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jen3kids

Helping DD Away at School - UPDATES in #48 & #64

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Oh, my mama heart is hurting right now...

 

Dd is at university 1000 miles away and is in tears.  She has some ongoing GI issues that have flared up 3x since she went back from her Christmas break 2 weeks ago.  She isn't following her treatment plan properly so she's miserable. And, honestly, I'm frustrated with her for not following it.

 

She felt dizzy and nauseous last night and couldn't sleep.  When she told me this morning, I found out she had barely eaten yesterday, and when she realized she was hungry at 10:30pm, one of the foods she ate is what probably caused her GI upset this morning.   

 

So, she missed her 9:30am Calc class and her 10:30 Bio class (which she also missed on Monday due to GI issues - too much coffee and not enough real food), and she called me upset about having to miss them again.  She went to the dining hall at lunch and ate some chicken, rice, and salad.  However, she felt very weepy and when she walked over to her 12:30 class, she burst into tears and couldn't go in.  She's been crying off and on since then and cannot seem to stop.  She is simply overwhelmed.  I was on the phone with her for an hour and then her roommate came in.  They get along well and talk a lot, so she said goodbye to me and I haven't heard from her since then.  I asked to her to call me back after dinner if she needed to.

 

I have family just over an hour from her who would happily go pick her up for the weekend, but she hates eating at other people's houses due to her food restrictions, plus my family doesn't really understand her issues; they're more of the 'suck it up' type.  My sil's would be the best place for her - so sweet and understanding, but dd also has plans for tonight (university hockey game with friends and a dance Saturday night).  Part of me says she should stay at school and go out to both activities with her friends to get her mind off stuff, the other part wants her in a place where sil and cousins will understand and love on her, but she'll dwell on the negative there too.

 

This is hard.  She wants to come home :(  She never asked to come home at all first semester, but these GI issues make it so much harder for her.  She can usually deal with them, but 3x in 2 weeks is so hard.  I think she probably had 3x all first semester!

 

I could use some suggestions on conversation topics when she calls and wants to chat because she's homesick or feeling anxious/sick.  I actually run out of things to talk about and I feel badly about it.  We talk about her classes, the weather, stuff here at home, the bird feeders, her brothers,....... But there seems to be a lot of empty airtime on the phone and I want to keep her mind off of whatever is stressing her.

Edited by jen3kids

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Honestly? I'd let her come home. BTDT, and what I needed was my family. For whatever reason, she needs her support system right now. Maybe some time to mature. I'd have her find out how to get a medical withdrawal, or just a regular withdrawal if need be, and come home. 

 

Edited to add:

 

I still tear up thinking of how when I, crying, told my parents I just wanted to drop out and come home the only thing they said was, "Ok, when do you want us to pick up your stuff?" There was no judgement. No shaming. Just love. Hell, I'm crying now typing it. 

 

Knowing that I had that kind of support from them is what gave me the courage to leave my very very very bad first marriage. Seriously, without knowing I had that kind of unconditional support from them I don't know how my life would have turned out. 

Edited by ktgrok
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:grouphug:

 

1.  She may need some outside scaffolding for a while to get her into healthier consist habits that support her issues while providing some outside structure.  College can be hard simply because students now have to self regulate everything (attending classes, eating at regular intervals and at least sort of healthy, sleeping well, etc.).  This is an important life lesson and can be really hard to learn.  She needs to be able to function and to seek outside scaffolding when she isn't doing well on her own.  Would the school nurse be able to help?

2.  She is probably weepy in part because of goofed up blood sugar levels.  Is she sleeping well?  That will also have a significant impact.

3.  Would it help her if you sent her a typed out eating schedule based on her current class load, with some sort of general food plan?  I am hypoglycemic and I found it hard at first to remember to regulate my own food consumption.  It helped when I wrote out a general plan to follow on paper.  I also had my best friend remind me to eat.  

4.  Can she keep snacks in her room that would not trigger her GI issues?

5.  Would a school counselor be able to help?

 

:grouphug:   I am so sorry you are so far away.  That makes things so much more challenging and painful as a caring parent.  

