About career, faith and a miracle: my Christmas story

Mar 8, 2016
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AstroSam
#1
Christmas is approaching - the best time to tell a little Christmas story. My Christmas story.

As some of you know, I haven't been here in the forums for a few months. This is the story:

It all started in 2011. I was on my way full throttle into the upper career spheres, all machines full ahead with afterburner. I had successfully completed my first marketing degree and was internationally active as a partner manager and contract manager on behalf of one of our biggest and most interesting customers.

One night, at 11 p.m., when I was arguing with colleagues about the contents of a framework agreement, or perhaps better: intensively discussing it, I was suddenly shown the red card by my body out of the blue: tinnitus on the left side and hearing loss.

"Overworked, burnout," was the diagnosis. I got my first infusions of cortisone, and it was the beginning of a very long road that should cost me a lot of money and even more energy. Cortisone, that is the only thing that is paid by our health system aka health insurance companies, because it is proven to be the only thing that helps against tinnitus and hearing loss. We don't even want to talk about the side effects of this stuff…

The tinnitus went away - but the hearing loss remained and was slowly but steadily getting worse. The doctors didn't worry about it. "Age-related, that's how it is, there's nothing you can do about it," was the diagnosis.

My career was over for the time being, flight of fancy ad acta, I had gone into descent. I was now "Service Manager" and took care of the day-to-day business; executive senior career adé.
Of course, I did not accept it: every year I invested several thousand euros, went to alternative practitioners, physiotherapists, homeopaths and ostheopaths. Everyone knew what I was missing, everyone gave me plenty - and took plenty; especially money. But nobody could help me.

In 2014, three years later, I received my first hearing aid.

“Age-related hearing loss, nothing can be done”...

Slowly I accepted the situation, stopped fighting against it. I began and concentrated on my career again. So, question was: how could I start again, ignite the “afterburner” and become a leader? Clearly: a postgraduate course, this time in business administration, working harder than the others, setting and pursuing my goals bitingly. In between over the next years I had further hearing losses on the left, but I didn't care any more: hospital, cortisone, continuing.

“It's age-related, there's nothing you can do.”

Two years later I had my diploma with A-degree in my pocket, I talked to a competition company about taking over the management - when my body ignited level 2 and suddenly I could not hear anything left-sided despite hearing aid, accompanied by an inhuman tinnitus. Again I ended up in hospital ("age-related", "too much stress") and suddenly found myself on the career sidetrack. It was also the time, it was the year 2016, when my Otolaryngologic (doctor for ear, nose and throat) told me in confidence that he was at his wits end and that I should seek help in a special clinic. There are several of them in Germany.

I decided, fate set its course imperceptibly for the "German Hearing Center" in Hanover. My first visit there was...a revelation? A blessing? I cannot describe it. But I had the feeling that the first time since 2011 someone took me seriously. After many examinations, the senior doctor told me: "It is strange, very unusual. I'm just telling you at the moment: it's not age-related and it's not psychological. I can't tell what it is yet. So we can only wait and see."
Of course that wasn't really satisfying either. But if you are told for five years incessantly that you are weak and no longer useful for anything, then it is like a liberation blow.

From then on I regularly visited the German Hearing Center every six months, but unfortunately my episodes of hearing loss and tinnitus also became more regular. Looking on to my career – well, there wasn’t anything like that anymore. I had been degraded to the extreme and filed. Every day. Filing. Five days a week, eight hours a day. Files, files, files and dust. Or literally said: Hell on earth for someone like me. But I also tried to do that as structured and reliable as possible.

It was January 2017, when I woke up one Saturday morning. Suddenly a tinnitus got loose in my left ear, as if the horn of a huge container ship was roaring in my head. Again I ended up in hospital, again there was cortisone. Meanwhile I had been taking cortisone in tablet form 20 mg a day for a year - it should not be the end yet.

From then on it went downhill month after month: first every month or two, then every two weeks from August. In the local hospital I was sent to the psychiatric ward with the comment: "Everything is just imagination, you have nothing, go to the psychiatric ward". If I hadn't walked around with the statement of the German Hearing Center ("it can't be anything psychical - we just haven't found it yet")…I would have believed it.

From October on I had said hearing impairments and tinnitus episodes daily.

Daily!

This immense burden is hard to imagine. On the one hand privately, because the family is nervously broken. Personally and mentally, because you can't find any fulfillment in your job anymore (files!!). Nervous, because sleep is no longer to be thought of, because every evening, sometimes even during the day, the tinnitus aka ship's horn went off.
In addition to 60 mg cortisone, I took beta blockers, blood thinners and antidepressants to find something similar to sleep. To give you an idea: Depressive persons take 30 mg of the tablets I got - I took 60 mg... I listened to music on my "good" ear, the volume to 100% to have a counter-noise and to be able to switch off sometime by the “anaesthesia” of the drugs. Every - damn - day. A sheer inhuman burden.

I will never forget it, it was Friday, December 1, 2017, around 14.30 pm. I walked with the dog through the forest, and again my ear began to roar. It is hard for me to describe what happened then. It was as if a switch had flipped. Suddenly everything was clear to me and everything seemed so simple, so easy. I would take my life. I knew when and how, and I wasn't afraid anymore. A deep peace whether this final decision filled me and I went home smiling, facing death.

