What is it like being chronically ill

I'm Chronically Sick And It Made Me Appreciate The Little Moments In Life

My doctor's office became a second home to me, but never gave me the answers I needed.

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People get sick all the time, a cold here, the flu there. It doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary to get sick a few times a year. I wish that was the case for me.

I have always been the kid in class who seemed to get a cold every couple weeks. It never caused an issue in school, I always pushed through.

As I got older, I got sicker.

If I look back at the last year and compare the times I was sick to my friends, you would be amazed. One of my friends would get a cold and it would pass in a few days. I would catch the same cold, and it would stay with me for multiple weeks. This happened every time someone around me was sick, it didn't matter that I had had the same virus two weeks prior. My body couldn't shut out illness.

I remember the day I came into the editor's office at the magazine I was working for and everyone froze at the sight of me. I had mono, strep throat, and a sinus infection, all at the same time. I looked like a walking ghost. To make it worse, I had already had mono and strep throat previously that winter.

My doctor's office became a second home to me, but never gave me the answers I needed. Everything was just a little annoying until it got serious.

Halfway through fall semester at Washington State University, I faced the scariest medical moment of my life so far. I started getting stabbing pains in my left side. They escalated over the next couple weeks, but I didn't have the time to get it checked out. School, work, my friends, and my boyfriend at the time kept me busy.

It got to the point I couldn't stand it anymore.

When I finally went into the hospital the doctors were amazed I was still as active as I was. I had developed a massive infection in my left kidney. My doctor ordered a rush CT scan to ensure I didn't have to have surgery. In the meantime, I was on multiple painkillers and medications, bedridden for over a week. The results finally came back and I was in the clear. With that said, I now only have half of my left kidney function and it is unclear if I will gain it back.

I was lucky that I didn't lose my kidney from that infection. With that said, I lost my job, my depression levels rose and I barely passed my classes last semester due to the complications. My sickness had finally caught up with me, and that was the final straw.

Once I recovered from my infection I started seeing an immune specialist. We discovered that my sinuses had been stripped of all needed particles that filter out viruses and that my body was a boundaryless breeding ground for bacteria.

I'm defenseless against getting sick.

To this day we still do not know what is going on, but we are constantly doing testing to try to make my life as easy as it can be medical-wise. I will always be sick, but the experiences I have had have only made me appreciate the little moments in life more. While I hate the fact I'm getting sicker, and it makes me struggle with self-love, it is something I'm constantly learning from.

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40 Small Things That Make College Students Happy

It doesn't take much...
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1. When class is canceled.

2. When the coffee shop you stop at five minutes before your 8 a.m. has a short line.

3. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

4. Open note tests.

5. Or even better, take home tests.

6. The unofficial assigned seating process that that takes place after the first week or so of classes.

7. Thursday nights. (because in college, Thursday qualifies as the weekend.)

8. Sales.

9. Or once again, even better, free things.

10. Specifically free food.

11. Dogs.

12. Dogs on campus.

13. Tailgates and Saturday afternoon football games.

14. Finding an already completed Quizlet for your exam.

15. Having an extra 30 minutes for a nap, and if you're lucky, an hour.

16. Netflix.

17. When your roommate takes out the trash.

18. Weekends after test weeks.

19. The rare blessing of a curve on an exam.

20. Getting out of class early.

21. How in college, it is socially expectable to wear a t-shirt everyday.

22. Being able to walk from class to class or eat in the dining hall without having to see anyone you know. (and thank goodness too because you probably don't look too good.)

23. Crossing things off of your to-do list.

24. Your best-friends that you make in college.

25. A full tank of gas.

26. Seeing a new face everyday.

27. Crawling back into bed after your 8 or 9 a.m. (or after any class that ends with a.m.)

28. Care packages.

29. No cover charges.

30. When adults tell you that it is okay that you have no idea what you want to do with your life yet. (regardless of what parents or your advisor may say.)

31. Pizza.

32. Finding out you weren't the only one who did poorly on the exam.

33. Deciding not to buy the textbook, and never needing it.

34. Finding the perfect gif to express how you're feeling. (Michael Scott just get it.)

35. Weekends at home because...

36. Pets.

37. Mom's home cooked pie and Dad's steak dinners,

38. Spring Break.

39. Road trips.

40. When it finally starts to cool down outside so you can show up to class dry instead of dripping in sweat.

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Wideman

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Death Is Hard To Process, Even As A Christian

How should we respond to death and loss as followers of God?

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Everyone is aware of the cycle of life. We are born, we live and we die. Sometimes, however, that cycle is abruptly altered by the very powerfully sad event of the death of someone in your life. This obviously can affect anyone: my own sister was lost after she had what was supposed to be the last of the major surgeries she was supposed to undergo.

Death, however, will always raise questions. Why? Why did this have to happen? Why in this fashion? Why, if God exists, did He not step in to assist us? These are very real questions I grappled with when my sister passed away. How do we, as Christians, respond to death without resorting to clichés and empty platitudes?

First off, death, regardless, should never be responded to with the idea that "it was their time." It comes off as insensitive and rude. It is a response without emotional weight: death does not always have to happen.

Now, as Christians, responding to death could start with the idea that we have confidence in God's mercy and wisdom. If we have confidence in God's mercy, we shouldn't have anything to fret over. Christ died to destroy death so that death is not an end to who we are. That obviously isn't easy, though. This doesn't answer all of our questions when we ask why we're going through such a painful time.

The Bible features that same question. In the Book of Job, he laments the loss of his family and asks the same question of why suffering must occur to those who have not merited such a punishment. Job, of course, gets a response about how God's reign over the cosmos is a heavy and difficult task.

Sometimes, suffering like death remains unexplained. But God wants us to trust His wisdom, His omniscience, above all else.

Now, that might not satisfy us. But Jesus eloquently states that we are going to suffer: that the human condition is predicated, in part, on suffering. He spends a significant amount of time preparing his disciples for that reality. So many of the Epistles prepare us for suffering as well. Death is not treated as something that not only should be prayed over, but also

This still begs the question: what is the point to it all? Is there a point? Is it due to human sinfulness? The snares of the devil? That is a conclusion all of us must come to separately. I still haven't come to a conclusion yet either.

For now, we must remember that, as Christians, they are reunited with God. One with Him, as part of the church triumphant. No longer do they suffer: no, they rejoice in the heavens above us with those who preceded them in death.

Death remains a hard topic to master. The purpose of suffering caused by it, the pain we feel in loss, remains unknown and undetermined. However, as Christians, Christ's victory grants us solace: this loss is temporary, for death has been defeated. We will be reunited someday with those we love and lost.

That day where my sister and I will reunite will come. For now, we wait and do God's work on Earth.

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