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Tracy's story

16th December 2015

Thirty-six-year-old Tracy, from Tipton in the West Midlands, collapsed with viral meningitis in January 2015. Now, 12 months on, she is still battling to come to terms with the impact it is having. She tells her story here

Tracy's story

“I contracted viral meningitis in January 2015.

“I felt funny on the Sunday and on Monday woke with an immense headache, which got worse. Then the dizziness and photosensitivity came. I somehow managed to waddle to Boots for advice on my lunch hour - they thought it was a migraine - but then I collapsed.

“Basically my body went really heavy and I couldn't stand or open my eyes or move. They called for an ambulance and I was taken in and by that point I had a neck ache too.

“I was finally given a lumbar puncture two days later and was initially treated for bacterial meningitis. Then they realised it was viral and I was released.

“It took me four months before I went back to work and then on a phased return. Then one day the shooting pains started and then dizziness and photosensitivity and then my whole body went weak again. I could only just whisper, couldn't open my eyes and I couldn't move, so off to hospital I went again and stayed overnight.

Done too much

“They said it was the aftermath of viral meningitis and that I had done too much.

“I went to a private neurologist a couple of days later and was given another lumbar puncture, which showed the viral meningitis had gone. She put me on pregabalim. I had two CT scans over this time and both were okay.

“I finally went back to work at the end of July on a phased return and have been doing that since then. Although I’ve had extreme fatigue and some shooting pain headaches I've been working through it and getting stronger day by day.

“This was until last week, when I completed my first week on full nine to five hours. I got to Thursday and I was fully back into work mode when I got a headache and then the shooting pains started, and then the photosensitivity! Shortly after I collapsed again.

Fell off the chair

“I fell off the chair at work on to the floor and I was taken to hospital and released over seven hours later when I could walk again.

“Again, the left hand side of my body took longer to come back. I couldn't speak for an hour and I couldn't move my arms for at least three hours, as they kept dropping off my chest and I couldn't lift them back up. It took seven hours for all feeling to come back.

“The hospital has no idea why this has happened and think it's related to me doing too much and the viral meningitis. I'm now under a new neurologist and about to undergo an MRI and EEG.

“Meningitis Now has helped me no end. I've had support through the helpline when no one else would or could understand and one of the local support team has spoken to me on a number of occasions. His expertise in the field is invaluable, as he knows others who have been through similar experiences to me, which is reassuring and helpful since the GPs just don’t seem to understand this illness. He has also organised reflexology, which is helping so much and I feel wonderful after it.”