When Meningitis Strikes Twice
November 26, 2016
by Heather Freeman
My Mollarets Meningitis journey started in August 2007. I was feeling terrible, laid up in bed with what I thought was a bad case of the flu.
My general practitioner sent me to a ward in hospital straight away, all I remember is collapsing into the ward and the nursing staff running to help me into a side room. When I woke up I saw a doctor who told me I’d been diagnosed with viral meningitis and I was extremely lucky considering the fact that I had stayed at home for three days without treatment. Thankfully, I went on to recover and my body soon went back to normal—that is until August of 2009.
The only way I can explain how it felt was that it seemed like a HUGE explosion had gone off inside my head! Instant sickness, stiffness to my neck and back, photophobia– I was rushed to the hospital and I was 110% sure I had viral meningitis again! I was told “No, you can’t get meningitis twice! It’s possibly a migraine.”
Fortunately, my white blood cell count was high and I was kept inpatient and given a lumber puncture. It was the worst, most painful procedure I’ve ever had! I was correct though, I had VM again.
I was puzzled as a doctor came to me and said he had been studying a rare syndrome called Mollarets Meningitis which was a rare form of recurring meningitis triggered by the herpes simplex viruses. I was his first diagnosed patient.
I would recover but I’d have further episodes of MM that would need antiviral treatment.
Fast forward 7 years and I’ve had at least 8 hospital admissions, 11 lumber punctures, countless blood tests, MRIs, CAT scans, and so many different pain meds. I now suffer from regular severe headaches, sickness, photophobia, mood swings, depression, concentration, patience, memory loss, hearing loss, anxiety and twitching down my right side.
Thank you for taking the time to read my MM journey so far. I hope my story can help other patients understand that meningitis is not a one-time illness for all! x
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