It’s the end of my first week at university already and I love it here. I spend the majority of my waking moments laughing with my peers and attempting not to get lost. One of the joys about university is the simple fact that I am surrounded by a large increase in people, and this naturally means that there is diversity amongst the student body. Every day so far, I have met someone with a different type of medical condition. This has really helped me to relax and settle in.
Typically my Dystonia hasn’t left me alone but I haven’t let that bother me too much. I twitched the other day and caught a police officer, who luckily was more concerned that I was okay than anything else. Truth be told I was torn between being mortified and trying not to laugh. I was simply embarrassed to the point of laughter. My new friends and flatmates have all seen a couple of spasms now and have handled them really well, mainly with laughter which is all I could hope for.
I phoned the Neurology hospital that I attend and they still have no idea when my next lot of injections will be, which is causing me some concern. My injections are due on 30th September, this would have been the seven week mark so was pushing it as it was. Unfortunately the hospital staff still have no dates to give patients as to when the injections are going to be. My spasms are unfortunately already beginning. My arm never really completely stopped spasming during this cycle. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get will my injections date sooner rather than later.
When you hear the word university student what do you picture? I’m sure that many of you conjure up an image very similar to my own. One of students sitting in a small dingy flat knocking back a stomach churning concoction from a mix as part of a drinking game; or stumbling back, shoes in hand, giggling from yet another night out. My ideas are based on experiences from my year at uni in 2011/2012. Whilst planning my return to university my mother and I have had many discussion on student life and how sensible I’m going to have to be this time round.
I have struggled to get my head round the fact that frankly I do not have the stamina I once did. My medication, spasms, and pain levels all have an impact. Now that’s not to say I can’t have a night or two out. I just cant do it back to back every night of the week. If I did I would be a spasming wreck and back in the hospital in no time. Whilst mentally I am the same old Becca, physically I am much weaker and more disabled than when I was last at uni. When I was last a student I was not battling Dystonia, I did not know then what it was like to lose control of your body like I do now. Although my condition is well controlled, it’s still up and down. I know when I’m on muscle relaxants I can’t drink, so my body will force me to be sensible every 6/7 weeks when my injections are due. The rest of the time will be down to self-control, and learning what works for me. Prioritising is key to making sure that I am well enough to attend lectures, and doing the studying that is required etc.
I have not lived any element of a student life since becoming ill. It will be a big adjustment process, which I will have to catch on to quickly. As my moving day creeps nearer (24 days) my nerves increase. I’m anxious to take this next step but nervous at just how much of an impact Dystonia shall have. However I am aware that as usual I am worrying over something that is outside my control, there is nothing I can do but enjoy my time at university and handle my spasms with my medical team as they come.