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Meningitis Now
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Post VM memory problems

Hi, so I'm just 4 months post diagnosis of VM and my memory is still really poor. I'm a nurse and recently returned to work following maternity leave which was when I contracted the VM. I have struggled terrible in work and have eventually been signed off by occupational health as unfit to work at this time due to my poor memory and concentration problems not to mention the fact that the florescent lights send my brain to jelly. I'm worried sick that I'm not going to be able to practice again I'm under a neuro consultant who has referred me to a psychologist for brain exercises and for CBT. I'm doing luminosity suduko word searches and im becoming really frustrated just want reassurance that this will get better?

6 Replies

Well i am impressed that you have the medical back up & i would say that having occ health on your side is a good thing. I gave myself the brain exercises and i am sure it really helps but the trick is not to put pressure on yourself to get every puzzle completed. Think of them as exercises rather than tests of your ability and gradually it will get better.


Hi. I had VM almost 3 years ago now. I am a health professional and tried to return to work after 3 months. I too suffered with memory, concentration, headaches, fatigue, light sensitivity. I can only say that it does improve eventually, but it does take a long time. I had to have an extended phased return to work, reduced hours and adjustments so that I could at least work in some manner.

Wonder if this would be possible for you?

I soon learned that I had to rest a lot, and the cbt, word puzzles etc do help but in moderation. 3 years on I still have memory difficulties, and symptoms, but they are much less and manageable and you do find a way to cope with these.

I hope you continue to recover well, think positively, it will improve 😊

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Memory problems seem to be very common post VM. When I first returned to work, I needed a certain amount of retraining. I'd forgotten the most basic of things, I also had to get my PIN numbers, passwords etc all reset! I was really quite frightened and upset about it at the time. As with bright lights, it was some time before I was able to drive at night. The headlights were dazzling! It's almost as though your hearing and sight has become super heightened. I'm pleased to say that it did get better for me, and I'm sure things will improve for you with continued rest. It's still early days for you too. It's good that you're having thorough tests through your neurologist! Wish you all the very best with your recovery x


I'm 15 years post near fatal VM and so I hope I can add some reassurance. The memory problems do ease with time, as you of all people know, your brain has undergone a trauma and unfortunately most in the medical profession think that VM is never more serious than flu. Get Occ Health to ring the Meningitis Now helpline, staffed by nurse with extensive experience of meningitis, who can explain about phased return to work, the likely prognosis and the best way to get you back into your vocation. I know that huge bits of my memory after the attack in 2002 are missing and I still have the occasional problems but with specific things like names, directions and places. I have learned coping strategies for this once I worked out where the weaknesses are but the main thing you can do is take it easy, don't rush back to work and make sure the medical professionals looking after you understand just how serious VM can be. To show you how ingrained the view is that it is no worse than flu, the day after I nearly died (GCS 7, BP 84/24 HR dropping to 27 before I rallied) I was discharged only to be readmitted three days later in a worse state only to be sent home because it is 'only VM'. Good luck and please IM me if I can help. Thanks, Jonathan

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I tried to go back to work 3 months post VM and ended up getting meningitis again after 2 weeks! I then ended up being off work for almost 1 year. During that time I did physical therapy and my symptoms gradually got better. I am a nurse too and it was very frustrating to me. I cried so many tears and felt hopeless. I went through a period of depression. Please do not give up. Try to stay as positive as possible and give yourself time.

I am back to working as a nurse full time now. While I never returned 100% back to "Normal", I now have a new normal that I have accepted and works for me!

It is very early after your sickness. Congratulations on your new baby! Have you looked in to long term disability? I used that for two years while recovering. Maybe spending time with your newborn while recovering would be a blessing.

Much love and prayers,



Hi, I'm a 60 yr old female, & 3.5 yrs post VM, and after relapsing , I can't stress enough your need to be patient with your recuperation. Sleep is paramount to heal you. You cannot push through this , I tried & only relapsed. Stay hydrated, healthy diet, some form of gentile exercise will help. I also needed Nero testing , mentally I've made strides, I still have light & noise sensitivity , &!if I over-do it, fatigues rears its ugly head!! I was a international Flight attendant & have since retired. One day at a time & the power of prayer helps !!! Be good to yourself 🙏

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