Bacterial Meningitis at 48

Bacterial Meningitis

It started on Sunday night the 29th of March 2009 with a slight headache. I watched TV with my husband Kobie and 16-year-old daughter Cara until about 11pm. At about 2.30am I woke up with a terrible headache. I thought it was a migraine and took some tablets. Shortly after I started vomiting and getting a cold fever. My husband woke up and tried to help me, to no avail.

At 4.30am he woke my daughter and we started for Curomed Hospital in Kimberley, 30km away.  By this time I couldn't walk and was only semi-conscious. I attacked my daughter with my fist on the way and tried to jump from the car. At the hospital I tried to attack the personnel, none of which I could recall.

I lost consciousness for four days, in which time they had to tie me to the bed. By the fifth day I started to remember and recognise some people.

I spent 14 days in hospital and then went home, but by the Monday I was back in hospital. The pressure on my brain was still 32. I had no sense of balance and could not stand or walk upright, my eyesight was very poor and I was deaf in my left ear. Eventually the doctor sent me to a neurologist, who prescribed pills, and whom I had to visit on the 15th of May for another lumbar puncture. The brain pressure was still 28.

I started working again on the 17th of June, but only half a day. I am still deaf in the left ear and my eyesight is not right. When I am tired I feel dizzy and have no sense of balance, my left arm sometimes starts jumping of its own accord, and I get terrible headaches.

Some days are better than others, but all in all I can say I am lucky I survived and I have decided to be positive and spend the rest of my life as useful as I can be.

JULY 2009