calling BECC?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by peachrie, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. peachrie

    peachrie New Member

    hi becc,

    i saw your posts on studying in the uk, and i was hoping to ask you about your experience?

    thanks!!
  2. becc

    becc New Member

    Hi Peachrie,

    Ask anything you want!

    Talk soon,

    becc :)
  3. becc

    becc New Member

  4. peachrie

    peachrie New Member

    hey becc!

    i read some of ur posts and was surprised to see how much we have in common!even down to ur post bout polyester! i'm also a student, 20 yrs old, having suffered FM and CFS. i'm bout to study abroad in UK for a yr, and as u'd expect with this DD, quite scared...
    you know when u cant even do simple things, how would u walk 40 min to class and live in a rainy, damp foreign country?
    ive wanted to do this my whoel life and its such a great opportunity- so im just going to follow my heart...
    im leaving soooo soon..and packing is hard (physically).
    just wondering how u found ur experience, the weather, the ppl, social life?
    thanks! =)



  5. becc

    becc New Member

    I'm jealous! I was looking at my university's website this evening and dreaming about going back for post-grad study. I'm going to have to settle for ordering a new college sweatshirt, though, I think!

    I had exactly the same worries as you. In fact, up until about 3 weeks before I left, I thought I was going to have to cancel my ticket. But I finally convinced myself that once I began to recover from moving, life in the UK would be very similar health-wise to life at home and that if I became too ill, I could get on a plane back home whenever I needed.

    The experience was fantastic. Where are you from? In Australia, universities are very much places you go for lectures and leave asap. Very few people live on campus (mostly students from rural areas) and social events are pretty limited. Well, non-existent for a person with ME but even for healthy people, there aren't many options. So living on campus in England was a completely new experience. Everyone was very friendly and my flat began to feel like home after a while.

    I didn't have too much trouble with people's perceptions of ME - my lecturers/tutors were all understanding and allowed extensions etc when I needed them. I was very ill by the end of the year and one of my lecturers agreed to calculate my grade purely by coursework so I didn't need to do the exam. You should make contact with the disability officer as soon as you get there and tell your lecturers that you're unwell and may need extensions etc.

    I did have trouble with my doctor - he didn't want to prescribe the medications I had been on for several years, even though I had contacted him before I left Australia to check that he would do so and was told it would be fine. He eventually agreed to continue the treatments but only after I had to see a rheumatologist for a second opinion. After that, he was fine.

    It can get very cold outside but all buildings are well-heated so I didn't have a big problem with the weather. I actually started to feel the heat for the first time in close to a decade while I was in England. As long as you're not outside for long periods, the English winter seemed fairly manageable to me.

    Which university are you going to? I was near London.. I wasn't well enough to shop or walk around but I would go in whenever I could to go to a play. If you're in/near London, I'd definitely recommend the theatre as a good afternoon/evening out for a person with ME :) It's still exhausting and I'd always crash afterwards but London has the best theatre in the world, IMO :)

    I'll leave this essay here. I'm happy to try to answer any other questions you have.

    Good luck!

    becc
  6. peachrie

    peachrie New Member

    becc,

    me too! im leaving in a wk, and even up till now...we were worried bout cancelling the flight- it seems SO daunting and impossible to go and survive but now i'm just going to go and hope for the best.

    id love to talk more w/ u, is there any way to get ur email?im from the us.

    i'm excited- i'm the kinda girl who likes to go out and have fun, but as u know, that's not quite possible with this dd. i know theres a big "going out" culture, how'd u find adjusting with friends and such? did u live in a dorm?

    did u have back issues? how'd u find getting around?and how'd u take all ur stuff over there? i guess the general question here is how did u COPE? lol sorry for the 20 questions.

    thanks :) hugs, p
  7. becc

    becc New Member

    Hi Peachrie :)

    Are you still online? If you are, shall we meet in the chat room to exchange e-mail addresses? I can only stay on for a few more minutes as I'm finally starting to feel sleepy (it's almost 3am here). But I'd like to write to you...

    Bec
  8. becc

    becc New Member

    Hi again,

    Looks like you're offline and I'm falling asleep so I'll reply to your message tomorrow and we can hopefully work out a time to chat and exchange email addresses :)

    Hope everything's going well!

