In November 2000, I started out with a headache and an ear ache. I thought it might have been a bad tooth. I then had great pain in my neck. I was nauseated and was unable to eat. I could not keep anything down. The right side of my face began to droop. I went to the doctor. He said I had Bell’s Palsy. I was given medication and sent home. The condition grew worse. Five days later, my mom called 911 and I was rushed to the hospital. I was diagnosed with meningitis. I became unable to swallow and was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The doctors told my parents I was in extremely critical condition and they did not expect me to live.
Pressure was building up in my head so a catheter was put in my skull to relieve the pressure. My neurosurgeon said I had two abscesses at the base of my brain and surgery would not be considered except as a last resort. They said if I did survive, I would probably be paralyzed. A shunt had to be put in my head that would remain there permanently. I had several surgeries. I had a trachea, a central line and tubes in my mouth and nose. I was in the ICU unit for over a month. I was unconscious the majority of the time. At one point the family was called in because I wasn’t expected to live. I was put on a new and strong antibiotic which caused my kidneys to shut down. I was placed on dialysis until my kidneys started working again. I had two small strokes. I became deaf in my right ear which they said was probably permanent. My right eye developed an ulcer. The ulcer cleared up, but left permanent scar damage.
Slowly, and to the surprise of my doctors I began to improve. I was referred to in the hospital as the miracle lady. Prayer played an major part in my recover. After a few weeks I was moved to a regular room. I had not eaten since I had been in ICU so a feeding tube was put in. I was unable to eat, drink or talk for the entire time I was in the hospital.
In January I was moved to a rehab hospital. I had to learn to do everything all over again. I could not even sit on the side of the bed. After months of therapy I learned to talk, eat, and walk with aid.
After five months of being in the hospital I am home. I still have therapist coming out to the house. I am still learning how to write and do things that most people take for granted. I am in a wheelchair. I am learning to walk without the aid of a walker, get the feeling back in my left side and do the things I did before I got sick.
The reason I wrote this is to tell people what meningitis can do because at the same time I got it several people in the Houston, Texas area died from it. Also, I want to let people know that the support and prayers of my family, friends, and church pulled me through. There is an immunization for this and everyone should be immunized for it. Maybe there is someone out there who has been, is going through this or something similar. Let them know that they’re not alone and that God cares.
Thank you very much,