Five months post bacterial meningitis and I don't know who I am anymore. I feel completely at lost. I contracted the illness when on holiday, while unconscious i could hear my partner pray and beg for my life. When I came around my memory was poor, I was giving addresses I lived in when I was a child (im 34) and didnt know who anyone was. After 19 days I got repatriation to home country and was admitted to a teaching hospital. While there the interns repeated every test, including lumbars (my fourth at this stage) they would come into my confined room 4 at a time to look at my eye. I have papilldemia. They also found a murmur.
When I first left hospital I was elated albeit very tired. I was determined to enjoy christmas with my partner and make up for what was a terrible holiday. That was great but the expectation then was that I was recovered. I wasnt. When I returned to work in January I felt happy but I was continually fighting back tears. I noticed that I was a lot slower in doing tasks, and my concentration is poor. I can stare blankly and quietly for an hour before I realise. I didnt feel like I was me.
People kept comparing me to what I was like before I went on holiday. I was outspoken and enjoyed a good night out. I found it difficult to be at large social gatherings, particularly with flashing lights and loud music. If I had a drink i would have memory lapses. So I stopped. My partner became frustrated and when he would I would cry. Friends kept their distance and I became lost in my own mind.
My relationship has since ended because I cant get back to how I was. I have found that people dont understand or maybe want to understand that getting back to daily life can be tough. I am still at work, with constant headaches, motion sickness, numbness down left side of body, cant make decisions. I am also losing my hair and have constant pressure building up. I am seeing a councillor and nuro psychiatrist. My employer has been more than understanding but have no support network where i live now.
While I know in myself I am recovering remarkably well, I would like to hear from anyone who has noticed that friendships and relationships have become strained during recovery.