2 minute read:
Today is World Meningitis Day and although Brightkidz blogs are usually about promoting active travel, this week instead we are turning to our new apprentice Eryn to give you a blog with a more personal story. Over to you Eryn…
The theme for World Meningitis Day 2019 is Life After Meningitis.
Meningitis and septicaemia can strike in a matter of hours, but the after effects that follow can last a lifetime, whether it be to the individual or loved ones.
Meningitis can be life changing and can leave you with a variety of problems ranging from physical issues, such as epilepsy, paralysis, limb loss and organ damage, to emotional issues, such as depression, aggression, mood swings and general difficulty in expressing emotions.
However, some people are extremely lucky to get through meningitis and come out the other side scot free. I am a prime example.
When I was just an 8 month old baby, I was diagnosed with Meningococcal Septicaemia. I was very lucky that my mum, a nurse at the time, was off work that day so was able to notice the difference in my behaviour that a babysitter may not have straight away.
My mum’s initial thought was that I had been stung by a bee as I wasn’t putting weight on my right leg. She immediately took me to the medical centre to be checked over.
From the medical centre, we were sent straight over to the Royal Victoria Hospital with no hint as to what was wrong with me, just that it definitely wasn’t a bee sting and it definitely wasn’t good.
By the time we had reached the hospital, my right leg had turned purple and I was screaming and crying. The medical centre had already been on the phone to the hospital before we arrived so the doctors immediately began treating me for meningitis upon arrival.
I spent the following week in hospital with my parents by my side, being monitored to ensure I was responding well to the medicine I had been given.
I was very lucky to be the 1 in 10 who recovered from meningitis with zero life changing after effects and to have not lost my leg, or even worse, died from Meningococcal Septicaemia.
Know what to look for
Meningitis can affect anyone of any age and it is currently affecting more than 2.8 million people each year globally. Recognising the symptoms of meningitis and acting fast is crucial.
Symptoms can range from fever and headaches to vomiting and cold hands and feet. It is extremely important to get immediate medical attention at any sign of illness, and not to wait for a rash to appear.