I was diagnosed with Meningitis on holiday. I was initially in ICU for one night and brought to the main ward when it was thought I had the viral strain. Within 24 hours however, the pain in my head was worsening, I was becoming agitated, pains in my legs was increasing, losing consciousness and violently vomiting.
A few days later I woke up back in ICU with no memory of what happened. I was told I had bacterial Meningitis. I had a central line going into my neck, my god those things bleeped all the time. I stayed in ICU for 3 weeks before I received repatriation back to a hospital in my home country. All together I spent 7 weeks in hospital. The Neurologist was amazed at my strength, grip in arms and legs. Throughout my stay, I suffered from fever and drug seizures and some issues due to having a catheter.
I was discharged from hospital in my home country without any information about after affects, not even a discharge letter for my GP. The followup by the neurology team has been rather poor. It was a teaching hospital and felt like my duration there was just an academic exercise and they became to repeat all he test I had on holiday, even and additional two lumbar punctures. In total I had four. Anyway, I made good physical recovery and was determined to be back in work in January which I did.
But I am suffering after affects.
Numbness, tingling sensations on my head and down the left side of face, arms, legs. Sometimes when I am very tired it feels like my left leg is pulling.
Headaches - sometimes they can be bad but most of the time its like a hangover
I have Papilledema
I felt great just after Christmas even had some red wine of the period and gradually started to get out and about. But I have noticed that alcohol has an negative affect. I can blank certain parts of nights out. For eg., i can be out for an hour and not remember 10 mins of it etc.
My concentration is poor
But the worst affect for me if that colleagues and friends and commenting on the change in my behaviour since the illness. This is really really getting me down. They are not only commenting to me but also BF who has been my main support. I am being told to just snap out of it or stop using it as an excuse. I dont like big social gatherings on nights out and can only cope with small group of people. When there is a big crowd I go into myself and become withdrawn. This was not me before.
I am irritable, overly sensitive and unable to think clearly at times. One friend even asked if I was bi-polar. Peoples reactions towards me are making me feel worse and with that then comes the increased headaches etc.,
When I phone the neurology team in my home country they didn't says much only that my MRI back in November was clear.
As I recovered so well physically, I feel slightly lost by these emotional challenges. I have all my limbs, no epilepsy and field vision is improving. I have no reason to feel so up and down at times.
There is a lot written about the physical after affects but little about the emotional aspect and I would like someone to share their experience with me and also if it is an after affect, how can I get people to understand that and give me the breathing space I need.
Thanks in advance.