Life After Meningitis– Fun First Days at Home
Leaving the hospital was a blessing and a curse. Luckily my mom stayed with us the first week or so at home. She made dinner, helped around the house, helped my son with homework. All things I wasn’t even aware were going on around me. The other grandparents would take my son to school and back. Since my mom was there, my husband also went back to work. Life went on!
The first day out of the hospital my mom and I would learn how to administer medicine and fluids through an IV PICC Line that I would have installed in my arm (an IV line that goes straight to the heart) for about a month.
The take away from my home care nurse was “Air in the PICC” was fatal – Pfft!!! I just went through hell and back.. I didn’t want to go there again.. Plus what they don’t tell you about Meningitis and other brain trauma is you have a heighten sense of paranoia. Telling me this little tidbit only made me more paranoid. I had to “feed” the PICC line about 4 times a day, it made me so overly cautious and paranoid about every teeny tiny bubble in the syringe and how much time I left the clip off.
I think the home care nurse thought I was a little crazy calling her at “Oh” dark thirty in the morning because I had a good size bubble in the syringe while I shot it. I didn’t realize the bubble until it went through the main clear tube millimeters from my body. All was fine, she had to convince me that shooting a bubble wasn’t going to kill me. It would take a lot more air than that. I went back to sleep and survived the night.
The drugs I was shooting in the PICC line were the blessing and the curse. The Blessing – they were a combination of antibiotics, blood thinners, and pain meds that was to help remove the rest of the infection while keeping me relatively pain free and able to sleep. And Sleep I did. .
Different times during the day I would shoot a round of antibiotics, blood thinners and what I called an allergy chaser – some kind of Benadryl concoction. – The combination kicked my ass.. While in the hospital they noticed I still had a mild reaction to the antibiotics. So this mixture including the Benadryl would bring on The Curse – Red irritated itching skin, dizziness, headache, extreme fatigue, among other new symptoms. I felt like my skin was burning off my body, but I was so fatigued that I slept, and slept and slept.. All day everyday… Only waking up long enough to shoot another round of allergy laden drugs in my system and maybe eating a bite or 2.
I tried to rent an On Demand movie to watch while I slept on the couch. Thinking I could do something productive. I barely remember the opening credits! I woke up to final credits asking me if I wanted to watch another movie. I still haven’t watch that damn movie – Michael Jackson’s This Is It!
A month went on and this was my existence. I lay on the couch asleep while the world went on without me. My body continued to fight an infection that didn’t want to go away.
Next, the PICC line was removed but many symptoms, and new symptoms now remain.