    Bec
  9. peachrie

    peachrie New Member

    Sounds good!!
  10. becc

    becc New Member

    Hi Peachrie :)

    I didn't find it hard to adjust to life in England. I was living in a dorm - actually, it was a flat. We had 8 people sharing one floor of a building, each with our own room but sharing a kitchen/'dining' area. It was on campus but intended for third year and post-grad students so was a bit nicer than the rooms most first years had.

    Getting to know people was fairly hard as I couldn't get out and do the sort of things most people did. But I became pretty close to some of the people in my flat and met a few through lectures etc. During orientation we also met other international students and we all tended to stick together during the first few weeks. I became good friends with a couple of other Australians.. long way to go to meet people from my own city!

    Fortunately, I don't have big problems with my back. Just normal ME and FM type pain. I was reading some of your posts about your back. It sounds horrible :(

    I'm used to having a car and can't walk very far so it was a bit of a shock having to do supermarket shopping etc without one.
    Despite what the English might say, their public transport is actually very good! I was usually able to get buses/trains that would drop me off fairly close to where I was needing to go, which was a big help. I also relied on taxis a lot more than I would at home.

    On the way to England, I took everything in a suitcase. I basically just took clothes, my laptop, cameras etc and bought everything else I was going to need once I got there. I don't think I would have coped if I'd tried to take much more.. On the way home, however, I contacted one of the student shipping companies (there will be pamphlets all over the university) and shipped two large chests with all my stuff. I just brought essential clothes and valuable items home in my suitcase as I was too knackered by that point to bring much more with me. Of course, you'll probably acquire more stuff than you could fit in your case anyway :)

    I'd recommend trying to set up some way to routinely keep in touch with family/friends. I was lucky enough to have internet access in my bedroom so I chatted to my parents and sister most days. We actually talked more while I was in England than we do when we're in the same house :)

    By the way, I notice you were a pianist. Me too! I loved the piano but had to give it up when I first started to get sick. So many of the young people with ME in my city were musicians. We used to wonder what caused it at support group meetings.. someone it suggested it might be caused by whatever chemical it is that gives printed music its distinctive smell ;)
    Actually, I saw a haematologist just before going to England and when I told her I had ME/CFS, the first words out of her mouth were "Were you a musician before you became ill?" Very odd...

    Are you online?

    Take care,

    Bec :)


    [This Message was Edited on 09/20/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 09/20/2006]
  11. becc

    becc New Member

  12. peachrie

    peachrie New Member

    hey becc!

    we keep missing eachother :( but your msgs have been most helpful!
    i'm so glad to hear that u had a great time.
    i admire that u could even take a suitcase of stuff!!my parent will be going w/ me to help move in. argh need to pack less clothes!!!!! but also need to pack tons of supplements, etc.

    did u have mobility issues of any kind, or issues with writing/sitting in lecture? yes, neck/back is a major pain! how did u cope during flares, carry groceries, things like that? also, what treatments have u found effective?

    i'll be living in a small dorm with undergrads. i'm also wondering how much i'll be able to partake in social life- i dont know how much of an empasis there is on drinking over there?? but as u know, thats not very advisable for our conditions..lol. did ur friends know of ur conditions? id also LOVE to travel...im a huge 'europhile' haha but we'll see how much i can...

    another round of '20 ?' sorry!! there are so many 'unknowns' esp for this DD..

    hugs, p :)
  13. becc

    becc New Member

    Hi,

    Sorry I haven't replied yet.. haven't been very well. I'll try to reply properly tomorrow but just letting you know I haven't forgotten. Which timezone are you in? If you're not too busy getting ready to leave, we should try to meet in chat to exchange e-mail addresses. Let me know what time is best for you and I'll try to be online.. :)

    Talk soon,

    Bec :)
  14. peachrie

    peachrie New Member

    Becc,

    I understand completely- i'm also not in good shape! hope u feel better!

    im in eastern time, US- cant type well, so hopefully once we get e/o emails, we can email?

    when's good 4 u? i'll check back in an hour or so...?
  15. peachrie

    peachrie New Member

    i'll just try to keep checking!
  16. becc

    becc New Member

    Are you here?
  17. becc

    becc New Member

    bump...
  18. peachrie

    peachrie New Member

    im here! u?
  19. becc

    becc New Member

    Fibromyalgia chat room?