My life was normal for a 27 year old. I was a manager at a local salon and I
loved it. I was buying a house and had a new La Baron Convertible but in one
night my life was changed. I always thought bad things wouldnít happen to me
they only happen to other people. Boy was I wrong. In February of 2000 I was
hospitalized with pneumonia. My right lung had filled with fluid and had
collapsed. The doctors had to put a tube in my back to my lung to drain the
fluid. I was there for two weeks (15 days to be exact). While I was there I
had several C.A.T. scans. Thatís when the doctorís discovered a small lump in
my left breast. In November 2000, I went in for surgery to have it removed.
Everything seemed ok but two days later my life changed. My left ear started
hurting so I told my doctor and they told me it was an inner ear infection,
gave me medicine and sent me home. Then a few days later, at work, the pain
got worse. I called my dad and he came and got me. We went and ate at a
my brother worked at. I told them that my mouth, ear and neck was hurting and I couldnít eat. The next day I woke up dizzy, sick and in a lot of pain. I called my mom and she took me to the emergency room by this time I had great pain in my neck. I was nauseated and was unable to eat. I could not keep anything down. The right side of my face began to droop. My eyes were starting to look in opposite directions. They looked at them but that was it. They told me it was the flu and Bellís Palsy. Gave me medicine and sent me home. I went home and only got worse. My mom decided to stay with me for a few days. I became real sick. Couldnít keep anything down. Medicine, soup, water anything. I just slept. Even the lights started to bother me .My mom kept calling the doctorís office but they gave us something for nausea and made me an appointment a few days later. My mom said forget this and called 911 and I was rushed to the hospital. I was sent to a different hospital because that one was
full. I was admitted and then my head started hurting bad. Even Morphine couldnít help me. They did a spinal tap on me and then I was diagnosed with MRSA bacterial meningitis. They said it was the worst kind of meningitis. I became unable to swallow and was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. The doctors told my parents I was in extremely critical condition and they did not expect me to live. Pressure was building up in my head so a catheter was put in my skull to relieve the pressure. My Neurosurgeon said I had three abscesses at the base of my brain and surgery would not be considered except as a last resort. They said if I did survive, I would probably be paralyzed. A shunt had to be put in my head that would remain there permanently. I had several surgeries. I had a trachea, a central line and tubes in my mouth and nose.
I was in the ICU unit for over a month. I was unconscious the majority of the time. At one point the family was called in because I wasn't expected to live. I was put on a new and strong antibiotic which caused my kidneys to shut down. I was placed on dialysis until my kidneys started working again. I had two small strokes. I became deaf in my right ear which they said was probably permanent. My right eye developed an ulcer. The ulcer cleared up, but left permanent scar damage. I was unconscious most of the time. I remember getting in the ambulance the next thing I remember was waking up a few weeks later in a MRI tunnel. Talk about scary.
Slowly, and to the surprise of my doctors I began to improved. I was referred to in the hospital as the miracle lady. Prayer played a major part in my recovery. I had cards everywhere from my friends, family and my church family. I honestly believe if it werenít for prayer I wouldnít be here now. I got close to God through all of this. After all, He was the only one I could talk to.
After a few weeks I was moved to a regular room. I had not eaten since I had been in ICU so a feeding tube was put in. I was unable to eat, drink or talk for the entire time I was in the hospital. My mom had taught me the alphabet in sign language when I was little which came in handy. She was the only one I could communicate with.
In January I was moved to a rehab Hospital. I had to learn to do everything all over again. I could not even sit on the side of the bed. I was just like a new-born, a 27 year old newborn. I still had my memory though. Thank God it wasnít affected. After months of therapy I learned to talk, eat, and walk with aid.
After five months of being in the hospital I went home. I still have trouble writing and doing things that most people take for granted. I am in a wheelchair. I am learning to walk without the aid of a walker, get the feeling back in my left side and do the things I did before I got sick. I have problems with my speech still because the right side of my face and throat is paralyzed. We donít know if thatís permanent.
There are many like me some lost their legs or arms. Some even lost their lives. I host an online support group for meningitis survivors and/or their families. This group was started by a lady, name Frankie Milley, who lost her only son, Ryan, to meningitis a few years ago. She is a great help to me. Sometimes I feel like I couldn't have made it without her. I want to make more people aware of meningitis before it gets another life. I also want more meningitis survivors aware that they are not alone and we are there for them. I often ask God, Why me? Look at all the bad people in this world why did I get sick? Then I realize that because I got sick I have helped so many others. I turned a bad situation into something good. God never gives us more than we can handle. I will always remember that. I hope you will
Thanks for letting me share this. May God bless you.
Sherry Lynn (meningitis survivor)
Earth Bound Angel
Sherry and Frankie
Photo Album Below
marthavanhoose's Album: Sher's Birthday Party 2003
Click on the link above to view the 7 pictures in this album. As the recipient, you can download, re-share and order prints and merchandise containing these pictures. Please do not use the owner's pictures in an unexpected way.
Meningitis A Survivor's Story
Birthday July 25,2004