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Vicky's story

16th July 2015

Vicky Ross, 32 of Renfrewshire, suffered many symptoms, including a high temperature, extreme dehydration, aching muscles and extreme fatigue, when she contracted viral meningitis in November 2014

Vicky's story

Despite visiting her GP and A & E, Vicky spent more than six weeks struggling to get through each day without any treatment.

She recalls her story here.

“On the 4th November 2014 I came home from work and was supposed to be going for a meal for my birthday but I felt extremely tired so went straight to bed instead. I felt like I had a really bad flu, with aching muscles, fatigue and a high temperature.

I didn't make an appointment to see my GP until seven days had passed with no improvement, believing I would get better on my own. I was sweating excessively during the night and waking up severely dehydrated.

I was struggling to work, not being able to get through the day because I was so tired. At times I had to put my head on the desk for hours at a time because the fatigue was overwhelming.

My husband had to cook all my meals and do all the household chores. I couldn't drive or do normal things like shopping or going out. I couldn't stand in the shower and I slept for hours on end every day.

I missed a family weekend away and almost failed a college course. The muscle pain was horrendous and I had to take time away from work. I wasn't able to plan anything for my wedding which was booked and only a few months away. I began to worry it wasn't going to happen.”

Told I had a virus

“I went to my GP who said I had a viral infection and should rest. My bloods were taken anyway, but came back clear.

Another week went past and I had to leave work early. My eyes started flickering with bright light; I felt dizzy and thought I was going to pass out. I phoned my mum who said she would take me to A & E.

Staff agreed that I probably had a virus and offered more bloods but I didn't see the point, so they said I was to rest, eat well and take fluids. The told me a virus could last months.”

Losing patience

“I returned to work and by this time my colleagues were beginning to lose patience as I was constantly complaining of being unwell. It went on for about six weeks all in.

I returned to the GP again and was told to go home and monitor my temperature, then come back afterwards as I might be having hot flushes.

Two weeks later I awoke one morning and noticed that my vision was blurred. I felt worried but hoped eye drops would do the trick.

I made an appointment for an optician and before long I was being sent straight to A & E once again where I was told I had Papilledema - swelling of the optic nerve, which is normally caused by brain tumours.”

I had viral meningitis

“I felt worried and scared as I waited for a CT scan. It showed no tumour but increased pressure in my head. A lumbar puncture and MRI scan later confirmed I had meningitis and I was admitted to hospital a week before Christmas.

I was in an isolated room at first and treated with anti-viral medication and antibiotics, but I was soon moved to a ward when it was discovered I had the viral form.

I was in hospital for two weeks and I only got home for a few hours on Christmas day but I was so ill that I slept the whole time and couldn't eat anything.

During my hospital admission I noticed I had developed a ringing in my ear which I still have today along with floaters in my eyes. Thankfully I am better now, but when I first left hospital I was so weak and disorientated - not being able to stand in the shower or walk much distance. I lost over a stone in weight.

I had no idea how serious viral meningitis could be and can only feel grateful for the amount of support I received from my family and friends who I honestly couldn't have coped without.”