David M's story

19th January 2022

Fifty-one-year-old David, from Glasgow, had severe earache and was at first diagnosed with a middle ear infection. This progressed to severe headaches, nausea and vomiting until a lumbar puncture confirmed his meningitis a few days later

David M bacterial meningitis case study

Thankfully he went on to make a good recovery, although he still feels fatigued, as he tells us here.

“I went to bed late in the early hours of 28 December 2019, at about 3am. I awoke with a severe earache. My wife Rosaleen phoned NHS 24, and they told her to phone the doctors when they reopened on the Monday, as this was a Saturday. 

“They told her not to take me to the out of hours, but the earache got worse and worse, so I threw caution to the wind and my wife took me up there. I told the receptionist I didn't have an appointment, and she basically said I shouldn't be there. As I was there I informed her I was staying until I'd seen a doctor. 

“I eventually saw the doctor, who told me I had a middle ear infection and gave me antibiotics. I went home and started them.

Bad headaches and vomiting

“Then, on the Sunday, I started to get really bad headaches and was vomiting. I realised again something was wrong. I couldn't bear the light and had to be in a darkened room. My wife then phoned NHS 24, who informed me to go back to the out of hours doctors. He gave me anti-sickness tablets, which didn't help, and told me to keep taking the antibiotics from the previous day, which I did.

“Going into the early hours of the Monday morning I was up nearly all night, feeling agitated and restless. Basically, I had no idea where I was or what I was doing and I was feeling really confused.

“My wife started to get really worried about me, so again phoned NHS 24 at about 5am and was told to phone the doctor when they opened at 8.30am. She did this and got an appointment for about 11.30am. 

Taken to hospital

“I eventually saw the doctor at 12.50pm and the doctor told my wife to take me to hospital as she suspected I had meningitis. 

“I was taken in and given a lumbar puncture, which confirmed a few days later I had streptococcus pneumonia. I was in hospital for 10 days. At first my hearing was affected for about three weeks but fully recovered after that period.

“My recovery is going well, but I still feel fatigued and tired.

“Meningitis Now has supported me. It’s been helpful to have someone to talk to about meningitis outside the family who can understand what you've been through.”

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