Eyecatcher For adolescents

18-year-old young woman

I am now 18 years old. Most of my pain was in my hands and in the underarm area. At first I only had the pain in the right hand/right arm. The pain apparently stemmed from overexertion. But it didn’t go away. A doctor diagnosed tendonitis, so I started to wear a splint. After a few weeks during which I was always writing with the left hand at school, which wasn’t easy, I also started having pain in the left hand. From then on I wore splints on both hands. Then I saw a neurologist several times who couldn’t confirm any cause. Meanwhile it had gone so far that I couldn’t do any of my hobbies anymore (horseback riding, playing clarinet).

Finally I had my first appointment at the Children’s Clinic in Datteln and a few months later I was admitted as an inpatient. Other people, teachers and classmates were very understanding of my pain, even when it was diagnosed in the Children’s Clinic that my pain was psychosomatic. I was given more time or help from classmates for written assignments, for example. In physical education I was allowed to sit on the bench when I couldn’t do something because of my pain. I believe my parents suffered a lot with me and my siblings sometimes had more chores to do because of me.

I found my time in Datteln very positive. I got along very well with my roommates, I’m still often in touch with one of them, and I felt very well after I got used to being there.

With the help of a psychologist in Datteln I learned to think more positively and to have confidence in my ability to do things that I lacked confidence to do before my pain started. Slowly I learned to write again, to lift a mug with one hand (first empty, then full) and finally to hold/play the clarinet.

It helped me to leave my normal daily life and start again in an environment that strengthened me.

Today I have pain only very seldom, and then I think of Datteln and push the pain away, always think positively.

After I left Datteln I didn’t have to repeat a year. I finished real school and am now working towards doing my Abitur and an apprenticeship at a career college.