Just an update. I sure can't say "I'm all better", but I'm quite a bit better. It's been, let's see, 17 month now, and I function fairly well these days. It's still difficult to keep track of things, and let's just say 'making a mental note' to remember to do something is laughably useless! I don't consider myself handicapped, yet I sure have to make extra efforts to stay on top of things like that. Sticky notes are a godsend and my life is wallpapered with them. My ears still ring and it's actually a pretty good indicator of stress levels or an impending cold. (And actually I never get colds.....it automatically goes to bronchitis!) I still tire fairly easily, but I'm a bit more durable than a year ago for sure. Math remains a continuing problem for me. If I don't have enough fingers, it's off to the calculator. Thank heavens my iTouch (always in my pocket) has one! And it's not only math, but numbers in general, which is difficult because I work with addresses. But it seems to get a little better slowly over time. By the way, I also got an app for my iTouch, called 'Brain Wave' that plays 2 slightly differing tones, one in each ear, and as has a choice of 'cover sounds' (my favorite is Thunder Storm). There are settings to use for relaxation, stress relief, concentration, positive mood, deep sleep, etc, etc, etc. I use it often and found it a great help for headache relief (using stress relief setting).
And some interesting side notes: I happened to read an article about a study done concerning ibuprofen and inflammation (seeming to cause it in marathon runners who took it 'prophylactically' before races) in the NY Times. I mentioned it to one of my doctors, who (probably in exaperation) finally said that he takes much more ibuprofen on a daily basis than I did, so ibuprofen did NOT cause my meningitis. And yet I was getting more frequent headaches (and getting a little worried as I sure did not want another try at frying my brain with meningitis!). My type of meningitis seemed to act more like the viral type, and I'd read that some with the viral type get it over again, some many times! So I did my own little experiment and stopped using all NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, naprosen). I had some pretty severe headaches, including last fall on the day of my last visit with my neurologist (by then day 3 of the headache). And guess what? Slowly, they went away! I basically stopped having them! I've had none that last more than about an hour and are so very minor and don't even require me to take anything. Interesting! Right or wrong, (clinically proven or not) I guess I choose to think I should stay away from ibuprofen.
I guess what I'd like to say to everyone suffering and wondering, is that in my limited experience, my doctors (including my neurologist) seem to also have limited experience with meningitis, and even less experience with the aftermath. Understand it is a fairly rare thing to happen to a person. Expect your recovery to be slow. Look at me, I never was comatose, but still ended up damaged by the experience. If you were comatose, expect your recovery to be even more difficult. Do what you can to challenge and stimulate your mental processes, play memory games, do puzzles, etc. Use little tricks to assist you, write things down, (use internet resources for memory assist, as there are plenty of them!) Keep working at it and don't get discouraged. You may not return to 'perfect' but you can improve!