Update on me

It has been a while since i have written in my blog! I have been busy trying to manage college life, and while I constantly have ideas to write about, I struggle to find time to get them down on paper. My resolution for 2018 is to blog at least once a month going forward. Help me stay on target if I start slacking 🙂

An update on me…

I am in my second year at Auburn University, and I am really enjoying my time in college. I could graduate in December with my Bachelor’s in Psychology, but I am planning to double major either in Health Administration or Communications. I set out to major in Health Administration, but I didn’t enjoy the intro class at all which has made me second guess that. I really want to work in the patient experience field, and there really isn’t a great degree that matches up with that other than nursing or healthcare administration. I felt that psychology would be helpful in understanding how to drive behavior change in the healthcare system and in the people who work in the system and the patients who use it. Communications may also be helpful in that realm. Healthcare administration would be good to have a more solid foundation of the system in general, but I can probably accomplish that with a minor. If anyone has suggestions outside of these majors, I would be interested in hearing the ideas and your perspective. Even though I can graduate in December, I am in no hurry and plan to use my 4 years to get an education. I was lucky enough to be featured in the Auburn Student Spotlight last summer.

I am continuing to speak at conferences and health systems, and I love being able to participate in patient experience work happening at health systems or practices.

If you have need for a speaker or a consultant, I would love to hear from you!

As for my health, I am continuing to fight the fight against Juvenile Dermatomyositis and the overlapping issues of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Ulcerative Colitis. I still get admitted to the hospital once a month for my 16 hour infusion of IVIG and my infusion of Solumedrol. I added Humira to my regimen last fall with the hopes of knocking at all three issues so that I could get off of some of the 21 pills I take daily.

I transitioned to college pretty well from a medical perspective, and I am very, very, very fortunate to have found a wonderful rheumatologist, Dr. Charles Adams. If you live in the Auburn/Opelika area, I highly recommend him. He is very patient-centered and understands the challenges of being a patient who is trying to live and manage a chronic disease. I have been struggling with the GI issues, and I have found getting answers to those issues more challenging than my rare disease. I am not sure why, but it seems to be a “wait and see” speciality. Although these issues have a profound impact on my life and ability to function, they just don’t seem to be that urgent to the GI doctor. There aren’t many in the area, so I will continue to push for answers.

I do struggle to keep up with classwork and the social aspects of college. I know I miss out on a lot of activities because i know that if I go that I will suffer from being too active. I have had significant issues each semester, and I am thankful that professors (minus a rare few) are willing to work with me on making up assignments when I have to miss them. Overall, i have managed pretty well.

By the way, WAR EAGLE to all you Auburn people out there. We won the Iron Bowl in football, and it looks like we might have a nice run in basketball too.

I will do my best to at least get a post up monthly, and I would love to hear from you!