Today started badly for me. 4 hours sleep full of nightmares and the knowledge I wasn't meant to ring hospital until 11am or go in until visiting until 3pm. It really sucks. It's the worst treatment of relatives and friends I've ever known, and I knew my partner would have a hellish day.
I cried at school. My son's nursery teacher asked me how Dad was and did they know yet what it was? When I said "Meningitis" she had that horrified face that all parents and carers of small children especially have when they hear that word. I cried, I couldn't help it. The other parents there were lovely, but they too had that same horrified face. "He's loads better now, he really is, he's just terrified of hospitals and not coping with that very well". They didn't really hear me, they'd just heard the word Meningitis and their brains were still whirring around that.
One of the Mums walked with me home and we made light, saying how much better he was and laughing at him trying to come home. I joked that he could get the bus directly to our house and he'd probably turn up on the doorstep at 11 o clock with his drip stand. Then my phone rang and it was him (his ears must have been burning).
He told me he'd got dressed to leave again, and a Doctor had come and had a big chat with him. They'd found out that the second batch of results from the Lumbar Puncture wouldn't be through until Monday and everyone had realised he really wouldn't stay that long without a huge battle and a lot of upset. He'd struck up a compromise. As long as he stayed at least as healthy as he was at that moment he could go home once all of his IV antibiotics were finished. I had to be prepared to take him, and he needed to go back to hospital for check ups. Perfect.
I added a few more clauses - 1.You have to stay in bed as long as I tell you to 2.You aren't to go on your laptop for work AT ALL. 3.If you get hot or sick I will take you straight back and I don't want you to argue with me. He agreed.
Just after lunchtime, and almost exactly 48 hours after I'd taken him to the Walk In Centre, I drove to the Hospital to pick him up, ready to say 'no' if I didn't like what I found. I needn't have worried. He was sitting reading his Kindle like any normal well person. He wasn't hot or shaky and he was really alert - he spotted me instantly. I did check his discharge notes just to be sure, which was maybe a bit mean, but I wanted to let him know I'm taking no messing.
It was a lovely (and very scary) feeling driving him home and packing him off upstairs. I know I have back up from the hospital at any time if I need it, but he's so much happier and unless he's due painkillers, paracetamol to control his temperature (and with that the shaking), he's been really well. He will be on anti virals for the next 9 days, but the steroids and antibiotics are done with hopefully (during his stay he'd had Penicillin, Amoxycillin and Ceftriaxone), and he no longer feels he needs the anti-emetics. He's incredibly tired - he can only stay awake for about 3 hours at a time - sensitive to light and noise, and he still has an horrendous headache which will take a long time to go, but he is back.
The little boys and boy no.1 were delighted to see him home, and when the teenagers came in from school a real sense of relief went through everyone. It's quite hard for the little ones to understand he's still very poorly, but they're learning very quickly that shouting and screeching are not going to be tolerated at all at the moment.
We still have to wait until Monday for the rest of the results, but the hospital Consultants are confident he really does have a mix of both types of Meningitis, something which is apparently relatively common, and is usually fairly mild, he was just unlucky to develop such severe symptoms, but so, so lucky that he wasn't any worse.
The last 72 hours have been the worst roller-coaster I've ever been on. We all know that Meningitis arrives swiftly and without warning, but so much has happened in such a short space of time, I'm really glad I wrote it all down because looking back it's a blur. It feels Tuesday night and Wednesday morning must have been about 10 days ago. We're not entirely safe yet, but we're within sight of it.