you and the main thing that has stayed with me is short term memory loss. How you are feeling is completely normal. I would advise you to just take one day at a time and be proud of yourself for every day you get through. At the end of the day if you have to have more time off work then it certainly won't be the end of the world. Your health is number one.

  • Thank you for replying I'm so stressed out about all of this I think most of it stems from being diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome last year following a heart op, I was self employed so I lost my job I lost the ability to look after myself and my then 2 year old little girl and we nearly lost our home which we would have had it not been for financial help of my husbands family!! I only started this job I'm doing now in June and then I was off sick the whole of August!! Which is why I have pushed myself to get back to work this time round because I am so petrified of losing everything again!!! 😭

  • Oh no you poor thing. That sounds so freaking hard. I urge you to try and stay calm and take time off if you can. Someone else can work in the house for a while? I had a year off. It totally fucked me so dont feel bad. I think you are doing well to be walking around. I spend 9 days in hospital unable to walk much and last year 14 days in hospital with post meningits migraines. So, you know, be kind to self. Rest and meditate, ask for help and talk to us on here. We have all been through the hell.

  • Pushing yourself will only push u into another episode

  • I had a very similar experience. I had meningitis about four years ago , had a small spell in hospital and sent home with very little information about what to expect etc. I suffered with very bad headaches , loss of memory and total loss of confidence . Unfortunately the headaches lasted for quite a long time . It sounds like to me you maybe going baxk to work to early ! I'm sure your employers are very understanding , I'm sure they will be aware of th serious illness you are recovering from. Its so important to have understanding people around you . Have you discovered the meningitis now website this very helpful . They have a helpline 08088010388

  • Hi

    I have woken up this morning with the really bad lower back pain 😔

    I think I may have gone back to work too early possibly!! I have just spoken to them though and they are fine about it and told me to take as much time as I needed.

    Yeah I have looked at the website and I have used their helpline a couple of times too they are so good!!! 😊

    I have also come on here to share experiences and to learn a little more so I don't feel like I'm the only one.

    The problem I have now is people telling me it's more of a mental problem than physical and that really gets my back up!!

    I had it with my other condition last year I would have a good couple of days and then I would decline again! So I would get physically ill and then I would get very depressed about that but I get told its my mind that is holding my recovery back!!! Erm no I'm sorry I am a bit upset that I am recovering from a pretty debilitating illness and I'm upset I am not myself and can't lead a normal life at the moment! They should I through what we're going through and try telling themselves it's all in their head!!

  • Hi xx

    I understand how you feel,but you have to listen to your body,it's the only way you will get better,I tried pushing myself then ended up back In Hospital twice ! peopl don't seem to understand how vm is,they say oh well it's not the serious one so you should be better by now - shocking !! Making out like we are 'milking ' it ,when In True fact it's bloody awful,no matter which one you have... The after effects still get me I still have magnified hearing,still light sensitive ,still have memory loss,still have spinal pain,still exhaust easily and still have mood swings because I feel I can't find another way to control things ....take each day as it comes .. Even if you have one good day/week doesn't mean you well again takes time ... I have learnt to adjust to life now ,maybe. Speak to your employers and tell them how you feel,show them this group,meningitis now can give you lots of paperwork to show the effects of vm to give to you employers,maybe half days for a while will suit you or one full day one day off etc etc .. Xx try not to put too much pressure on yourself I took nearly 8 months off ... Then a phased return ... X

  • I was diagnosed July of 2013 here in Arizona. I've had three lumbar punctures to make the neurologist satisfied. I am much better than I was but still have fatigue issues, headaches, and neck pain. So basically I have good days and bad days. Hang in there you will get through this ordeal. All the best.

  • What was the lumbar puncture like????

  • Hi, I'm still recovering from VM JULY 2013. It's a slow process, you really need to listen to your body. I Still have fatigue if I overdo , mental fogginess, blurred vision, & shakiness, weakness, & at times easily aggravated. Not on any meds, Try to eat healthy, exercise, & meditation. Rest as much as possible, that helps. I did have the lumbar puncture to confirm illness, it's uncomfortable but necessary. Just confirm the Dr.'s experience with performing that procedure. I was a high energy person with a high stressed position, not so much any longer. Spoke with my Dr recently, stress will def flare virus up again, as it lays dormant in your spinal chord, so managing your stress is very important. I'm thinking managing VM will always be my new normal now, so I had just accepted it. Keeping a good positive attitude, that helps with the depression. Good luck to you!

  • I have just spoken to Cathy from meningitis now she suggested I get my eyes tested and my hearing tested has anybody else had these things tested? How did you get on? X

  • Hi Lcudz, Yes I had my eyes & ears both tested. My vision did change & I have still have blurred vision at times with sensitivity to sunlight. I also have tinnitus in my right ear. I'm learning how to manage all these symptoms right now because I don't think they will ever get any better.

  • I think my eyesight has changed and I have a blocked/tinnitus type noise in my left ear I never knew that was a side effect of VM

  • Yes I've been doing a lot of VM research, your entire nervous system is effected , so pretty much everything. Stressed enduced flare ups are common. Veges, fruits very healthy eating helps , also staying on a exercise routine helps with weekness & depression.

    Good luck one day at a time also helps!

  • Do you know of any good food plans?

  • Yes, the Mediterranean diet, also the Paleo diet . Research them & hopefully one will work for you.

    Hope this helps!

  • Get a juicer and go for it on the green juices. Dont be scared to try medication for the pain from the drs like endep or neuropathic pain pills. Naturapath medicine not help me. I needed the western medicine and it works really well.

  • I understand and won't repost my history -- if u like u can find my postings-- but I understand so well and only pray someday others might also understand what we have had to endure.

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