At home, family was still out, I put some logs of wood in the stove, went to the PC and – for whatever reason - checked my mails. I will never forget the surprise when I saw an e-mail from the senior doctor of the German Hearing Center. At 15:17 she had written that “unfortunately no letter could be written yet”, but she wanted to inform me in advance that something had been found: a "Schwannoma" (a benign tumor) near the auditory nerve.

I cried for an hour and many days afterwards…

That was certainly one of the best Christmas presents. I got a new life. By email.

The operation took place at the end of May this year, and the tumor was so large that it took almost 6 hours. Two holes had to be drilled through the skull and the cochlea had to be cut open and drilled to get the tumor out.



What do I want to tell you with this story? Well, for one, of course: don't give up, don't let others tell you what's wrong with you, because only you know yourselves best. "Psychologically ill" is so often diagnosed today for, in my opinion only one reason: it is simple, fast, can hardly be proven and can be settled quickly. Thus: look for other doctors, look for those who listen to you. They are rarely gemstones, but they do exist.

The other point is: I left the church a long time ago and in principle do not believe in God. Nevertheless...since this story, since this "Christmas miracle" I have got doubts. If the senior doctor hadn't written the mail, exactly at the moment when I had made my "final decision" - the letter would have come too late...

Who or what persuaded her to do so...?

There seems to be something that cannot be explained. Some call it fate, others God. Whatever name it may have - it protected me. And for that, for the grace, this miracle, I thank, every day.

Merry Christmas.
 

Radegast74

Grand Admiral
Oct 8, 2016
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Radegast74
#10
"Psychologically ill" is so often diagnosed today for, in my opinion only one reason: it is simple, fast, can hardly be proven and can be settled quickly. Thus: look for other doctors, look for those who listen to you. They are rarely gemstones, but they do exist.
^
Exactly what you said there!

I hope you are doing better! You left kind of on a "cliffhanger" I'm hoping you can let us know more about how your are doing now!
 

CosmicTrader

Grand Admiral
Officer
Oct 30, 2015
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CosmicTrader
#12
I was saddened by your story & elated at the same time for the powerful faith you had in yourself.
I am pleased that someone finally found rthe problem and that you are on the mend.

Excellent advise.

There seems to be something that cannot be explained. Some call it fate, others God. Whatever name it may have - it protected me. And for that, for the grace, this miracle, I thank, every day.
I remember it being written; "God (or Fate if you prefer) helps those that help themselves."

A Very Happy Holiday Seson to you & your family and the Happiest of New Years.
 
Mar 8, 2016
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AstroSam
#15
While it saddens me that it took so long to diagnose, I am glad that you seem to be fully in the mend. I hope that your holiday is safe and happy, and that the new year brings you peace and happiness
My heartfelt thanks, Thalstan

Sam, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this with us. You have no idea how much your courage to share your story can help and even inspire others among us, and that may just be the most valuable gift that anyone can give, Christmas or not.
Merry Christmas.
Thank you, Vavrik, Merry Christmas

^
Exactly what you said there!

I hope you are doing better! You left kind of on a "cliffhanger" I'm hoping you can let us know more about how your are doing now!
Haha, I thought this was the good ending instead of a cliffhanger 😉I will write the "epilog" middle of the next year, because the healing process still continues. For a little bit of further information see right below 😊

Thank you so much for sharing this! I mean, my first reaction after reading this was (excuse my language) "Fuck yeah!".
Hahaha, that's how I felt after the surgery. Then the medication decreased and I had to realize that I would need a lot more, especially time. With the surgery on my head and ear, any sense of balance was gone, the world turned and turned and turned and I threw up for 12 hours.
Then I had to learn to walk(!) from scratch.
And then I had to learn that I couldn't work again right away.
It was only in the following months that I realized how serious all this really was. I will probably not be completely healed until the middle of next year. I am working on it.😉👍

I was saddened by your story & elated at the same time for the powerful faith you had in yourself.
I am pleased that someone finally found rthe problem and that you are on the mend.


Excellent advise.


I remember it being written; "God (or Fate if you prefer) helps those that help themselves."

A Very Happy Holiday Seson to you & your family and the Happiest of New Years.
Thank you so much, dear CosmicTrader. Its good to be back. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for you and your beloved ones, too

Like @Blind Owl, I'm thankful to god for that timely email; you're an awesome person and would've been sorely missed around this motley crew.
Motley Crew, haha, thanks a lot, dear Deroth 😄

Great news Sam! And thank God for the timely email. Keep us updated.

I've been absent for many a month also. I'll have to stop by the coffee shop sometime soon. ☕
Yay, looking very forward to it 🤗👍
 
Mar 8, 2016
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AstroSam
#19
Thank you for sharing that and great to see you back, I sure hope you're doing better now.
You've been missed CHEERS! : - D
Thank you very much, Mich Angel 😊

That's some heavy stuff to go through. Thank you for sharing this. Great to hear you are doing better!
Merry Christmas to you all!
Thanks a lot; a Happy Holiday Season! 🎁

the human story is always a powerful blend of pain, suffering, despair, hope, possibility, and love. I'm glad you could share yours with us.
Yeah, this was one example. 😌