Four Years Later

Hi all, 

So, I had Viral Meningitis back in August 2012 and was very ill with it. Since then life has been stressful and tiresome etc etc as I've had to deal with a lot (stress from masters' degree then PhD) all this time I've struggled with exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, headaches and depression. I figured it was all due to the lifestyle changes but it's getting ridiculous now. To the extent that if I sit on a sofa, I wake up two hours later! I've never experienced this before. My mum (who was a lot more conscious than I was when I had VM) mentioned that these symptoms could be the side effects. Has anyone had similar experiences? The thought hasn't crossed my mind until today. Are these symptoms common among those who had VM a long time ago? 

Many thanks for your help!


11 Replies

  • Hi Becki, i can relate to what you are expressing as i have a similar story. I was a road Nurse at the time, and was off work for at least three months. I did return to work but was unable to continue for very long as i was so terribly tired, and also was having severe migraine's and memory problems. I had also been studying but gave this up also. The long and short of it is, that now i have been told i am actually suffering from Chronic Fatigue as a complication of this dreadful illness. I also suffer depression and frustration as i used to be so fit and active. Have not worked now for four years, and hate how i have become. This was my second Bout of VM.  I am feeling a lot better of late but still have short concentration problems, and cannot sleep well at all. I imagine you are much younger than me, so would expect that you will recover fully in due time. Be patient with yourself, and if you need to rest don't let it worry you as you will make the problem worse. Go with the flow, just accept, and tell yourself every day that you are getting better, and you will. I wish you all the best for a speedy recovery.

    Blessings to you xx

  • Hi Bexiiee - I was so very sorry to read your Post and hope the Reples you receive will help you.  

    I had an acute VM in 2011, so not long before yours.  In actual fact, it was officially diagnosed as Meningoencephalitis, so the virus had attacked both my meneges and had gone into my brain.  

    I have ended up with M.E., which took many months to diagnose as it's a process of elimation and I now have regular B12 injections at my local GP surgery, which are a great help.

    I was fortunate to have finally been referred to a very aware and thorough Neurologist about 18 months after my illness.  He referred me to a clinical psychologist (the VM had left me with concentration, problem solving and memory issues), a clinical physiotherapist (I had balance and dizziness problems - I couldn't take escalators or negotiate stairs; we live in a bungalow thankfully) and an immunologist (hence the diagnosis of M.E. and the B12 injections).  All-in-all, I thank the day I was referred to my neurologist as he really looked at 'all of my issues' and was so thorough.

    He prescribed me Topiramate for my head pains (the VM left me with severe migraneous attacks), which I take every morning and evening and will possibly have to continue on for some years. One point my neurologist did make was to say to me, in a kindly and well-intended way, was that I needed to understand after such an illness, I was not going back to being the woman I was before I had VM.  

    That was a shock, I can tell you!  I think we all need to believe that we will make a full recovery after any or perhaps any illness and maybe in some ways it's a good thing to believe as it helps us to cope through but we also need to be realistic or this is how depression occurs.  

    I fell ill with VM Bexiiee when I was 61 yrs old and 5 months later I was diagnosed with a chronic lung condition so, it's not been al easy time for me plus my husband was recently diagnosed with cancer.  What I'm trying to say here is, it sounds to me like you are a much younger woman and I believe you have youth on your side to make a good recovery.  You say, you've done a Masters degree and a PhD since you had VM - my goodness, that's amazing!  I think you are a Super Star :). 

    I also completely understand how you must feel washed out, tired, exhausted etc some days.  How you've concentrated and applied yourself to these very studious tasks is quite incredible - WELL DONE.  I am truly impressed.

    I think you now need to give yourself an enormous pat on the back and chill-out.  Rest, rest and more rest.  Ask your GP if he/she can refer you to anyone who may help.  I hope you get some more Replies here and please PM me if you feel it would help.  

    Take care, stay positive and be happy.

  • I had my first bought of VM in 1998.  Hospitalized for a couple of weeks.  I was hospitalized again in 2009.  Between 1998 and 2009 I had been having regular attacks of VM, but didn't know it.  In 2009 they diagnosed me with recurring VM and just last month my neurologist diagnosed me with Mollaret's Meningitis.  

    I feel similar to you, but don't know if I can absolutely blame it on the VM.  I believe the VM and ongoing issues with it definitely has an affect on my brain and my abilities, but I also have had traumatic brain injuries and PTSD, Depression and Anxiety.

    Either way, I am in the process now of learning how to slow down and be patient with myself.  What I am learning is that when I feel exhausted, have trouble concentrating and feeling depressed, it is my brain telling me I am doing too much and need to back off.  I have been trying to do to much lately and I am now having to deal with seizures.

    Like has been said here already, be patient with yourself and listen to your body.  It is trying to tell you something.  Good luck. 

  • Hi

    I had VM just over 2 years ago. I thought after the first year I was starting to make a good recovery. I suffered from memory and concentration problems, severe headaches and fatigue, but could see improvements. 

    However, over the last few months I have had illness after illness, and following a recent viral infection, now feel am back to square one. 

    Some days I can barely move off the sofa, have fainting problems and headaches back with avengance 😞

    I have always been very active and fit, work in a busy and physical role. I hate how I am now, and find it hard to cope with the thought that this is how I will be, and nothing will be the same again. 

    Unfortunately, there is no magic pill to make things better. 

    If you can, rest more, change your lifestyle, and hopefully you can manage the symptoms this awful illness leaves many with. 

  • Hi Maisie23, I know how you feel as I am 2 years on and still struggling, although much better than I was but nowhere near back to my normal. Up and down all the time and constant migraine. I have been told it takes 3 years by previous sufferers so let's hope so. Take care xx

  • Hi. Thanks. I thought I was doing quite well at one point. Very hard to deal with isn't it 😞

    Only hope that one day I can say I've recovered. 

    You take care too x

  • Yes I do that, I think I am improving and then I have a set back, like today I have terrible migraine. It is very frustrating. Xx

  • I have had four attacks - the first two I was hospitalized one in 2005 then 2007 . The second two I managed with acyclovir and Vicodin at home . But the lingering fatigue and fuzziness is awful . It's like being run over by a train. After the second attack I was put on an I've with acyclovir and then took it orally every day. I weaned myself off but I think I am going to start again because although the attack is only 24- 48 hours the recovery is just draining. I totally agree that it is liberating to be able to rest X I am always so active I feel guilty but an attack of vm reminds me that it is just too much for my body x rest rest rest and take your vitamins don't get run down . We know it but it's easy to forget .

  • Hi I had vm 10 yrs ago and yes I get all you have described and many more. I suffer now with reflex sympathetic dystrophy a neurological disorder which causes unbearable pain. Much more research is needed with regards to vm and more information needs to be past onto patients.

  • Hey, thanks for all of your comments and stories. 

    I've been to my GP who has referred me for a full blood screening (thyroid,liver,kidney etc). He said that if everything comes back negative it's likely to be chronic fatigue, which is common after a major viral infection. 

    I hope something comes up in the bloods that can be easily treated!!! (I REALLY hope it's not chronic fatigue).

    I'll keep you posted! 

  • I also had it in 2012, struggling everyday,  get panic attacks. Legs have spasms, I am staying tired 

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