 

ETA: and frankly I would try to help her find ways to work this out but if,after trying, it just isn't then maybe coming home is the better option.  I would help her try, still, but she may need more time to mature before tackling functioning completely on her own with a health issue.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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I talk about stuff the dog does. I don't know if that helps? Do you have pets?

 

Unsolicited advice...she should go to campus health and get something on file about her ongoing health issues. Her classes sound like the type that are weed out classes that have attendance requirements. She should try to have something in place to get absences medically excused.

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And maybe advise her to go to the counselor as well? Since she is so upset, crying, and thinking about coming home I think that would be the next thing I would advise. I am sure they have dealt with lots of similar situations and might be able to help her.

 

I agree with campus health too- have her utilize the physical and mental health services and see what they have to say. She should be communicating with her instructors about what is going on and contacting classmates for assignments that she can make up once she is feeling better. It is early in the semester so she still has time to catch up if that is what is worrying her.

 

Not sure if this is something that is totally diet related but if so I would stress to her the importance of figuring out her eating plan for the semester and that she just can't wing it like the other kids. If it is something serious I would probably do a medical withdrawal and have her home to deal with doctors, etc..

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Honestly? I'd let her come home. BTDT, and what I needed was my family. For whatever reason, she needs her support system right now. Maybe some time to mature. I'd have her find out how to get a medical withdrawal, or just a regular withdrawal if need be, and come home. 

 

Edited to add:

 

I still tear up thinking of how when I, crying, told my parents I just wanted to drop out and come home the only thing they said was, "Ok, when do you want us to pick up your stuff?" There was no judgement. No shaming. Just love. Hell, I'm crying now typing it. 

 

Knowing that I had that kind of support from them is what gave me the courage to leave my very very very bad first marriage. Seriously, without knowing I had that kind of unconditional support from them I don't know how my life would have turned out. 

 

Tempting, but I really don't think that's the answer right now.  If she had struggled first semester, I would agree, but if her GI issues are managed then she is ok.  She loves it up there, really.   

 

It may end up being the answer, but for now, I don't think it is.

 

 

 

:grouphug:

 

1.  She may need some outside scaffolding for a while to get her into healthier consist habits that support her issues while providing some outside structure.  College can be hard simply because students now have to self regulate everything (attending classes, eating at regular intervals and at least sort of healthy, sleeping well, etc.).  This is an important life lesson and can be really hard to learn.  She needs to be able to function and to seek outside scaffolding when she isn't doing well on her own.  Would the school nurse be able to help?

2.  She is probably weepy in part because of goofed up blood sugar levels.  Is she sleeping well?  That will also have a significant impact.

3.  Would it help her if you sent her a typed out eating schedule based on her current class load, with some sort of general food plan?  I am hypoglycemic and I found it hard at first to remember to regulate my own food consumption.  It helped when I wrote out a general plan to follow on paper.  I also had my best friend remind me to eat.  

4.  Can she keep snacks in her room that would not trigger her GI issues?

5.  Would a school counselor be able to help?

 

:grouphug:   I am so sorry you are so far away.  That makes things so much more challenging and painful as a caring parent.  

 

ETA: and frankly I would try to help her find ways to work this out but if,after trying, it just isn't then maybe coming home is the better option.  I would help her try, still, but she need more time to mature before tackling functioning completely on her own with a health issue.

 

1) Scaffolding - she did talk to the Dining Hall Manager and both dining halls have special meals set aside for her a lunch and dinner.  She hates talking about her GI issues because she ends up in tears.  

2) Not sleeping well - stays up too late, but she's always been a night owl :(

3) I have made her a meds/class/eating schedule that she follows if she is feeling poorly, but once she's feeling better, she tends to let it slide and then it spirals.  This downward spiral began while she was home at Christmas despite my best intentions.

4) She does have snacks, but one of them was a new one that neither one of us thought would be an issue, but it may have been.

5) I've suggested she see an on-campus counsellor, but she refuses, so far.

 

It may end up that she needs to be home to gain the maturity to deal with it on her own - but she was doing so well in the first semester.  

 

 

I talk about stuff the dog does. I don't know if that helps? Do you have pets?

