Husband with bacterial meningitis

My husband contracted bacterial meningitis with mastoiditis and scepsis 5 weeks ago. He was gravely ill, put into an induced coma and spent two and a half weeks in ICU. He was completely deaf which , as a musician, would have been very hard to bear if permanent. However over the past 2 and a half weeks he has made amazing progress. He is off all medication, can hear ( not fully yet), can communicate with us in a normal way and is now gradually starting to walk again, read and write.

We have a long way to go but he has come so far already. I and my 2 grown up children spend several hours with him ( whenever possible) each day helping with his physio, playing word games and encouraging him to eat and general support. This seems to have really helped his progress.

I will be interested in reading about other experiences as we move ahead on the journey to hopeful full recovery

7 Replies

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  • Hi saxruth, (if that's what I call you).

    Firstly, sorry to hear about your husband. I had the same but did not go into go into a coma. I had a gromit placed into my ear. This was September last year.

    I was on heavy medication though. I was a solo parent so it was particularly rough on me and my situation. I did think like you are now and that is the reason I joined this site.

    I am back now working full time and have made amazing progress. I still get the occasional sore head but is very rare. I cant do exercise like I used to for instance running etc. however, I am just thankful to be alive. I try to eat a healthy diet with the freshest ingredients. I have been told fish is very good for brain recovery so I eat this at least twice a week.

    Apparently, it takes 20 years for the brain to fully recover from a brain injury. ( interesting info). I think the most important thing to take away is just be aware it is a slow recovery. But he will get there eventually. I could hardly walk but I got in the end. I took it day by day and to be honest this is probably the best way.

    Another thing to be aware of is your husbands immune system will need a lot of nurturing. Therefore, I recommend immune support vitamins. I was told by doctors that fruit and veges were not enough.

    I hope he is making good progress and it sounds like he has good support network. If you want to chat further I am happy to communicate if you have any further questions.

  • Thanks Kirsty

    It is good to hear your story and I am really pleased that you have made such a good recovery from this ghastly illness.

    My husband is actually 73 but was an extremely youthful and fit man who had never really been ill in his life. I actually think this helped him as he was able to fight the illness quicker with no effect on other organs.

    I will certainly ask about immune support vitamins. At present he is on 4 Ensure drinks per day to supplement his diet and try to build him up due to weight loss. Not sure if carrying on with these would be a good idea. I will ask the dietician.

    I will get back to you if I have further queries

    Many thanks and best wishes to you

    ( My saxruth name was because Ruth was already taken!)

  • Hi Ruth,

    Glad he is making some progress. I also lost around 14 kgs in weight so understand your dilemma.

    I think what got me through was having family around me.

    I had damage to my hearing nerve so sometimes get the occasional ringing in the ear. My eye sight has been effected too. Just blurry vision now and again.

    I forgot to mention that this illness can cause depression, tempers for no particular reason but again is a side effect. You may want to consider this as he recovers. I hope he make a speedy recovery. Hugs to you and your family. All the way from Nz.

  • Your husband is very lucky, especially at his age to recover from bacterial meningitis. We are a few days out from the anniversary of my mums passing and she was 72, like your husband, fit & healthy. Bacterial meningitis is extremely dangerous. At your husbands age his recovery will be slower however it's good to see you are all rallying around him. A nutritious diet will assist & ask your dr about any vaccine's your husbands low immune system could benefit from. Keeping healthy from here is the key. I'm glad things worked out well for your husband.

  • Thank you for your reply. I am very sorry that your mother did not survive. We know my husband has been very lucky so far and ,of course , has received excellent hospital care. Medically he appears to be doing very well but I will ask doctors about possible vaccines to help his immune system.

    We know it is early days and just keep cautiously optimistic that he keeps improving.

  • Hi again. I thought Iwould give an update on my husband's condition as much as an encouragement to what is possible from what originally was a very grave prognosis.

    It is now 3 months since he took ill with bacterial meningitis and sepsis and he is making amazing progress. Doctors now believe the trigger to the meningitis was a severe ear infection and they thought he may require surgery on his mastoid bones to remove residual infection but yesterday he received the all clear and no surgery is needed. His hearing has almost fully returned and there seems no need for hearing aids.

    Physically he gets stronger daily and his only real symptoms now are occasional dizziness and some balance issues when walking. He has no pain, his appetite is now better than before he was ill as is his sleeping pattern.

    He is back doing cryptic crosswords and composing music again ( possibly at a slightly slower rate) and cooking which he has always enjoyed.

    Everyone is truly amazed with his progress and we just hope things continue in such a positive way.

    Although I am sure there is an element of luck in such things, I do think his recovery has been due to wonderful medical care, his own strength of personality and basic physical fitness and constant support and encouragement from family and friends.

    The last three months have been very stressful and challenging but we believe that everyone involved have become closer and stronger as a result.

  • I am so happy for your husband & you! He has made great strides in recovery which is more than likely a result from your excellent care, support & love!

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