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The challenges continue

Hello and welcome back to my 5th installment of my blog. If you are not familiar with my previous stories, I invite you to read my previous entires.

I had finished my spring 2000 semester successfully, both academically and also in many different personal ways. Strengthening my body and mind, figuring out my body and deal with an almost incapacitating hand issue and developing a new technique that let me play guitar in a new and very relaxed way. I was scheduled to undergo surgery as soon as I returned to Germany. Yes, I was scared but also relieved that this painful growth in my hand would be removed.

The surgery was successful but the surgeon had to remove more and reorganize my tendon shaft. This caused an inflammation on my tendons and I was ordered to rest from guitar playing for 6 weeks. I was very sad to learn about this as I had hoped to train and regain my normal hand functions but I was determined to heal and start new. Something else happened during this time as well, something very grave that I was not prepared for.

I had always been very close to my grandparents Joe and Inge. They were always there to help me and lead me to a life of music. I always spent a lot of time with my grandparents and I learnt so much from them. But while I was recovering from my hand surgery, my grandfather all of a sudden fell gravely ill and had to be rushed to the hospital. When I found out about his diagnosis, I was in shock. He was in the final stages of lung cancer. I couldn’t believe it. The man who always lived healthy, never smoked, was active and strong; a man who survived the war and survived the Russian POW prison camp in Siberia for 7 years, was falling apart right in front of my eyes. We decided to not tell him as it would have broken him and robbed him of his will to life and his strong self image. He passed away within 3 days and I was very lucky to have said good bye to him and see him for the last time.

I was so heart broken but I stayed strong. I had promised him to always be good and excel in what I do. The rest of the summer I spent with living up to my grandfathers wishes and be strong and work on my music. I managed to regain my hand strength again and after 8 weeks, I was ready to work again.

I left for Boston again to prepare myself again for the new semester and move into my new place.

My best friends and roommates Dimitrius and Felix are not only great friends but also amazing musicians and we had formed a deep friendship, like a 2nd family. We spent the remaining summer together and they helped me a lot with my grief that would sometimes over power me.

But the summer wasn’t over yet, one day I noticed that another growth had found its way into my hand; this time it was in the middle of my wrist, making bending or moving my fingers almost impossible. I completely freaked out! I thought all this was over…but it wasn’t. In an instant, I called my doctor and flew back. Surgery was scheduled the next day and this time it would be worse….the damage was far greater than anything I could have imagined. Nerve pain, inflammation and so much scar tissue that made moving my hand very painful. I knew it would be hard but I didn’t and couldn’t give up.

I worked through the pain, regaining control of my left hand and always figuring out a new way for me to play guitar. The fall 2000 semester had already begun but I was determined not to let me be scared….but I also kept it quiet. I didn’t want to have special treatment or thought of as weak. I know in hindsight that this was silly but I was so proud of being tough and also wanted to not appear imperfect. I thought I had to upkeep an image and reputation.

Little did I know that there would be more challenges and lessons to be learnt but this will be another entry for my blog…

This little song gives me always strength when I am lost…I hope you will enjoy it.

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

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