The worst of developing a chronic illness or it worsening later on is you know what you miss. Below are my things I missed from when I was healthy.
I can go out, but it is very rare. And the time I do, I end up sweating buckets, feeling dizzy, and just feeling bad. It has to be something I think I would enjoy for me to attend. My lack of social life also doesn’t give me a chance.
TIP: Whenever you hang out with your friends, have you plan the activities. And you don’t need to do much when you hang out with your friends. Have them come over, and you can just be on your phones. That probably sounds rude, but just being near a friend is enough for me, and if I only saw my friends when we go out, our friendship would eventually fade. Me and one of my best friends have a tv show that we watch while we go on our phones.
Clubs and Activities
Clubs and activities are the primary way teenagers make friends. But with a chronic illness, you often aren’t healthy enough to advance your skill so that you are in a class with others your age. If you’re lucky, your school will have non-sport clubs that you can participate in.
TIP: Use the internet to find a community you click with. Whether it be about books, movies, celebrities, or hobbies. (I would search for small blogs (since they might be more likely to respond.)
My diet has done a 180 since my diagnosis. Due to my PCOS and POTS, I am on a strict diet and take supplements to regulate my hormones. I am gluten-free, dairy-free, and limited sugar and carbs. When I have dairy, I just get an upset stomach, but gluten makes me exhausted for two days after. I can’t eat fast food, so hanging out and going to events/concerts. It is easier to follow the diet because of the negative symptoms by not following it.
TIP: If you are gluten-free dairy-free and miss ice cream, NADA MOO is the BEST! I don’t like almond milk and ice cream, so I wasn’t able to get an ice cream I like. Until I met my lord and savior, Nada Moo.
Shopping is impossible for me. Even grocery shopping is hard. Excessive sweating makes shopping hard and embarrassing.
Tip: Try out new stores to see their dressing rooms. I feel it is worth it to drive farther to have a more comfortable shopping experience, therefore a more productive one. Look for dressing rooms with large stalls, a chair in the stalls, and proper ventilation and air-conditioned.
It is hard being a teenager and watching others do standard teen stuff. You miss out on parties, dares, boys, and trying new things.
Tip: Luckily, my illnesses will get better as I get older. But once you leave high school, you can choose life and location that accommodates you and your illness. I was struggling with depression, but I got better after my idea of going to Spain. It gave me something to be excited and work for. If you are in high school, research possibilities for after high school. Don’t be afraid to do something out of the norm because you aren’t the norm.
We grow up with expectations of our teenage years. Your childhood tv shows and movies are set on teenagers. Those expectations aren’t always met, even when you’re healthy. Like the conflict in every tween tv show where they struggle with choosing and complain about having two hot, nice guys wanting you. Or when they are only insecure or have lousy self-esteem for one episode where it is the major plot point.
Tip: To tell you the truth, I have no advice for this problem. I have yet to figure it out. Would love any suggestions once somebody figures them out!
Thanks again for reading,