Today is World Meningitis Day. I found out, like I find out about most things these days, from Twitter, where I found a link to a moving post on Looking for Blue Sky. I couldn’t let the day pass without comment.
You see, Mr Boo’s health problems are only tangentially related to his premature birth at 29 weeks. He was born, so far as a baby born 11 weeks early can be, strong and healthy. And then at 3 days he contracted an infection and nearly died. You can read more about this horrible time here.
We still don’t know for certain that it was meningitis because the sample taken was contaminated, but we were told it was 99.9 per cent likely. That’s good enough for me.
We are lucky. Mr Boo survived, but not unscathed. Before he responded to treatment he suffered a bilateral IVH (brain bleed), which developed into PVL (death of white matter) and means he very likely has CP (cerebral palsy). He also has IS (infantile spasms, a form of epilepsy) caused by the damage. I live in a world of acronyms now.
We couldn’t have prevented Mr Boo’s meningitis. He couldn’t have been diagnosed or treated more quickly. But you might be able to spot meningitis in your child before the disease takes hold.
Please, please, please familiarise yourself with the symptoms of meningitis and trust your instincts if you are worried about a sick child. This is one of the many lessons I have learned since having Mr Boo.
Please look at the Menigitis UK website today and pass the link onto your friends. There’s lots of good information there and a helpful diagnostic video, too.
I am not writing this because someone asked me to. I am writing this beause we live with the consequences of menigitis daily. And I don’t want you to.