Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Step back and laugh - Two weeks at home

Two weeks ago I came home after 10 months in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. It is a new experience for me to live in a wheel chair now. Sometimes people ask me how I handle all this stuff. I think there at least two important capabilities you should have.

Step back

If you have bad emotions, then you don’t have them, but you feel them, your are the bad feelings, your whole world is tumbling down, and you can only notice what is bad. OK, hopefully it’s not that bad with youWinking smile

I wonder how other people would describe someone who is in just a bad mood. Maybe they would talk about the face of that person, 149610_1518951089760_1113990931_31335251_3300947_nor about her body language, or the whole situation like from a bird’s view point flying above in quite a distance.

That’s actually one of the key techniques: to get some distance from one’s own situation and one owns emotions. If you make some distance you get a better overview. And if you don’t feel yourself in the bad situation, you feel your bad or sad emotions less strongly, so you can start feeling better, maybe a little bit better or perhaps – who knows – much better.


Now there comes the easy part: smile or laugh about something in your not so good situation. Maybe it doesn’t seem easy at the first moment, but as you got enough distance, you should be able to find something which is a little bit amusing, or maybe ironic, or maybe funny. A second of a smile might be enough to bring you in a better emotional state.

Of course these ways of behavior need some practice. But if you can apply them, they can be extremely powerful.

My time

When I came home, I had to get used to all my things at home and how to live now, but that was much easier than I expected. Well, we don’t talk about things like going to toilette or taking a shower, but most things are easy to handle.

More exciting were my trips to the town. Close to our apartment there is a good area for wheel chairs so I started my cardio training there. It was difficult. My body was not very fit, so I could not go far by wheel chair, I often had to make breaks.

Then we went to the first district, which was very interesting for me. It distracted me from all my other problems to see all the people there, it was quite crowded with tourists and rich shoppers. It seems to be more helpful for me to use such areas for cardio training than a simple way in a park or where ever.

I was wondering how people would behave to me, but all of them made room for me, which was quite nice, so I must say, it was easy to move in a crowd. I was a little bit scared in the beginning, so I watched myself virtually from above, watched me how I moved around the people, and it helped me quite well.

There is one very difficult thing for me: to drive over stairs or or borders of sidewalks. If I want to cross a street, I have to drive over two borders, so if the borders are small, I usually can handle this now, but not every time. If the borders are too big, I need help. The same with the underground train: is really difficult and sometimes dangerous to cross the gap between the train and the sidewalk. They did not take care of that here in Vienna, so it is quite bad for people in wheel chairs.

The best thing was that I could eat some Italian ice-cream in the first district again. That was good…

Currently I spend my time with doing a lot of organizational things, going to doctors, doing physical training, training with the wheel chair, and finally thinking and handling all the emotional stuff that happened in the last months. Much to do. Better to get some distance and have a good overview. And smile a little bit about all those crazy things.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today I came home

Today I finally came home after 10 months in hospitals and a rehabilitation center. I nearly died because of a disease called neuromyelitis optica. I can remember how I died, but that's a story for another blog post, I think.

I am writing this because actually it is easier to cope with something by writing about it than by talking about it.

And I found out that I learnt a lot about how to survive and to live well, so I have the hope I can share my experience and new knowledge with you.

Currently I am sitting in a wheel chair, I cannot move my legs yet. During the last months in the rehabilitation center I learnt how to handle the wheel chair. I am still not very good with it, but I am learning,

Another issue is my blood circulation which works best in the afternoon, but not in the morning.
And most of my muscles are gone due to the long bed time.
And the nerves in my arms and shoulder really hurt very much, which makes everything much harder.
And there are many other, more or less severe problems.

But today I came home to my beloved wife. It is a celebration day. We had a very a good dinner, we will rest soon, and maybe we go for some ice-cream then.
I love ice-cream.

It's important to do things you love to do...

Tomorrow will be a good day to think about my next steps and I will be happy to tell you more about some challenges and how to possibly master them.