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Meningitis Now
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Headache relief

My partner was diagnosed with VM on Saturday. He was sent home on Monday with Codeine. Since his diagnosis, he’s not been able to sit up due to the headache and nausea and is getting fed up and frustrated about it. We’ve continued with the codeine and have tried paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin none of which is helping. He feels fine laying down, it’s just as soon as he is upright. I know it’s only been 5 days since diagnosis and we just need to let it run it’s course, but does anyone have any advice to try and help in the meantime? Thank you in advance.

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Wow, where abouts do you live? That seems aweful to me that he was diagnosed with VM on Saturday and already sent home on Monday especially if he can’t even sit up without getting sick. When I had VM I was hospitalized for 5 days. From my memory, when I was in Emergency begging for painkillers for my headache, they told me right after I was diagnosed that pain killers don’t work for Meningitis headaches because painkillers can’t cross the blood/brain barrier (apparently it’s only right inside the brain they would need to be in order to be effective?). Unfortunately from my own personal experience, the only thing that helped my pain was IV antibiotics (still to this day I don’t know why that is because I was supposed to have had VM not BM) sleep, not moving much, hydration/fluids/I.V. and most importantly TIME. I felt “ok” when I left hospital (ok as opposed to feeling like I was going to die) and I vomited all the way home. The movement of the car made me so extremely ill. I was back to work at an office job after 3 weeks but It took me a good year to get back to feeling semi-normal. I feel tremeandous empathy for your partner. You need to make sure he is getting tons of fluids which is way easier to do if he had an IV. Unfortunately I don’t think much will help the head pain when he sits up other then more time. I just can’t believe they would send him home when he was still so sick : (

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Try ice gel packs on either top of head , base of neck. I brought a head wrap kit from a chemist that had a Velcro strap . But I found the cold helped the most . Then after a month or two sorry I can’t remember i started acupressure that helped . I also Took paracetamol , followed by ibuprofen every 3/4 hours but please check this with your GP . Good luck the most important thing is rest and no stress .


It was fully eight or nine days before I was very functional. Depending on form of VM there may be anti virals to help. Otherwise keep him quiet, dark, and laying down. It does subside after a week.


This is very early days for you and for some it takes a long time to recover fully. Without trying to alarm you, my daughter as well as others on this site has taken many months. If you find you are still in trouble later on you can find my daughter, Rosie S' Story, via the link on the forum stories from the home page.

We found that cranial massage worked wonders for her. Her job is working with horses on pretty much a daily basis and is very physically demanding.

It is rare for a story to be so positive and we have tried to let people know that this amazing complementary therapy worked for her. It helps release the spinal fluid which VM leaves a blockage for. Rosie is pretty much cured after around 10 sessions coupled with actupuncture, although found awesome relief after only one appointment. She is now free of all pain killers and antidepressants and feels right back to her old self.

We can only let you know what worked for her. It's not for all, but has now given amazing relief for many. It seems the success could be to do with the skill of the cranial osteopath you use. So it is important to find out the osteopaths credentials and experience in this specialised field particularly dealing with VM sufferers, if you can. (Not all osteopaths realise that this helps VM sufferers, it is often carried out on young babies with birthing problems). You need an osteopath and not a therapist who mearly has some training in cranial massage.

If you find you are getting the violent headaches and feeling lethargic and depressed after a few weeks, give this complementary therapy a go, it really could be worth it and save you being on prescribed drugs, along with months, years, of unnecessary suffering.

Kind wishes and best of luck Ginger94


I was diagnosed with VM roughly about a month ago. I am slowly recovering but what you have to understand is everybody has a different recovery time table. The only way to get through it is by being good to yourself and taking it very easy. He is doing the best thing he can do for himself by getting plenty of rest. I've noticed by eating better and drinking plenty of water I'm feeling a lot better than i used to. Its a process but even though some people may never feel the same again,you learn while have this illness if you can even get somewhat close to regaining a normal life it means a hell of a difference! It will get better just have patience!

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If you have headaches that get worse standing up or sitting up but are better laying down consider my story.

I was diagnosed with VM. I had headaches, double vision, tinnitus etc. I had MRIs showing pachymeningitis/meningeal enhancement. It didn’t go away. Headaches, kneck pain, etc

Then I had another MRI (four months later) that showed a subdural hematoma and I was air medical evacuated to Vancouver

Three minutes after meeting the neurosurgeon who was going to drain the subdural he changed my diagnosis to a spinal fluid leak. They cancelled the surgery and ordered tests to find the leak and then gave me an epidural blood patch.

A spinal fluid leak looks and acts just like VM with a difference being that the headache will get better when you lay down.

Your brain floats in spinal fluid, when it leaks (usually in the back) it causes your brain to sag in the skull causing cranial nerve palsies - eye stuff, ear stuff, headaches.

The upside of a leak is it an easy fix. Conservatively, bed rest. Or an epidural blood patch.

Most of my doctors - family, internist etc had never even heard of this. There is a study showing you have a 0% chance of getting properly diagnosed in emergency dept if you have one with the most often incorrect diagnosis as VM. It is well understood in the neuroscience world but not common medical knowledge.

Here’s the kicker - a lumbar puncture with fluid collection can make it worse. It takes more CSF from the leaking dura.

Check out: spinalcsfleak.org Mt Sinai hospital has some good stuff on it too.


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