Part 1 Bacterial Pneumococcal Spinal Meningitis

Chart_of_Spinal Meningitis Symptoms

Bacterial Spinal meningitis has symptoms similar to a cold, flu, or upper respiratory infection. Misdiagnosis of spinal meningitis may have deadly consequences. College freshman that live in dormitories are three times more likely to catch #SpinalMeningitis than young adults in the general population. Since three out of five adolescents that survive meningitis have significant physical and mental disabilities. In short meningitis is extremely dangerous. So, know the symptoms of meningitis and consider the vaccination for meningitis.

Ten Signs of Spinal Meningitis
  • Spike in temperature
  • Severe headache
  • Vomiting and extreme nausea
  • Muscle pain
  • Stiff and sore neck
  • Exhaustion and Dizziness
  • Skin Rash
  • Seizures
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Young children may show signs as shown above, but they might moan, resist being held or a bulging of their soft spot.
Time for a Spinal Tap (Lumbar Puncture)?

Lumbar puncture also called a spinal tap

In a manner of hours meningitis and /or spinal meningitis can be deadly. Since it is better safe than sorry, visit your doctor immediately. Request a lumbar puncture/spinal tap. (A #SpinalTap tests the CSF cerebrospinal fluid and measures its pressure .) Furthermore if your doctor doesn’t think the test is necessary and you remain concerned then insist.

Sometimes a Mother Knows Best Trust your intuition if Spinal meningitis is possible graphic that says mom knows best

After a diagnosis of Otis media (earache) on March Friday the 13th 1998 and then over the weekend growing sicker, my temperature higher, my eyes more light sensitive (light hurt my eyes.), a stiff and sore neck and I vomited for 24 hours on Sunday. Then I became dehydrated.   By Monday I was dizzy, unable to walk on my own, vomiting anything that I ate or drank, and with a high temperature.  Additionally a second misdiagnosis of the flu, a phenergan shot to stop the nausea and a warning not to worry if I was “out of it” I went home. My mother’s intuition told her it wasn’t just the flu.

The doctor missed the classic symptoms of spinal meningitis. That night I was incoherent, barely conscious  and cried out whenever I was moved. When I couldn’t move one minute, mom left the room and after she returned I was standing and running into a wall again and again. She acted immediately and rushed me to a local emergency room.

Don’t Hesitate – Get to the Emergency Room ASAP

Possible spinal meningitis is an emergency

As Mom and Dad rushed me into the emergency a nurse said, “I hope it isn’t spinal meningitis.” As the spinal tap was done the spinal fluid pressure registered off the chart. I was transferred into the ICU Intensive Care Unit. Within an hour I was comatose. Later the test results showed I had bacterial pneumococcal spinal meningitis. The hospital had no neurologist or neurosurgeon on staff and they had no adequate way to monitor my ICP Intracranial pressure. They refused three requests for transfer to a hospital in Dallas. My condition worsened. My temperature spiked and I thrashed in the hospital bed. Consequently a nurse tied me down to stop me from injuring myself.


Spinal Meningitis & the Blood Brain Barrier

cerebrospinal fluid definitively tests for spinal meningitis

At sixteen I had broken my nose and the doctors believed that break provided the pathway the bacterial infection from my ear followed to my brain ten years later.  In other words, the fluid from my ear failed to drain and traveled the path of least resistance, crossed the blood-brain barrier and infected the meninges (brain lining). The CSF, cerebrospinal fluid contains few WBCs, white blood cells to fight infection in the spinal cord and an infection grows unchecked. Bacterial spinal meningitis is extremely dangerous, because of this. Early treatment is essential to prevent severe disability or death.




Visit The Quad Spot next week for Spinal Meningitis Part 2. Share your comments, questions and suggestions. I enjoy hearing from my blog readers.

Thanks and God bless you!