Meningitis Now
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It keeps playing on my mind, night after night

I don’t know what to do to keep it away from me

More to me like a torment, a real grilling torment

Every night, as I put my body on the bed, my head on the pillow

It comes back, like a stalker that has been following me around all day

Waiting for me to land before it unleashes its attack

With eyes wide open, mouth fully a-gap, it keeps screaming with taunting rhyme

The incident of 22nd October 2011

How could I forget so easily?

That day, that mournful accursed day

When the evil side of nature met me

In my stack nakedness, without any help at sight

When I was locked in the cul de sac of a corner

With snaring look on its eyes, my enemy laughed out loud

Ready to make a mince meat out of me

As it attacked me from every side

It was the hour, the unholy hour

When my life was put at a pause while life goes on

Without any permission or endorsement from me

I felt deprived, raped and victimised

The day my world stood still

And another page of life was opened for me

I shouted and panted, struggling to live

For I felt I still got some business unfinished

I still have a mile and half to go

The child of my dream, conceived yet unborn

The pang of birth stillborn to be

I would have been glad and complete if it was born alive

The child of my brain for years, my dream, my endless dream

I pleaded to my enemy

To give me a time or two,

If only I would get my dream realised,

Wouldn’t mind to wave the world good bye

The feeling keep flooding back, like an over flowing river bank

I can’t help it; it overwhelms me, beyond my conscious control

How I could have done things differently

To keep this cup passed over me

The incident of 22nd October 2011

It was a bright morning on that fateful day

On that third Saturday of October 2011

I woke up from sleep with a start

As I cringe with pains from the right half of my body

As heavy and paralysing as a body fresh from the morgue

I’d thought I was going down into the pit hole

Of some mighty coronary disease; the STROKE

That ate my dad alive, in the wake of the nineties

Knowing fully well that I had cholestrolaemia

I am susceptible to them likely diseases

I have been fighting it in fury as hard as I could

Through my diet, what I eat and drink

Please God I would outlive them diseases

With determination discipline and self control

But you never know, we men are mere mortals

That are so frail and tend to fail

Imperfection is our nature, no one knows it all

Sickness is in our DNA, no way an escape route

As long as we are still entrapped in this mortal body

This Judas that sold his master

And took 30 pence for a price

For the hand that fed him for years

And made sure he never suffered from wants

And defended him from his enemies,

From hunger, thirst, heat and cold

Yet he’d never got satisfied

And sought to do it his own way

Yeah, my enemy took its time

The right moment to close me in

I thought to myself, hang on, I could do with help

From paramedics at the eleventh hour

And so, I picked up my phone

And called the emergency number 999

You could imagine how relieved I was

To hear a soft voice at the other end

With the last strength reserved

I yelled out a cry for help and was assured

That help is on the way

It wouldn’t be long, I will live I tell myself

Sooner than expected, they were around

Them paramedic crew; a man and woman they were

With their ambulance for help

Ready to render help at any cost

To give my life a second chance

With my last energy I pulled myself

As I strolled down to answer the door

For them paramedic to gain entrance

At their feet I fell, with lousy eyes pleading for help

For them to take me to the hospital

With such dexterity as for professionals

They helped me into their ambulance

First we have to run a quick check on you, they said

While they fitted their medical equipment on me

Oh boy, stay cool, they calmed me

We have seen much worse case than this, they bragged

‘Its not much deal your case’ they said

‘Go back to your room, lye down and sleep it off’ they advised

In time you will feel better and stop crying wolf

I took their words for it

And did the way they instructed

That was it for me, so to say

I slipped to the world beyond in coma while I slept

Only to wake up three weeks later

Bound unto me with pipes and tubes

In the intensive care unit at st Georges hospital

Left to fight for my dear life

It was then; I was greeted by him, the doctor

With a team of nurses at hand to help

As he explained to me the nature of my enemy

Meningococcal septicaemia, he called it

A dangerous predatory super bug, it is

That kills its prey in minutes

I looked at myself in disgust

With ischemic hands and gangrenous feet

My palms and soles covered with blood

That sipped from the vessels

As my enemy pounced on me with fury

As it celebrates its new sumptuous prey

I said to myself, ‘oh well, it is over now’

