Meningitis was the better outcome!


You know your life has been through a fairly rough time when you are so unbelievably happy and relieved to be told that you have meningitis. Recent events really led me to reflect on where my life is at the moment, to think that I could be in a position where I’m so overcome with joy and relief to have a doctor tell me that I have meningitis! It’s a thinker.  

Meningitis isn’t exactly something you hear positive things about when you read about it, infact it’s a nasty life threatening disease. I’ll just rewind back to my blog at the end off March and I had mentioned that I had come down with facial shingles. It was the last week of March and the shingles took over my face, to say they were fairly sore would be an understatement, I’m actually still dealing with the pain from them now 6 weeks later.

It was after about a week when I could feel them beginning to get better, I was delighted to finally feel some relief from the agony, I just wasn’t expecting what was to follow next. I woke up one morning expecting to feel the pain continue to ease yet instead I woke up feeling absolutely horrific, and I had a load of new symptoms which concerned me so I dragged myself down to the GP who immediately sent me to A&E. Long story short it turns out I had gone from first having shingles to then having meningitis.

I really hate ending up back in hospital, I just can’t describe to the extreme level of how done I am with hospitals, and having to go through A&E really doesn’t help. I wasn’t at all concerned that it was cancer that had me in there, but along came one of the doctors on duty and after reading my symptoms that were noted in my file he seemed to suggest that I could be relapsing, as one of my symptoms was similar as to when I previously relapsed. Well my heart, I remember my breathing escalated very quickly, I literally put my hand on my heart as I lay there, looked over at my parents with a face glazed over with utter fear and thought to myself, if this is back I’m gone.

I really could have done without that. One of the things I have really had to be resilient about as best as possible over the course of the last year or so is that whenever I have pains in places that were similar to when I was ill or relapsing, I wanted to not let myself feel so anxious about them. I have had to learn to deal with them and create a new association of those pains simply being down to the effect the disease and treatment has had on my body, and to try my best not to associate them with the fear of it being a possible relapse, and it has taken a lot of time and a huge amount of effort to swing the association in the other direction! Needless to say it takes just one worrying look or comment from a doctor to very quickly throw me in to disarray, which is exactly what happened at that point.  

I was a week or so in hospital, but thankfully I’m now home recovering. Niamh and I were due to make our way to New York City last Friday for a much needed, well deserved break, a break I had been waiting a very long time for, a break I really needed, a break away Niamh needed, that our relationship really needed, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to recover in time. Niamh and I were looking forward to the sightseeing, the food, the shopping, the buzz, all that comes with New York, just to be away together and enjoying ourselves again because we don’t often get a good run, but it was not to be, however, we’ll make up for it. I really want to give her some sort of normality in our relationship but I haven’t been given much of a chance to provide that, I can only hope that now winter is over and we begin to approach the summer, we can begin to enjoy ourselves again and get back to a bit of normality.

I think I needed a good venting of my feelings towards the last month or two, being so sick, being back in hospital, the severe pain it has caused me. To be honest, the facial shingles have caused me so much pain that I don’t really feel like I have even had the opportunity to come to grips with the fact that I have had meningitis at all, although after recently meeting with my specialist she commented that I was “very sick” with a real tone of seriousness, and actually I think the severity of the situation did hit home with me judging by her facial expression and tone of voice when she said it, even my GP later admitted that he was very concerned that sepsis could have spread to my brain. All in all I count myself very lucky!

Oh the disappointment!

I’m so disappointed about missing the holiday as it was my chance to regenerate and reset myself, to just have a bit of fun and excitement, but that’s ok, we’ll go another time. I have missed nearly 6 weeks of work, the added pressure for me is that I get zero sick pay in my job, so I am stuck between needing to get back to work as soon as absolutely possible, but at the same time ensuring that I am well enough too. Thankfully it looks like I will be back to work next week, and I will finally get to return to full time hours like I was due to at the start of April. I have really missed running too, running is my way of clearing my head, it’s something that helps me both physically and mentally and it is what I love doing most, but I’ll get back to that too, slowly, all in good time.

I rue the fact that I wasn’t able to just move out of winter peacefully and continue what I would consider really positive progress on my end, but that’s just the way it is, it’s another set back but I’m getting over it. Perhaps I was naive to think that after 2 years I wouldn’t be dealing with repercussions like this, but maybe it’s a learning point for me to realise that the recovery may take a lot longer than I expected. I only need to briefly reflect on what my poor body has been through to make sure that I always keep that realisation in mind.

It’s time to move on

I sometimes wonder what else I can do apart from pick myself up and go again, it’s the only thing I am use to doing, and in contemplating that, I’m very thankful that’s it’s always my only focus, to just get back up and go again. 

I’m so thankful to be coming out of it, and we are now in to May, oh rejoice summer here I come! I’m done with venting,  it’s time to start looking forward again. As I’m starting to feel better I can sarcastically joke with Niamh that the positivity parade is making it’s way back around, I can start looking at the positives again. I will be back to work next week, and I am also back walking now a little bit which means in time I will also be back doing a bit of running, I can’t wait to be able to put on my running gear and go out for a little run. We are in to May now which means better weather going forward, mostly anyway, and the summer is coming which means more walking and of course outdoor activities (obviously including eating ice cream).

All roads lead to July 28th

Most importantly we are just 12 weeks away from my Never Give Up 5k/10k fun run and walk! 12 weeks! I have been planning this event in my head since I was first in hospital battling away, so it’s been a long time coming, and I can’t wait!

YES, you can walk the 5k, this event is for everyone, I have many people that will be walking the 5k, so please register (link below) and come along for a really fun morning, walk or run, just take part, and bring the kids. Help me support the fight against cancer. All proceeds are going to the Irish Cancer Society, so please spread the word to help me make this a success, and join me in celebrating what will also be my 2 year year anniversary of getting the all clear.

Thank you for reading, please share my story.

To follow me on Instagram search: PROBYC or Chris Proby

To follow me on Facebook search: NEVER GIVE UP

Don’t forget that I do post more regular smaller updates on my Facebook page, details below if you wish to follow the page.

The Never Give Up 5k/10k

Registration link for my event is below:

Never Give Up 5k/10k

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