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Pamela G’s story

25th April 2024

Pamela from West Lothian thought she just had awful earache, but after becoming unawakenable and not calling into work she was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. She shares her story.

Pamela's Story

“I didn’t have light sensitivity until Thursday and a rash didn’t appear until the Saturday. I would never have thought with a sore ear would lead to this."

“On Tuesday the 24th of January I had a very restless night because of what I thought was earache.

“I went to work Wednesday, taking painkillers and still thinking it was the worst earache I have ever had.

“I contacted my local GP four times before I was seen by a doctor who confirmed it was earache and sent me home with a delayed antibiotic and painkillers.

Alarm bells rang

“I was in tears from the pain and thought after a good night sleep I would be fine in the morning. But that night I fell more ill with constant vomiting and dizziness.

“I can’t remember falling asleep but when I did, I didn't wake back up. My husband thought I was just really ill as I had spoke to him but don’t recall this.

“On the Thursday I didn’t call into work and this was when alarm bells rang. My mum and dad were first to my house and couldn’t wake me up. So they called emergency services and within ten minutes they appeared, and I was rushed straight to hospital.

Saved my life

“Their quick response saved my life. I had ear surgery in the early hours of Friday and remained in hospital for a week. Afterwards I had a month of daily visits to the hospital for an IV of antibiotics.

“I then had a further two weeks of oral antibiotics and was then discharged from hospital. I still have hospital appointments in the future so I’m grateful I’ve not been lost on the system.

“It’s been the scariest time for my friends and family and for me and I’m blessed to have survived this to be with my daughter who is only seven.

Thankful for the NHS

“I received an apology letter from my local GP saying they didn’t know why my blood pressure and temperature was not taken at my appointment as it should be normal practice.

“I am so thankful for the NHS at the hospital for their quick diagnosis and care.

“I didn’t have light sensitivity until Thursday and a rash didn’t appear until the Saturday. I would never have thought with a sore ear would lead to this.

“The only after-effects I have are slight confusion, dizziness and tiredness but this is not every day. I’m thankful to be able to share my own story."

Pamela joined one of Meningitis Now's private Facebook peer support groups where she is able to talk to others who have had similar experiences. Pamela shared, "just having people comment on my posts has been a great support."

“Following Meningitis Now on social media and knowing there are other people going through the same thing I did has helped me feel less alone. It’s all been a new experience for me as I learn to understand how to cope."

You can find out more about Facebook peer support groups on our website.