Meningitis Now
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Fatigue post VM

Hi there. On April 3rd I was hospitalized for 4 days with viral meningitis caused by enterovirus. I've been pretty lucky as I'm not really plagued by terrible headaches, my main problem now after 7 weeks is fatigue and brain fog. I went back to work part time after a month and I'm slowly trying to increase my hours. On Monday morning, I felt great, the best I'd felt in weeks. By the afternoon, I was exhausted and the last few days, I haven't been able to work because of incredible fatigue. Is it normal that after gradually improving over the course of 7 weeks to suddenly feel like I've lapsed in my recovery and back to feeling like I did in week 3 or 4? I haven't overdone things over the past 4 to 5 days bit just SO tired.

8 Replies

I'm six weeks VM and I still have a lot of fatigue mainly later in afternoon to evening it's like when I do to much I get so exhausted. Listen to your body if your not ready to go back to work wait it will just bring a relapse back and you don't want that. Your lucky to not suffer much from those awful headaches in which I still do along with my hearing has been effected from it just got my hearing aids today and was A tough thing to swallow. I to am still off work because I know I'm not ready I still have issues going out the house. Fatigue is very common and we still to are at early stages I know when I have good days I get so excited thinking I'm good I beat this and all my symptoms are gone until something sets me back. Patience and trusting in the lord is what I do and most of all pray and ask him to heal me from this awful illness 🙏

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I'm 18months on from VM and still suffer from chronic fatigue! Listen to your body & your brain! Meningitis is a brain injury and your brain needs to heel, you wouldn't break your leg and expect to run around work after a month! Just rest! We've all done it including me, rushed back to work to be signed back off with the fatigue etc! Just rest and let your body and brain heal in the time it needs! Take care of yourself!

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Hello, yes I've experienced this too & it's frustrating & confusing. I am nearly 3 months post VM yet I still have fatigue & it gets better for a few weeks & then I have a day where I'm exhausted again. I find I need more sleep now & can easily sleep for 12hrs undisturbed but don't feel any better for it. My biggest struggle is how I tell my boss that I'm okay one day but awfully tired the next. There is no reason for the fatigue, it just is what it is. I know she struggles to understand but so do I. We do just have to listen to our bodies. We will get there eventually. I'm looking forward to the day when I'm syptom free & bet you are too!

Take care, Alli


Hi there,

I am four months post VM. I have also experienced similar relapses trying to go back to work, even building up slowly on a phased return. Before the last relapse I was feeling great, really feeling like I'd got over the worst and then after a busy week at work and getting stuck into the house work again I came down with the extreme fatigue, head fog & pressure and dizziness I'd experienced in the first couple of weeks.

I've really learnt from this last episode to REALLY listen to your body. Ignore expectations of others including work and let go of unrealistic expectations of yourself. Be very kind to yourself and give yourself the time and care you need to heal.

Wishing you much love and a healthy recovery.

Tania x

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Hi , I'm 60 yrs old, & 3 yrs post VM. I just want to stress to you how important your rest is in managing this disease. Take it very serious. I was the non stop workaholic & after 2 more outbreaks & being hospitalized again, I've learned to listen to my body. I'm very happy to hear that you don't have all the lingering, debilitating symptoms that the majority of us have. A healthy diet, rest & exercise are crucial to your recovery ! All the best to you!!


Hello melissai - so very sorry to hear that you've had VM; it's a really horrid illness and not one to be taken lightly either.

You will find the whole fatigue side of it will catch you out when you least expect it - well, that's how it was for me anyway. I'd find I had a day or two when my energy levels were good and I thought I was getting better so, naturally I did more than was good for me and of course, the next day or two I suffered for it!

The thing to do is to learn to 'pace' yourself. It took me ages to work that one out but it honestly is the only way. I can remember lying in bed for days at a times just staring at the wall with exhaustion.

Your exhaustion will go away with time but you're still in the early weeks of recovery.

Lots of rest, gentle exercise (a short walk in good weather when you feel able to), eat lots of protein, drink lots of fluids (not too much sugar) and I would consider, if possible, getting your GP to sign you off for at least another month or so.

People try to go back to work too soon after Meningitis and then wonder why they aren't coping and feeling tired and frustrated all the time. The body and especially, the brain and immune system have taken one heck of a pounding and they need a lot of time to heal properly.

Look after yourself now and it'll serve you well in the long run. Take care and stay positive :)


Thank you all so much for your replies. I have worked very little this week and today I am feeling a bit better for it. I work in an extremely stressful and high pressure environment and I'm really scared of throwing myself back into the fray too soon but then on the other hand, while they have been really good so far, I get the feeling my employer thinks I am milking things a bit. It is so nice to talk to people who get it, it gives me reassurance that what I'm feeling is perfectly normal. Thank you.


Hello again Melissai

Ah, good old British guilt has made a visit to you, I see :)

I had to smile when I read your comment about you feeling your employer might be thinking you're 'milking it' by not jumping straight back into work full-time :)

Why are so many of us working for non-caring, blinkered employers? Meningitis Now have a leaflet that you could send in or give to your employer so, he/she well be better informed about your illness and the need for your recuperation. And a letter from your GP (provided he/she is on your side) could prove invaluable too.

I'm so pleased you find companionship on this site Melissai; it's good to share and to listen to how others have fared, isn't it? I've also found wonderful ideas for coping and learnt a lot about Meningitis too.

Take care and I hope you have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend :)


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