I have viral meningitis. Please help

Hi everyone,

About 6 weeks starting getting headaches ( I suffer from cluster headache). But this headache was different. I went to ER for the headache they gave me pain meds. Went home a week later went to my doctor. He gave pain meds. A week later finally went and saw my neurologist. I told him what was going on. My headaches just didn’t feel right. He asked if my neck hurt. I said yes. But my neck always hurt. Well he sent me to do a spinal tap. ( that was awful). The results came back viral meningitis. I have been off work for 2 weeks now. This has been going on for 6 weeks now. I don’t know if I’m ready to go back yet. Since it is viral my doctor only could give me Tylenol 4 with codeine for the really bad headaches. I am still getting them. But I feel really dizzy and there is so much pressure in my ears. Could someone tell me if they have had this happen. And how long did it last. I think I need to take another week off but not for sure. It has been a very long going on 7 weeks of this crap.

30 Replies

  • An episode of meningitis extends beyond the hospital stay. You may need further oral anti viral treatment. Personally, I have a recurrent strand of meningitis, so I have had viral meningitis 4 times. Each episode takes a few months to recover from. Some lingering symptoms include balance issues, vision and hearing loss, memory loss, struggle to find words, speech issues, random nerve pains, dull headaches and total exhaustion. It’s very important to rest as long as possible after your hospital stay. If you rest, your body will heal. Avoid stress, adjust your diet to include foods rich in immune system building vitamins.

  • Thank you so much.

  • I would stop taking codeine they can make headaches worse. My daughters Neurologist said ibuprofen is a better option.

  • Thank you for your help

  • Please give my 28 year old daughter's story a read on this site. Rosie S's Story. Here lies sugnificant success (from what we know so far), for complete recovery from VM!

    She suffered for near on two years before discovering meningitis now, subsequently trying cranial massage by visiting an independant cranial osteopath in her area.

    All the symptoms you are experiencing are pretty much similar to what she suffered. It seems the key, and recent breakthrough, is releasing the spinal fluid which VM leaves a blockage for...and enabling it to flow again through your body, particularly your head.

    There are some on this sight who have now given it a go after reading about it, and after just a couple of sessions, felt considerable relief.

    In the last few weeks Rosie and I have been contacted by the media, news papers and radio to tell our story of this potential breakthrough!

    We now feel we want to help as many poor people who have suffered this dreadful illness for which before now seemed there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

    Good luck and please keep posted how you get on if you try this amazing treatment. Rosie coupled this with acupuncture, having alternate treatments once a week, now a couple of months in. Xx

  • Thank you for this. I hope your daughter finds some relief soon.

  • Ok you are not working but are you doing things lifting, stairs just over doing it stop . Walking on flat ground till you feel ake or pain even if it is lite stop and rest do this for 2 week listen to your body I had vm two year'si in a row I know . This year I had someone tell me I was ok to work out Dr was wrong .was hurting me . Good luck helpman

  • Thank you called the doctor yesterday told him what was going on. I’m off work for nother 3.weeks. This virus is just awful. Thank you so much

  • I came down with VM in august. I suffered from migraines my entire life and therefore was treated as having “the worst migraine of my life” for two weeks by my physician of 12 years. I finally had to find a new doc and within ten minutes of seeing him he knew i had it. I had been suffering for so long at that point that he did not think the virus would show up on a ST/LP bc it is only supposed to last in your system for up to ten days. They did one at 4 weeks bc i was still so ill and it did not show anything but i still had light and noise sensitivity, ringing in my ears, nausea, neck and back stiffness/soreness, terrible weakness and so on. It is now november and i still have symptoms. I am here to tell you, one - this is the best place to find information about this illness, two - physicians do NOT know enough and think you should be better faster than you actually can be, three - if you push yourself to fast if will only send you backwards. You HAVE to let yourself rest. I am usually a very active person so not being able to run or go to hot yoga or my usual activities has been depressing but anytime i have tried to push it the next day i have felt awful. Last monday i woke up fine, got hit with a migraine like i used to have and it sent me into a relapse that hung around until sunday. I have finally just come to terms with the fact that i will have to take this slow and steady - and no doctor is going to understand. As far as pain medication goes, i was told pain meds cause rebound headaches. That is true with migraines. I have lived with migraines my whole life. Meningital headaches are not like migraines but more like tension to me. And i also suffered from the terrible aches all the way into your bones. I was only given tylenol 3 and i had to ration it for my worst times. I do think diet is important.....i cant say i have been the best with it but i always say i am going to do better! ;) I have been upping my supplements especially magnesium as i have seen that suggested many times. I am going to try swimming this week as it is so much easier on your body. Im sorry for the long note but i just felt so much by your post and that kind of hopeless feeling. You dont know what to do, you dont know how long it will last, you just know you feel awful. Use this site and most importantly REST!!! You are NOT ready to be back at work and probably wont be for a while. Listen to your body. Eat ice cream and try childrens pedialyte! ;) I truely hope some of this comforts you. Oh and my favorite two things of all - heating pads and a tens unit (the electro massaging items you can by at the pharmacy.) Put those around your neck and shoulders and a heating pad behind it and trust me you will thank me! Good luck!

