The transition from undergraduate to postgraduate is hard for anyone and when you're juggling a chronic illness as well it can feel as if you're drowning.
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.
I was doing a Master's course at a different University when I first got sick. I had to wait so long for an effective treatment, that I eventually lost my place. Consequently, I am somewhat apprehensive about starting a new course
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 you live with a chronic illness, insensitive comments from people come with the territory. They may come from friends, family, co-workers, medical professionals or even strangers.
Like many people with a chronic illness, I recently watched the Netflix adaptation of Brain on Fire. It is based on the memoir, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan and follows Susannah's journey to a diagnosis the rare illness, anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.