Therefore, in the first two weeks, no signs of paralysis were noticed on her arms and left foot. The focus is first on learning to breathe independently. “Really, that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. You lie like some kind of dead fish, gasping for air, and your body isn’t cooperating with anything. Learning to sit was just as strong. I just cried for the first half an hour. The base is incredibly heavy. Without properly working muscles.”
It is only when she is in the “normal” hospital ward that her foot does not cooperate well during physical therapy. He appears to be paralyzed due to prolonged constriction of the nerve during coma. Her hands and arms were also paralyzed. Here, too, the prolonged constriction caused nerve failure, which was exacerbated by the nerve inflammation that caused the coronavirus.
It remains unclear whether this damage can be repaired. Marianne: “I now call myself half-paralyzed. My feet still don’t work, but my arms and hands have some movement again. Here and there the nerves are recovering. But no, the doctors don’t know where this is going to end.”
What you do know is that she won’t sit back and wait for “everything to work again”. Marianne is now, twelve months after her positive test, still in rehab. There she works hard every day on her recovery, backed by a set of mechanical arms.
“I can now cook, eat, write again, for example,” she says. In other words: I regain a little independence. Unfortunately, these weapons were only temporarily available on loan from the hospital and at a cost of four thousand euros each. I started crowdfunding to raise this money. I just want my life back.”
Physical recovery is very difficult, but the past year is very demanding for Marianne. “When people ask about my condition, I always have to laugh a little. I’m almost paralyzed. How do you think things are going? So my answer is always: Under these circumstances, things are going well, but conditions are bad.”
Most of the time you feel like fighting, but of course there are bad days. Especially in the beginning, when she couldn’t do anything at all, she had very bleak thoughts. “But do you know what the joke is?” laugh. “When I thought I wanted to jump off the bridge, I immediately thought, ‘I can’t even stand alone. Who will lead me there and push me then? “In the back of my mind, I could always make a half joke about it. But this very dark phase is over, fortunately.”
long live the body
“I’m not a floating person at all, but I’m just trying to trust that all this will teach me something,” she continues. “This takes me somewhere, because that’s definitely not the end of my story. Life is miserable now, but it also gives me valuable insights. And I have a whole new appreciation for my body: love more than ever.”
This took some time, because the first six months after her coma, Marianne completely lost confidence in her own body. “She blamed my body, I felt worthless, damaged and unacceptable† But I now realize that my body struggles hard every day, working out and keeping me alive.”
“Yes, I’m disabled now, but I’m also still strong, beautiful, valuable and funny. A complete person I’m more than my fault. I’ve always been with body confidenceBut this only deepened this year.”
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