Last September I headed off to start my first year at uni knowing something wasn’t right. However, unwilling to admit this and delay a year (not only due to the rise in tuition fees this summer but all my friends were going) I went and just about survived freshers. A couple of weeks into term things got worse; I got spells of dizziness and stomach pains. At half term – sorry, READING week – I went home, and to my parents I appeared pale and thin. Being me, and never admitting when I have a headache let alone anything worse, I continued to ignore it.
Having been unable to return to uni after that week it still took my parents a while to get me to the hospital. After several doctors appointments I was dragged to A&E, where we sat around for hours. Convinced I was going to be sent home that day I was extremely disappointed once I realised this wasn’t the case.
Eight days later and I was, thankfully, home. It seemed I have colitis; something I had never heard of before, although now it appears everyone knows someone who has it.
Luckily, modern technology and the nature of my course, sociology, meant I was able to catch up on lectures online and having been given extensions on essay deadlines, I didn’t have to quit for that year.
I stayed home ‘till Christmas, as the doctor ordered, recuperating and feeling much better – something which was hard to admit as I didn’t want to say there was anything wrong or that my parents had been right in shipping me off to the hospital.
Returning to uni was hard in January as I had been away for some time and even though I had met a few people while I was there, closer friendship groups had been made without me. Being naturally shy I found it difficult to approach strangers, who at the beginning of the year hadn’t seemed so scary as no one had known anyone. Anyway, during lectures I sat with a couple of girls who I had met before and was surprised to find myself not lagging behind at all.
Has anyone else suffered illness at arguably defining moments in their lives? Or had an illness that no matter how many times you try to convince yourself won’t interfere with your life means you have to make significant sacrifices?