Archive for December, 2012

Many of you know that I also guide tours through Europe. Given the great health challenges I had prior the start of the tour, I thought I would share my little story with you showing you again what we are capable of if we set our mind to it.

My last tour started on December 14th in Munich and ended on December 23rd in Munich again; ten days through Central Europe with 52 guests on a coach. But let's start at the beginning. For several weeks my stomach had been acting up and I felt low on energy with a bad cough and some fever. I didn't think much of it, but still made sure to keep a nice diet, give myself plenty of rest, get plenty of vitamins and give my body time to heal itself. Since my symptoms started in early November I never was worried that I would not be fully recovered by the time I had to guide my tour.  A few days before the tour commenced I started to feel really bad – my muscles ached more, I had light fever again and my bloated stomach acted up stronger than ever. Finally I realized that I really had to do something as I only had a few days before I had to lead a large group of people through Europe. On Monday, December 10th I had some blood work done, my lungs x-rayed, and my stomach sonogramed. As the doctors couldn't really find anything, apart from believing that I was at the tail end of an untreated flue, and my symptoms worsened, I was urged to have a gastroscopy done. The only day available was Wednesday, December 12th, a day before I had to board my train from Vienna to Munich.

So on Tuesday, December 11th, I packed my suitcase and prepared for the tour as best as I could since I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the procedure the next day.

Since my cancer days I have always been a little nervous when I have to go to the hospital. In light of this, I meditated before going to bed, picturing that my day at the hospital would run smoothly and pain-free and that I would know what it is that had made me feel sick for such a long time.

As I was given a heavy sedative I didn't feel a thing and when I woke up, I was told that I had a gastric attack and had to take heavy antibiotics for a week and all should be well again. With a big smile on my face I left the hospital as I was finally on the right track of full recovery of my, by then six week long ordeal. But it seems that things have to get worse before they can get better again, so in the afternoon after my examination, I started to get the chills and my temperature rose to a dramatic 103 within a few hours. Sweating, aching and moaning I was shaking my head really, really wondering, whether I could even board the train the next day, let alone execute a tour. Having had no food all day, and pumped with drugs, I finally fell asleep at midnight.

On Thursday, December 13th, I woke up totally exhausted and drained of my energies as I had sweat out whatever toxins were in my body during the night. Somehow I now had to get to Munich as I was determined to not let my being sick keep me from doing what I had promised to do when I accepted to direct the tour several months prior.

Tired, slightly feverish and achy, I dragged myself to Munich, traveling for six hours and changing trains twice while shlepping a heavy suitcase and two bags; filled with all the things I needed to conduct a successful trip. Finally, at 11:00 p.m., after a full day of traveling and then preparing for the trip at my hotel in Munich, I switched off my lights believing I was about to embrace a peaceful and restful night. Far from it! At 2:00 a.m., after having tried every single technique I know of trying to fall asleep, I gave up, switched on the lights and started to watch TV in the hope that my mind finally would give in allowing me a few hours of rest before I had to get up at 6:00 a.m. Well, for reasons unknown to me, my mind simply did not want to rest at all, forcing me to start a tour without any sleep for 24 hours, still achy and slightly feverish. Before leaving my room for the airport I sat down and told my body that if it helped me to carry through this day, I will give it all the rest it deserved and pamper it as much as I possibly can. All day long I welcomed guests at the airport and transferred them to the hotel, smiling and being as cheerful and as engaging as I possibly could be. My day was busier than usual, with more check in problems and flight delays than on any other tour this year, but my body, soul and mind carried me through the day allowing me to conduct a city tour, give a welcome reception and take care of all of my guests smaller and bigger problems always with a smile on my face, never giving away that I was far from being OK.

At night, when finally back in my room, I thanked my body and my spirit for having been there for me when I needed them. I promised that I would take care of myself by giving myself plenty of rest and plenty of downtime as soon as this tour comes to an end. I continued to talk to my body, and to thank it every day while making plans for a very relaxed Christmas and New Year's period. I cancelled all of my engagements for the holiday period and created an environment where I really could rest and my body could get all the healing support I had promised it.

Needless to say that at the end the tour ended up to be a fantastic program with people being more than 100% happy and satisfied. Here I am now, writing these words to you, just as I had promised myself eight days of total and complete relaxation ready to embrace the New Year with new found energies. My body healed, my mind at peace and my spirit ready to dive into 2013.

This episode has proven to me again that our bodies and minds are capable of so much more than what we at first sight believe are capable of. If we really set our mind to get something done and believe in ourselves then the rest will fall into place.

Am wishing you all a most wonderful, happy and fulfilling 2013!

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