Pierre-Philippe Coupard

I just visited your site for the first time. I thought I could contribute my story of how I came in contact with meningitis a long time ago.

I was 10 years old, and it was the day of my birthday.

My mom and dad had invited all my friends from the neighborhood to my birthday party. Apart from a distinct feeling that I was coming down with a cold, everything was going great, and we were having a lot of fun.

Later in the evening, for no apparent reasons, both my legs started to balloon out of proportion, and I started to vomit and run a high fever. My parents cut the party short and rushed me to the local hospital. I started to get very delirious because of the fever, and I don't remember much apart from a doctor coming toward me with a menacing-looking syringe (which was a lumbar puncture.) The results showed that I had caught viral meningitis, which is the "benign" form of meningitis. My parents told me later that I was basically knocked-out by the fever for the night and much of the next day, then my legs started to look more normal and the fever went down.

I got sick on Friday, and the next Tuesday I was back to school. Everything seemed okay to my parents, but since my fever had come down, I could hear a constant whistling noise, kind of like the noise of steam running down a high pressure pipe. I didn't understand what that noise was, and for many years, I never told anyone because I thought it was normal, but it really bothered me.

Then one day, I told a doctor who explained me it was called tinnitus, that the meningitis I had caught when I was a kid most likely damaged something in my hearing, and that there really isn't much I can do about it.

Well, today I'm 27, I still have a tremendous tinnitus, which means I'll probably never experience silence for the rest of my life, but psychologically I deal with it well enough that it's not an issue at all for most of my day, which is rather lucky I guess (many people with tinnitus end up very depressed, and some commit suicide to stop the noise). On the good side, recent hearing tests showed that, apart from the tinnitus, my hearing is exceptionally good, even better than a child's. So apart from a funny hearing, meningitis left me in one piece, therefore I count myself amongst the lucky few and enjoy life with a passion :-)

1 in 5
Individuals affected by Meningitis live with permanent damage
1.2 Million
People are affected by Meningitis globally

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