One year on, Laura, from Hampshire, still suffers from debilitating migraines but with the support of her parents and neurologist, she is taking recovery one day at a time.
“2019 was very tough for me. I started the year randomly going deaf in my left ear for three months, which affected my balance; my hearing then went back to normal and I didn’t have any pain.
“A few months later I felt very weird at a friend’s house and started shaking, then collapsed. I didn’t think anything of it. The last week of June I had booked annual leave as I started to feel increasingly unwell and wanted to book leave to rest and relax. After work on the Friday before my week off, the left side of my face became paralysed and my GP sent me to A&E, where it turned out I had facial palsy. I got sent home and tried to relax as much as possible.
“During my week off I started suffering with severe migraines. The only way I can describe the pain was as if my brain was so swollen it was rubbing against my skull. I went into work on the Monday and Tuesday after my week off and felt horrendous. After work I got home and rang my parents crying as I was in so much pain and didn’t know what to do. I rang 111 who told me to go to hospital immediately as they wanted to carry out brain scans.
Weeks to months
“I spent two weeks in hospital. I was very ill, nauseous and then in extreme agony when I was in any contact with light. My neurologist had warned me that recovery could be anything from weeks to months.
“Whilst I was off on sick leave recovering I suffered with depression, feeling like I had no purpose. I’m the kind of person who likes to keep busy and enjoys working, so being stuck in a flat by myself and not being able to carry out simple everyday tasks really got to me.
“Meningitis Now have been really helpful. My dad spoke to a nurse from the charity who offered advice on educating the workplace on how severe viral meningitis can be.
“Unfortunately my employer terminated my employment one week after I returned to work!
A real eye opener
“It’s a year on now since I had meningitis; since then I’ve lost my job, had to give up my flat and move in temporarily with my parents. I still to this day suffer with debilitating migraines roughly 2-3 times a month and I’m still under the care of my neurologist who has honestly been amazing.
“Having meningitis has been a real eye opener as I only really knew about bacterial meningitis before.
“All I can say to anyone who’s in a similar situation to me is things do get better with time. It’s not a race to get better, your body needs to heal properly.”