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Decisions about life

The current project: Documentary

Decisions about life

Maria, her husband Christof, her friend and doctor Peter sit in the couple’s conservatory in Emmendingen.

Mary tells Peter about her current limitations. After waking up in the hospital, she didn’t even know what to use the toothbrush Christof was stretching towards her. Since then, she has had such or similar experiences. But Peter realizes that Mary is strong. She has declared war on her illness and decided to take her life. Together with Peter, they regularly exchange ideas in the conservatory. Together with the spectator, she understands more and more about her illness, the chances of healing and the various therapies.

One effect of the cerebral hemorrhage is the inability of Mary to fully perceive her body. She also has a lack of movement and language. For Mary, everything has changed. She becomes even more aware of this when she visits her old job, the Maxhaus in Waldkirch. Before her illness, she taught young people how to read and write. Now she sometimes forgets in which direction the belly of the letter B points. In conversations with speech therapists, neuroscientists and educators, it becomes clear that such effects are perfectly normal and that Mary must accept them for the moment.

In order for Mary to achieve her goal of a largely free life, numerous therapies are available. Already in the hospital Maria and Christof are confronted with a flood of treatments. The question of the need for certain therapies did not arise, let alone the possibility of a detailed discussion about it. In this situation, Mary feels helpless and alienated. Carlos Blum understands these feelings and knows that things are different. As a physiotherapist and expert in “shared decision making”, he brings Maria closer to the basic understanding of joint decision-making. In conversations with brain researchers, medical ethicists and therapists, the knowledge is consolidated that a healing process can only begin properly if the patient and the doctor work together.

Peter accompanies Maria and Christof on their way. He perceives physical changes, improvements in their condition but also deterioration. He experiences hopelessness, but also joy in progress and the fact of being alive. Together with their doctors and therapists, Maria and Christof decide to live every day.