This Is What Moving To College with a Chronic Illness Looks Like

Going off to college is a big change for anyone. You’re likely living in a new city, dwelling in a new room, and surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands, of new people. So yeah, there’s a lot happening.

But what if you’re going to college and have dystonia or dystonia symptoms ?

That’s the reality for one blogger, Becca, who lives with–and fights–dystonia, chronic lyme disease and EDS type 3.

Dystonia is a disorder that causes your muscles to contract involuntary, interfering with day-to-day tasks. Whether symptoms are mild or severe, the repetitive twisting movements are uncomfortable and often life-altering.

That’s why Becca is anxious about her upcoming move to college. She knows all of the stereotypes and reality that is college—late night studying, alcohol binges, and a 24/7 social life. But she knows she has a responsibility to her body to be sensible.

“Although my condition is well-controlled, it’s still up and down,” she said. “I know when I’m on muscle relaxants I can’t drink, so my body will force me to be sensible every six or seven weeks when my injections are due.”

Becca will have to focus on self-control and learning a lifestyle that works best for her. Her priority is making sure that she’s well enough to attend lectures and do the studying that’s required to be a successful college student.

Since developing dystonia, Becca won’t be able to live a “typical” college experience. And moving into school will be a big adjustment that she will have to quickly catch on to.

“I’m anxious to take this next step, but nervous at just how much of an impact dystonia shall have,” she said. But she knows that there’s no sense in worrying about something she can’t control. The best she can do is work with her medical team to handle her spasms as they come.

And, of course, make sure she enjoys her time at university!

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