{Our love story // part 3}

part one here // part two here


Nathan got sick {really sick} with bacterial meningitis and our lives were turned upside down...

Just in case you aren't familiar with bacterial meningitis...


What is bacterial meningitis?

Acute bacterial meningitis is the most common form of meningitis. Approximately 80 percent of all cases are acute bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can be life threatening. The infection can cause the tissues around the brain to swell. This in turn interferes with blood flow and can result in paralysis or even stroke.

What causes bacterial meningitis?

The bacteria most often responsible for bacterial meningitis are common in the environment and can also be found in your nose and respiratory system without causing any harm.
Sometimes meningitis occurs for no known reason. Other times it occurs after a head injury or after you have had an infection and your immune system is weakened.

What are the symptoms of bacterial meningitis?

You want to watch for high fever, headaches, and an inability to lower your chin to your chest due to stiffness in the neck.
In older children and adults, you may see confusion, irritability, increasing drowsiness. Seizures and stroke may occur.
In young children, the fever may cause vomiting and they may refuse to eat. Young children may become very irritable and cry. There may be seizures. Also, because the fluid around the skull may become blocked their heads may swell.
The onset of symptoms is fast, within 24 hours. If allowed to progress, you can die from bacterial meningitis.

How is bacterial meningitis treated?

Bacterial meningitis is treated with antibiotics. A general intravenous antibiotic with a corticosteroid to bring down the inflammation may be prescribed even before all the test results are in. When the specific bacteria are identified, your doctor may decide to change antibiotics. In addition to antibiotics, it will be important to replenish fluids lost from loss of appetite, sweating, vomiting and diarrhea.

Nathan started feeling pretty ill that next Thursday. He felt like he was getting the flu and was in bed that evening and all of Friday. Over the next 48 hours I didn't talk to him much and when I did I could tell how awful he was feeling. My heart was breaking for him and breaking that I wasn't there with him. When he wasn't sleeping he was getting sick. It was Friday night and I hadn't heard from anyone and was pretty worried. I went by his house and everyone was gone. All of the lights were on and it looked like they left in a hurry. I knew something was wrong and it was the worst feeling ever. I tried his dad's cell phone but didn't get in touch right away. A couple hours later I got a call that brought the worst news...

Nate had started throwing up 'black stuff' (which we later learned was dried blood) and his head and back were in so much excruciating pain that he couldn't even stand up straight so they took him to the ER. But the hospital they were at were transporting him by ambulance to another hospital because it was pretty serious. I left and headed straight there. It felt like hours before I saw anyone or heard anything. I did finally see his family, but had no news on confirmed news on Nathan. They suspected Bacterial Meningitis, but they were still running tests and were going to take a while. There was no chance of seeing Nathan any time soon {understandably}.

Even though every single ounce of me wanted to stay and wait it out, I did what I needed to do. I took home Nathan's younger brother so that his parents could talk to the doctors and do all that they needed to do. I left there so lost, confused and worried. My brother in law and I drove home in silence. I prayed and prayed the whole way home for God to save Nathan. I remember going home and crying my eyes out to my dad. I tried to hold it all in and to be strong for Nate's younger brother, but I couldn't. I just couldn't. I didn't sleep much that night and was back up at the hospital early the next morning.

The spinal tap (which still bothers him to this day) confirmed that Nathan did indeed have bacterial meningitis. He was then quarantined to a special ICU room that circulated clean air ever so often and we had to wear masks to even go in the room. He was highly contagious and his immune system was low and we didn't want to bring anything extra in to him. Social workers interviewed his family and me as well {protocol} to find out all of the places Nathan had been the last 10 days. They were surprised that I wasn't feeling ill since Nathan and I always shared drinks and such. They wrote all of us a prescription that we had to take for the next several days. 

The doctors told Nate's parents that it was a pretty bad case and that if he had gotten to the hospital just an hour or two later it could have been fatal. Thankfully the first hospital started him on an IV right away. We later learned that them starting those IV meds that minute and him being in such a great and athletic shape saved his life. So scary considering all of the symptoms start out like the flu. 

For the next 3 or so days Nathan mostly slept and was on a lot of medication. He was incoherent for the most part. His head was in so much pain that the only way he could find comfort was to sleep. He told us that it felt like someone was bashing him on the back of the head with a brick. 

Nathan's family and I spent every day at the hospital. I think visiting hours were hours were over at like 10 each night, but sometimes there would be an awesome nurse that let us stay later. Each day got a little better and he was awake more and talked a little more. They released him a week later and then he was on a home IV for another week. Even during that week at home he was in bed most of the time. We watched a lot of movies and played MLB baseball and just hung out.

Nathan had several side effects for a year or longer. He had a sensitivity to the sun {which he'd never had before}, headaches, back pain where they did the spinal tap and he also lost a lot of his muscle mass after being in bed for over 2 weeks straight. Once he started feeling better his Grandmother set us up with sessions with a physical therapist/trainer so that Nathan could build his strength back up. Slowly, he got back to where he was before.

Needless to say, this took our relationship to a whole other level. Sure, we talked about marriage and our future but never with a time frame. We knew that it would be in our near future and that we didn't want to live a day without each other. 

I am so thankful God saved this sweet man!!

Part four coming soon...

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19 comments

  1. Oh girl this story just gives me chills and having been through it myself makes it all the more real. Such a testimony that God had a plan for his life though. To be so close to death and survive just amazes me.

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  2. Oh i am so glad everything is ok! Yalls relationship is so inspiring!!

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  3. Wow, this is crazy! This made you guys so much stronger, and I am so glad that he was okay, I don't know what I would have done. I can't believe you have been together for almost 20 years! Can't wait to hear the rest.

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  4. Oh my word! I'm so glad this ended with a happy ending!

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  5. so scary! I had meningitis too and it was awful! I feel for you!

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  6. How scary! Meningitis is so scary. I am glad that this ends happy.

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  7. Omgosh so frightening!!! I would be so scared!
    So happy there's a happily ever after.
    Can't wait for part 4!! :))

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  8. I've loved reading your story! Can't wait for the next part. So thankful he recovered! I can't imagine how scary that was for all of you.

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  9. omg! Hope part 4 gets better! I imagine this was so scary!

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  10. So scary! I can only imagine what you, Nathan, and your families were experiencing during this time!

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  11. How scary, Crystal! God certainly put people in Nathan's way to take life-saving measures, praise for that. I can't wait for Part 4!

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  12. Oh my goodness! SO SCARY! I've heard of this before and heard of how horrible it is and how so many aren't so lucky. Someone was definitely looking out for Nathan! SO thankful he is ok!!!

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  13. When God has a plan, he has one. So thankful Nathan was spared and healed.

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  14. Oh my goodness, how terrifying! That is so crazy that an hour or two was difference between life and death. Yikes! I can see how this would definitely take your relationship to the next level. You're family is so amazing and I'm glad this has a happily ever after :)

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  15. oh my word, so scary! Praise the Lord everything worked out with timing the fluids and being in such great shape.

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  16. So scary! And so crazy how you can just get fatally sick like that out of nowhere, even someone young and healthy. That's definitely an eye opener. I'm so glad things worked out ok.

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  17. Amazing story! I'm ready to hear the rest of it!

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  18. Phew! What a story! I'm so glad he recovered. What a turning point for you two!

    Becky
    bybmg

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  19. God is so good! These stories are treasures. Thank you for sharing your lives with us on Tuesday Talk love stories. Such a testimony. Cherish your days together.

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Thanks for the comments! Hope you are having an amazing day!!