Eyecatcher For adolescents

14-year-old girl

My pain story

My name is Carolin and I’m 14 years old. My headaches began at the end of 2010. Just like that. We were jumping rope in physical education class and suddenly they were there. Headaches!

On a scale of 1 to 10 they were at 9 to 9.5. Always. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 30 days a month. Nothing helped. Not one single pain medication had any effect...and I had many. Then the doctor’s visits started. Ear, nose and throat, dentist, jaw orthopedist, ophthalmologist, osteopath, physiotherapist and then hospital. Complete blood count, EEG, lumbar puncture, CT of skull. Nothing. I was healthy, the doctors said.

And then my mother was told to withdraw and wait. They had now done everything and I was healthy. It was hinted that I was just imagining everything or wanted to achieve something with it. When I say I have a headache. They didn’t believe me.

One of the many doctors we saw gave us the tip about the pain clinic. We got an appointment and I was admitted as an inpatient for three weeks. Diagnosis: pain condition. The time in the pain clinic was actually just great. I was taken seriously, they believed me. Everyone was nice. Doctors, psychologists, nurses. The other kids also. I was no longer alone with my pain. I learned how to deal with the headaches in order to be rid of them at some point. Exercises were explained and shown to me that have helped me to make the pain move away from being the focal point of my life. It has become less and less important and doesn’t rule my life anymore. The activities together with the other kids also helped a lot. As I was discharged it was with one laughing and one crying eye, I certainly looked forward to being home but the time in the clinic was really nice.

At home I continued my exercises for a long time. The most important exercise for me was always “the quiet place” to which I withdrew in my thoughts, often also with the help of music. But many other kinds of distraction always helped me, too. And with time the headaches kept diminishing until they were completely gone.

My life is completely normal today. I go to school (8th year), meet friends and started to dance Hip Hop half a year ago. It’s exactly my thing. I often think back fondly of the time in the pain clinic. To all that I learned there, to the discussions with my psychologist, Mrs. Hartmann. Many of these things still help me in my daily life today. If I sometimes have stress or don’t feel so well. Still today, “the quiet place” is often a good way to tune out.