Sickness unto Death?

Posted: January 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Switzerland, Thoughts | 3 Comments »

Unto death? Not really, but if one has something that bothers the body one begins to wonder if it might me lethal.

Three weeks ago I astonishingly observed that a tingling, which started a few days beforehand, had grown into somewhat alarming numbness in feet and hands. The most alarming thing for me was that every day I had less strength in my muscles, starting from the legs but slowly taking over the whole body. I went to the doctor and she had no idea what it was, then I went to the hospital and they had to test me for a whole day to find out what I might have. They took water from my spine which should not hurt at all, but the lady seemed to do it for the first time and I was screaming and moaning like never before because she kept hitting some nerves and muscles inside my spine. At least the water gave them a hint what caused this strange symptoms. They guessed that I had something called Guillain-Barr syndrome (German) which was caused by a virus. They sent me home and told me to return if it got any worse and gave me some painkillers.

The next morning I woke up and realized that my face also started to get lame. It became hard for me to move the right side of the face. A bit alarmed, I called the hospital again, whereupon they invited me to return immediately. There some neurology (nerves) experts examined me again and decided that it would be better for me to stay in the hospital and begin with the treatment immediately. I found out that they did not treat me earlier because the medicine is very expensive and can give all kinds of side effects. The problem with the sickness is that it can rapidly advance and befall the muscles of the lungs and for that affect the breathing. So there I was a few hours later in the intensive care station with all kinds of surveillance equipment on my body and needles feeding treatments directly into the blood.

Finally I had some time to reflect of what was going on. I was loosing control over my body, thanks God I could still walk, but did not know for sure what I had and where it was going to lead. For some reason I felt serene and at peace. I remembered the last stroll I took outside, it was a sunny day and as I walked I played with the idea that it might be the last one for a while or for good, and I gave thanks to God for walking. It would be the last stroll for almost two weeks.

The medicine I received were Immunoglobulins, extracted from blood of other people, they strengthen the immune system and are a well known cure for the complications I’ve had. What gave me troubles were the the side effects of the medicine. I was really sick, had to throw up and couldn’t sleep. The treatment took five days, a few hours each. I dreaded it because now my tormentor was not the disease but the cure. After five days it was over though, and to my relieve the lameness stopped progressing. The doctors announced that I’m progressing positively but have to stay another three to four days. Therapy started and I got lots of visits from my friends. Chrystal stayed close to me, the troubles brought us to places of despair and helplessness which we never experienced together before. It brought us closer and gave us more respect for each other because we realized how deep our souls can resonate when plunged into a situation of despair.

Now looking back I thank God for his mercy. One fourth of the people with Guillain-Barre is struck so severely that they loose control over breathing, up to four percent dies. I probably will regain almost 100% of my strength but might never regain the full measure of endurance I had before.

Thank you for your concerns and prayers during that time and even now.

Back Again

Posted: June 29th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Life & Travels, Switzerland, USA | 4 Comments »

After another great month in Pennsylvania, with the parents of Chrystal, I returned home to Switzerland.

We lived quite far out in the country among the Amish. Surrounded by the awakening of summer and beautiful nature I enjoyed a slow time there. Much reading and tinkering. I fell even more in love with Christal as be both realized how deeply our souls are connected. So it was all too harder to say good bye again and leave without her. At least she already had a ticket and would follow two and a half weeks later.

Coming back I felt quite disorientated, the journey is still on my heart like coals giving life to flames of motivation to do anything. I feel like I can’t really return to anything unless I have finished my walk to Jerusalem. It’s like Santiago in The Alchemist that needs to find the treasure buried at the pyramids. Having said that, the stream of live pulls me right back in. Before I went to the north America we stared a cell phone software company. Coming back I returned straight to that life, had to find an apartment, work. This is all natural but the problem is that it is so easy to just let go of the dreams when everything becomes so comfortable. The challenge is to keep the coal burning so that there is at least some fire in life.

If anyone still reads this blog, I give now one advice. Free yourself to go and see the world if your heart calls you to do it. Many smile down on those with the urge to go and find themselves in the big world, but there is something about bursting this bubble we live in and learning to walk outside of it. There you’ll fell like freedom is approaching. Don’t mistake this for freedom though, traveling is no freedom. Maybe all inclusive beach holiday. But just going without a plan will stretch you and make you realize that we are all bound to needs and desires. The fulfilling of those need outside of the bubble helps to find the inner freedom. People, that you never would talk to, have to be talked to. Places where you’d never sleep at have to be chose as the place for the night if you sleep or not. Go out and see for yourself. Take the courage.

It’s nice for me to say this, and I’ve learned it on my travels, but I have to be honest its hanging on a thread right now. Include me in your prayers that the pilgrimage will continue.

