Anxiety and Uni

My anxiety has been through the roof recently, our holidays were so busy I loved attending the Commonwealth Games, the swimming was amazing. But it was crowded and noisy and just being in a different place and out of routine is hard.

We’ve been home a week now and I’m finding it very challenging to get back into my uni study routine. We’ve had road crews doing construction near us day and night, sleep has continued to be elusive. Our wifi keeps disappearing, which is a real problem when you are studying online. Even our printer has stopped working.

My last assignment came back, I got 21 out of 30 which feels like I failed. To be honest anything less than 30 feels like a fail when you have perfectionist tendencies. Logically I know I passed, but that negative voice in my head is telling me I’m a failure, I should throw it all in, and just give up.

So here I am at the library, telling that negative voice to fuck off. I’m going to make use of the free library wifi, their not too expensive printers and get my study on. These are my weapons with which I go into battle against that voice.

Spotify and my beloved headphones:

Timmy Trumpet and Dimatik will keep the DoofDoof tunes going and help me focus. Not too loud though, it is a library. 🤣

Headspace app:

This app reminds me to breathe and helps me take a moment to relax and unwind. It has great mini meditations that only take 1 – 3 minutes. Best bit of this app, it reminds me that it’s okay not to be perfect, I can get very caught up on trying to relax, just right, which is not very relaxing.

Waterbottle:

To fight my Crohns dehydration demons.

Blackboard:

So I can access my uni course on my phone. I prefer to use the library computers but sometimes my sensory issues make that hard, especially if I need to sit next to a stranger who has strong perfume /deodorant, or is very fidgety. This app means I can find a comfy, isolated spot of the library and get my work done.

Forest:

An Instagram friend put me on to this app. Set the timer for 30 minutes and it grows virtual tree and keeps me locked out of distracting apps like Facebook and Instagram. I whitelisted Spotify and Blackboard so I can still access them.

And now I’ve checked in here, I should knuckle down and get some study done. 🎧📖💡

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Road Trip

We are home! The seemingly endless drive from the Gold Coast to Melbourne is done and it wasn’t awful.

Roadtrips are awesome. New places, new people and most importantly, new book shops. Unfortunately we didn’t stop in as many places as we would have hoped but here are some we have seen.

First up is all the empty fields:

And the toiletless rest stops (Much to mum’s dismay) :

We went to Dubbo Zoo,

As well as the Parkes Telescope (So cool):

Overall, it has been a lot of fun, very tiring, but lots of fun.

Sleeping Bendy

Mum says I “sleep bendy,” I’m not entirely sure what that means but it makes sense. I think “sleeping bendy” translates to a few things that people don’t realize about BJHS.

I sleep bendy so I need more pillows to avoid injury in my sleep.

When I fall asleep in chairs I curl around them.

When I sleep wrong it means more pain for a few days.

I sleep bendy and it means that I am an excellent cuddle partner (who needs to worry about space when I can curl up into *the* tiniest ball ever.)

Sleeping bendy can hurt, it can mean paying extra for more pillows, it can mean using people as pillows when necessary (sorry mum), sleeping bendy means being tired because you couldn’t sleep because you were too bendy sometimes.

To all those sleeping bendy, it’s okay, keep doing your best. Sleeping bendy is better than no sleep at all.

When you wake up dehydrated AF

Bodies are weird. Mine dehydrates fast, par for the course with active Crohns disease. I try to keep the fluids up during the day, much harder to do whilst asleep. Thus I wake up dehydrated, especially in warmer weather and try to knock back 1litre of water before I have my morning coffee.

The first day we arrived I was exhausted from the travel. My Mum had made her pizza – the base is made from scratch – so good. Love my Mama’s Pizza. Best lunch ever.

Except not so low residue. I spent an unpleasant hour on the toilet shortly after eating. Following which I crashed, hard. The day caught up with me and by 4pm I was out of it.

I slept for 12 hours and boy did I wake up dehydrated. The headache is not fun.

Makes me sad I can’t even enjoy mum’s pizza. 😢

Flying with BJHS

BJHS (Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome) is a pain in the everything to fly with.

I woke up at 3am for the flight and everything was okay, no joint pain. And then came the sitting in the taxi, and in the airport, and in the plane, and on the bus. Sitting down hurts because of the pressure on my back, cushions help but there weren’t any to use at the time so that would hurt by itself, add in that I hadn’t had my anti-inflamatory medication for a week and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Once off the bus breakfast and anti-inflamatories were my top priority, however medication can only do so much. So my next step was buying heatpacks, this took longer than expected (3 frickin hours) and the pain was making it hard to walk.

^ My nutritious breakfast ^

Once we got home I spent about two hours lying like this:

(Those things on my back are heatpacks. Aka: Life Saving Magic Bags)

^ The heatpacks are only $9 each! ^

In conclusion:

Heat packs = Yes

Hard chairs = No

Flying with Crohns

Our flight left at 6am.

This meant waking up at 3am, taxi pick up at 3.30am and we were at the airport by 4am for check in. Waaaaay too much early morning.

Last time Darrell flew interstate our anxiety was so high, they almost missed their flight. They did miss luggage check in and had to fly without their suitcase. It was awful, so stressful. Do not recommend.

So we were both very anxious about this flight. Of course when you are stressed, it makes Crohns disease flare up even more. In the week prior to leaving, I was spending a lot of time racing to the toilet with explosive diarrhea. It was awful and certainly didn’t help my anxiety.

On the morning of the flight I had my usual low residue breakfast, toasted English breakfast muffin with a slice of ham, but only half portion. I also took 2 Imodium (yummy), just in case, and no coffee :: sadness :: .

Arriving 2 hours early at the airport meant not only did we have heaps of time to check in, but also use the toilets without rushing.

We got an in-flight snack of a tasty croissant. Thanks to my Imodium it stayed put without drama, but I couldn’t risk the coffee. My book was bigger than the tray table!

Post 2 hour flight we had a one hour bus ride to our final destination. It was long and by this stage I was getting very nauseous. It was 7 hours with only a muffin and small croissant, I should have had more water to drink.

Happily the Imodium and small portions of low residue worked. My gut held firm (hahaha literally, Crohns humour is toilet humour).

We had arrived on the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games. 😊

Marita

About Us

We are a neurodivergent mother and child, with chronic illnesses.

Marita – mum, she/her pronouns. diagnosed with active Crohns disease when at 17. Currently unmedicated*, on a low residue diet. Studying to become a librarian.

*once I finish getting all my vaccines up to date I will be started steroids and immune suppressants.

Darrell – Teen, they/them pronouns.

Diagnosed with benign joint hypermobility at 13. Currently on anti-inflammatory medication and trying my best not to injure myself. In high school.