It will not do anymore damage to me now

I have succeeded to run into the tower of medical fortresses for safety

At least them doctors and nurses were here now and handy

To match strength to strength against my enemy

Like a kid whose father came around

As he was about to be bullied

I chuckled to myself with a sigh of relieve

That the storm is over now

I will be fine in a day or two

I was about to pop the champagne and Moet

In celebration to the victory well gained and dusted

How could I have known, that my enemy drew back only to tighten its belt

Like the bull getting ready to attack, it clawed back to gather momentum

To return with a devastating blow

That would see the end of me

Oh! How wrong I was, so naïve and innocent in my thinking

Never did I have a clue, that it was only the beginning

A foretaste of what will take a while,

Longer than I would ever imagine, in my fantasised world

The battle line is just been drawn

Like the clashing of the titans

A raging war is about to begin

A massive fight between the good and evil, life and death

Between the light and darkness who would have the upper hand

Like the biblical tale of David and goliath

A war that will take many months to decide,

Who got the power of steel?

It was indeed like the fierce battle of Britain

As the doctors fight with my enemy

To release me from the grip, the powerful hold of my enemy

Who would not throw in the towel

To surrender without a fight

Nor let go of me at the mere sight of medical powers

My enemy was fully determined

To claim my life for sure

A bird at hand worth more than thousand

That flies around in the woods and air

It would be daft to say good bye

To the prey it has spent time to aim

An apple that fell at the foot of a blind man

When two elephants fight, the grasses bear the brunt

Of two mighty powers in display

As the elephants fight, the grasses give way

And suffer under their heavy weight

So it was the case for my body

That serves as the bouting ring

The enemy deploy many tactics

To claim its mighty reign

With sting bombs of dangerous rashes

That bath my skin through and through

Leaving my whole body old and wrinkly

Like that of grand pa in his nineties

I had to shade my skin

Like the snake that hibernates in winter

Then came again another hurl of attack

Another deadly upper cut blow

In a bit to smash me up to pieces

A clean knock off my guard

My hands as stiff as a rusticated bolt

That has spent thousand years unscrewed

As though it wanna make sure

That its prey has no way to escape

It squeezed my heart to a pop

Making sure my heart stopped pumping blood again

‘Pericarditis’ the name it was called,

The situation I found myself

I groan with incredible pain

Like the swallow I clamoured and clanged

How can I forgive my self

The thought of losing my feet

My enemy ate me up

Like the praying mantis dicing away

Its food bit by bit

I lived the horror, to see my feet giving away bit by bit

Every other day under the knife

Of plastic surgeon in the operating theatre

At the end of the last bout, the enemy did loose its ground

And gave in to the power of medicine

But not until it has left some marks on the ground

That showed it gave its last and final shot

Before its arsenal of nuclear warhead run dry

From the crown on my head to the rug under my feet

The enemy left its footprint,

That will live to haunt me, the rest of my days on earth

Like the mortal signatures of the famous

It left its indelible signs

Like the scramble of the land of great mother Africa

By the old colonial masters

So was my body partitioned between them two forces

The doctors claimed a huge portion of me

But some little parts were claimed by the enemy

As it planted its permanent flag of ownership

I was left sulking and licking my wounds

As I counted my blessings and losses

My hearing is gone completely to the enemy

With no possibility of ever coming back

A condition of profound bilateral deafness

My enemy, it cut me off, from the world of sound for ever

Them doctors were smart and brilliant

There is always ‘plan B’ they assured me

A high-Tech gadget they buried under my skull

Cochlear implant is the way forward

As an alternative route back to the world of sound

My feet, it left with partial amputation,

With muscles and skins to reconstruct

And series of painful and traumatic surgical procedures

To undo the damages done to me body

All thanks to the ignominious power of the evil one

It’s still ever green in my memory

The fearful feeling that grips my mind

Every time I sign the consent forms before each operation

I feel like a condemned criminal

Subject to death sentence by hanging

Like an adventurer setting off to sail

To an unknown far away destination

Only certain that he could come back, alive or death

Oh, I could still feel the spasm of pain

Running down my spine, reverberating

As I submit myself to him, the anaesthetist

Who in turn pass me over to the power of propofol

That would keep my body muted and mortified

Under the knife of the surgeon

As my feet were chopped away bit by bit

I always woke up confused, in the theatre recovery room

Still unsure which one is real, am I in the land of the living or death

As him, the Anaesthetist used suction pipe, to clear my breathing track

It left me with a mix feeling, happy vs. angry, which one is right?