L’Abri & Looking into the Future

Posted: February 18th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Photos, Route, Switzerland | 1 Comment »

Everyone has been asking me what I’m going to do now that I’m back in Switzerland. Well, let me first update you on what has been happening until now.

My days were mostly about studying some of the things I’ve discovered on my journey and meeting friends. Besides that I’ve been working for a mobile phone software company that is about to be started soon. It’s been some good weeks and hard ones too.

One awesome thing that I was able to do after three years of trying, was visiting the L’Abri fellowship. It’s a community of truth seekers that live together, share their meals, work and have committed time to study whatever heart felt question they are currently facing. The fellowship was founded by Francis and Edith Schaeffer, well know philosophers and theologians of the last century. Most people stay there for quite a while, because of my responsibilities here in Zürich I could only go for a few days but they were so valuable. Early in the morning I packed my backpack and took the train to the southern part of Switzerland. I love it down there, Lausanne and the Geneva Lake is just breathtakingly beautiful. But L’Abri is situated up in the mountains and the view of the bold Alps is even more impressive. Quickly I got to know most of the people there and figured out how it all works. Working in the morning, studying in the afternoon and fun in the evening. I love to learn in community, in contrast to the more individualistic study style of todays academics, you have more space to breathe, you can go the pace you want and need and the best is, that you can exchange so naturally about what questions you are having since you are in a close fellowship. After four days I went back to Zürich.

See: L’Abri Website

Now about the future. I’m gonna fly to Chrystal for three months in Canada. It came up with my good friend Tii. He said, hey why don’t you go to your girl and then maybe travel some more. A few days later I bought the ticket. I’m gonna live close to where she studies until her graduation. Then we are planing to do a road trip from Vancouver to Pennsylvania (from West to East America), where we will stay with her parents for another month. Then I have to go back to Switzerland and what comes after that I cannot tell.

Back to Field One: Switzerland

Posted: January 20th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Life & Travels, Route, Switzerland | 4 Comments »

Exploring Istanbul was exciting, but after a little over a week of only rain I started thinking how my journey should continue. The days got shorter and the temperatures kept dropping so I was unsure how the pilgrimage should continue in the winter.

I heard that my girlfriend was in Switzerland and that my mom was planing to go to the mountains for a week or more and since I found a cheap flight ticket home I decided to just do a surprise visit. On the 18th of December I flew home. It was quite weired to fly home, all the distance that I made in four month just melted down to three hours. There was some melancholy because I had to say good bye already to this new life of being on the road. At the same time I was looking forward to meet Chrystal and to see my family.

As I arrived in Zürich late at night no one knew that I was coming. I took the train to Zürich main train station and then went to a friend and knocked on his door, he was quite surprised to see me but it was no problem to let me surf his couch for the night. Early in the morning I walked back to Erlenbach where my journey started. It was quite a special time I walked through the woods and slowly everything became familiar. I was a little nervous though how my family would react and most of all Chrystal. We had some great troubles in our relationship and didn’t talk for over six weeks. My mom invited her to celebrate Christmas with my family even though I wouldn’t be there. I approached the house as it was still early in the morning and just walk in. No one was around except my moms cleaning lady she was quite surprised too to see me but let me in. I snook up to the room where Chrystal was sleeping and you can imagine she was quiet surprised to see me. She hid under the blanket. Also my whole family was cheerful to have me back alive.

After two days in Zürich we went to the mountains of Flims to celebrate Christmas up there. I loved to spend time with Chrystal and get some things straight that we struggled with. It was hard for her that I went on this trip and I can understand, we had a long distance relationship for over three years and me hiking alone didn’t make it much easier. After our time in the mountains she had to go back to university in Vancouver, we parted cheerfully knowing that more good things are to come. Since then I was mostly at home studying, following up some of the spiritual discoveries I’ve made along my way.

Many people ask if I will continue the pilgrimage but I don’t know yet. I’ve learned to take the decisions day by day not looking ahead too far. I might go to Canada for a while until summer starts and then continue from Istanbul to Jerusalem, but honestly, I don’t know. Currently I spend a lot of time studying, praying and meditating. Besides that I work a little as a software developer to refill my wallet.

More about what I’m learning here in the next post. The pilgrimage continues and it is less about making it to the real Jerusalem than to find the inner one.

The First Day

Posted: August 12th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Life & Travels, Route, Switzerland | 5 Comments »

 At the rabits

Some friends walked with me the first part today. I was a little nervous becuase it marked the beginning of the journey, but now I’m looking back to a great day with friends and Family. We started off at my parents house at around 9 in the morning, walked for an hour and then had a huge breakfast  (my mom brought it with the car) . Later we had a nice fire for lunch and grilled some Bratwurst. To walk this far for the fist day was tough but gave me a good feeling what to expect. We finished the evening with a great dinner at Dieci and now I get to hang out at Dans apartment for the night.

Thank You my friends.