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Denise's story

11th December 2018

Terrible headaches, stiff neck, vomiting - Denise didn’t know what was wrong with her. Luckily, doctors were able to quickly diagnose that she had contracted meningitis

Denise's story

Sixty-year-old Denise, from Ripponden in West Yorkshire, told us her story.

“I woke up the night before shaking and couldn't get warm at all. I think it's called the rigours."

“The next day, I walked to work and was very breathless, which was very unusual but I thought nothing of it. After about an hour I had this headache that felt like my head was getting sliced in half."

“I had to leave work to go home. On the way I rang my husband to tell him. As I arrived home, I started vomiting so I rang the doctors and booked an advice call. I crawled upstairs and vomited again."

“That's the last I remember apart from vaguely seeing my husband on the phone. He had come home from work knowing something was really wrong and called an ambulance. Luckily, we were only 10 minutes waiting (not that I knew anything about it). They took me straight to hospital and on the way the rash developed. The doctor knew straight away so I didn't need a lumber puncture, but I had a brain scan - not that I remember that either. Apparently, I had blocked sinuses and that's how I caught meningitis."

“My neck was stiff, but because my head was so bad I thought I was turning my body so my head didn't have to move. I was in hospital for nine days and it's been eight months now and I’m still recovering. Luckily, I had no limbs removed but I still tire and get confused easily and get headaches all the time. I also don't cope with noise, we only socialise for a couple of hours at a time. I don't drive. I get very confused. But things are improving slowly.”