Eyecatcher For adolescents

17-year-old girl

My name is Caecilia and I’m 17 years old.

My headaches started four years ago on the left side at the temple. At first I only had pain occasionally, but then it became more frequent until finally it was constantly there. Then there were also arm and leg cramps, and later spasms in the arms.

I went to various doctors, such as a  pediatrician, orthopedist, ear, nose and throat specialist, eye doctor, dentist, neurologist, general practitioner, jaw orthopedist,  protestant church hospital, osteopath, chiropractor and so on...But none of these doctors was able to help me.

At first most of the doctors found me very interesting, since I was an “unusual” case that tested their specialist knowledge. A few times several doctors stood together around me and consulted each other, but nevertheless came to no conclusion. With time this led them to the opinion that I had no pain but just wanted attention.

However, my family, especially my mother, always stood behind me. She never stopped believing that I really had pain and was committed to preventing the doctors from simply giving up on me. Because of this, I have never felt left alone with my problem.

Daily life at home continued as normal. I haven’t told my friends anything of my pain for a long time, nor have I shown it to them. When they learned of it, they were very understanding and accepted my wish to continue being treated normally. The people at my school weren’t at all aware of the extent of my pain, which is why they weren’t very understanding of it.

A year ago I went into the Vestische Children’s and Adolescents’ Clinic in Datteln. I was immediately well accepted in the clinic. The nurses, doctors and psychologists took me seriously and believed me. The clinic gave me new hope that I would indeed be pain free sometime. Apart from this, I learned how to deal with my pain better. Since the pain therapy in Datteln I have weekly after-care therapy. My therapist helps me to use what I learned in Datteln and not to lose hope.

I am still not pain free, however my pain peaks are now less often. I manage to reduce my arm and leg pain to a minimum with the help of the techniques I learned in Datteln. The spasms are increasing, though. Nevertheless, outsiders only seldom notice that I’m a chronic pain patient.

A few things have changed since my stay in the clinic. The people at school now have more understanding for my situation. I continue with my hobbies and have even got my own team that I’m allowed to train in horseback vaulting. I will have finished my Abitur in a year and then I intend to go on to university. My pain doesn’t prevent me from living my life the way I want to. I’m still not pain free and I know that I have a ways to go yet, but I am optimistic that one day I’ll have no more pain.