I Have A Mystery Illness That I Think Is Meningitis

I am a 31 year old woman living in pain. I cannot sleep. I have lost 15 pounds in the last six months without even trying. I feel as if I'm on the verge of hospitalizaion either for the emotional distress I am in because of this illness or eventually from the illness. I feel crazy. Every few minutes I get shooting pains down my right side in my neck and shoulder. I have never experienced this kind of pain.

It started in February as a stiff neck with some cold-like symptoms. It continued for about a month and I just kept thinking I had slept wrong on my neck. I went to a physical therapist. I took ibuprofen. I got an MRI. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon because there seemed to be some abnormality in my rotator cuff. The surgeon was confident that the physical therapy was all I needed. After a few more months of physical therapy and numerous doctors visits to test for everything from syphilis to H. Pylori, the doctors kept sending me away to rest. On one particular visit, the doctor decided to test for mononucleosis. Apparently since the test was positive, they told me to go home and rest. I continued to get worse.

Two weeks after that diagnosis I was in so much pain I couldn't sleep at all. All I did was writhe in pain all the time. I was desperate. I wanted to die.

Through all of this, my roommate had a very similar condition. We both had numbness and tingling in our shoulder and arms. We both had severe pain in the neck and back. We both got steroid shots that didn't help. We were both miserable.

Eventually I got some mentonidazole, an anti-infective. I found out that they give it for joint infections and meningitis sometimes. I took it. Immediately, I started to feel better. I was overjoyed at getting my life back. I could do things like put away dishes and vacuum my living room again. I thought I was cured. After 21 days of the prescription, I was happy to be done with antibiotics because it gave me pretty severe headaches.. But within a week, all of my symptoms began to return.

The doctor I saw in the new town I moved to did not seem interested in finding the cause of my pain. He wanted to give me anti-depressants instead of testing for an infection and treating the cause. I can't believe I have to live like this. I hope they find a solution before I am permanently disabled. The pain gets worse each day, now. Pretty soon, it will be as bad as it was before the antibiotic.
tbritt tbritt
31-35, F
1 Response Jul 28, 2010

I had meningitis in 1996. You have to have a spinal tap to confirm if you have it. Did you have that done? You sound like you have fibromyalgia like I do. I go through all those symptoms you do. I found Wellbutin to be a miracle med for my situation. Its actually a antidepressant but used for fibromyalgia for some people. Some people use Cymbalta which is also a antidepressant for fibromaylgia. Discuss this with your Dr if you havent already. But I have horrible pain just like you describe if Im not on that med. Thought my life was over. Felt like I was 100 yrs old. Could barely walk. There isnt actually a test for fibromyalgia but you sound exactly like me. I have my life back with Wellbutrin. Good luck and keep me posted on things.