Jump to content
  • Want to be a part of a supportive community? Join the H Opp community for free.

    Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

Viral Meningitis (A Very Serious Consequence of Herpes)

Recommended Posts

It's one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through. Is this a lesson, a consequence, or a test of faith? I feel much different. Parts of me are the same though. However, my mind is everywhere and nowhere all at once. The few thoughts at the end of the day, will I ever be me again? Can things be normal for me again? Would I overcome this or is this it for me? Meningitis is one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through. But could it also be a positive undertone here? Is there “Light at the end of the tunnel?”


April 2018, I was starting my first day at a new job. The night before, I had a headache as well as that morning. It was a stronger headache than I was used to but like any other headache I would get, I threw back two Advils and went on about my day. Hours into my day, into my training for the new job, I could feel the discomfort creeping back up. The pain was even worse, like I pissed it off or something. Six hours I spent at work that day, barely functioning, but trying to complete my training with everything I had. As soon as I clocked out, the tears came rushing down my face as I rushed back home. When I walked into the house, I fell to the ground clenching my head from all directions and crying, screaming really. My mom, lost and confused, oblivious to what was happening, helped me to my room where I layed down. I slept with a ice pack on my head for about an hour and a half before being taken to a hospital. The Nurse Practitioner kind of immediately had her suspicions about the cause of my pain. She performed the Lumbar Puncture and confirmed that is was Meningitis. I stayed in the hospital for seven days. Without really be sure of which type of meningitis I had without running all the necessary tests, the head doctor took precaution and treated me for both. I was confused and worried. I did not know when I got meningitis, how I got it, or where I got it from. I just wanted it gone, gone FOREVER! After the seven days I was released to go home. I was given a follow up appointment and my exit papers. However, it was immediately…. as soon as I stepped through my own front doors that the real problems set in.


After just one day I realized that my vision was clearly impaired. I was unable to focus or concentrate. I experienced restlessness at night but was also so tired, extremely fatigued even. What seemed like the worst part was my memory, which fades in and out. Time meshes together, going by in a single blink. Days are the same, wake up, lounge, eat, repeat. I have this constant terrible feeling that I found that in the medical world they classify as “derealization” or “depersonalization”, where one feels as if life is not real or that they are just going through the motions of life and really inserted into it and feeling as if anything they do does not matter. It’s hard wanting to be sociable but wanting my friends to know as less as possible. Anxiety continuously tearing my mind to shreds. The anxiety was so bad that I slept with my mom the first week and a half that I got back from the hospital because I would have a panic attack just lying in my own bed. I am immensely depressed every step of the way but trying so hard to be hopeful that it will get better. It has to get better, because who can live happily in this mental, emotional, and physical state?


I honestly felt like I could not talk to anyone, like no one understands. All I kept hearing was “maybe it is all in my head” or that I am “freaking myself out” but I am not. This is real. This is happening and I am feeling like I am losing my mind and every unique part of myself.


I did not find out much from my doctor other than the basic spiel about what Viral Meningitis was and the treatment for it. I also found out later on that I got it from having HSV2. No one prepared me for the diminishing after effects of the infection. They left it all up to me. After days of panicking and crying, I gave in. My mom kept urging me to call someone, so I called a random Meningitis hotline, where I spoke to a woman, the secretary or something like that, who came to be the pivotal point of this whole experience. She told me things that the doctors did not. Things about the emotional and mental impact that these viruses leave on a person. She told me stories of others that made me feel actually grateful that I wasn't physically impaired or worse. She also told me something that I always try to remember when I get discouraged. She said, “What you are experiencing is like something you would experience if you were flew head first out of a car windshield, you have dead brain cells and maybe even a brain injury, and you have to treat it as such.” She expressed to me that this is MY health and MY life and despite what some doctors say I have to keep fighting for it and searching for answers. I had to find out more about what this infection was, how I got it, and ultimately what I was experiencing post viral meningitis.


Beginning my research, I ran into all sorts of forums, discussions, success stories, and pleas for help. I was excited to see so many others experiencing the same symptoms I was and even having some of the same questions I did. However, I did not know whether to be joyful or saddened by some of the posts I read. One woman said it took her two years to even be able to function enough to reclaim her work life. With that, another woman said it only took 6+ months for her to recover. Another woman said to stay strong because she has recovered and there is “A light at the end of the tunnel” if you are patient. One person simply crushed any ounce of spirit I had by writing “Just learn to live with it and try to live life.” Well no, I refuse to just live with it. I want to be me again! I want to live my life as I once planned or thought I would. I want to be better.


You know, being a christian I thought a lot about my sin and the way I was living my life after coming out of the hospital. I know that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes everyday, but I can not help but realize that there is so much more positive I could be doing with my life. I am not living this life that God has blessed me with to its fullest potential. This sudden revelation was able to give me a bit of peace and encouragement about my situation.


With these new ideas and thoughts, I started my journey to find healing. Diet, exercise, cognitive and occupational therapy, psychologists, neurologists, and maybe even some medication I found are all possible routes to recovery and rebirth. However, I found that time, patience and support, were the most significant steps to rehabilitation. It may have not been what I wanted to hear at the moment, but it did restore my spirit and hope that I can will be able to live the life I had always dreamed of for myself. All I really needed was these tools, a strong support system, and God on my side.


A little over a month and I am still on the long journey of improvement, I really just started. In order to begin I needed to find my strength, hold on to my faith, and revive my optimism. There are resources and people to help, I just have to remain positive and want to work towards a better tomorrow. Previously, I began writing this for myself, like a reflective journal or diary of this experience to gain some sort of enlightenment, but after writing it I realized that I could inspire someone else. I am writing this to tell you, whoever you may be, although it may be difficult, try to remember who you were before the Meningitis. Although you might not completely become the person you once were, you might find that the person who comes out on the other side is even stronger and better than you ever were.


Link to comment

Hi there, first off sorry to hear you have been going through this. It sounds like you are finding ways to cope and find strength to move forward.


I'm responding because your situation kind of reminds me of a book I recently read and you might find it really helpful at this time. Its called "Superbetter" by Jane McGonigal. She's a gaming scientific researcher who suffered a brain injury that all but debilitated her and robbed her of her happiness and physical abilities for some time. She described the emotional and mental aftermath of her injury a lot like what you described. She started applying concepts from her research to make progress and heal herself and apparently her work resulted in an explosion of validated research and various approaches to deal with everything from head injuries, health issues, weight issues, to mental illness etc. She dubbed her approach "superbetter". It was a fascinating book full of good research as well as hundreds of practical ideas and steps to use. Apparently it has garnered a huge following and now there are "superbetter" websites and online support groups for just about every kind of condition under the sun. I have been meaning to post something about this book on this forum because I think the concepts could easily be applied by those struggling with H. I found the book incredibly helpful plus I was fascinated by all the scientific findings in it (I'm kinda a science nerd lol).


Another book I really recommend is Resilience by Eric Grietens. I'm a big believer in reaching for a book when struggling with something in life because there's such great information and writings out there and we don't always have money for therapists and if we are lucky enough to have supportive people in our lives- they aren't typically available 24/7!


Anyway, wishing you well in your recovery!


Link to comment



Hi! This is so super helpful! You should definitely share with everyone else. I am a nerd in all sorts of ways lol so I can relate and this could be great for me as well. I have been looking for many new and sometimes unconventional methods to help on this long journey to recovery, so this is perfect! Thanks a lot and I hope you have a great recovery as well. Good luck :)


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...