 

Unsolicited advice...she should go to campus health and get something on file about her ongoing health issues. Her classes sound like the type that are weed out classes that have attendance requirements. She should try to have something in place to get absences medically excused.

 

 

Yes, we have cats and I talk about them a lot.  

 

She does need to go to the dr on campus and get a medical note.  So far it hasn't been an issue, but it will quickly become one.   I may email the dr's office first to give them some background, but I'll get dd's ok on that first.  That's how we dealt with the Dining Hall issue.

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There is only so much you can do.  It is hard sometimes as a young person to actually do the things that intellectually you know you are supposed to do.  If she refuses to follow the protocols she knows will work and she refuses to seek the help and scaffolding she needs then there is little you can do to help.  Which stinks but she is no longer at home or anywhere near home.  It is on her shoulders now.  I agree, though, that since first semester went well she may just be having a bit of a bad period but it could still be turned around once she is feeling better (if she can get to feeling better).

 

Hopefully once she has had some proper food and some sleep maybe she can think through this rationally with you and come to realize this really is up to her whether this works or not.  It is within her power to make this happen, even if she needs some outside help to make it work.  Hopefully she will remember how well the first semester worked and WHY it worked and will be able and willing to follow a healthier protocol for the rest of this year.  

 

Hugs and good luck.

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And maybe advise her to go to the counselor as well? Since she is so upset, crying, and thinking about coming home I think that would be the next thing I would advise. I am sure they have dealt with lots of similar situations and might be able to help her.

 

I agree with campus health too- have her utilize the physical and mental health services and see what they have to say. She should be communicating with her instructors about what is going on and contacting classmates for assignments that she can make up once she is feeling better. It is early in the semester so she still has time to catch up if that is what is worrying her.

 

Not sure if this is something that is totally diet related but if so I would stress to her the importance of figuring out her eating plan for the semester and that she just can't wing it like the other kids. If it is something serious I would probably do a medical withdrawal and have her home to deal with doctors, etc..

 

Thank you.  I have suggested a counsellor, but she doesn't want to do it.  I know they could help her.

 

Thankfully, her roommate is in her Calculus class another friend is in her Bio class.  She should be fine in both of those classes, although she is terrified of the Calculus class which causes more stress and can upset her stomach too.

 

She emailed her afternoon instructor from just outside the building when she got upset.  He knows her from last semester and she got an A in his class then.  They do get 2 absences/semester in his class, so she felt it was ok.  I really want her to go to the dr and have a medical note put in her record so her professors know.

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Honestly? I'd let her come home. BTDT, and what I needed was my family. For whatever reason, she needs her support system right now. Maybe some time to mature. I'd have her find out how to get a medical withdrawal, or just a regular withdrawal if need be, and come home.

 

Edited to add:

 

I still tear up thinking of how when I, crying, told my parents I just wanted to drop out and come home the only thing they said was, "Ok, when do you want us to pick up your stuff?" There was no judgement. No shaming. Just love. Hell, I'm crying now typing it.

 

Knowing that I had that kind of support from them is what gave me the courage to leave my very very very bad first marriage. Seriously, without knowing I had that kind of unconditional support from them I don't know how my life would have turned out.

I am so glad you posted this, because it was my reaction too. She is just a kid and she needs her mom!

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Obviously, I do not know your DD’s GI issues or how you prefer to parent. But, if I had just paid tuition for a child who was not going to class because of noncompliance, yet able to go out with friends, I would be furious. It would be the last semester I would pay.

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I've had one 3000 miles away with severe school stress.  (9/11 was two weeks after i dropped her off in NYstate.)

 

I'd want to know  how much of this is school anxiety/stress?   sure, she's not following her diet - but is that really the issue?   or an excuse?  (she's stressed so she's not followoing her diet.)

 

and if she's too sick for class - she's too sick for partying with friends.   I'm a real hard case about that.

 

is it too late to withdraw her and get a refund?   then she can come back home, you would have to supervise everything she eats - and I would urge require her to get a job, since she doesn't seem ready for college.

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Agreeing largely with those who said to let her come home.

