MY STORY: Misdiagnosed, mistreated and infected with Meningitis
I joined a popular high school on February of the year 2013. It was one of the most terrifying things I had ever gone through. I was used to being around my family and then came reporting date and I was left alone, around a bunch of strangers.
It was hard adapting to the lifestyle of a boarding school; waking up early in the morning, bathing with cold water and having to eat minimal amounts of food. What kept me going was the thought of finishing form four and never having to go back there again.
A few months after I joined form two, I had minor discomforts that saw me visit the school nurse. I was injected and given some tablets. I do not know what the injection was for or what the drug was.
Some weeks after this, I started experiencing a sensitive reaction to light. I thought that my reaction to light was from reading in the dark with a torch, so I dismissed it.
Soon after this, I developed a stiff neck. I couldn’t sleep or wake up easily and sometimes it was my painful neck . I went to the school nurse again but all she gave me were painkillers saying that I wasn’t sleeping in the right positions.
Eventually, I started having these migraines that were so intense, I went to my class teacher and begged her to call my father. The teacher dismissed me and told me to stop behaving like a baby and just go to the nurse for some more painkillers.
As the migraines got worse I kept on pestering the teacher but she kept telling me the same thing. I wondered why she couldn’t even make an effort to inform my parents when she could clearly see how I was suffering.
In our school, we didn’t have any mid-term breaks. Instead we had visiting days and open days. It was during our open day that I got to see my father. I ran to him and immediately started crying while telling him what had happened during the past few weeks; he was not pleased at all.
We didn’t even attend the student evaluation with the teachers, he took my hand and we headed straight to the administration block to look for my class teacher. There was a heated exchange between my father and the teacher. I am not proud of it, but my father even slapped the woman before taking me to his car and driving me to the hospital.
After a series of tests, I was found to have Meningitis. The doctor also told us it had become severe and that if it had been detected earlier, they would have been able to help me. That just made me cry even more, I didn’t know what to expect next but I already knew who to blame.
A short while after my diagnosis, I started losing my hearing which after a little online research I found out was one of the effects of Meningitis. It was hard for me to accept because it could have been avoided if my teacher had been a little bit compassionate.
I went from a life of total normalcy to having to wear a hearing aid, taking huge amounts of medication and having to learn sign language just in case I lose my hearing completely. My dad on the other hand is in the process of suing both my class teacher and the school – my teacher for incompetence and the school for the injection I received since apparently that was where all this started.
The story as told to Caroline Kagose of Content Production Media, a Nairobi based Media Company that creates content for print, online platforms, film and television.