Eyecatcher For adolescents

17-year-old girl


I would like to tell you my story today. You can guess that it has a happy ending.

It was Easter 2010: I was riding a horse and it pushed me against a wall and somehow I fell badly to the ground. My hand hurt and swelled up. I thought it was just bruised but it didn’t get better. The pain didn’t diminish and the hand became quite sensitive to the touch. I couldn’t even hold my hand under flowing water anymore, as it burned hellishly. So we went to various doctors. Many doctors and many more opinions as to what it could be. The hand was bandaged, put in a plaster, the next doctor cut the plaster open again, bandaged again, etc. It didn’t get better.

But then all of a sudden the pain was gone. But unfortunately this lasted only four months. After that the pain returned and it limited my daily life hugely. One point is I couldn’t write with that hand (right: Yes, I’m right handed), couldn’t take a fork in the hand, and the other point is that in spite of pain medication (opiates among others) I still had a fair bit of pain. With the limited activities and many appointments with the various doctors, my school performance worsened. Meanwhile, I was going to physiotherapy daily, but it still didn’t really get better.

A very committed doctor advised me to go to the Children’s and Adolescents’ Clinic in Datteln. We hesitated since Datteln is about 400 km away from where we live. Nevertheless I decided to be treated as an inpatient there for four weeks in August 2011. And I am unbelievably glad I did that. It got better step by step there, and as I was discharged, I could write and wash my hair again without pain medication.  My daily life returned and the pain stayed away. Besides, I met many nice people during my stay with whom I still sometimes have contact.

After my stay in Datteln many people asked what helped: I don’t know. Nothing was done differently than before. But there were certainly some factors that contributed. But it also doesn’t matter, because I’m done with this chapter. I have now finished my Abitur and have my own horse. And I’m happy.

If I were to give anyone advice, it would be: Pay attention to your gut feeling! If you feel misunderstood, keep searching. Don’t let them get rid of you or call you a malingerer. And very important: Use your energy to fight your illness. Better times will come!

You might be wondering why no name is given in my text to my illness: I have accepted that there are things that don’t fit in cupboards. I see any way of characterizing my illness as just a cupboard.