Saturday 21 July 2018

Meningitis - 5 years later...

Five years ago my partner was in bed unable to control his own temperature, stay awake more than about 30 minutes or concentrate on anything more complex than Storage Wars.

He was 10 days into his recovery from Meningitis, and I was attending my first ever Blogging Conference, leaving him in the care of Elspeth, who regularly presented him with fluids and medicines, took temperatures, and opened and closed his windows accordingly all day.

I had a broken toe that I'd smashed against the bed frame, so I was wearing flip flops (not actually a wise move. My toe set bent and I couldn't get shoes on until it was re-broken). I was so exhausted that when I caught the tram home I zoned out, came to and tried to get off the tram 2 stops after I'd got on, no-where near my home. But I had to go to the conference because I needed to take time off being nurse, and I had people to thank.

In the most terrifying hours, when he first became ill, it was bloggers on my screen who told me I was doing the right thing and soothed me and told me it was going to be okay. When I was all alone at night, in a house full of worried sleeping children, having left my incredibly sick partner in the care of the hospital and terrified he might die, it was bloggers who kept me company until I slept in the early hours, and who were there for me when I woke at 6am.

The blogging community is huge and inevitably there will be losses, but this week I have watched this group of people come together in a mutual horror and sadness over the sudden loss of one of the old school. One of the pillars who felt like she had always been there and we had every right to assume she would be there a long time yet. The sudden death of Kate, best known for WitWitWoo, is a blow indeed. I met her several times and in real life she was as big a personality as she was online. I was always in awe of her. Tall, always perfectly dressed, with amazing hair and just oozing confidence and sexiness. I wished I had the balls to be as confident as her.

This weekend hundreds of bloggers have donned their swimsuits and bikinis and enjoyed the sunshine with confidence - they've all been a bit more #witwitwoo and the smiles show they've all enjoyed it. They took their life back for themselves for a moment and to hell with anyone who didn't like it.

My partner is now 5 years into his recovery and we are realising now just how broken he is. He can control his temperature now, but he can't remember very much of the last 5 years. He is failing to make new long term memories and is very forgetful in everyday life. He has permanent pain in his hands and legs, and his extremities don't have as much sensation as they should. He walks with a limp and tires easily. But he is still here. We are in that respect lucky.

In the last 5 years we've had to race straight through hospital triage 2 more times with my partner as he experienced massive bleeding due to pretty impressive tonsilitis and also when he attempted to have a heart attack. I have my own issues with my intestines refusing to stay in the correct place and am facing my 3rd surgery to stuff them back. We also lost one of our teenagers, destroying everything we thought was true and everything we expected to happen, and placing us somewhere we never anticipated. We have all become far more aware of our own mortality.

Kate's legacy is a fabulous one, because we should all be able to find the courage to do those things we want to do without listening to the scorn of others. We should all be able to laugh at those who tut. We should all have the confidence to #bemorewitwitwoo

Life is short. You aren't going anywhere, you are already there. Don't wait for the right time for too long, because it may never come. Eat the cake, wear the swimsuit with a big grin, throw water balloons with the kids. Stop what you are doing and step outside and just shut your eyes and feel the world turn. Take joy wherever you find it. Live your life for now, don't save it for later.

My thoughts tonight are with Kate's boys, her family and friends, and also with Em of Snowing Indoors and her children, who lost their husband and father suddenly today. 
Love and strength to you all xx


  1. I can’t believe that was 5 years ago and I’m sorry to hear that the suffering isn’t over, that’s a lot of side effects to live with.

    I too will miss Kate I think it’s come as such a shock to so many of us bloggers because she was an old school blogger and so many of us knew her.

    Wishing you all the best for your next round of surgery - sounds painful!

    And thank you for mentioning Em, I’ve missed her blog since she stopped blogging and I’m really sad to hear what she’s going through.

    It’s tough to balance out all the sadness with the live life to the full mentality sometimes.

    Emma xx

  2. Sending love and hugs. It has been such a shock with the death of Kate, but lovely to see the blogging community come together. You have been through so much, more than people go through in a lifetime in such a few years. I think you are an inspiration as well as Kate. Hugs xx

    1. Oh bless you, thank you Susan - and thank you for being a person who ha always been there for me xx We really are due a quiet decade or two :D

  3. I saw one of my postings from when Euan and I both became ill, and I re-read the words he wrote to me. He helped pick me up, although we've only met the once I am glad that we are family. Love ya all

    1. I'm incredibly glad we are family. The Internet has a good side :) I'm more glad that at least we are all still here!!


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