College life. Oh boy.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by nerdieduckie, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. nerdieduckie

    nerdieduckie New Member

    So, I think it's been perhaps since the beginning of the summer since I actually last posted an update.

    It was the worst summer I've had since I've been sick. Last summer I was in remission, this summer I was lucky to be able to get out of bed. I was super stressed, one of my boyfriend's female friends hated (and still hates) my guts and wanted me out of the way so she could move in on my territory, I was scared about school, and I didn't get any rest like I was supposed to.

    On the bright side, I did get my first car (A 1989 Red Camaro that I've named "Red Sonja") and another furbaby (a kitty that my boyfriend and I named "Duckie Boo")

    So, now I'm in college. I love it, but it is totally dragging me down, I can tell, even if I didn't have the allergy problem, I'm sure it'd still be wearing me out. The campus isn't large by any means, but it is still extremely difficult for me to get around. I had to get knee braces because I have umm...patellafemoral syndrome or something like that. My knee caps aren't in the right place. I have an electric scooter (one of the ones that look like a Vespa) at my house, but I can't bring it over on campus until I have somewhere that I can safely store it. They tested me for arthritis, which came back negative. My fibro doctor tried to put me on cymbalta for my pain increase.

    Oy vey.

    That was the scariest experience of my life.

    So, cymbalta was out. I decided to drop my math course and math lab since it was stressing me out so badly (the course syllabus required two years of high school algebra and I'd only had one, and that was the course I "tested" into. they went by SAT scores.) Then I was stressed because I had to find a class to replace that one because I have to have full-time credit hours or I can't live on campus. I finally did find a class to replace it though, but I had to wait about 3 weeks before I finally found out my late add was accepted.

    Coming to college has made me have to relearn how to manage my illness all over again. I can't just not do classes / work for a day or two because I don't feel well. Unlike homeschooling, class here goes on without me, and I have to decide whether I really feel as miserable as I think I do. Food has been a really big difficulty for me because I only have a tiny minifridge/freezer in my dorm room. The kitchen is downstairs on the first floor. This building doesn't have an elevator. I really have to manage my energy very carefully, so something as simple as going downstairs to cook dinner is something that could easily wipe me out for the rest of the evening. Fortunately since my parents don't live too far away, if I'm THAT sick and THAT low on food in my fridge, my mum can send me some food. <3 Plus I now go home every tuesday and thursday to get a hot meal.

    So far, my professors have all been quite lovely regarding my accommodations, especially my English professor. She is a breast-cancer survivor, her husband has ADHD, I think her son is dyslexic and also has stomach-cancer at the moment, so she knows what it is like to have to manage energy very carefully and that feeling ill can be more draining than people realize.

    My sorority sisters have all been just such a blessing to me. I was really scared when I went through Rush and all the other girls I was rushing with had designer clothing and accessories and I had my mum's tote bag from 7th grade. That made me terrified for what the girls in the houses were going to be like, but the sorority I got accepted into is by far the best! (tho I may be partial. =] ) I'm absolutely happy that they accepted me. I left the sorority suite in tears after I returned from my first rough weekend of school (I went home to recooperate.) A few of my sisters were in the suite and they asked how my weekend was, so I told them and they all surrounded me and gave me a giant group hug. I have never felt like I belonged in a group like this before. I was just so happy that like, there ARE people here who care about my existence and accept me with all my flaws and differences.

    It has been an intense mental struggle for me here as well though. All my health issues have made me realize I'm different from most people here on campus, and while I know different is a good thing, experiences I went through in grade school have profoundly affected me and to this day I still carry the stigma that being different is bad. Also, I feel like I'm less intelligent than I used to be because I'm a remarkably slow learner compared to how I was before I was sick. It makes me feel like I'm really stupid, but my mum has done everything to reassure me that slow doesn't mean stupid.

    I'm just glad my parents have been here for me and been so supportive. I am really proud of them, they're handling my not being in the house anymore quite well. =]

    So, that's my college experience so far. It's not my aim to discourage anyone from going to college!! I'm just telling it as I've experienced it. I definitely don't plan on quitting anytime soon. I still love it way too much, despite all my issues.
  2. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    Duckie, that is awesome that you are doing your best to handle a difficult, yet fullfilling challenge!

    I can tell you love it, depsite your issues, and I found it encouraging! It is a struggle, but you have made yourself available to supportive people, and that makes a big difference!

    Keep us posted!
    [This Message was Edited on 09/25/2008]
  3. SkeptikSharon

    SkeptikSharon New Member

    Hi nerdieduckie,

    I'm glad that you are loving school, even with all of the struggles it entails. And I think its awesome that your sorority sisters are so very supportive of you! That's great!

    I just have a quick question about your knee problems. What do you mean by your knee caps aren't in the right places, and how does it feel? What kind of doctor diagnosed that? I've been having trouble with my knees, probably because the muscles through my legs are so tight. But I've noticed as time has passed that my knees have actually changed. Like it seems like my knee caps are actually more towards the inside of my legs, rather than where they are supposed to be. And they hurt a lot. Its weird, because if I am laying down or otherwise have my legs stretched out, if I try to straighten my knees out how they are supposed to be, then the lower part of my legs are not straight and vice versa. I'm not sure how to explain it and don't know if that makes any sense.

    Just curious as to what you've experienced with your knee issues....
  4. nerdieduckie

    nerdieduckie New Member

    I actually was diagnosed with the knee problems maybe two years ago, right after I started seeing my current fibro doctor. He sent me to a physical therapist because I was still having so much problems with my legs and she noticed A.) that my right leg is longer than my left and B.) that my knee caps aren't centered like they should be.

    They had gone away for a while though, so I didn't think about it until I started having mobility problems on campus.

    It sounds like you may have similar to what I have, except my knee caps are more towards the outside. I know what you mean though, coz I am the same way. When I try to straighten my knee caps properly, then the lower half of my leg is crooked. It has something to do with how the knee cap rubs against the femur bone.
  5. SkeptikSharon

    SkeptikSharon New Member

    Its really disturbing to me, as I know that its not normal, and it makes me very self-conscious about wearing shorts and stuff (not that I'm able to get out that much for people to see anyway). But it disturbs me the most when I am trying to sleep, because its really uncomfortable. If I try to position my legs so that the top parts and the knees are straight, then I can feel pain or pulling or something in the lower legs, and they are definitely crooked and my feet will point inwards. If I position the lower legs straight, then my upper legs and knees are more bowed outwards. It confuses me. I guess I need to bring this up to a doctor. Just not sure which one. Too many doctors.... =)
  6. nerdieduckie

    nerdieduckie New Member

    Haha, Indeed! I'm just glad the doctors here on campus are knowledgeable about Fibro. I was scared that I would finally run into my first doctor who didn't accept it, but I'm still lucky so far.

    Mweh, I did also get told that my hamstrings are too tight, proven by the fact that I can't straighten my leg fully. Really the only time I notice all of this is when I'm doing a lot of walking. I'll get HORRIBLE shin splints. But eh...either I've gotten used to living with it or it's not as bad the rest of the time. I'd still bring it up to A doctor though, haha.