I've been away from my blog for a little more than a week, because over the Memorial Day Weekend I was diagnosed with viral meningitis.
I was fortunate to be able to recognize my symptoms and get to the hospital fairly quickly, because approximately nine years ago I contracted viral meningitis and at the time, I just assumed that I had a migraine. I'm one of the lucky few who do not get headaches so I had no ability to differentiate between a migraine and meningitis. Because it took me a few days before seeking medical attention, my body was significantly weaker and my recovery was far slower.
What is Meningitis?
Meningitis is a relatively rare infection that affects the delicate membranes called meninges (men-in'-jeez). These membranes cover the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis used to occur most commonly in infants, but because a vaccine is now given to infants, this infection now occurs mainly in adults. Many forms of meningitis can be contagious among people in close contact.
Viral meningitis is more common than the bacterial form and generally but not always less serious. It can be triggered by a number of viruses, including several that can cause diarrhea. However, people with viral meningitis are much less likely to have permanent brain damage after the infection resolves.
Outbreaks of meningitis, particularly the bacterial form, are rare in the U.S. However, since the early 1990s outbreaks have been increasing for reasons not yet understood. Viral meningitis tends to be less severe, and most people recover completely. Fungal meningitis is the most rare form and generally occurs only in people with weak immune systems, such as people with AIDS.
Fortunately, I am finally on the mend - although I still tire very quickly and need to remain quiet. Today's blog entry was sort of a test to see if looking at a computer monitor and 'exercising' my brain by engaging in writing would lead to a headache or nausea. I'm glad to write that I still feel good (perhaps that is due to the Percoset, but I'd like to think this proves I'm definitely on the mend).
Much of the above information (and medical image) was found on Health Plan of NY. Thanks also to Seres Vivos website for the dog photo.