At 19 I was very insecure and I put a lot of time into my looks. Before the autumn holidays 2003 everything went well. School was easy for me, I went to Tanz- und Theater AG every week and was satisfied with myself for the most part. But that changed when I woke up on Saturday, the first day of autumn holidays and couldn’t move my left half of my face. At first I didn’t know what was really going on. I was still half asleep, but when my grandmother saw it, we immediately went to the hospital. I can still remember how unpleasant it was to sit on the bus to Mainz. We could have also taken a taxi, but at that time we had the motto eyes closed and through, especially for me. To make matters worse, we were sent to another hospital. Arrived in the university hospital Mainz I was immediately taken in for 10 days. After one day with transfusions and cortisone I only wanted to go home. I felt sick and my depression started. But I stayed. My friends and family visited me but it was unpleasant for me.
The diagnosis was peripheral facial paresis, cause unknown but there was suspicion of a herpes virus. Due to the paralysis I had no taste on the left side of the tongue and eating was a problem anyway. In addition, I could not close my left eye. Especially great in windy autumn. But what bothered me the most was the optical side. My left half of the face hung down. I felt like a monster and not like a 19 year old girl anymore. I write consciously girls, because at that time I felt still for a long time nothing as woman.
Since I was still on vacation when I got out of the hospital, I hadn’t missed a thing. I went back to school after the holidays and was an absolute topic of conversation. I just wanted to sink. Because I wasn’t always nauseous anymore, but I had gained weight through the cortisone that I still had to take. Now I felt fat as well.
For everyone else, everything was quickly back to normal. Not for me yet. Because my face was still paralyzed except for miniature movements and the doctors could not tell me for sure if it will ever be normal again. And so my friends and family did not understand that even months later I still had to struggle with it. But I was in the middle of a depression, eyes closed and through. At some point I also believed the voices of the others, that I was just replacing myself. Because I was no better when I could move my face 4 months after the shock again as far as possible. I had no more desire on dance and theatre, however, have participated further, even if only half-heartedly. Almost a year later it led to me leaving Tanz AG after 7 years because I couldn’t do one dance. You have to know that at the beginning of every school year the new ones were sorted out. Who was good enough could stay. I did not know then that I was also tested, felt safe and did not give me enough trouble. After all, my paralysis had been behind me for a long time. No reason to be considerate. That I had a depression nobody wanted to accept and so correctly I did not understand it at that time also. The word depression never came up. I was simply lazy and demotivated. Don’t get in line. In the end I somehow stayed in the AG, but something was lost that day. Today I know that the AGs were my place of retreat, my anchor. But now I drifted without a stop in the sea. It still took a whole year until I was out of the low again.
The pictures were all taken before or after my facial paralysis. Meanwhile I did not want to have any photos taken of me. Until today I am afraid every time that it happens again if my ears hurt or the lymph nodes under it. The doctors said at that time that it is very rare that a person gets this disease twice in his life. But rare does not mean never.
Today I miss the years in the AGs and regret that I was 2 years of it not right with the head.