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Janice R’s Story

8th March 2023

Janice can’t remember much of her quick decline into severe illness before an eventual meningitis diagnosis. She survived and tells us about her experience since contracting the disease in 2019

Janice R’s Story

Janice was 63 when she started to feel unwell with flu like symptoms. Three years on she has serious side effects but is determined to keep fighting.

“I really can't remember much about the beginning, just that I hadn't been feeling well. I thought it was the flu and slept a lot. I lost track of time. I do remember though that I was sick a good few times, and that at one point I couldn't hear myself talk.

“My daughter couldn't get me on the phone and came to see me (she doesn’t live locally).

Memory was blank

“I remember drifting in and out of consciousness while waiting for the ambulance.

“I got to the hospital, then was transferred to another hospital. I can't remember a thing. I was unconscious for days and even when I woke up my memory was blank.

“I had bacterial meningitis and lost my hearing completely. I have balance problems and constant dizziness along with tinnitus (which I still have 24/7, it never stops.)

“However, I'm fighting back. I walk with the aid of a rollator. I still suffer from dizziness and now have cochlear implants and the tinnitus is still going on.

Very isolated

“Socially, I don't have a life. Friends have forgotten that I exist. I live in my own wee bubble. I feel very isolated and miss so much, especially music.

“The doctors told me at the time I was very ill and I often wondered if I'd ever get better. Today I can say that there has been a great improvement, I'll never be the same as before but you have to fight.

Janice was visited by Alison Yelland, Community Support Officer, who supports families affected by meningitis throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Janice says, “After meeting Alison I was feeling very upbeat. It was good to talk with her.”

The after-effects of bacterial meningitis can be severe and long lasting, and come in many forms. Our team of expert support officers help people every day with information, financial help and emotional support. The service is open to anyone and is free of charge.