I have had a headache the past few days. It’s probably a headache like anyone gets: not enough water, not enough sleep, too much coffee. But for me, even the smallest headache sends me to a place of doctors and needles and ice packs on my neck. An excruciating throb at the base of the skull is a tell-tale sign of meningitis. Ever since I had it last summer, headaches have become a bigger part of my life. I don’t think I get them any more often than I did before I got sick, I think they just hurt worse when I do and they seem to settle in the same place where the headache that sent me to the hospital did.
Mostly though, they freak me out. I try to convince myself that I’m not getting ill again. It’s extremely rare for someone to get meningitis twice. (I cannot count the number of times I’ve said that sentence to myself over the past few months.) I tell myself I’m much healthier, that I know what to look for if meningitis came calling again and that if I did get it again, I know where to go and that the doctors and nurses there will take care of me. I take ibuprofen, I go to yoga, I run if I can stand the pounding. These things ease the pain and tension but nothing helps the hard-wired fear. Read More »