Odd Changes post Bacterial Meningitis

My husband who is in his 70s had BM nearly a year ago. Despite being gravely ill at the time and hospitalised for 7 weeks he has made a really good recovery.

He still suffers from fatigue and generally needs more sleep and has memory problems particularly with face recognition but nothing that can't be coped with.

However, the really odd change is with his food tastes. He used to love red wine and coffee but has not touched them since his illness. He decided neither were good for him so now he drinks tea and non alcoholic beer. Not really a bad thing!

He never really had a sweet tooth pre illness and seldom ate desserts but now can rarely have a meal without something sweet. Fortunately he does not have a weight problem, but I am still trying to ration him in case of other issues such as diabetes.

Has anyone else experienced odd changes?

8 Replies

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  • It is really good to see your husband has no serious aftereffects like a lot of people have . My taste buds have changed as well LOL and it's not a bad thing , but opposite your husband, I used to love sweets and desserts and although I may eat them sometimes they don't have the appeal to me like they used to . I like things I never did before and there are things I don't like that I did before . I never realized until meningitis What a complex thing the brain is .

  • I believe it has nothing to do with taste. It's very common to stay clear of alcohol and coffee after meningitis from my experience and reading other patients posts. After I was hit by meningitis last year, I have never been close to a coffee, have tried to drink alcohol but it just doesn't agree with my foggy head /headaches.

    I hope this helps a bit for you, to understand what we are experiencing post meningitis.

  • I had bacterial meningitis in July last year. Was in hospital for 3 weeks and had acute nursing at home for another 2 months. Finally got back to where l started now. So lucky to have recovered so well. Been hardest thing l have ever done.

    I was a coffee drinker for most of my life before l got ill. Now l avoid it. Only water or tea. Funny as l have nog been able to think of what caused the change.

  • I think his avoidance of alcohol has to do with our post BM attitude changes. Our previous flippant "Everyone dies of SOMETHING" attitude changes drastically! "There IS something worse than dying" we learn...and that is "living through this horrible attack." After our extreme suffering of BM, we change to healthy eating, no smoking, and no alcohol. If you think he's now eating too much sugar, talk about the PAIN he suffered via BM...and bring up the PAIN diabetics can suffer. A repeat of extreme PAIN is the best motivator for behavior changes.

  • Hi. I think there is a lot of truth in what you say. I know that my husband is now so grateful for making a good recovery and what everyone did to support this recovery that he wants to live as healthily as possible so as not to waste all that has been done.

    He is moderating his sugar input ( usually) Everyone just finds his desire for sweetness such a change from what he was like before BM

  • Yes I have I can no longer drink alcohol. Maybe one glass but that is it as it gives me headaches. I also have a thing for tea but no real other urges for different food. It definitely had an affect on my taste buds and was not able to eat a lot for a long time. I also had bacterial meningitis. Fish is really good for the brain to recover. I hope he feels better soon.

  • I guess. Its not uncommon as I stopped drinking post VM. The only reasoning I think is because VM scares the crap out of you so you want to live better. Also post VM alcohol just doesn't taste good. I developed a sweet tooth too. Not bad but it is strange.

  • I've always had a sweet tooth, but post meningitis I found that my sugar intake increased too.

    I was in hospital for 2 weeks and returned to work (as a junior school teacher) 4 weeks later.

    As my energy levels dipped through the week and I became more fatigued (mentally and physically) I reached for sugary foods to keep me going. I now make a conscious effort to have a healthier snack.

    As for alcohol, I can't think of anything worse. My headaches often feel like I've had a few too many, so instead I steer clear.

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