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Kim D’s story

1st February 2024

In October, 36 year old mum, Kim from Reading had a headache that wouldn’t shift and developed a temperature and sickness. A lumbar puncture confirmed viral meningitis. Now, over three months later, she’s still a long way from being back to normal and recovery is proving a long and slow process, as she tells us here.

Kim's Story

“It is taking me a long time to feel back to my best, it’s been three months now and I am still recovering.”

“I was working from home on a Friday and developed a dull headache. It was nothing too worrying, just niggling, but it wouldn’t shift with paracetamol.

“I picked up my two sons from nursery and school and continued with our regular afternoon and bedtime routine.

“By the evening I didn’t have much of an appetite and went to bed early to try and sleep it off.

Headache got worse

“Come Saturday morning I still had the headache but carried on taking my youngest son shopping with my sister and mum. Throughout the trip my headache got worse to the point that I couldn’t really function properly. My mum and sister had to help care for my son and my head was in agony when moving my head.

“The drive home was absolutely awful. I could hardly turn my head and I actually don’t really remember driving. I called my husband to meet me at our front door and take our son as I needed to lie down because I had a terrible migraine.

“I have suffered with migraines most of my adult life, but this felt different. I knew something wasn’t quite right. I tried to lie down in bed, but I couldn’t rest. I then began to feel much worse and called my mum to come and help me while my husband looked after our children (aged 1 and 4).

Going to pass out

“By the time my mum arrived I had begun feeling sick, my heart was beating fast and my temperature was very high. My headache was getting worse and worse. I was restless, but couldn’t move my head due to pain. I then began vomiting and feeling like I was going to pass out.

“We called 111, who said someone would call back in two hours. I began to deteriorate and a rash appeared on my face. We called 111 back and they sent a paramedic, who in turn called an ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, they asked to turn on the light in my room and I realised I had sensitivity to light.

“The ambulance advised me they would need to take me to hospital to rule out meningitis or a bleed on my brain.

Suspicion of meningitis

“Once in hospital I was given fluids and antibiotics immediately on suspicion of meningitis.

“A day or so later, the headache was easing off and I was beginning to feel more human. Once I was in a side room, I was given a lumbar puncture to try and diagnose the problem. The initial results showed that it was viral meningitis and I had to stay a further few days to rule out bacterial meningitis.

“Once this was diagnosed, I was told I could go home after six days in hospital and I was signed off for a week. I was given no advice.

Thought I would feel better

“I really thought I would feel better after a week, and after googling recovery times and seeing two weeks stated I was ready to feel better and bounce back. Unfortunately, that was not the case, I was off work for four weeks and even then, I did not feel quite myself or ready to return.

“Since meningitis I have not been offered any support at all and no answers as to how long my headache and exhaustion will continue. I have two children and work full-time. It is taking me a long time to feel back to my best, it’s been three months now and I am still recovering.”