To live for another day, only to repeat the horrible same

Or to have died and give it a rest

All the struggles of daily living

Whenever I lied down on my bed,

Lonely, cold and forlorn in the middle of the nights

I always stared hard and long up the ceiling

As if it owed me some explanations or reasons of some sort

While my mind wanders away, a million miles away

In thoughtful thinking and review

Of the incident of 22nd October 2011

How on earth did I come here?

I keep asking my self.

Where on earth am I gonna go from here?

As the future lied before me serene

I could not but shake my head

Like a dog that missed its prey

It was really hard, to take them all in at once

Then would my mind throw in its spanner at work

With a streak of thoughts splashing around

Leaving my head all over the places

Is this situation because of my past?

Have my past sins found me out?

And decided to deal with me?

Was it God trying to frustrate my plan?

Cos I left my former life behind

Or is this the only way forward?

To my own destined end

I did not know what to believe

I got them texts and messages and even get-well-soon cards

From my friends old and new, both near and far away

Some with thoughtful sympathy, as their heart went out with me

While some with a warning remind,

‘You’d better get in touch with your past’ they said

You might have been faster than your shadow

And its doing your head in

Every night, I keep beating myself up,

For being a good lad

Who wants to play by the rules

Not ready to come across

As rude, uncompromising, arrogant and aggressive

I wished I was a little more assertive

In my encounter with them paramedics

On the 22nd of October 2011

In my cocoon, the hospital bed

Where I have spent several months unending

Lying on the spot, bed-bound and helpless

I guess the bed could have had enough of my backside

Cos morning evening and night

My bum lye stuck on the foam motionless,

I thought it’d dig a hole for itself

From many days unmoved

As a result of the complications

From the incident of 22nd October 2011

Enclosed in McEntee ward in the hospital

Come day come night, come autumn, winter, spring and summer

While I was stuffed with a cocktail of medications

From the doctors and the nurses

Who are fighting tooth and nail

To keep my poor heart beating

Or less I would have been death

From the complications result

Of the incident of 22nd October 2011

Soldier goes soldier comes

The array of faces of doctors, nurses and care assistants

As their shifts keep going on and on; day by day, week by week

And even month to month

I keep saying my little prayers in my inner sanctuary

‘Dear lord in heaven above, when will this come to an end’

As time flies ahead unstoppable,

I could do nothing but standing in the morning sun

I would be sitting when the evening comes

Watching when the shifts roll in

And then I would watch them roll out again

It’s like I am sitting on the dock of the bay

Watching the tide roll away as I waste the time of the day

I have left my former life at the altar

I headed off In search of the Golden Fleece

Cause I had nothing to be excited for

And it looked like nothing gonna come my way

So I took a dangerous gamble that ended me here

Looks like nothing is gonna change

Every thing still remain the same

I can’t do what ten people tell me to do

So I guess I will remain the same

I have to keep sitting here resting my bones

And this loneliness wouldn’t leave me alone

It is more than three thousand miles

I roamed away from my former life

Just to make a fresh start, a new life

Now I am gonna sit at the dock of the bay

Watching the tide roll away, as my world stood still.

But I am much excited to see what future holds for me

I hope to live to tell the tales to the generation yet unborn’

A tale of my journey to the land of eternal pain and misery

Where everyone answers ones own name

With no one else to give a helping hand

It’s a stack reality of life

12 Replies

You are absolutely brilliant with words. Your poetic way of expressing what you have been through has tears streaming down my cheeks. I wish I could express my emotions of what I have been through like you have done although there are bits of that experience that you have done for me. At the moment I am wracked by emotion but I will blog back later. Well done Vasco. Hopefully putting your terrible experience out amongst other Meningitis sufferers will help you to begin to at least move on from feeling it was your fault or the consequence of doing wrong. I am sure underneath those questions that have been stirred up by the experience of Meningitis and Septiceamia you are a lovely caring man who probably puts other people before himself.


Hi Strawberrycream

Thank you for your kind words and time to read my and boring poem. I have read your story and It kind relates me. your boy must have been in bits. I feel for him, I really do. He must have traumatised and confused by what thing. You are a strong person to have hung in there and pull through whole horrible experience. It's a people don't see the inside emotional and psychological effects of meningitis. They judge from your appearance. How frustrating is that? But life goes on.

