Although many people more usually associate meningitis with babies and toddlers, Alice’s story is a poignant reminder that Adults Get it Too.
“I was forty-one years old when I contracted bacterial meningitis. During the months that followed, I was desperate to hear that a full recovery was possible, but no-one could give me that guarantee. I scoured the internet for stories that might give me some hope, but these were hard to find. So here is my story."
“In December 2017, I had a cold which I just couldn’t shift. After a few days, I became feverish and I developed a splitting headache. Paracetamol did nothing to alleviate it. My headache got so bad that I couldn’t lift my head or look at lights, but I didn’t think I had meningitis because I didn’t have a rash. I became too ill to make it to the doctor’s surgery, and was taken to hospital by ambulance."
Couldn't hear properly
“On arrival at A&E I was given a lumbar puncture, intravenous antibiotics and a CT scan. The next day I was told I had bacterial meningitis. I was kept in hospital and given morphine, fluids and ten days of antibiotics. As the days passed, the pain in my head started to subside, but I became aware that I couldn’t hear properly, and I couldn’t move my left leg and arm. An MRI scan revealed blood clots in my brain. I had been a keen runner, but now found myself using a walking stick to help me get around."
“After 12 days, I was allowed home. It was two days before Christmas, and I was still very worried that I might never make a full recovery. But on Christmas morning, I started to regain feeling in my arm and leg, and in a matter of days my mobility had returned. Within a month, my hearing started to improve too."
“For six months, I continued taking blood thinners to tackle the blood clots in my brain. But during that time, thanks to my quick diagnosis and treatment, I made a complete recovery. It is now a year and a half since I was taken to hospital with bacterial meningitis and, to my knowledge, I suffer no long-term after-effects whatsoever."
“Although the effects of meningitis can be devastating, there is also room for hope. My experience left me profoundly thankful for my life and my health, and I am also grateful to all the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff who cared for me with such skill and patience.”