Post meningitis working out

So I just got discharged last Saturday after being diagnosed with VM. I felt great, so yesterday I went on a 3 mile run and I actually hit my personal record. However, this morning, I've been having headaches and I had to use the pain meds the doctor gave me. I'm going to take it easy on the running for a bit but when did everyone else get back into regular activity? I've also got a 9 month old and 4 year old so it's not like I can ever actually take it easy. Can I actually cause myself to relapse or am I just experiencing after effects?

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  • In a word yes, doing too much too soon can cause a relapse. Depending on how serious the VM depends on how long you need to rest for. Your body is the best indicator, if you feel tired then rest otherwise it can bite back. My VM was near fatal and I have an acquired brain injury so was told to not do any impact exercise for 5 years and even then any exercise had to be well within my limits. In reality I was so tired and hit by the after effects that I did very little until I came back to triathlon in 2007, 5 years after the attack. If you have to take pain meds that's your body telling you you're in pain and that something is up. I suspect that, like most athletes, you take pain in your stride and it's part of everyday exercise so it's no big deal (I've done 3 half ironman triathlons so I think I can talk from practical experience). VM is though a brain illness and so if you over do it now then you may not know for a while what's going on. Sounds like a reasonably mild attack of VM if you can run so soon after discharge, I couldn't walk and was barely conscious for 6 weeks after discharge, so I would suggest listen to your body and go from there. If you need painkillers though the next day after a run I would suggest backing off the running to the point where you don't need them. Good luck! Jonathan

  • Hi there,

    I also had meningitis. However, was discharged last September. I can only really walk not run as the jolting on the brain brings on headaches. I was also a keen runner but have not yet attempted to run. Hopefully when I get a check up I will get clearance to get back into regular exercise. I would suggest to take it easy as you have not long been out of hospital. Let your brain recover. Eating fish helps the brain the brain to mend too. Good luck with your recovery.

  • I had VM in December for 3 weeks. I still struggle to train and I get SUPER tired. I was told not to train for at LEAST 3 months, so I would not train like you did. Go for walks if you really must, but let your body heal first. It is a long process you will see what I mean in a few months, pushing your body is just going to set you back in your HEALTH. Rest and get better first you have been through a lot! Get well soon!

  • Thanks for your posts! It's so hard for me to take it easy but I think I'm going to. The more I keep reading about meningitis, the more I realize it's not "just a cold". That's how I've been treating it and thinking about it. I think I have to change my mindset and realize I HAVE to take it easy. Did you all drink any alcohol post diagnosis? My husband said I should have a glass of wine to help me relax (obviously not in combination with the pain meds), but I've been hesitant.

  • I didn't drink for the first week after I came out of the hospital as I was still on antibiotics, but I did have some red wine after that at night with my meals. Also add a good MINERAL supplement, lots of magnesium and zinc and a good fish-oil supplement to your diet. Magnesium is now your friend and I mean TONS of it!

    Magnesium calms your body and it really helped me. I STILL take a magnesium bath once or twice a week and I use to do it EVERYDAY for a month after I came out of hospital. I also added a very good magnesium supplement to my diet. Epsom salts are dirt cheap and really do help to relax and feed your body use it in a bath. I found a topical Magnesium spray at my health shop and I used it on any aches and pains I had and when I felt flustered. Feeling flustered and overwhelmed, super tired lethargic and exhausted in a flash is something I felt often after VM. Look after yourself and start listening to your body, you still have a long way to go. Don't push it. Get well soon!

  • Alcohol? Wow, that's the LAST thing I would have put in my body when I was recovering. Alcohol's a depressant with no nutrients. There's a reason you've been hesitant ...your body's been "injured" and you instinctively know that alcohol will hurt, rather than help you. Alcohol's never helped anyone with anything...especially with a serious illness' recovery.

    So I'd say, "No."

  • I had meningitis Septisemea 2Years ago and I thought I would just get on with things I over done it and I am still suffering.You have to rest plenty you said you have two small children I'm sure you are doing enough.If you start getting headaches which is one of the after affects they wil disable you.I struggle with headaches every day.There is not much help out there for the after care for meningitis so be care full don't push yourself to much or you will pay for it .

    I wish you you well and a speedy recovery.

    All the best 1251 Jean

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