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Das Verschwinden des Josef

by Olivier Guez

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29 Days Bad Gleichenberg

Sorry that it took me such a long time to get this entry up. I have been in some kind of mudhole ever since returning home. 😕 I did finally upload all of the photos that I took, they can all be looked at here. Prepare, there is little that I didnt take a photo of.

A day after I got back we went to see Prince Caspian in the cinema. There is a song that I found so fitting that I cant stop listening to it, The Call by Regina Spektor.

Just because everything´s changing, doest mean it´s never been this way before. All you can do is try to know who your friends are, as you head into war.

You come back when its over, no need to say Goodbye.

29 days bad Gleichenberg and this is how it was:

I didnt want to leave for Bad Gleichenberg because I was scared of so many things. I knew my not wanting to be touched and so on would most likely be causing troubles, and alone the medical exam in the beginning would have been reason enough for me to stay home. Little did I know. It would have helped immensly had I been told what to expect.

We left here late, I got there in the late afternoon, I missed my first few appointements because of it, I hated the hotel, the people, having to stay whereas my brother got to go home. After the informal meeting at another hotel, everyone stayed for dinner, I went to my room, cried my eyes out, and went to sleep shortly after 6.00 pm. I woke up the next day feeling a lot better though.

Thank goodness for my friends who kept me company by phone for hours and hours throughout the first few days and throughout my stay. Before the so much dreaded medical exam, I hang on the phone and almost got there late! 😛 The exam itself was harmless! Which just prooves that worrying beforehand is useless.

The exam consisted of three parts. First you got to talk to a dietician. She said that the status of the intestines mirror themselves on the skin and therefore we need to be really careful with what we put in. She pretty much crossed out all of the foods that I eat. According to her I should be eating meat and what do I know. I dont think so! She also told me that the body reacts without us noticing (so much to me thinking I am handling everything pretty well) and that I really need to “calm down”. The second part was having my blood pressure taken (harmless) and getting weighed (I refused). In the end I got to see one of the doctors. She practically just sat infront of her computer and asked a bunch of questions while she typed away. THAT WAS IT! What did I learn out of it: be careful with the information you give out. Because while I thought some of the people were doing small talk, they entered all of the information given into the computer.

Afterwards I got my therapy plan for the 4 weeks. Because I have Asthma on top of the skin thingie, I didnt have too much variation in therapies like the others who got massages, and water aerobic… all of the cool things really. I had the same three things over and over again. Breathing treatments and breathing exersizes for my Asthma, and Sole (Saltwater) baths, Uv Radiation and a special lotion for my skin. Additional, we all got to learn relexation techniques, once a week.

Breathing treatments were harmless. Boring because you sat 15 minutes and did nothing but inhale Sole. I do think it helped, at least while I was there. The breathing exersizes took about 25 minutes. We learned how to stretch our ribcage in various directions to be able to breathe better. It was odd, funny, rediculous and I just couldnt lay still which drove the therapists insane.

Now the thing I had not worried about turned out to be the thing that gave me the most problems. I dont know how I imagined my skin to be treated. I was so used to my dermatologist just looking at a bit of my arm, that I never imagined anyone doing anything else. I went to my first skin therapy appointement, and was told to undress. I remember I asked “undress how”. To which they chuckled and replied “naked just like God created you”. I cant be touched, let alone undress infront of people. They tried to tell me that all the kids refuse as well on their 1st day, and on their second they have no problem with it anymore. They just couldnt understand it. I, to this day, cant understand that I am the only person who had problems with it, but apparently I was.

In the end we found a strategy that worked both for me and for them. Instead of laying in the Sole bed butt naked, I got a coffeepot filled with it in the shower. I poured it over myself and rubbed it in. I then got bed sheets so I could cover myself up and head to the UV cabin. They stepped out of the room, while I got radiation. The lotions I applied myself. I hate myself for being so messed up. I think I could have gotten so much more out of it had I been able to cooperate. The one therapist said to me that she is working with skin patients for so long, that I at least should undress infront of her when I refuse to do it infront of the others, that she cant treat my skin when she isnt allowed to look at it. They do look at your skin really close, so they can treat whatever is going on. But because I kept refusing, they gave up in the end. And I hated myself even more, because I had put all of my hopes into this stay, and I totally blew it.

The dermatologist whom I got to see twice wasnt too happy with me either. He wanted us to undress as well. He said that he cant get an opinion of my skin by just looking at my arm. Which makes total sense of course. In my final exam with him I started to shake uncontrollable, the whole situation was incredible embarrassing. He was really nice, saying his wife is a therapist and I should do myself something good and go into therapy after this stay. I wanted to ask so many questions, but I was totally blown away and forgot to ask even one of them.

Other than that, the days were incredible long. You had treatment for an hour at most, and the rest of the day was off. It was exciting in the beginning, but with the start of week 2, it got harder and harder to kill time. The days just didnt want to end. I read 9 or 10 books, I knitted almost a complete cardigan, I watched a billion DVDs and walked around for hours and hours. At some point I joined the men when they went to get something to drink in the evenings. They were all really nice and we had a lot of fun. They pretty much always invited me, I rarely had to pay for my drinks myself. They were all good people and I do miss them, we promised each other we would see each other again in our next stay at Bad Gleichenberg, but the chances are very slim that we get to go at the same time again.

The 4 weeks were tough. I lost a bunch of weight which is proof of it. I met a lot of new people, all of them really nice. I know who my friends are. I know that there are a lot of good people out there. I learned that it is ok to accept help, even though I am at no point where I can accept it yet. I do know now that I am scared of my skin to clear up, because people could think I am well, when in reality I am not.

