Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Meningitis by Dan Wright

Welcome to Unwritten's part of the worldwide A-Z Blog Challenge!! Every day in April (except Sundays), we'll have a new post related to the letters of the alphabet from A-Z. Our theme here on Unwritten is "I Will Survive". I hope these stories will inspire and uplift you. Comments are VERY appreciated!

M is for Meningitis
Dan Wright

You know something guys, this is something that not a lot of people know about me but – I’m lucky to be here.

I’m not saying that purely because I’m a lucky person. I’m not the most popular, the richest or even the best writer (it’s true I know). I do consider myself a lucky person in the fact that I’ve had a pretty good life, but that’s not why I’m lucky to be here.

The reason I say I’m lucky to be here – is that I could have been dead at three months old had things gone differently.

I remember one time when my parents were over and we were having a general conversation, and they mentioned something about one of their friends being diagnosed with Meningitis – a potentially crippling and even fatal disease that affects the brain and the spinal cord. They then mentioned to me how I was affected by this when I was young – and explained to me about that awful moment.

At three months old, they couldn’t stop me crying and they didn’t know why. They phoned our local doctor, who apparently told them that he didn’t think we were the type of parents to panic – but this worried him and told us to go straight to the hospital. We did and they did some tests on me to find that I had Meningitis.

Now there are two types of Meningitis from what I understand it. Viral and Bacterial. The viral version is not nearly as bad... but the Bacterial version was serious and can cause damage. Early diagnostics from the doctors made them believe that it was the Bacterial type and they were at least 99% sure. I can only imagine the horror that my parents must have gone through when they heard this – even as my mum explained this to me, I could see the tears forming in her eyes.

Apparently, from what I read about the disease, Bacterial is not actually that uncommon for newborns to get. I do not want to go into great details about what this disease can do as I do not want to upset anyone reading this – but suffice to say I have seen some newborn affected by Bacterial Meningitis and it made me so sad, knowing that this could have been me. How could I have got this? The doctors say it could have come from anywhere, even just by pushing the pram up the street.

The hospital doctors said they would start the treatment as if it was Bacterial whilst doing a lumbar puncture to test which sort it was. Mum was not allowed to go into the room with me – seeing as having a needle pushed into my spine to draw out some fluid to test it. After hours of testing, the tests came back negative. I had the viral type. And whilst I was still very sick, it was not nearly as bad.

However, this would later go onto effect me later in life. At primary school, I was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome... a mild form of autism. This I think is the reason why I have such a low opinion of myself as I was always made to feel stupid just because I needed special assistance with everything.  I remember that there was a woman that looked after me, Mrs Turner her name was – she was wonderful. I would always go to her house to read stories, act them out to show I understood it, and I even wrote some stories myself (I think this is where I got into writing at first). Later in life, I think I have overcome my autism – though occasionally things can come back that flare it up. Whether I just get pissed off because I can’t do something simple, I get angry for no reason, or I just want to cry – there are times when I do feel down and depressed.

But then I remember, at least you’re here to complain about those things.

It could have gone wrong.

What if I HAD been infected with the Bacterial type? What would have happened? Would I have been dead, or maybe a brainless vegetable. Just by reading some of the things that Meningitis can do to you makes me think “That could have been me!” I count my blessings every day. And yet the doctors were so sure that it was the Bacterial type – they were so sure.

Call it divine intervention – or just dumb luck – but it could have gone a lot worse. Sometimes I think to myself “What have I really done with my life?” And yeah, I do occasionally get depressed and wonder what I’m doing on this Earth. And sometimes I have moaned that I never get any breaks.

But that’s not true. I did get a break.

It was called life.

And with the help of my friends and family, I’m still here today. I fought to overcome my problems and now I think I am stronger for it.

And that is why I consider myself a lucky to be here.

Thank you for letting have the moment to share.


Dan lives Canterbury, Kent, UK. A huge fan of both Fantasy and Manga, he has a style that combines both within his writing, which lets him tell stories that are both dramatic and tongue-in-cheek at the same time. He picked up a love of Fantasy stories after reading The Lord of the Rings, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and numerous Roald Dahl novels.

Dan also runs his own website, blog and a wiki page dedicated to the world of Draconica and also reviews books. He has also written a short comic book strip called Queller, which was published in an anthology for the comic Lighting Strike Presents... He is currently in the process of writing a script for a video game and has also been a judge for a book competition at his local school. When not writing, he plays guitar in a band called Rage of Silence. He likes all kinds of music – but has a taste for metal!

Authors who have inspired Dan are Douglas Adams, J.R.R Tolkien, Harlan Ellison, Alan Moore, Joss Whedon, H.P Lovecraft, George R.R Martin and Hiromu Arakawa.

Contact Dan via the following links:

WEBSITE & BLOG: www.pandragondan.co.uk
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright
TWITTER: @PandragonDan and @Draconicaseries
EMAIL: pandragonpublishing@gmail.com
WIKI PAGE: http://trappedondraconica.wikia.com

Also check out the TV Tropes pages of both Legacy of the Dragonkin and Trapped on Draconica by Brian Wilkerson!


1 comment:

  1. You are, indeed, lucky. I have been told that I almost died from severe pneumonia as an infant. I was never admitted to a hospital, but our family doctor made many housecalls to help me get through the disease. I don't remember any of it. But I have a deep respect for the diseases of infancy, so many can be fatal. Thanks for sharing your story.


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