Please do stay strong for your boy and you would be fine.


@strawberry apologies for wrong spellings and incompleted Sentences. It's all part of after effects of meningitis. Do bear with me. Thanks




Wow vasco -tears are streaming down reading this!Oh so so similar in what happened to me -I got to hospital but was sent home by very young doctor,despite having every sign of Meningitis and septicaemia! I too wonder why on earth I didnt just refuse to go home.But I was ill and who was I to question a doctor!I am now passionate about speading the word about meningitis therough telling my story and distributing symptoms cards.I always say go go with your gut feelings.I too look back and wonder if Id be left as disabled if they had treated me 9 hours earlier on my first voisit to casualty?And I have not the disabilities you have.

My story (Gillian story) is on the Meningitis TrUST website under my story -too long to keep repeating,but have a look if you interested.Havbe also done a few blogs on this forum.

By the grace of God., believe He sent an angel to push me out of bed that night so alerting my husband! I woke 9days later having been in coma and life supprort,and not expected to live through it.

To be able to express your feelings is a wonderful therapy and thanks for sharing this most intimate and taumatic experience -Im sure it will touch many.I found that although Im normally a very articualte person I was unable to put into words my emotions,for a very long time.It is only over past few years I have been able to blog,write on forums.

I received counselling from the MT and this was a lifeline to me in helping to lay to rest these "demons" of blame,whats ifs,I was tearted for post traumatic stress as i was unable to shut eyes without the whole incident replaying in my mind -over and over.I was sedated with sleeping pills for a few months and this really did help me as I feell asleep quickly.I felt the huge need to keep replying things,trying to work out where I lost almost a month of my life -I remember very little of ITU except horrid hallucinations and thinking I was blind,as could see when awoke and only bits and pices of the next few weeks.My counsellor was wonderful and just listened as I repeated the same things week after week,but it so helped as I felt no one else understood.Everyone was amazed at my miracle recovery and I went from one extreme to the other.One minute feeling so grateful to God and the doctors,nurses for saving me,the next wishing I had slept away as living like this is so very hard.

But I am through it now -it does get better every day.Yes I have the odd descent into self pity,but I have been given a second chance at life,so Im going to do what I can to reach out to others and help them through.Physically I am still much the same - vertigo 24/7,unable to satnd,short and long trem memory loss,difficulty learning new things,migraines,the list goes on !But emotionally I am on an even keel and I do attribute that to the counselling I had and of course my faith.

We all need some outlet to express our emotions after any traumatic event and we are all different in what helps us,but the MT and this forum are just a few ways.

Keep these words flowing!Maybe you could put it into MT Headlines mag?


hi Daffodil,

thank you for your comments. i read your story [Gillian story] and it relates to me so much. i am so sorry you had to go through all those horrible experience. i have now learnt not to take everything the doctors or medical personnel said line, hook and sinker. it is so appalling how these people presume at times they now everything. they misdiagnose deadly diseases like meningitis most of the time and wouldnt accept they could be wrong. its a shame you could have got medical health much earlier were you taken seriously! now you live to pay the price while that young doctor goes on enjoying his full little life. just like in my case too. only god knows what i have been through and there is no end in sight at the moment.

i would check out the vestibular disorder exercises and see if it would help my dizziness. the memory loss, lack of endured attention and all keep me frustrated. i do hope i would improve with time. MT has helped me with some counselling sessions and i am grateful for that.

Do you mean what you said in your last paragraph? oh dear, you really want me to feel good. well then, you have got it....thanks a lot for your kind words


Hi Vasco -yes Im sure MT Headlines would like a poem -though you may have to shorten it a bit.They arealways looking for stories/experiences of Meningitis.

Why dont you keep a journal?I havnt ever done this,but know people who journal and find it most helpful for expressing thoughts/emotions on paper?



i would contact them about it. yes i might shorten it a bit. i know that its too long

i keep my dairy. i do write down how i feel and what i did for the day. i am planning to write a book on my romance with Meningitis That is the only way i express my feelings as i haven't got many people around me who would listen to my boring story

thanks again for your tips


@vespalover... thank you so much


I think this so movingly expresses the feeling of entering a new life after this illness, Sorba


@sorba are correct actually. It's a total sudden move to another type of life. I wish I was prepared for it. I didn't see it coming, to be honest. I get used to it with time. Thanks for your comment though.


You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!


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