December 8, 2011

Spinal Meningitis Symptoms: Please Read!

{Please Read The Symptoms 
even if you don't have time to read the guts.}

Spinal Meningitis

  • Severe & Worsening Headache 
  • Extremely stiff neck and spine
  • Fever & Chills
  • Vomiting or loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Sensitivity to light

I am so heartbroken today. On Monday a Young Man passed away from meningitis. He left behind 3 children under the age of 4 and a pregnant wife. 

For those of you that don't know, I was hospitalized with Spinal Meningitis last year.

I want to quickly educate you on some of the basics of Meningitis.

First of all there is no way to know what kind of meningitis you or your child has without seeing your doctor and undergoing a spinal tap.

  1. Viral meningitis may improve without treatment in a few days.
  2. Bacterial meningitis is serious, and requires prompt antibiotic treatment to avoid serious brain damage, hearing loss and death. Some types of bacterial meningitis can prove fatal if not treated within the first 24 hours of symptoms.
The scariest thing about Meningitis is that it isn't easy to know if you have it. 

{Here is a brief account of my story}

August 24th of 2010 I was making dinner and started to get a headache. By the time 7:00pm rolled around and The Bachelor came on I was laying in bed with a really bad headache. I remember laying there trying to watch the show, but not really being able to concentrate on what was happening. My headache started at the front of my head and spread evenly and consistently over my head and started down the back of my head. The only way I can describe it was like putting on a headache helmet. It started in the front and as it got worse it just followed down my neck.

I was 14 weeks pregnant and thought that the headache was pregnancy related. I fell asleep and woke up at 11:00 pm. When I woke up I told Scott to go to the store and get me Excedrin and Sprite. Being pregnant, I knew I wasn't suppose to take anything, but I had gotten to the point that I didn't care. The fever and chills started in and I was so out of it. I fell asleep again and woke up at 4:00 in the morning. The house was quiet and I made my way to the kitchen. I opened up the cupboard and pulled out the Children's Tylenol and drank what was left in the bottle (not recommended). I got on my knees and started to pray. 

I asked Heavenly Father to please let me know if something was seriously wrong. I asked for guidance. It felt different from anything I had ever felt before. I knew I was really sick. I just didn't know if I needed treatment.

I got on the internet and started typing in my symptoms. I used the symptom checker at the Meningitis was the first cause listed. I didn't have any idea what it was. My symptoms seemed to be exact.

I prayed again. I didn't want to feel like a fool if I showed up at the ER and only had the FLU. I wasn't sure what was wrong.

As I prayed I had the distinct impression that it was not worth risking the health of the baby and to get myself to the ER. 

By this time the Tylenol had kicked in a little and it was 6 am. I decided to drive myself to the ER (small town, only a few blocks away but still stupid in hindsight). When I got there I told them that I thought I had meningitis and I needed a spinal tap.

When the Dr. came into the room he told me...

"Having meningitis is like winning the lottery. 
It Doesn't happen that often, but when it does it is big."

 He told me my chances of having meningitis were small and that he didn't think I needed a spinal. 

I can only thank the Holy Ghost for confirming to me at that point that I needed to have a spinal. I told the doctor that I wanted to have the spinal and he agreed.

( I will just throw in here that having a spinal while being pregnant with meningitis was one of the most painful experiences of my life.)

Within an hour I had the results that I did in fact have meningitis. I was admitted into the hospital immediately.

It took 48 hours to confirm that I had viral meningitis and not bacterial, but my five day stay in the hospital was the best thing for me. I was so sick. Shaking, puking, stiff, weak, freezing, headache from HELL. It took almost a month for me to regain my strength to even be able to walk around my house. I thank my Heavenly Father for guiding me safely through it.

Please familiarize yourself with the symptoms so that if you or one of your children ever have them, you will recognize them. It could save lives.

I am so, so, so sad for this poor family.


Ashley said...

Thank so much for sharing this and helping educate people. I had a classmate in highschool pass away from bacterial meningitis. By the time they caught it,it was too late. I knew nothing of it up until that point.

Yatta said...

This is so very very sad. How terrible and just before Christmas. And for you, I can't imagine going through that and pregnant at the same time. I thank and commend you for your finding Christ in Christmas campaign. There has been so many tragic things happening I don't know how people don't go crazy when they don't know Jesus. I am grabbing your button, following you and spreading the word. I'm visiting from MBC and the finding new friends weekend blog hop. God bless!

Blyro's Books said...

That is so sad. Also, thanks for sharing this info. I'd remember this especially this cold season.

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Wendy said...

Greg's death is tragic. Very, very tragic. Who knew that meningitis could rage so quickly? Thanks for the info. Pam, his mother, said in the paper that even though it will be a sad Christmas for them, it will be happy for the family's that received his organs. Even in their tragedy they are looking for Christ.

Curls said...

Is there a vaccine for both? I remember being vaccinated for meningitis before going to University, but I can't remember if it's just one and not the other.

I think this post is a great example of how prayer and the holy ghost are literal life savers.

Montalvo Country said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am a bacterial meningitis survivor and can attest to the extreme pain, as well. 11 years later I still have side effects, but I know I am extremely lucky to have survived.
I'm so glad you and your baby made it through such an awful ordeal!!!

Visit my blog:

Tiffany said...

I am so glad you were your own medical advocate and that you followed promptings.

Michelle said...

Oh my gosh Erin! So glad that you listened to spirit and got the help that you needed. My brother was 7 months old when he got bacterial meningitis and luckily he survived. It left his profoundly deaf and with a severe seizure disorder. Scary stuff! So sad about the man that died...

My House, My Garden said...

I contracted bacterial meningitis five years ago through my epidural needle after giving birth to my daughter. The night before I was to leave the hospital I mentioned to the nurse (thank God!) that I had a headache. After testing confirmed that I had meningitis and a staph infection on my back where the needle was inserted into my spine, I stayed in two different hospitals for almost a month. I always always try to get the word out on the symptoms meningitis.
I am so sad and sorry for the passing of your friend.

My House, My Garden said...

Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog!
I just had to write back and tell you that my husband and daughter never left the hospital until I was able to come home. I was in awe of my husbands devotion. Merry Christmas !