Does anyone know the usual recovery period for someone after Viral Meningitis at age of 43?

I am 43 and caught VM from my 15 yr old daughter, she had it quite bad but has bounced back to near enough normal after 3 weeks ( thank god). I came out in the symptoms the day after her headache started. We were both in bed with 38c+ temps and terrible headache and flu like aches and pains. I got so bad i had to get a taxi to my doctors ( no one would come out and NHS Direct just recommended me to go to them) by this point i could hardly see with the pain. I then started to be violently sick and could hardly stand up. She sent me straight to hospital and there i was kept in and had a brain scan, blood tests & a Lumbar Puncture which showed Viral Meningitis. I was able to come home after a couple of days ( they did say i can stay in but if i felt i could recover better in my own bed i was ok to go) and spent about in total 10 days in bed. Now i know its just the after effects the weakness and depression has nearly all gone now but i still have this pounding/beating/pulsating in my brain/ears/head? It seems louder now than it was when i had the pain with it at the start. Its worse after i have done something and especially when i am at rest or lying down. I just wondered if anyone else has experienced this type of thing? No painkillers work, and it seems more pressure pounding rather than pain. I just want to be back to normal and i am usually fit and well :(

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  • Speaking as a 10 year post attack VM survivor unfortunately there really isn't a usual recovery period I'm afraid, at any age from my experience and those who I know. Although I'm not sure I don't think viral meningitis is contagious but I could be wrong, mine was caused by a virus I already had in my system (chickenpox which I had when I was 31). I had VM at 39 and all I wanted to do was to get back to normal although now I realise that I just had to change what my perception of normal actually is.

    Anyway the after effects can be short term and quickly overcome (as your daughter discovered) or they can last some time or in my case ever since I had the attack. It is a bit of a lottery I'm afraid but the key thing in my experience is to rest if you're body is telling you to. You may discover that doctors (GP's especially) really know very little about VM and so its well worth taking the Meningitis Trust leaflet on the subject with you if you go and see your doctor as it wlll help. If you're on Facebook search for the 'I had viral meningitis group' as you can share your experiences there with others who have been through what you are experiencing now and those of us that have been through a long time post the VM attack.

    I'm sorry I'm not more positive on the subject of recovery but unfortunately really the best way to recover is to rest, listen to your body, try relaxation therapy (Paul McKenna: Relaxation is very good) which tends to ease the headaches & pressure and be patient I'm afraid. All the very best. J

  • I am this morning going back to my docs for a check up after it and they are very good plus seem to be very clued up on VM ( thank god). I know it is possible to catch it as i came out in the symptoms the day after my daughter. Both of us had the headaches, high temps ( laurens was 39c) violently sick and so ill could not get out of bed. Lauren though started to pick up ( slowly) though i got much worse and ended up in hospital and then they diagnosed it. My daughter had a throat infection about 3 wks before so not sure if that was it and then somehow she passe the VM to me? I hope my doc this morning can explain about this heartbeat in my head as it is very annoying and nothing seems too sort it. I will try to relax but its hard with all this noise haha. Thanks so much for the advise and i have joined that group & rang Meningitis Trust ( who were and are brill)

  • you asked brain/ears/head? It seems louder now .... I think after VM you become like a bat, and everything seems louder, this I feel the brain has been rebooted, like a new born child in time this will pass, my left ear feels like there is a pea stuck into it, now I just learn to live with it, like a mole on the neck, not harming you, just a pain in the butt, the problem with VM everything you you have will seem 10 times more, this is fear, we live with fear it will come back,

    when I am at rest or lying down have you tried putting to house bricks at the end of you bed, so it is raised, sounds loopy, but it works

    painkillers if taken too much will infact give you more pain, ice packs and ice sticks (get form £1) shop will help, too many drugs and the body goes on over load.

    cut of sugar foods, and e#anything that raises blood, i.e. meaning when you eat something and it makes you feel hot this is a sign not to eat it, luck would have it chocolate makes me that way, so have to cut it down, gutted by this LOL

  • I am 42 and I had VM 8 months ago, and the pulsating and full / blocked feeling in my ears still occurs every now and then. It seems to happen sometimes when I am stressed or I stand up from sitting. It never happened prior to VM. Prior to VM I was never seasick or dizzy even when I've been out in very choppy water in the ocean. I am much more sensitive to being dizzy now. I rode a simple 'kiddie' ride recently at a fair, one that I would have ridden over and over in the past. I felt horrible within 30 seconds of the ride starting - thought I would throw up. My 7 year old wanted to ride again but daddy has sworn off fair rides now..

    I think that the presence of the previous infection, even if now it is passed, leads to the immune system inflammatory response in the meninges becoming 'overactive'. This is how I feel it - in my ears. Others may feel it some other way or not at all. It is mostly a nuisance though. The vestibular tubes in the ear control perception of orientation and dizzyness - so I think any minor / temporary swelling in there can throw off hearing or balance..

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