Your never gonna keep me down

I got a good dose of strong medicine today for my eyes and my doctor did not even write the prescription.  RX-meeting my friends at a local German cafe and laughing so hard, "good" tears came to my eyes.  I have noticed myself walking around singing (sometimes too loud for the kids enjoyment) Chumbawumbu's song, "I get knocked down, but I get up again...you're never gonna keep me down"  Well my 'soon to be gone friend' (AKA-eye virus) heard me sing quite a few songs to him today as I hoped to knock him down to the point he will not be able to get up again...at least not near my eyes. 

For me, the hardest part of being so sick the past 5 weeks, was knowing that I was missing out on life and doing all of the fun things with my husband, children and friends here in Germany.  Now... I wake up every morning and feel like it is another Christmas morning with a big ole wrapped gift of  energy waiting for me.  

As a mother of two VERY energetic and mischievous children, I often long for a little quite time alone in my room.....Who knew I would be so happy to say goodbye to a quiet/dark room, overworn pajamas, and sunglasses that felt glued to my face 24/7.  Well, today I did just that..."I got up again" and pedaled my bike as fast I as I could, in a dress, with one eye functioning all while humming "Chariots of Fire" towards a great local cafe, Cantuccio (link to Cantuccio).   I am sure I was not the prettiest chicken with my droopy eyes, drool running down my face as the first bite of tomato salad and warm cheese hit my tongue all while snorting at my friends and their funny stories.

This 'Christmas morning', I was reminded how much I love living life, spending time with my husband and children, laughing with good friends and of course eating good food here in Germany.   Perhaps my "good tears"  will wash my disliked friend out of my eyes.  Maybe this virus did give me one Christmas gift...new eyes and a realization that I had begun to take the joys of life a bit for granted.  So now, as he begins swimming away in my tears of joy, I am singing the line from Garth's song, "Yes my life is better left to chance I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance".  I guess life has a way of teaching us all a lesson;it is up to us how "we get up again!"


Experiencing it all in Germany

 Before we moved to Germany, I made a promise to myself that I would see and do as much as possible while we lived abroad in an attempt to experience all Germany had to offer.  I am re-thinking that promise. 

Little did I know I would be experiencing a "highly contagious infectious disease that is notifiable in Germany" called "KERATOCONJUNCTIVITIS EPIDEMICA".  Yes, it originally tricked me into thinking it was an “American friend” meeting me in Washington wanting to travel back with me to experience Germany, but have now learned that it has an incubation time from 2 to 12 days and he wanted to go with me to the States. 

Well, this little “friend” of mine has not toured or experienced much of anything the past 5 weeks except the Ophthalmologist for scheduled measurements of my eye pressure and the nummuli on my corneas.  Because he is camping out on my corneas, he has not been able to read the guide books, watch German television or view much of anything that will add to his experiences.  He has listened to many hours of WebRadio, especially Amy’sFMVintage which I strongly recommend.  Link for "Amy's FM Vintage Radio"

Many of our friends and family asked for us to explain more about this UNWELCOME guest, which has been difficult as we are also trying to better understand him and his ways.  Now that the doctors have educated us, I can give you a better introduction……

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
  • EKC is an infection of the ocular surface caused by adenoviruses.
  • Persons with EKC suffer for three to six weeks from an intense foreign body sensation, pain, reduced visual acuity, and often a general feeling of being unwell.
  • EKC can be followed by the development of corneal opacities, called nummuli, which may persist for months.
  • Visual impairment can persist for months because of these nummuli and irregular astigmatism.
  • Highly resistant to environmental influences and can survive contact with many available types of disinfectant.
  • There are still no effective drug treatments for this disease.
  • 316 cases were diagnosed in Germany in the first 8 months of 2010, corresponding to a 300% increase above the typical figures for recent years.
My vision is still not great and viewing the computer monitor is still uncomfortable.  However, my determination is back in full force as I prepare for my next Ophthalmologist appointment.  OK--so it may take me 3 days to slowly write a post, or longer to even respond to an email, but everyday I fight to take back a little bit of my eyes and energy back from this little pest, knowing that in the next few weeks my vision and desire to experience everything (non-viral) that Germany has to offer will return.  


True Friends.... (Guest Writer: the Husband)

As most of you know, Kirstin has been laid up now for over two weeks with an extreme eye virus. She has been more or less contained to the dark bedroom in a lot of pain and not able to read, write, or do any of the usual things that we take for granted. Needless to say that I don't wish this on anyone and we're both counting the days until she is better. According to the doctors (we've been to 4 different ones including supposedly one of the best eye doctors in Germany), the virus takes at least 2 weeks to run it's course. Problem for Kirstin is that the virus started in her left eye and after two weeks it moved to the right eye. The left eye has started to get somewhat better so we're hoping the right one will start to show some promise in the next week.

As Kirstin has battled through her virus we have experienced another first as expats here in Germany. In the US we had a great support network of family and friends that was always available at moments notice in times of emergency. Over here we have had to come to rely on a new network of friends. Without them I'm not sure how we would have made it through the past couple of weeks and I want to take the opportunity to thank all of them.

Keep your fingers crossed and hopefully the real blog author will be back in full force next week...

About Me

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Stuttgart, Germany, Germany
We are living as non-military expats for a second time in Stuttgart Germany. The first time, we moved from Alabama to Stuttgart, Germany in December 2010 for three years and now are back after six years.. This is a great adventure for our whole family that we enjoy sharing.