Meningitis Now
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Head, neck and Eye pain, long after recovery from bacterial meningitis

My Wife contracted bacterial meningitis about 2-years ago. It was terrible, so was in hospital for months, we thought we would lose her she was so ill. She has recovered well, but still suffers from debilitating head pain on a regular basis. I know we were lucky there was not more damage, but is there anything she can do to help with the headaches? all the usual pain killers just will not touch it.

4 Replies

I had bacterial meningitis Christmas 2010, and still suffer from a constant head ache, and an aversion to bright lights, I've also lost the hearing in my left ear. Most of the time I can cope but there have been several occasions where the pain has got so intense I start slurring my speech and struggle to stay conscious.

My GP has been excellent, and sent me for all sorts of tests, and tried all sorts of painkillers but I'm now at the stage where I'm starting to accept this as my lot.......

I can totally understand your wife's frustration, as no-one else seems to understand how debilitating the aftereffects can be.

I'm afraid I can't help you with a miracle pain killer, but if I come across one I will let you know. For now Im afraid it's just a case of adapting


Thank you Steve. It seems to be a general problem then.She tends to lose balance and topple, drops things etc; it has meant she is unable to work, which just does her head in. Also' trying to explain the effect on her life to the various benefit agencies, is like banging your head on a wall. Hope you find something that will work for you. My family are just glad she's still with us. The after-effects obviously vary. My old girl is very good with pain (far better than me and our lads) but I would do anything to find something that would help her.


HELLO -so sorry to hear about these life altering after effects.I had bacterial meningitis and septicaemia in 2008( jan) and stil suffer from your wives symptoms.I also have been through a whole pharmacy of different painkillers to no effect,but am now seeing a neurologist for my migraines -ask for a referral.I was put on various migraine preventatives ,some which worked and some which helped a little but caused such awful side effects I couldnt tolerate them.Most recently I was tried on Topomax which is an anti epileptic and Im not sure if it was just coincidence(as I only was able to take for 3 weeks) but my migraines and visual disturbances have gone!I still have a constant background headache,but not the nausea and visual problems( ground and wall moving and evrything very brighly coloured).Another thing I have tried is 5HTP wghich is a precursor to seratonin but is much safer than antidepressants(often given for headaches and pain) and is classed as food supplement.Available from health food shops and online.

various herbal remedies are thought to help also - feverfew,st johns wort.

It is shocking that so many of us are left with debilitating side effects,though as you say we are all blessed to be alive and not have any of the more horrific effects.Do do push for more specialist help as there are things that can be tried.Only now,5 yrs on are doctors on NHS finally admitting that the Meningitis has damaged parts of my brain and my balance system.It has been a long slog as all my after effects were just medicated but if they didnt work,it was just assumed that I would have to put up with them!I am very disabled -loss of balanve,24/7 vertigo,headcahes,visual problems,loss of short trerm memory,and have used crutches and wheelchair since.

Really if we have had Meningitis we have had a brain injury,and like brain injuries it can take a very long time to recover and adapt our lives to the after effects.Hope this helps.


Thank you for your response. I'm sorry that the after-effects of this awful illness are still causing you problems. I am not sure that many GP's are aware of the after-effects that continue after alleged full recovery. As you rightly say, it is a brain injury and I think better informed after care would be helpful. I will pursue some of your suggestions and post anything helpful. Cheers


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