Leaving hospital and returning home
Leaving hospital after meningitis can be a worrying time and it is understandable to feel anxious about returning home. It is natural you will have questions and concerns about the recovery process.
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- Everyone leaving hospital after meningitis should be given information about recovery and what to expect, as well as being made aware of the support available.
- The hospital should inform your GP of your diagnosis and treatment (this is usually by letter)
- Anyone who has been left with ongoing problems following meningitis should be given a plan for future treatment and care, as well as being made aware of what support is available
- Hearing loss is a common after-effect following meningitis. All children recovering from bacterial meningitis should have a hearing test performed within four weeks of being well enough to test
- Adults, recovering from bacterial meningitis, who have noticed a change in their hearing should also be offered a hearing test
- Anyone who has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, should be offered a follow-up medical appointment. For adults, this should be within six weeks after discharge.
- For children this follow-up appointment should be within four to six weeks of discharge with a paediatrician
- The follow up appointment provides an opportunity to discuss the recovery process and any complications causing concern
- Anyone who has been discharged following viral meningitis and has not been offered a follow up medical appointment, should contact their GP if they have any concerns regarding their recovery
Serious and potential long-term after-effects of meningitis are usually identified whilst a person is still in hospital. In these cases, follow-up care and recovery will be unique to that person.
- Most people will make a good recovery from meningitis. However for many, they recover from the acute phase of the illness only to find that whilst trying to get back to their everyday activities, they experience some difficulties
- Persistent headaches, tiredness, memory problems, personality changes and depression are just some of the ‘hidden’ after-effects people can experience
- Because the person seems to have visibly made a good recovery, it can be very difficult to make health professionals, family and friends understand that meningitis can still have a big impact on their lives and cause ongoing problems
Back to work
For adults affected by meningitis, getting back to work can be a huge pressure. Most people find a gradual return allows them, and their employer, time to adjust.
Back to school
For children and adolescents, returning to education can be difficult. Many children struggle getting back to school life, trying to catch up with work missed and seeing friends again. Even with a good recovery, problems can occur as children grow and try to adapt to new environments. If you are concerned about your recovery or possible complications, speak to your GP, or ask to be referred back to the hospital where you received your care.
We can help you
We have lots of resources on the different types of meningitis and their impact. These can help highlight the extent of the after-effects that you might be experiencing, so that others can understand what you are going through. Our free support services can help you rebuild your life after meningitis. Get in touch to find out more. Whatever your experience, whenever it was, we are here to support you.
Download our After Meningitis Support info.