“I became progressively worse over three days, with a severe headache, photophobia, sound sensitivity, lethargy and vomiting.
“I saw a nurse practitioner, who sent me home with some advice. Within three hours my husband Ben had taken me to A and E. The doctor there recognised meningitis, so I was admitted and a spinal tap done. The result for bacterial meningitis came back clear so, due to pressure for beds, I was discharged after two nights with no known cause and still on morphine.
Readmitted via ambulance
“After two days I was readmitted via ambulance. An MRI came back clear but the last of my lumbar puncture results then confirmed viral meningitis. I spent a further three days in hospital before coming home. After three months I was still having daily headaches, was signed off work and couldn’t have sole care of my two small children, Oliver, 3, and Samuel, 1, for more than a few hours.
Road to recovery
“Now I feel I am on the road to recovery but I still suffer daily headaches, memory loss and light sensitivity. Meningitis has fundamentally changed the person I am and the decisions I make. I never expected the impact meningitis would have on my life. Each day I recover a little more and I hoped to regain my life again.
“Unfortunately I have been unable to return to work as an air hostess but eight months on I do finally feel like I have some control back over my life. Meningitis has forced me to change career paths, which in the end is a positive. The more awareness there is of viral meningitis the better!
“For me, I would simply stress to trust your instincts and listen to your family. The hospital missed my diagnosis and discharged me after my initial stay - two days later and thanks to a great GP I was readmitted via ambulance. The level of knowledge about viral meningitis in the health profession is shocking and the only information I have had on my recovery has come from Meningitis Now.”