Monday, September 23, 2013

Aseptic Meningitis

Last Monday I started my first of 14 IVIG treatments for epilepsy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The first treatment on Monday, despite being a little nervous, went off without a hitch. I felt a little tired but overall good. We went back for my second treatment on Tuesday and just after the treatment I started having a mild headache. Because headache was common with these treatments, I thought that it would pass but it did not. I woke up early Wednesday morning with shooting pains running from my eyes all the way to the back of my neck. I woke up Sara to let her know that this was happening and we called the ER to ask for advice on the situation and they said to come to the hospital immediately.

Minute by minute the pain got worse and by the time we reached the ER, I could barely walk or talk. The attending Neurologist said that it could be one of three types of Meningitis, Bacterial, Viral or Aseptic (meaning neither Bacterial or Viral). They gave me pain medication with no relief while they prepared for a lumbar puncture.

The doctors administered the LP (as they called it) but it took three punctures in my spine before they could reach any spinal fluid. I actually didn't mind this pain because the only thing I could think about was the pain in my head and neck. Once they got the fluid they needed they moved Sara and I to a secluded room in the ER just in case in was Bacterial Meningitis, because it's contagious. My sisters drove down as well and everyone had to wear protective masks around me.

They decided to admit me to the Neurology wing of the hospital because I was an Epilepsy patient with Meningitis. There they could keep better tabs on my readings and possible seizures. After 14 hours sitting in the ER I finally had a room. It was all very frustrating for me and my family, but we needed to know what was happening inside me.

They tests ran for two days before they ruled it Aseptic Meningitis due to the IVIG treatment. They said it's a rare occurence but could happen again. The next time, though, we'll know what it is and I probably won't have to be admitted.

We're still on for the next IVIG treatment but this time they're going to pre-medicate me and run the IVIG fluids slower, as to avoid any adverse reactions.

Today, I still have a pretty bad headache, but managed well with medication. What a week.

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