It seems she is not quite ready to manage her condition and college life. This is not a put down or a reflection on parenting. College away from home is hard enough. The academic demands, peer pressure, managing your time well (or not), etc. are perhaps all new.

Can she take a leave of absence, skip a semester or two, come home and take classes at a community college? If she is in her second semester, she is likely still working on a lot of GE classes that should be offered at a community college. If there is no community college nearby, can she take online classes at the university but live at home for a semester?

 

While she lives at home, she has the chance to learn managing a busy schedule, leisure time and her eating requirements more incrementally and with family close by.

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There is only so much you can do.  It is hard sometimes as a young person to actually do the things that intellectually you know you are supposed to do.  If she refuses to follow the protocols she knows will work and she refuses to seek the help and scaffolding she needs then there is little you can do to help.  Which stinks but she is no longer at home or anywhere near home.  It is on her shoulders now.  I agree, though, that since first semester went well she may just be having a bit of a bad period but it could still be turned around once she is feeling better (if she can get to feeling better).

 

Hopefully once she has had some proper food and some sleep maybe she can think through this rationally with you and come to realize this really is up to her whether this works or not.  It is within her power to make this happen, even if she needs some outside help to make it work.  Hopefully she will remember how well the first semester worked and WHY it worked and will be able and willing to follow a healthier protocol for the rest of this year.  

 

Hugs and good luck.

 

This is kind of where I fall.  If I am reading your OP correctly, she has *known* issues.  And she also knows how to deal with them, is that correct?  If she has known issues, and she also knows how to deal with them and just....isn't....well I don't know that there's much else you CAN do.  It's, IMO, part of the growing up and moving away from mom and dad that, if you have physical issues, you have to be able to recognize and work with that.  To me, knowing that you have a digestive problem, and not taking steps to remedy that, and not avoiding the foods that cause the problem, and not being willing to talk about it.....that's kind of like being paralyzed and in a wheelchair, but being unwilling to find the wheelchair ramp into the building.  If the ramp is THERE (and it sounds like it is) and there are no reasons the ramp can't be used (which, it doesn't sound like she has any obstacles to using the help she has, other than herself,) then you can't go and push her up the ramp yourself.  She has to get herself up the ramp. 

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I am so glad you posted this, because it was my reaction too. She is just a kid and she needs her mom!

 

I am going up in 10 days to see her, at her request.  Normally she'd just come home for Spring Break and then at the end of the semester, but we have the points to fly for free, so it's just the car rental and a 5 hour drive for me.  

 

And yes, she is just a kid who needs her mom; that's why my heart hurts for her. 

 

Obviously, I do not know your DD’s GI issues or how you prefer to parent. But, if I had just paid tuition for a child who was not going to class because of noncompliance, yet able to go out with friends, I would be furious. It would be the last semester I would pay.

 

 

I am definitely frustrated with her because she does stuff that, to me, is obviously going to upset her GI system.  But to her, it isn't obvious.  For example, oatmeal is fine for her to eat, with almond milk, so last semester while studying for midterms, she ate only oatmeal 2-3 days in a row, because that's what she had in her room and she didn't want to go out in the cold rain to go to the dining hall.   And I explain to her that anyone who only ate oatmeal for 3 days would get an upset stomach!  

 

As for going out with her friends tonight, I actually want her to do that to get her mind off her GI issues.  I can't rewind the clock and have her go to class, but she can move forward from her weepy state and get her mind in a better place.  Her GI flare ups usually last less than 24 hours, so her stomach is probably fine now.  She ate lunch (and hopefully dinner), and now it's time to have a bit of fun.

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Now, let me also say this...

 

 

If she wants to quit, then absolutely, have her quit school and come home.  Completely and totally make the choice hers.  Lay out all the choices and all the options and let her know, you have no hard feelings either way, but that choosing X doesn't change Y outcome just because you aren't mad at her for coming home.  The consequences are still the consequences, because all choices in life have consequences.  If she chooses to come home, that means what it means in terms of classes, length of time to complete school, limits of parental financail involvement, all of that.  Do your best to make it clear that non of those consequences are YOU punishing HER....they just ARE.  Sometimes in life, the consequences of our decisions are just, what they are. 

