Do I have meningitis?

Here's my story. I'll try to make it short. For about a month now I've had a stiff, painful neck and bad headaches. At first I just thought I had slept on my neck wrong, which I'd done before, but the pain was gone in 24-48 hours. My pain has progressively gotten worse. I recently went to the same ER twice in a matter of days due to the sick feeling and the immense pain I was feeling in my neck. I can't move it from side to side. Laying down hurts, I can't get comfortable. My headaches are horrific. I get dizzy spells. Shooting pains from my neck down my arms and back. Occasional numbness in my fingers and toes. Extreme nausea, some diarrhea, no vomiting, just dry-heaving. Lack of appetite. I look like a zombie and I just don't feel like myself. I'm SOOO lethargic, it's hard for me to stay awake at times and I'll mumble inaudible things when getting sleepy at work. I have no energy or motivation. No rashes, but I had a bizarre bruise that came outta nowhere. I'm cold, I get the chills, but I sweat at night. My anxiety is through the roof and my heart is always racing. The ER brought up the possibility of meningitis, but said "it's probably not that because you'd be a lot worse off." They also said a spinal tap may cause more problems and that's the only way to diagnose it, so they didn't want to give me one. I've had a very slight fever at times, cold like symptoms, runny nose, sneezing, sinus drainage and a sore throat. At times it hurts to talk and it sounds like I've smoked 80 packs of cigarettes in one day when I don't smoke at all. The ER gave me a X-ray and CT scan and said they didn't find anything wrong with my neck except muscle spasms. That's what I was treated for and sent on my way. I'm in so much pain, I'm so tired, i don't feel like myself and I hate that. There's NO WAY this is just muscle spasms. I know my body. Something doesn't feel right. Should I try a different ER or am I just being a hypcondriac?

Thanks in advance!

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  • I don't know, Lindsay 529, but when I had Bacterial Meningitis, I couldn't walk and I was SCREAMING in pain. SCREAMING! After phoning for an ambulance, I knew I had to walk to the front door to unlock it so the ambulance people could come in. I couldn't walk to the door. I kept falling down and dragged myself along the floor to the door. The ambulance people came in, saw me, and called the hospital. I remember they told the hospital that I had NO PULSE.

  • It could be viral meningitis which is not usually life threatening. Recovery is usually at home as treatment is not usually required for viral meningitis. Only for a few is it so serious that it requires a stay in hospital and antivirals. Recovery can take weeks or months and for some even longer than that. For a few it can have long term after effects. Ongoing headaches are a particular problem. You need to be taking regular pain relief tablets to at least take the edge of the headaches and to ease the discomfort in the neck. A lumber puncture is the only way Meningitis can be definatively diagnosed. Am wondering why they thought that could cause you more problems?? If your blood pressure was really high then that would be a reason why? It is not a pleasant experience and how successful often depends on the skill of the doctor as to whether it takes one attempt or more. Maybe if the symptoms are continuing and not easing at all and you go back to ER you will be seen by another Dr who will make a different decision about doing a LP. VM is not like flu which recovery occurs in about a week as it is more severe and takes much longer to recover from and you need plenty of rest. Best wishes

  • Go to a different doctor or clinic and ask for a lumbar punch. Its a spinal tap and its very painful. Even on morphine its painful.

    Its the only way to truly test for meningitis. If the pressure is really high, then you have it. If the pressure is not really high then you don't.

    Have you had a round of antibiotics recently?

    If so, they could have weakened the meningitis temporarily until the sickness regains strength.

    I waited until I was miserable and had a lumbar punch that was one of the highest the ER doc had ever seen. He was convinced I had meningitis when he asked me if this was the worst headache I've ever had in my life. I answered without a doubt. He confirmed it. In the hour that it took me to be seen at the ER I went from no fever to 104 when they were finally admitting me and hooking me up to every IV antibiotic under the sun.

    Doc said If

    I had gone to sleep that night without going to the ER I would have either gone into a coma or never wakened.

    Get another opinion. Most Docs have never seen meningitis. I only had 1 symptom. Excruciating headache. That's it.

    You have like all the symptoms. Get another opinion

  • My thoughts. And I am no Dr. An MRI would rule out or confirm a herniated disc. Which could be causing a lot of these symptoms. Severe pain Cain zap all your energy for sure. I don't understand the reluctance to do a lumbar puncture. Have you had any recent surgeries? That is how I contracted bacterial meningitis. I ran an extremely high fever though. Maybe another ER would be better. You need a definitive diagnosis. Rather has to run its course or not.

  • Yes Lindsay59, I would definitely request a lumbar puncture , it's the only way to confirm diagnosis . You need to find another Special disease Dr ASAP . I was diagnosed with VM in July 2013, at a walk in clinic, sent right to hospital emergency room , diagnosed within 2hr. In hospital 5 days, still hAve some VM issues such as fatigue, tremors, head pressure , when stressed brain fogginess. Lots of rest, healthy diet , Exercise & meditation all help to manage symptoms . My best to you& try to stay positive!!!

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