Recovering after the illness
Recently I was in the hospital for 8 days suffering with Sepsis Meningitis. The actual disease was diagnosed by a spinal tap after going for x-ray and catscan and ruling out other potential illnesses.
Even though the doctor was 80% sure that I was not suffering with Meningitis, his shock returning an hour after the spinal tap was written on his face.
He explained that they believed the Meningitis was secondary to something else in my body - possibly West Nile or Lymes Disease. As most people know I am an avid outdoors person and love to be spending my time out fishing and in the elements.
Unfortunately those elements were now my enemy. I have always been pretty good at making sure that I spray with bug spray and treat the outdoors with respect when it comes to realizing some of the potential dangers. However, we travelled to Orlando Florida mid-July and decided to go out fishing at this small pond.
When we were out fishing at the start of dusk I had experienced what I though was a small pick on the bottom of my leg. I thought it was just brush and noticed a small brown object had embedded in my leg. Immediately I was able to pull it out and threw it on the ground. I never thought of the possibility of a tick.
A couple days later we were packing up and heading home when I started to get sick. For the next 21 days I had a fever and thought that I had caught something from the air conditioning unit at the tradeshow.
I was extremely tired all of the time and even after the fever finally broke I was left with what the doctor diagnosed - severe laryngitis. Still through the month of August I suffered with tiredness and no voice so at the start of September I returned back to the doctor. She felt that this may not actually be laryngitis and started some testing.
Within a week I had a fever back and I was feeling extremely tired and had a headache. Back to the doctor I travelled for some new medication and an order to head to the hospital if my fever spiked over 101f. Two days later I felt that I was in trouble. My fever hit 102f and the headache and neckache were keeping me in constant pain.
Once they did the spinal and it was confirmed that I had contracted Sepsis Meningitis they moved quickly to find out what was going on. IV drugs and over 150 blood samples during my 8 day stay were part of my regiment. They put me into a private room, not because I was contagious but to protect me from anything else that may have been in the hospital since my immunity was in jeopardy.
I have suffered migraines in the past and knew that this headache did not mimic anything that I had felt before. The pain across the back of my neck was also something that I had not experienced in my lifetime.
I was treated with morphine every 2 hours for 7 days to deal with the pain and high levels of IV drugs.
Although I am on a road to recovery, we are still waiting for the final results of why I became so sick and hopefully can treat the underlying problems. Unfortunately I also picked up an infection from my IV in my left arm and had 14 days of trying to get rid of another problem.
More about Sepsis Meningitis
Meningococcal disease describes infections caused by the bacterium Neisseria Meningitidis (also termed meningococcus). It carries a high mortality rate if untreated. While best known as a cause of Meningitis, widespread blood infection (SEPSIS) is more damaging and dangerous. Meningitis and Meningococcemia are major causes of illness, death, and disability in both developed and under developed countries worldwide.
The disease's pathogenesis is not fully understood. The pathogen originates harmlessly in a large number of the general population, but thereafter can invade the blood stream and the brain, causing serious illness. Over the past few years, experts have made an intensive effort to understand specific aspects of meningococcal biology and host interactions, however the development of improved treatments and effective vaccines will depend on novel efforts by workers in many different fields.
The incidence of endemic meningococcal disease during the last 13 years ranges from 1 to 5 per 100,000 in developed countries, and from 10 to 25 per 100,000 in developing countries. During epidemics the incidence of meningococcal disease approaches 100 per 100,000. There are approximately 2,600 cases of bacterial meningitis per year in the United States, and on average 333,000 cases in developing countries. The case fatality rate ranges between 10 and 20 per cent.
While Meningococcal disease is not as contagious as the common cold (which is spread through casual contact), it can be transmitted through saliva and occasionally through close, prolonged general contact with an infected person.