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I've had one 3000 miles away with severe school stress.  (9/11 was two weeks after i dropped her off in NYstate.)

 

I'd want to know  how much of this is school anxiety/stress?   sure, she's not following her diet - but is that really the issue?   or an excuse?  (she's stressed so she's not followoing her diet.)

 

and if she's too sick for class - she's too sick for partying with friends.   I'm a real hard case about that.

 

is it too late to withdraw her and get a refund?   then she can come back home, you would have to supervise everything she eats - and I would urge require her to get a job, since she doesn't seem ready for college.

This is a good point. 

 

OP you say that her calculus class is really stressing her out.  Might that class plus other things there at school besides the GI issues be causing her more stress than she is maybe fully sharing with you?  Maybe the GI issues are the symptom of her being under too much academic stress?  Is it possible to hire a tutor for calculus to give her some support in a class you know is causing her stress?  I will admit that I did not consider getting a tutor to help me through a particularly difficult class and I really wish I would have.  My parents never even suggested it.

 

Or maybe she needs to cut back on a class or two, at least for now?  How many hours is she taking and how hard are the courses?

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I am going up in 10 days to see her, at her request.  Normally she'd just come home for Spring Break and then at the end of the semester, but we have the points to fly for free, so it's just the car rental and a 5 hour drive for me.  

 

And yes, she is just a kid who needs her mom; that's why my heart hurts for her. 

 

 

 

I am definitely frustrated with her because she does stuff that, to me, is obviously going to upset her GI system.  But to her, it isn't obvious.  For example, oatmeal is fine for her to eat, with almond milk, so last semester while studying for midterms, she ate only oatmeal 2-3 days in a row, because that's what she had in her room and she didn't want to go out in the cold rain to go to the dining hall.   And I explain to her that anyone who only ate oatmeal for 3 days would get an upset stomach!  

 

As for going out with her friends tonight, I actually want her to do that to get her mind off her GI issues.  I can't rewind the clock and have her go to class, but she can move forward from her weepy state and get her mind in a better place.  Her GI flare ups usually last less than 24 hours, so her stomach is probably fine now.  She ate lunch (and hopefully dinner), and now it's time to have a bit of fun.

:grouphug:  Hopefully you coming will help reassure her.  It is so hard to be frustrated and worried and not be able to really do much.  Hang in there.  As for the rest...

 

1.  Actually that wouldn't seem obvious to me, either, TBH.  I eat a lot of oatmeal. :)

2.  It sounds like she needs quite a variety of foods that are easy for her to grab right there in her room.  I certainly did.  I didn't have GI issues but with hypoglycemia I had to have regular meals and being an idiot a young and somewhat immature person I didn't always think ahead.  And I would be studying and forget about food.  Having a variety of things available when I did remember definitely helped and having them right there meant I was far more likely to eat on a regular basis.

3.  If being out with friends helps her to regain some equilibrium and improve her mental state, that sounds like a good idea.  However, if going out with friends means she is staying out really late, eating a bunch of stuff that will cause more GI issues, etc. then frankly I think it is a lousy idea.  Again, though, not much you can do.

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I've had one 3000 miles away with severe school stress.  (9/11 was two weeks after i dropped her off in NYstate.)

 

I'd want to know  how much of this is school anxiety/stress?   sure, she's not following her diet - but is that really the issue?   or an excuse?  (she's stressed so she's not followoing her diet.)

 

and if she's too sick for class - she's too sick for partying with friends.   I'm a real hard case about that.

 

is it too late to withdraw her and get a refund?   then she can come back home, you would have to supervise everything she eats - and I would urge require her to get a job, since she doesn't seem ready for college.

 

She's really not 'partying' - not in the house party, drinking kind of way.  Just going to a game tonight and then to a fundraiser dance tomorrow, I think.  I mean she'll have fun and it's a good way to take her mind off home/feeling poorly/etc

 

I would say she is having a bit harder time this semester - stressed about Calculus and stress definitely impacts her GI issues, which is why I really wish she would see a counsellor.

 

Agreeing largely with those who said to let her come home.

