Mom wrote a poem called Meningitis recently and presented it at the TBS talent show. The poem describes in graphic detail her experience of my catching Meningitis when I was three years old. The coma. The burning to the touch. My body being kept on ice to bring down the temperature. My parents not being allowed to touch or hold me for days. The massive amounts of penicillin. The child across the hall who died (the most likely outcome) before I recovered.

I did recover. Though, as with some coma patients I had to relearn basic motor functions (at an accelerated pace). The doctors were concerned I was not talking. When I got home, I resumed talking like normal. A part of the story not in the poem is that I would point in the direction of our house with a frustrated expression. Since the room in the hospital faced such that I could see it, I didn’t understand at the time why I could not go home…. after all, I could see it.

I have mixed feelings about whether this is a private or open topic. Its deeply personal. However, at the same its somewhat abstract for me. Something that happened so long ago. I do not remember these events except as the stories other tell about me.

I am glad I survived. At the same time, when I think about the other families whose children who did not survive, I usually shed several tears. I could pass them in the street and not know who they are, but for some reason it pains me.

5 thoughts on “Meningitis”

  1. I’m really glad you shared this, Ez. I think it adds another dimension to your “persona” so to speak. Getting personal on a blog sometimes can really add a little extra something. Again, thanks for sharing, and I’m also very glad you recovered. I’d like to read your mom’s poem sometime!

  2. I didn’t know we shared this in common, Ez. I had spinal meningitis when I was three months old. They told my parents I most likely wouldn’t survive. Thanks for sharing this…

  3. I have watched children die before my eyes of this disease, helpless despite all the technology at my disposal, to spare their families that pain. Thank God we are gradually developing vaccines to the deadliest kinds, but meningitis still kills people. The loss of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. My parents also thought they were watching me die several times before I was 3years old, and my mother still shakes a bit when she describes those events over 30 years ago. What always amazes me is when I see parents who lose a child (as my friends recently did when they buried their premature daughter who lost her 9 week struggle to survive) and manage to be gracious, considerate, loving, purposeful, and even grateful in the wake of such a tragedy. I think I would be a puddle on the floor, unable to interact usefully or even think. I am not even a parent, and I can’t imagine surviving that kind of tragedy. God makes some of us of stronger stuff.

  4. Thanks, Lacey, George, and Atoosa. I do appreciate your empathy.

    Lacey: For too long, I have been self-moderating my posts. 🙂

    George: We are most definitely clones.

    Atoosa: When those close to me have passed away, I felt like I needed to be strong and support my family. Only, after, when everyone else was settled did I go away on my own a grieve.


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