Meningococcal disease survivor | Wisconsin
My name is Jaylene and I survived Meningoccal Meningitis. The day was August 25, 2005 and I had just got off from a long day at work. I was driving home and my back hurt, but I didn’t think anything of it. By the time I got home my head and neck hurt as well. I called my mom and told her about it; she told me to take some pain pills and go to sleep. I had been under a significant amount of stress and we thought it was just that. I woke up about 3 hours later and my legs hurt so I called my mom and I told her. She said that I should go to the hospital, and I refused, because I didn’t have Health Insurance. I went back to bed and woke up at about 1:00 am, and I couldn’t move my body. I called my mom and she came over to get me. I couldn’t walk out to the truck; my mom had to half carry- half drag me. During the drive to the hospital, I kept asking my mom if I was dying. We got to the emergency room and went right in. The doctor came in and asked us lots of questions and then left. I sat in there for 3 hours till he came back. They ran some tests, did a CT and a MRI and couldn’t find anything. They were going to send me home but my mom is a nurse and refused to let me go like this. Finally they thought it was my gall bladder, so they called for the surgeon to come down and were prepping me for surgery. Mind you the time that has lapsed is about 9 hours since I first got to the ER. I was in and out of consciousness and throwing up a lot. My mom said my blood pressure was dropping tremendously. My mom called my dad and my brother to come to the ER.
When the surgeon came down I had all these black and blue spots all over my body; it was then that they decided I had Toxic Shock Syndrome. My mom requested a new doctor and a new hospital. The new doctor came in and I asked him if I was going to die, and he said that I was a very sick little girl but he didn’t think I was going to die. My parents had decided to have me taken to the other hospital by helicopter vs. ambulance, so we waited till the personnel got there. When I left the ER to go to the helicopter my blood pressure was 34/20. I got to the hospital and the next thing I remember is waking up 13 days later from a coma. ALL of my organs had failed but my heart. I was on 24 hour dialysis for my kidneys. I was in the CCU for 17 days total till I got transferred to the dialysis unit. I had to have dialysis 3 times a week for 4 hours a time. I couldn’t walk on my own, starting first with a wheelchair and then with a walker. I had to learn how to walk and write all over again. My kidneys finally started working but my levels were still really high until one day I was able to go home. I was in the hospital for a month. I then was rehabilitating myself for the next 6 months. I have survived meningitis with all my appendages, but I have kidney failure. There was too much damage done to my kidneys for them to go back to normal. My kidneys are working at about 43% and I will have to have a transplant probably before I die. I have survived this but I didn’t do it alone. My family was a huge, huge help. My mom never left my side from the day she took me into the ER till the day we left the hospital. They had a doctors on-call room that my mom stayed in when I was transferred to the unit but while in CCU my mom slept on my bedrail, not wanting me to wake up alone when I did. My twin brother took off of work and stayed with me the whole time I was in CCU. My other brother came up every day. My oldest brother drove all night from Ohio to be here and stayed with me till I got to go home. My fiancee was with me everyday also. I had a huge amount of family and friends praying for my survival, and without them I wouldn’t be here today telling you my story.