5 Ways to Manage Chronic Illness in College

Happy Tuesday friends!! I want to introduce you to one of my favorite blogger friends, Liu! Today she’s sharing her top 5 ways of managing chronic illness in college on my blog, and I’m sharing my top 5 things to bring to college on her blog! Make sure to leave us a comment telling us how you manage your illness at school! 

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Hello, my name is Liu Miao and I am a college student. I am done with my second year and very excited. Psychology is my major and Spanish is my minor. There is one thing that most people don’t realize that I have. I have chronic pain and some other health problems due to my physical disability. I try not to show my pain to others. Since I started college, my health got worse. Having no energy and pain when moving or siting are some of the things that I have to deal with in college. I do take medicine for my health problems; however, there are things that help me cope with having a chronic illness in college. This is to help incoming freshmen to prepare for college and be successful. It is hard being a college student with health problems but it can be done.

  1. First thing is to rest. Going to school and doing simple tasks take a lot of energy for me. I tire very easily and it is important to get rest. Yes, I know that as college students we are busy but rest is very important. Not having enough rest is not good for our health. I am a firm believer in naps. Sometimes I need to take long naps and sometimes I take short naps. I even nap in the car and nape while waiting at the doctor’s office.
  2. Food is another way I cope. Yes it’s not the healthiest option, but it makes me feel better. Having your favorite food can make you feel better. Coffee with friends helps me forget about my illness and worries. Indulging in snacks and candies also makes me happy. I am a big fan of gummie candies and spicy Asian foods.
  3. Keeping my self warm is also important. Since I have severe joint problems, it feels good when my joints are kept warm and toasty. Taking a hot shower/bath, sitting in a hot tub, and using a heating blanket are ways that keep me warm.
  4. There are times a good cry is needed. Life can be very overwhelming and crying is a good solution. It feels good getting all those feelings out. I prefer crying alone but sometimes I need a good friend to cry with.
  5. The last method is letting my emotions out in a calm way. This includes talking with a friend, doing a creative activity, listening to music, and physical activities. These activities help keep my mind off struggles. Writing is the best way for me to express my thoughts. I love blogging and helping others through my writing. Hand lettering is also one of my favorites.

It is hard dealing with a chronic illness in college, but you have to make the best of it. There will be hard days and some easier days. Managing chronic illness in college is so important.

~Liu Miao~

Eight Years

Today marks eight years since the day that turned my life upside-down. Eight years ago, I tore my achilles tendon- leading to the onset of my now life-long battle with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. 

In honor of the past 8 years, I’ve decided to share with you the ~short~ version of my chronic illness testimony. I hope that through it you discover a sense of hope and motivation to embrace hardship in your own life, no matter what you’re currently facing.

You’re never alone.

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the ankle that ruined me… the cross that saved me

I was 12 years old when the pain started. I had no grasp of the concept of ‘forever.’ The words ‘chronic’ and ‘incurable’ were foreign to me. In the span of 18 months, I went from the highs of making the school volleyball team, to the lows of being diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Before CRPS, I was happy, busy, and active… I was healthy. I was ‘normal.’ I had a memory bank full of good times, laughter, successes and love. My dreams resembled those of every other overachieving little girl. My future was bright, my faith was strong, and my heart was full.

Pain changed everything. Being so young and having your body begin to fail you is nothing short of devastating and incredibly confusing. I very quickly became a person that I swore I would never be. My diagnosis dictated my every decision, my every move, and my every thought. My spirit was overcome with anger and hatred for the life that I was living. My thoughts were clouded by dozens of the most hard hitting questions: ‘Why me? What did I do wrong? When will it end? Is the fight even worth it? Where are you, God? Why won’t you heal me? God, why have you done this to me?’ I fell victim to the traps of the enemy and the lies of chronic illness. I began inflicting emotional pain onto people that I loved, because I thought that if I had to walk through hell, they should too.

It wasn’t until I was 16 or 17 years old and in remission that I realized I had it wrong all along. The most defining moment of my battle came when I made the decision to stop being a victim of chronic illness, and start being a survivor instead. As I faced the reality of relapse right before high school graduation, I clung so desperately to the fraying ends of the rope I had woven of hope and bravery. I moved forward through the darkest months of my life, holding on to the thought that maybe, just maybe, God had something great for me waiting up ahead. Sure enough… He did. I discovered an entire community of people facing similar (yet vastly unique) battles against various chronic ailments. I found support. I found friendship. I found love. I rediscovered Jesus. I was reminded of the irreplaceable purpose and tremendous potential that I possess. Through the encouragement of the Word and incredible friends, I have been able to replace the lies of the world with the truth and promises that God provides. He is sovereign and almighty. No matter what these earthly doctors tell me, He is the ultimate physician. He knows my every pain and every hardship. He’s supplies me with the strength I need to rise up above my illness each day and share His love with the world. He’s promised me the ultimate gift: an eternal life free of these chains that bind me, free of pain, free of suffering, and free of darkness.

I am sick. I am broken (spoiler alert: we all are). I fall short. I mess up.

But in the very same breath of life, I am loved. I am worthy. I am strong. I am brave.

I’m a survivor.img_2729

With all the love,

A