Sunday, October 2, 2016

ICYMI: On College and Universities

In case you missed it, Action for Adrenal Awareness released September's video on YouTube. The topic this month was on College and University. I spoke about some of the lessons I learned while navigating college with Adrenal Insufficiency. Although my focus is for college students, there are definitely tips and tricks that are applicable to all.

Tricks for Surviving College or University

  • On Medicine: The timing of your medicine is incredibly important.
    • Do NOT miss a dose.
    • Do NOT run out of medicine.
    • ALWAYS carry your medicine with you.
    • Do NOT be afraid to take medicine during the middle of a lecture.
    • If you notice yourself struggling the same time every single day, try a bump dose of HC 20-30 minutes before.
    • Make sure a few key people know about your emergency injection.
  • On Doctors: Make sure you have a good team.
    • Find a local PCP and establish a relationship with them while you are well to advocate about your disease
    • Check with your current endo to see if they are still comfortable managing you while you are out of state. Otherwise, hunt for someone local.
  • On Social Aspects: Please, just be careful.
    • You CAN have fun, but do plan ahead.
    • If you do drink alcohol, be super mindful of dehydration and do not be afraid to up-dose.
    • Search for good friends who will work to understand your disease. They should not make you feel guilty or less than.
  • On Sleep: It is important!
    • College is famous for having messed up sleep schedules. Try to avoid that!
    • Lack of sleep CAN trigger an Addisonian Crisis.
  • On Scheduling of Classes: Try to schedule your classes around your "good" hours.
    • Do not be afraid to take a small bump dose before difficult labs or lectures.
    • It is better to go slow than overwhelm yourself.
  • On Additional Resources: They are available to you, you just need to ask.
    • Work on developing your "advocate voice."
    • This disease does NOT make you weaker.
    • This disease is NOT something you should be ashamed of.

Truth be told, during all of college and high school I was ashamed of my Adrenal Insufficiency. I viewed it as something that made me "weaker" or "less than." I tried to hide my disease and downplay it's severity. I was in denial.

This is not a helpful mindset to have. This disease does NOT make us weaker. This disease is NOT something to be ashamed of. However, we must be mindful of our disease and take pro-active measures in order to manage it successfully. But in taking those pro-active steps, we are able to remain Clearly Alive.

Did I forget anything? Please comment below! 
Have a suggestion for a future topic? Suggest it here!

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