I'm Chronically Ill, But It Doesn't Slow Me Down

I'm Chronically Ill, But It Doesn't Slow Me Down

I'm out here living my best life still.

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My life pretty much changed in 2012 after I had my appendix taken out, but things really didn't start getting crazy until 2016 when I officially received my diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome.

I'll spare you the lovely details, but if you don't know what it is, it's basically a disorder where your bowels don't communicate normally with your brain. Sometimes, you feel like you have the sudden urge to go and nothing happens, other times you don't go for weeks. There are different types of IBS and not everyone is the same.

Since my diagnosis, I have been on medications whose names I can't pronounce, been in and out of the emergency room, had to change my diet drastically, and have gone days, sometimes weeks on end in the worst pain of my life.

During the pain, which is better known as a flare-up, I've learned to grin and bare it and pretend like everything was fine because it'd usually come during the most inconvenient time, like during final exam week or in the middle of a big project I was working on.

I would feel so nauseous, my head would spin, my insides would feel like they were being ripped apart, and sometimes, if I was lucky, I'd vomit or run a fever - and then I would break out with ugly purple spots all over my forehead. It wasn't and still isn't cute. Covering it with makeup takes SO LONG, but it's apart of my life now.

I'm not painting you an ugly picture because I want to gross you out. I'm describing what my life has been like for the past few years because there are other people out there just like me. Our problems may not be the same, but we have the same illness. The same struggles, mental and physical.

What I've gone through has made me realize that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. But it's also made me realize that I'm stubborn, hardheaded, and I just don't know when to give up.

I overbook and overwork myself at school. I focus on 50 things instead of trying to get one thing done at a time. I work on things for hours on end until they're perfect only to find something else wrong, because, after all, we are our own worst critic.

Out of all the stress, there were and are a lot of positives to my life.

I've traveled around the country, been to so many concerts and met many new friends, found where I belong and what I'm passionate about in school, and I'm truly out here living my best life.

Having IBS may be inconvenient for me sometimes. I may be in a lot of pain, I may have to cancel on friends or skip some meals because I'm way too nauseous to eat, but that doesn't mean I should stop living my life.

I'm chronically ill, yes, but I'm still able to do things. I'm still able to live my life the way I want to, I just have to do things differently sometimes.

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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Being Sick In College Is A Real Struggle

Being sick in college is definitely not as fun as having a sick day in middle school or high school.

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Something that I have had to deal with multiple times these past two semesters is being sick while in school. It can be a real pain especially depending on what type of sickness it is. I have had tonsillitis, mono, and I'm pretty sure I also had the flu.

Being at school and away from home can make being sick worse because there is nobody to take of you such as your parents. Another thing is having to make the decision to get the rest that your body needs in order to feel better or staying on top of your assignments to avoid falling behind. My parents will always tell me to get a good night's sleep so my body can feel better the next day. However, sometimes I will feel more stress if my work isn't getting done and I feel like I'm falling behind and leaving things to get done in the last minute.

Currently, I am sick now and the past few days haven't been easy, but I still attended all my classes so I wouldn't miss any material or assignments that were given. I usually end up feeling the worst at night when trying to fall asleep, and by that time the doctors are not present at the student health center. Even though my health is important I usually don't like taking too much time out of my day to go to the health center to see a doctor. Some days I don't really have much free time before the evening.

I don't believe I have been over-exerting myself, but I don't want to just stay in my bed all day and sleep, even though that may be what is best for me. Most professors will be understanding if I email them and provide them a doctor's note as well, but I also just got back from a conference where I had to miss two days of classes next week.

I have been trying to keep hydrated so that way my body can fight the sickness. Also, I have been told if you stay hydrated you can flush the virus out of your body quicker.

Eating can also be a pain when you have a sore throat, for the past couple of days I have tried to have some soup in order to help. Most meals I would have to force myself to eat something of substance in order to give my body some type of energy in order to get through the day. It's also never fun not being able to breathe out of your nostrils. If it wasn't my nose being stuffed, then it would be constantly runny so there was no winning that battle.

Looking back, I probably should have done a bit more work over spring break in order to get ahead in the case that something like this would happen. I wanted my break to be exactly that, a break. After not being home for a few months I just wanted some time off to relax.

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