VM and recovery

I was diagnosed with VM 8 weeks ago, after having severe headaches, I had blood tests, ECG, CT and MRI scans all came back clear until I had the lumber puncture which showed the chickenpox strain, had IV drips for 10 days and 2 weeks of oral antivirals. Has anyone else had this strain and how long did it take to recover? I returned to work 3 weeks ago on reduced hours but last week was re-admitted to hospital as I had more symptoms than before but just not as severe, stiff neck and sensitivity to light as well as the headache. All tests re-done but all came back negative. I have heard the lumber puncture can show negative once you have had antivirals is this correct?

I am now off work again and wondering how long it takes to fully recover as it is very frustrating as I have good days and bad days.

7 Replies

  • Hi there, I am a four months post viral meningitis and I know exactly how you feel. It is very frustrating! I have two very young children who require their mum and i have severe after effects, headaches, exhaustion, anxiety, to name a few! I have been told that it can take months to recover and the more rest you have the better you will feel. I have still not returned to work even though I thought I was ready. My GP refused to let me return as she said he could do more damage than good which has proved correct in your case. Please listen to your body and i really hope with time you will be ok.

  • Thank you for taking time to reply, I wasn't given any advice from any doctor thought the sooner I got back to work the more normal I would feel, how wrong was I as the exhaustion is unbelievable. I feel for you with your young children and hope you have some good support.

  • I am sorry you feel you should be a lot better. I am 2 years post chicken pox VM, and which also caused Bell's Palsy. I still have daily headaches and my GP says another of his patients took 4 to 5 years for them to stop. I have other medical problems which might be affecting my recovery. Just take each day as it comes and be kind to yourself and patient.

  • Than you for you kind words patience is not one of my strong points. When did the Bell's Palsy start after VM diagnosis? I hope your recovery is shorter than 4 to 5 years

  • Helen,

    I am 1 years post VM, and they (Doctors) never identified exactly what caused it. i had the usual, ECG, CT, XRAY, MRI, Lumber etc.... the Lumber came back with a white cell count of 320, which indicated infection, resulting VM. 10 days in hospital, with Viral medication administered intravenously. My doctor recommended i take things very slow, and work through this like any other injury. Take your time getting back to work, as i was out of action for a solid 3 months, and then a phased back to work schedule was agreed for me to return to normal hours. i still experience neck stiffness and headaches / head pressure sensation from time to time, and when they become bad i just rest for an hour or so. i also become very tired when trying to concentrate for any real length of time, resulting in me lousing my patience more quickly then normal. I have also found that my sharpness in thinking and verbalizing has slowed slightly, but returning somewhat. Try to keep active, but dont over do it, and eat as healthy as possible. Not much info available out in the medical profession regarding VM, but i can tell you there is plenty of help right here on these boards. Be good to yourself, and take it day by day. all the very best.

  • Hi!

    I was diagnosed with VM in Oct 2016. I fully understand how you feel and it's easy to lose hope. But just keep positive as it various hugely from person to person. I also had days where I felt much better taking one step ahead but then next day back to scratch. Its important to listen to your body at this stage as it tells you when you are back. I was signed off sick for a good 4 months and only after this started slowly getting better. It will take time for you to get back to normal but at the Same time taking it slowly is the only way. Doctors are no use to be honest as mostly they have little experience with meningitis. Hope you start feeling better soon!

  • 10 years ago I had VM. I had a month signed off work and was phased back in but I went too soon and ended up exhausted. The replies you have here are all good. It takes time so be kind to yourself, rest when you can (I had two young boys so I know that's easier said than done) and make sure you eat lots of things that are good for you so your body can heal itself, although I know food is often the last thing on your mind when all you want to do is sleep. It gets better really so try to take one day at a time and stay positive. It took me a year to start feeling like myself again.

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