Help with balance issue after pneumococcal meningitis

After a month swimming into several antibiotics my son (3.5 years old) got out from hospital. Damage in the left ear, but not sure how much. He will have monthly tests to determine it (since some inflammation remains).

6 days ago he was not able to stay seated, but now he can do it a lot. He started to stand with help and walk. However, balance seems to be affected.

My question is about your personal experience, how much time do you were with balance problems to walk alone and exercises to support this balance issue (because his next medical review will be in 3 weeks and we had no orientation about exercises). Please.

5 Replies

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  • Am pleased to hear that your son is now back home. He will have been discharged because the meningitis has resolved but now his recovery will start. Meningitis is far more serious than things like colds, flu, chicken pox etc and can take months, or even years sometimes, to recover. Some people can be left with long term problems such as the damage to his hearing. However, even that may improve but might not recover completely. You have described how his ability to sit has improved and that is a positive progress and most likely now he can keep himself seated more strongly that he will gradually experience improvement with his balance and walking. But it will take time. Children like to be active so I am sure that he will keep trying to stand and walk and will therefore be doing his own physio. Although the meningitis infection has resolved it still takes time for his body to recover from the inflammation and having been so seriously ill which will have left very weak. I had bacterial meningitis as an older adult and was in a coma for 3 weeks and discharged after 6 weeks. I could barely stand initially and came home with a walking frame. I then progressed to two walking sticks, then one and after months started to walk without a little. The meningitis started from an ear infection and I have been left with reduced hearing in one ear. I too had severe balance problems and was bouncing off of walls door frames and furniture, and frequently falling. Over time my balance gradually improved although I still do have some balance problems. It is good that you are only waiting 3 weeks for your son's review appointment as that gives a little time for natural recovery. The exercises you need to do at this point is just to encourage him to stand and take a few steps giving assistance if required. Even if he chooses to crawl that is still building up his strength in his limbs and helping him to balance in that position. Gradually he will progress. On a day to day basis the progress is so little that it is often unnoticeable but in a few weeks time you will think back and realise how he has improved like you have with his sitting ability.

    Best wishes

  • Dear Strawberry:

    Thanks a lot. We Will do what you suggested. I have other questions, please give me your opinion

    Do you think he should go school in august whatever his skills or stay home and go after complete recovery?

    What about his immune system? I feel horror when I think he can be attacked by every single bacteria if he is playing on the floor.

  • Hi I think only your son will be able to know his limits, its a day by day process, personally I think august may be too soon, my son is 5 months post meningitis and he is still only in the recovery stage. will your son be starting nursery? If so I'm assuming it will be part time, a couple of mornings or afternoons a week? That kind of phasing in might be ok, but he may tire very easily.

    I understand that dread with all the germs and bacteria, I'm very aware every single day about it with my son. And nursery is the time immune systems are really put to the test as your little one will be exposed for the first time. I had to hold off my sons immunisations as they said it was too soon for his compromised immunity. - however, we can't wrap our kids in a bubble and some doctors believe it's good to expose them young to normal germs that mix with children intergrating. Ultimately it will be your decision.

    I don't think you can put any expectations on recovery, its a very gradual process, he might bounce straight back, or he might take things at his own pace. It's watch and wait right now, it sounds positive up to press though? ☺

    hope your holding up ok. ☺ xxx

  • Thank you very much. You are right, he is doing well trying and trying, then rest. He started to stand alone and walk with help. His hearing is improving, he will have another test soon. He is having some vaccines that are not included in our national scheme as Hepatitis A, chickenpox, meningococcal, etc. Kids are just awesome.

    However, I just feel angry with life and Gods, why he. I cant understand why he. I hate my country as they just include 3 first pneumococcal vaccines and skip the last one (18 months) only to safe money. Perhaps if my son would have received this reinforcement.. and I would´ve been aware about these topics.. Well, shit happens I guess

    Thank you for your support

  • I've been there hun with the anger. I was angry at god too. It took us 6 years to pregnant with Charlie and then he was nearly snatched back off us. I was like why?? why us, why a baby that's 20 days old?? what's he ever done to harm anyone? It's natural. Part of the process. Once the anger had passed and I realised my son would stay with us, I started to be thankful, that we still had him Fantastic your boy is doing so Well 👍☺ I hope it continues ❤

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