Last year, I set myself two goals: one personal and one professional and I managed to achieve them both. These days, I find that less is more when coming to setting goals for myself and I have found that I am much happier achieving two things per year than failing to get five things done in a month.
The holidays can be difficult to navigate when you have a chronic illness. Food, family and traveling can easily throw you into a flare-up.
Like many people with a chronic illness, I had to wait many years to start treatment. I naively thought that medication would solve all my problems as that is what my doctors led me to believe. The medication that I took initially did not solve all my problems as they were designed to treat my symptoms and not the underlying cause of my illness.
POTS is a form of dysautonomia (a dysfunction of the nervous system) and is usually diagnosed using a tilt table test, but it can also be diagnosed with an active stand test. The average diagnosis time for POTS is 5-6 years, but can be diagnosed within 6 months of the first onset of symptoms.
When I first got sick, I lost everything: my income, my degree course and my social life. I struggled to stand up for more than two minutes and I was unable to leave the house by myself. I could not think or speak coherently. I couldn’t even read a book. I slept most of my days away. It was 2015, I was 22 and I was told that I was a medical mystery.
On the whole, dysautonomia is poorly understood by medical professionals with patients having to wait years for a diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
Whether you're at school or University, studying with a chronic illness is hard and you may even think that it is impossible.