In my final medical exam the doctor was honestly shocked just by hearing that my parents had already passed away. She asked me how I would get on after this. I totally lied to her face. Why I have no idea and I regret it badly.

On my last morning the lady owner of the hotel came over and hugged me goodbye. I left there totally exstatic to finally be able to go home again…

It all feels like a dream already, I cant believe I was really there. 😡

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11 Responses to “29 Days Bad Gleichenberg”

  1. Reply to this comment
    6:15 am on August 10th, 2008

    Wow. I would be totally intimadatd by a place like that. I’m glad you sqeezed out some fun with the guys.

  2. Reply to this comment
    9:35 am on August 10th, 2008

    Regina Spektor has some amazing songs. Try Samson and Fidelity 🙂 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGTDRztaCCw , p62rfWxs6a8

    I know that it is easy to worry about things and then they usually turn out ok. I worry way too easily. But I am glad your friends kept your spirits up for the first few days.

    A shame that you couldn’t have massages and things, I can imagine treatment being a bit tedious because of that.

    Crumbs, I’d hate to strip in front of people. Don’t hate yourself for feeling like you did.

    *sends you some hugs*

    Hope you got my letter. 🙂

  3. Reply to this comment
    9:41 am on August 10th, 2008

    Hm, just reread my reply, and I can’t put into words what I want to say. Hmph. But I think you were incredibly brave for going there, you went beyond your comfort zone. To overcome your anxieties completely takes time and sometimes it is easy to have high expectations.

  4. Reply to this comment
    No Need To Say Goodbye
    3:24 pm on August 10th, 2008

    […] Original TigerHawk […]

  5. Reply to this comment
    4:38 pm on August 10th, 2008

    Hmmm – wahrscheinlich wirst du nach meinen Worten sauer sein – ich schreibe sie trotzdem.

    Du wirst doch wissen, warum du dich nicht ausziehen willst, du willst es nicht zugeben?
    Wenn du es wirklich nicht weisst, würde ich ev. ziemlich schnell noch mal ne richtige Therapie in Erwägung ziehen – nach all den Jahren HO weisst du ganz genau, dass verdrängen und verleugnen dir niemals helfen werden.

    Doch so lange du nicht wirklich willst und bereit bist, wirst du einfach so weiter schlittern – willst du das?

  6. Reply to this comment
    Connie AUSTRIA
    3:15 pm on August 11th, 2008

    Hallo liebe Me,
    Du hast das schön ausgedrückt, dass mit “immer weiterschlittern”. Wie oft ich noch anrennen muss bis auch ich merke das es so nicht weitergehen kann? Der Hautarzt hat auch gemeint, ich sollte Therapie machen um rauszufinden warum ich mich nicht ausziehen kann, und ich als Studentin sollt das sowieso am besten wissen. Ich weiss es natürlich… Ich will immer alles allein schaffen. Aber in Wirklichkeit verdräng ich wie ein Weltmeister. Mein Leben ist so verkorkst.

  7. Reply to this comment
    Connie AUSTRIA
    3:17 pm on August 11th, 2008

    Hey Nicki,
    Thank you. *hugs* I think it was really brave too. I am able to eat in public now, which I havent been able since a very long time. Baby steps I guess.
    I hope you are very well and enjoying your summer!
    😀 Connie

  8. Reply to this comment
    3:20 pm on August 11th, 2008

    Hello. Well, to get anywhere you need to take small steps – and any step is progress, right?
    I’m ok! Been watching the Olympics and not doing much else. 🙂

  9. Reply to this comment
    7:45 pm on August 11th, 2008

    Ich bin froh, dass du nicht böse bist – ich wusste nicht, ob ich es einfach so sagen durfte.
    Schau – ich bin ja schon ein Stückchen älter (nicht viel *GG*) – und ich brauchte auch ewig und eine Überdosis Benzos bis ich endlich anfing daran zu arbeiten – es tut noch immer weh – Therapie ist selten einfach – doch nach einigen Jahren habe ich tatsächlich einiges erreicht – das grösste Lob von meiner Psychiaterin vor ca. 3 Jahren: Sie haben schon so viel geschafft und ich dachte, sie wären therapieresistent.
    Ich hätte mir nur gewünscht, ich hätte schon viel früher angefangen und nicht so viele Jahre “verschwendet” – ich war halt einfach nicht bereit.
    Darum kann ich nicht still sein, wenn ich jemanden ähnliches (wenn auch andere Baustellen) erleben sehe…
    Ich schlittere auch heute noch oft in alte falsche Muster/Verknüpfungen – vor wenigen Wochen hat mich meine Mutter wg der Erbschaft von meinem Vater so blöd hingestellt, dass ich wohl nach Abschluss der Sache auch mit ihr den Kontakt abbrechen werde – dann wird es wie mit ihm sein – ich werde sie vielleicht vor ihrem Tod wieder sehen – ich will nicht jedes Mal 100 Schritte zurück sein, wenn ich sie nur gesehen habe *schulterzuck*
    Sie wirft mir Egoismus vor – ja stimmt – na und? Ich muss für mich schauen.

    Bleib dran – du kannst es! Baby steps ist der richtige Weg und plötzlich löst sich wieder ein Knoten 😉

    Alles Liebe

  10. Reply to this comment
    Websites tagged "techniques" on Postsaver
    6:14 am on August 15th, 2008

    […] – No Need To Say Goodbye saved by mobilehippie2008-08-10 – Working on “not having a car” techniques saved by […]

  11. Reply to this comment
    Dailylife @ turtelina.net
    2:58 pm on May 6th, 2012

    […] break for my skin and my soul”. I will make a photo entry one of these days, like I did with Bad Gleichenberg. Stay tuned. Ready for the next big adventure now. I put a wish in the Wailing Wall, I so much […]

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