It seems she is not quite ready to manage her condition and college life. This is not a put down or a reflection on parenting. College away from home is hard enough. The academic demands, peer pressure, managing your time well (or not), etc. are perhaps all new.

Can she take a leave of absence, skip a semester or two, come home and take classes at a community college? If she is in her second semester, she is likely still working on a lot of GE classes that should be offered at a community college. If there is no community college nearby, can she take online classes at the university but live at home for a semester?

 

While she lives at home, she has the chance to learn managing a busy schedule, leisure time and her eating requirements more incrementally and with family close by.

 

We could do those things, but I don't think we need to yet.  

 

This is kind of where I fall.  If I am reading your OP correctly, she has *known* issues.  And she also knows how to deal with them, is that correct?  If she has known issues, and she also knows how to deal with them and just....isn't....well I don't know that there's much else you CAN do.  It's, IMO, part of the growing up and moving away from mom and dad that, if you have physical issues, you have to be able to recognize and work with that.  To me, knowing that you have a digestive problem, and not taking steps to remedy that, and not avoiding the foods that cause the problem, and not being willing to talk about it.....that's kind of like being paralyzed and in a wheelchair, but being unwilling to find the wheelchair ramp into the building.  If the ramp is THERE (and it sounds like it is) and there are no reasons the ramp can't be used (which, it doesn't sound like she has any obstacles to using the help she has, other than herself,) then you can't go and push her up the ramp yourself.  She has to get herself up the ramp. 

 

 

Yes, known GI issues with restricted diet - Gluten, dairy and sugar free, so she needs to eat really 'clean',  but there are other unknown things that might bother her - she had smoked meat (like corned beef) last night that is full of sodium and preservatives.  It is likely what did it.  

 

Dealing with it means eating a diet of meat, fish, eggs, and veggies (raw and cooked), applesauce, oatmeal, and a few more things.  She can eat GF crackers and pasta, but not a lot in one sitting.   She has to take supplements and probiotics (not doing it) and a on-off cycle of a anti-parasite drug.   It's a 3-legged stool and if she is missing one part, the stool falls over.   She is currently not taking the supplements/probiotic regularly.  Why not?  She keeps forgetting, or she doesn't want to take them at mealtime in front of others.  I understand that, but she needs to get over it.

 

So, I'm frustrated with her, definitely.  But I still try to be supportive and provide the scaffolding for her.

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Her GI issues sound very similar to my son’s, who is a junior in college. It took him awhile, and a few setbacks, until he learned that he really can’t deviate. I had to nag him almost daily but now it’s a habit and he likes how he feels. Good luck.

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Now, let me also say this...

 

 

If she wants to quit, then absolutely, have her quit school and come home.  Completely and totally make the choice hers.  Lay out all the choices and all the options and let her know, you have no hard feelings either way, but that choosing X doesn't change Y outcome just because you aren't mad at her for coming home.  The consequences are still the consequences, because all choices in life have consequences.  If she chooses to come home, that means what it means in terms of classes, length of time to complete school, limits of parental financail involvement, all of that.  Do your best to make it clear that non of those consequences are YOU punishing HER....they just ARE.  Sometimes in life, the consequences of our decisions are just, what they are. 

 

Yes, but she would feel really awful, like a failure and a disappointment.  Neither are true, of course.  And, dh would not be supportive of that at all.  I'd have to really work on him to leave it alone, but I would and could.  He'd come around, but he's of the 'suck it up' mentality too when it comes to academics, probably because they come easily to him.

 

This is a good point. 

 

OP you say that her calculus class is really stressing her out.  Might that class plus other things there at school besides the GI issues be causing her more stress than she is maybe fully sharing with you?  Maybe the GI issues are the symptom of her being under too much academic stress?  Is it possible to hire a tutor for calculus to give her some support in a class you know is causing her stress?  I will admit that I did not consider getting a tutor to help me through a particularly difficult class and I really wish I would have.  My parents never even suggested it.

 

Or maybe she needs to cut back on a class or two, at least for now?  How many hours is she taking and how hard are the courses?

 

I will suggest she talk to their class advisor about dropping it, or maybe auditing it.  She takes 5 classes and 3 labs, although only 2 of the labs require weekly write-ups (or maybe only 1, I forget).