  • Thank you so much for your response. This virus is just awful. I do wake up and feel ok but then by afternoon I’m down for the count again with being tired and the horrible headache. I called the doctor yesterday. They gave me another 3weeks off week. I am so lucky I do have a neurologist that knows what he is doing. When I went and so him right away. He said. I’m sending you for a L/P. I had the symptoms for 4 weeks and it still showed up. I am so sorry you feel awful but on the other hand. I’m glad I’m not alone. This site is amazing. I am so happy I found it.

  • Hi. I wish I could tell you that this will be a quick recovery but unfortunately it’s not! I’m a lot stronger since I got meningitis and encephalitis in my but the dizziness and balance is still there. I’m back to my consultant next week to try and speed up mei scan. I can’t drive so no way I can work. It 7 months now. I have 2 children, 7 & 11 who keeps me going. Don’t push yourself and rest as much as you can. The back of my head and neck are very sensitive to touch and bad pain in my feet.

    Sorry I’m not so positive but it’s a day by day thing.

    Take care

  • Thank you for your kind words. And I hope you find relief soon.

  • Joconn i just noticed you mentioned the back of your head and neck being sensitive to touch. I have had such bad pain in these areas and today at the neurologist he actually pressed on the back of my head which was around the connection to the occipital lobe and i felt it right in the front of my head. I also notice sometimes i will wake up in the morning with my knees up and my feet flat. I will have the worst pains in the bottom of them. It is just so crazy the sensitivities we experience. I just wanted to comment bc mine are somewhat similar to yours. Always makes me feel better to relate. :)

  • Yes it does thank you. You are not alone.

  • Thanks for getting back. I have spent days looking up meningitis and recovery. This is the place to talk to everyone going through the same problems. I’ll let you know if I find the magic switch to normality !

    Have a good day.

  • Thank you

  • Hi I have had viral meningitis. I hope you are ok. It takes a long time to recover and I never got back to where I was. You may have to adjust your life after this horrible infection.

  • Thank you so much

  • Hi, I have just been discharged from hospital after 7 days from having acute bacterial meningitis.

    My work are putting on the pressure of returning back to work.. I’m going to try & get in with my GP tomorrow for advice & hopefully pain relief because I have popped so many paracetamol & ibroprofen today!

    It’s the throbbing/stabbing pain in the head & the excruciating pain in my back after having 9 failed attempts at L/P’s!!

    I just wondered how long is the “norm” for having off work when recovering from this?!

    Many thanks, for taking the time to read this.

    Jo x

  • Hi so sorry you are dealing with this to. It is along recovery. I️ will be off a total of 5weeks when I️ go back to work. I️ still have the neck pain and my ears hurt so bad. Your GP should be able to give you something for the pain. Are still on antibiotics. I️ didn’t them cause main was viral and yours is bacterial. If you have FLMA AT work I️ would use it. You need to rest. Please read what everyone else says on the site. This site is so helpful. I️ really hope you start feeling better

  • Thank you Marshall89.

    I am no longer on antibiotics, I’ve been in hospital for 7 days on IV antibiotics every 12 hours.

    I will try to get in with my GP tomorrow in the hope for some pain relief & advice about going back to work.

    I am a carer, I work 12 night shifts so they are tough going to start with but with this looming over me, I can’t even begin to imagine working those shifts..

    Wow, 5 weeks, sending you healing for a speedy recovery. We do sometimes take our bodies for granted don’t we & forget they need rest & healing.. x x

  • Yes we do.I️ also Work in the health field working 12 to 13 hours. You have to take care of yourself before you can anyone else. I️ know people on this site have been healing for a year or more. I️ am going on 2 months. It is not the virus itself. It is the after effects that get you. Please rest and take care of yourself

  • Thank you, I will rest as much as I can. I hope you can do the time.

    Wishing you a speedy & full recovery.

  • I’m concerned I have meningitis. I’ve been sick for months now. One sided headache, nausea, dizziness and losing it😩. I had shingles on my head about 6 months ago. Is this related in any way? Thank you all.

  • I️ would get it checked out to be for sure. That is my symptoms. I️ have had it for 3 weeks. Good luck to you.

  • Did u get it checked out yet?

  • I’m very nervous about getting a spinal tap ☹️

  • Yes I️ got a spinal tap done. But I️ think that is the only way to find out.

  • 2nd time in 2years 16 days in hospital came home no drugs take it easy no lifting anything no stairs just walked on flat ground for 7 weeks then start doing more if it hurts stop listen to your body it takes time if you go to fast you will hurt yourself good luck helpman

  • Thank you so much.

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