Meningitis Again

It seems like maybe this is turning into an every six weeks sort of blog. As I settle into the routine of living in the same city, I find I have fewer things to write about and often less motivation to write. But the last few weeks have been somewhat eventful, so here we are.

It’s ironic that my last post focused so much on my fear surrounding past traumas, particularly meningitis. Because two weeks ago I found myself once again struggling in the throngs of that disease. Meningitis isn’t a very common illness. Most people will never experience its effects. Viral meningitis in particular isn’t usually very severe and is actually pretty hard to catch. And yet, somehow, I got it twice. Badly.

On the 8th, I got my bottom two wisdom teeth removed. I was terrified and didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I assumed the nausea and pain I felt in the aftermath was normal. But when four days had passed and I had a relentless headache and a painful, stiff neck, I knew something wasn’t right.

I have struggled often in the past several years with thinking the worse when I begin to get ill. A headache could be a brain tumor, dry skin is diabetes, and an aching neck is meningitis. I rely on the sound reasoning of friends to talk me off the ledge of hypochondria when simple symptoms take hold. But this time, my paranoia was on point.

A few days after getting ill, my darling roommates took me to the hospital, where they waited patiently with me for 8 hours before I was actually admitted. They held my hands as I received my third spinal tap, they replaced my ice packs and brought me water. They called the nurses when I couldn’t bear the pain, and they told me I was going to be OK and then stayed with me until I was.

I was in severe pain, I couldn’t eat, and I was on so many drugs I barely knew what day it was. But four days later I was released, and a week after that my symptoms had all but disappeared. And miraculously, I had not been overcome.

For years, meningitis was my worst nightmare. The thing that haunted me in good health and tormented me in illness. I had barely survived the first time and each illness since felt like the disease’s second chance. Nothing scared me more.

But then it happened. I got it again. It was awful. But then I got better. Two weeks instead of two months. I don’t yet have my energy back and I can’t do things like I used to, but I am fine. I’m not dying, I didn’t lose my sight or my motor functions. I was ill and I got better.

As it turns out, this sickness was much more terrifying in my imagination. In reality, it turned out to be not so bad. Don’t get my wrong, it was no picnic…I lost about 15 pounds over two weeks of not being able to eat and it’s been three weeks since I actually managed to get dressed. But I am OK. Meningitis came for me again, that sneaky bastard, but it didn’t win. And for that, I am so, so thankful.

I am spending my recovery in bed, looking for new jobs and watching everything Netflix and Hulu have to offer. It’s boring as all get out, but it’s not that bad. And soon, I imagine, I will be back to normal, running around in the perfect California sunshine once again. Til then, feel free to send your TV recommendations my way.



One thought on “Meningitis Again

  1. Had it once, but not anywhere near as bad as your version – and it was awful. I’m glad you’re recovering. As far as TV recommendations, I actually prefer to watch music on youtube; my favorite groups are all there and I can choose which live concerts to view. Obviously, there are ways to watch concerts on cable TV as well. Keep feeling better!


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