Viral Meningitis: Hi, has anyone else... - Meningitis Now

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Viral Meningitis


Hi, has anyone else suffered from bad memory recall/bad short term memory since having VM? I was diagnosed with VM back in March 2019 and the Dr’s were brilliant from time of admission they queried Meningitis and even said they weren’t sure if it was Bacterial or Viral (never heard of Viral before until then!) within 12 hours I had a diagnosis of Viral Meningitis. They sent me home after 5 days in hospital with pain killers and said I would recover within 10 days and signed me off work until then.

After 10 days I returned to work still very tired and still had bad migraines and neck pain. I sat at my desk for 30minutes trying to work a system that I had easily been able to use before but I couldn’t work the basic applications at all. After a week of trying I tried to hand my notice in work through pure frustration and thankfully my boss refused it and told me to go back to the Dr’s. The Dr’s then signed me off several times over a period of 6months until I had my neurologist appointment where I was put on different medication to ease the migraines and told my memory issues were not a side effect it was because I’m a Mum of two little ones.

Fast forward to now and I’m still struggling with some memory recall, even if someone told me to remember something or get something from another room majority of the time I will have forgotten what you asked before I’ve got to that room. Has anyone else had this side effect at all?

6 Replies

You are not alone! You went back to work way too early. I contracted VM in May of 2019 and it was several weeks before I could "think" again. The chronic fatigue lingered for months, and the short-term memory issues were frustrating but are much improved now. Recovery is different for everyone, so hopefully you will regain your ability to remember. I still deal with some blurred vision and equilibrium issues but am blessed to be alive. Best wishes to you for continued recovery.

You are definitely not alone with this. I had VM for the first time in 2006. I was in the hospital foe a week and off work for another 6 weeks recovering. Terrible fatigue but when I got back to work I noticed I couldn’t remember things and certainly couldn’t retain information. It is very frustrating. Doctors will not link cognitive damage with VM. I’ve had it 3 more times and memory has gotten worse. Still battle with chronic fatigue. Dr. Play this off as though it’s some sort of migraine.

Depends on the damage done. First time I had VM I made full recovery in 6 months. Second time was over two years ago and I’m still suffering with memory problems.

As others have said you are definitely not alone. I had near fatal VM in 2002 and there are huge chunks of that year and also other bits of my life that I just don't remember now. Four weeks post discharge apparently I said to my eldest daughter 'I know you're my daughter but which one are you'. If you think not remembering how to use a system is bad try not remembering your children!

Mind you it's not just me apparently. On the way to the hospital the second time (I was discharged too early) the paramedic kept asking me if I knew where I was. I'm told I said to him 'stop asking me where I am, I'm ill, why don't you know where you are'.

VM causes brain trauma, your brain has effectively been squashed and unlike a swelling brain, it has nowhere to go so it's not unusual to have memory loss and other brain related functional changes. The blinding headache is your brain being put under pressure I believe so that there have been changes to your memory is I think pretty normal.

It's a bit of a bette noire of mine that doctors really don't understand the longer lasting effects of VM but I am now privileged to be a volunteer community ambassador for MN so I get to educate where I can.

Whilst it can be tough dealing with memory issues I hope knowing that it's quite common is some comfort.

Yes. 2017 I was diagnosed. I had the same memory problems and difficulties with finding the right words I wanted to use. I couldn't concentrate on a single thing never mind multi-task. I can remember if I scrolled down briefly on a computer or using the remote on the tv , it continued scrolling in my mind and vision even when I had stopped. I can also remember talking 5 hours to make a simple lemon no bake cheesecake because I couldn't follow the steps properly. I squeezed the juice from lemons into a jug. I then wanted to pour the contents from the jug into a sieve landing in a bowl. I poured the jug into the sieve alright and forgot the bowl losing the juice down the drain, but I was gonna make that damn cheesecake! I feel only now that these issues have improved. I still get "overload" when I am trying to do too much. I know it is extremely frustrating for you. This will improve in time. Best wishes

I thought it was just me :( I wasn’t sure if it was connected but post VM I have definitely struggled with bad memory. I am a university student and ever since I went back to classes I have found it much more difficult to memorise concepts or recall things that I have learnt. I’ve also been struggling with learning new topics and I have to go at my own slow pace, it’s really frustrating and I tend to lose motivation to study quickly. However, I have learnt to deal with it somehow but it can still get overwhelming.

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