By Brittanie Fisher (Guest Blogger) –
Waking up with excruciating stomach pain one day led to months of unanswered questions. I have an illness that took my gastroenterologist months to figure out. It was appointment after appointment, it was missing out of most of my seventh-grade year, it was a lot of sleepless nights, it was just awful. Finally an answer. I have abdominal migraines, only one to four percent of children are diagnosed. From this point, we were glad to know what it was and could move on to getting help. We figured out it is common in children but is rare in adults.
I’m now part of the 39 percent that after 7-10 years of the diagnosed date still have migraines. My mom & I call them my stomach episodes. We think my episodes are triggered mostly by stress and anxiety. I started to go to talk therapists to help me try to lower the stress and anxiety. It ended up still not helping. I missed an average 2 days a week from school since I would have an episode and not get sleep, or would have been vomiting the whole night. If I wasn’t missing school I would at least show up late and have a half day. This still goes on to this day. Missing so much school was hard to adjust to at first, but after a few months I figured out what could help me the most.
1. Tell your teachers.
I got a note from my gastroenterologist that stated my illness and how I would miss school. I took the note to my guidance counselor for her to put into my file at school and to send to my teachers to let them know about it. When my episodes started happening I’d email my teachers to let them know. They more than likely will figure out a way for you to get your work to you so you could complete it, or get a plan for you to get caught up.
2. Find a reason to look forward to school.
I know it may be weird to look forward to school, but it would help me find the motivation to go. Whether it is to see your friends, see your crush, or even just to go to a certain class, FIND SOMETHING!
3. Stay out of the drama.
You should try to stay as stress-free as you can if your illness can be triggered by it. In high school, there is a lot of unnecessary drama that you don’t need to be caught up in.
4. Go home and relax.
Try to go home after school and dedicate 30 minutes to an hour just to relax and not think about anything at all.
5. Find a series to watch.
This one is for the days you are going to be missing school. Go on Netflix and find a TV Show and start watching it. Mine all time favorite is Grey’s Anatomy (I also may or may not have seen every season at least six times). Finding a series helps you from moping in bed and not knowing what to do with your time.
6. Try to meet people that have an illness like you.
It doesn’t have to be the exact illness, but finding someone that also has to miss school might help with not feeling like an outsider. I felt like I’d always talk to my friends at school and felt like I was missing everything happening. So having a friend who is going through something similar like you can help you not feel like you’re missing out on it all.
7. Find a way to deal with stress.
Anyway, you can help eliminate stress will ultimately help you. If it’s not procrastinating, working out, getting a job, or eating better find something that helps you. With a condition like I have to find a way to eliminate stress helps cut down on the migraines.
These may not cure you, but they can help. These are some things that helped me with my illness get through middle/high school. I hope they can help you, and just remember school isn’t forever & don’t stress too much. I survived high school and you can too.
Read Brittanie’s original article and more on The Odyssey.