Yesterday I had my last first day of college. While the day was a tad bitter-sweet, I couldn’t help but be amazed that I’ve made it this far.
It is crazy everything I have been through in college. To be honest I think there are four things that have gotten me this far. When I think about it, they are like four innertubes keeping me afloat in the choppy waters of my life with Crohns.
First of all, my faith in God’s plan for my life is directly responsible for my success in college. When I feel like everything in my life is crumbling and from my point of view my world is falling apart, sometimes the only thing that gets me up in the morning is the belief that God has a plan for my life, illness and all.
To some this may seem ironic given my situation and to others it may seem naive, but for me everything I do would be truly meaningless if there was not a God who had a plan that was bigger than my own.
Second, my family, friends, sorority (shoutout to all my Chi O sisters), teachers and my really not very nice dog (Lucy), have made all the difference in the world in being able to stay in school. I think my doctors have given up trying to tell me not to go back to school.
Instead they ask me, “still crushing it at school?” okay maybe they don’t use ‘crushing it’ but sometimes that is how I like to hear it in my head! But seriously, everyone in my life has helped make any success I have had possible and I am so grateful to have them in my life.
Thirdly, I’m actually not sure that is a word, so feel free to correct me if it isn’t, but I digress, because my third things is a little different. Oddly enough, I am grateful for my TPN, IV nutrition. Although not eating is extremely difficult, I’m not sure I would be functioning without it.
I remember the first time my mom ever brought up supplemental nutrition. She said she thought we should look into doing an Nasogastric tube and do night feedings. I thought she was crazy! In fact I went and told my friends that my mom had lost it! No way was I going to give up eating AND do a feeding tube at night in order to achieve bowel rest.
Ironically, for over a year now, I have not been eating AND had a portacath surgically implanted AND access my port with a needle several times a week. Isn’t it funny how much can change depending on circumstances? And now I am thankful for the IV nutrition because it has allowed me to enjoy a better quality of life.
Lastly, and I’m actually serious about this one, but dancing makes my top list! So my friends can tell you, I love to dance. I may not have much stamina, but dancing is a huge stress reliever for me and it is something I enjoy doing that makes me feel normal. Sometimes I am dancing at parties and other times I am interpretive dancing in my room, but regardless, it plays a significant enough role in my life for it to make my list of college lifesavers!
So here you have it, my top four ‘lifesavers’ that have helped me make it through college. I have a feeling that these things look different for everyone, but I think it’s important to acknowledge those things that have helped you make it through the difficult circumstances in your life. Because I know that i wouldn’t have made it this far without my four lifesavers in my not so normal life.