I just wanted to share my story with everybody because I’d like to raise some awareness for viral meningitis and meningitis in general.
Back story: I was induced with my little girl as she was measuring small, after a 6 hour labour and the cord wrapping around her neck and me being forced to push at 6cm – she made her dramatic entrance into the world! We had to stay at the hospital for 48hours afterwards just to check my medication hadn’t effected her and thankfully all was fine, we were finally allowed to bring our beautiful girl home
At 2 weeks old my little girls temperature started rising, I stripped her off and tried to keep her cool knowing I was unable to give her any medication due to her age, it kept rising. In the end her temperature had reached 39.2 and every time I moved her she cried in pain. I thought she may be constipated I also thought she may have had a virus. I have anxiety and every time I worry about myself or my kids people tell me I’m just being silly so I didn’t want to panic, it was my partner that told me to ring 111.
We were sent up to the walk in centre where we were told that she did have a viral infection and the only reason we were sent to hospital was because her temperature wasn’t coming down and the doctor wasn’t sure what we could give her. Once at the hospital they did a lumbar puncture (she slept through this) she had bloods and urine taken and her heart rate was double what it should be, she was put straight onto antibiotics through a drip!
We couldn’t hold her or cuddle her unless we were feeding her because it took 3 days for her temperature to come down and it wasn’t until the 4th day that she got the ‘meningitis rash’ and it wasn’t until the 5th day we were told she had viral meningitis, the doctor told us if we would have left it any longer she may not have pulled through, viral meningitis isn’t usually life threatening for adults or older kids but for a baby it can kill!
The point of my post is to tell you not to look for the ‘meningitis rash’ as a first sign but to always look out for a high temperature that won’t come down and if your child is in pain but you’re not sure where the pain is coming from!
Thankfully my little girl made a full recovery and was able to come home after 6 days at the hospital but unfortunately not all babies make a full recovery and may also contract sepsis so PLEASE don’t wait for the rash to appear and ALWAYS trust your instinct!
Written by Parice Stonelake