 

:grouphug:  Hopefully you coming will help reassure her.  It is so hard to be frustrated and worried and not be able to really do much.  Hang in there.  As for the rest...

 

1.  Actually that wouldn't seem obvious to me, either, TBH.  I eat a lot of oatmeal. :)

2.  It sounds like she needs quite a variety of foods that are easy for her to grab right there in her room.  I certainly did.  I didn't have GI issues but with hypoglycemia I had to have regular meals and being an idiot a young and somewhat immature person I didn't always think ahead.  And I would be studying and forget about food.  Having a variety of things available when I did remember definitely helped and having them right there meant I was far more likely to eat on a regular basis.

3.  If being out with friends helps her to regain some equilibrium and improve her mental state, that sounds like a good idea.  However, if going out with friends means she is staying out really late, eating a bunch of stuff that will cause more GI issues, etc. then frankly I think it is a lousy idea.  Again, though, not much you can do.

 

 

1) It really isn't obvious to her.  She's done it with peanut butter and gf crackers, and rice - always starchy foods; her favourite.  I love oatmeal too, and sometimes eat it 2-3 times a day, but always with fruit and nuts. 

2) She does need a room full of snacks she can eat.  She goes shopping each week but often eats them instead of going to the dining hall so on weekends or late at night, she's left with stuff that isn't the best

3) She doesn't ever eat when out with her friends, unless it's at a restaurant where she can safely get something.  They usually stay in residence and play cards or watch movies.  And yes, they stay up late, but she was able to deal with it first semester.  They had a pretty good system of staying up late Friday nights and sleeping late, late on Saturdays.  Then it was homework time Saturday evening and Sunday.  She had a great routine going.

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Her GI issues sound very similar to my son’s, who is a junior in college. It took him awhile, and a few setbacks, until he learned that he really can’t deviate. I had to nag him almost daily but now it’s a habit and he likes how he feels. Good luck.

 

She's been dealing with it for 2 years, trying to figure it out.

 

Her GI dr and the Integrative Med. dr she sees both agree she has a gut bacteria imbalance caused by an e coli infection (we're not sure where it came from).  It's a difficult thing to recover from, and gut-biome health is a very new field of study, not to mention different for everyone.  

 

She also has Hashimoto's and takes Synthroid everyday.

 

I'm glad to hear your son is doing well.  My daughter, too, likes how she feels when she stays on track.  

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Interesting about the E. coli. My son’s was probably brought on from norovirus.

 

Yes, getting the microbiome back to normal seems key. Ds takes either VSL#3 or Visbiome probiotics and eats prebiotics as well. Seems to help.

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Interesting about the E. coli. My son’s was probably brought on from norovirus.

 

Yes, getting the microbiome back to normal seems key. Ds takes either VSL#3 or Visbiome probiotics and eats prebiotics as well. Seems to help.

 

Really?  If I can ask, what was your son diagnosed with?  You can pm me if you'd prefer to keep it off the boards.   I've never found anyone going through what dd is experiencing.

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Yes, but she would feel really awful, like a failure and a disappointment.  Neither are true, of course.  And, dh would not be supportive of that at all.  I'd have to really work on him to leave it alone, but I would and could.  He'd come around, but he's of the 'suck it up' mentality too when it comes to academics, probably because they come easily to him.

What might happen if you present coming home as an *option* but with all the consequences.  And, part of the consequeces are....how will she likely FEEL if she does?  Again this is nothing you can fix, this is something that just...is.  Only she can manage her own feelings.  But "if you do X, you will likely feel Y" is really just part of the consequences that she has to make her own choices for.  You can't choose for her. 

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Colitis and non-Celiac gluten intolerance. Other foods bother him at times, too.

 

He’s been doing short water fasts and those have been helping the most. We’re fans of Valter Longo’s research on fasting and autoimmune/cancer.

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Way out there question, but have you researched a fecal transplant?

 

I know it sounds gross, but many people have been helped by it.

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I think you've gotten a lot of advice but on of the most difficult parenting times for me was when my daughter was unhappy and unwell and away at college. Hugs to you. This too shall pass. Everything is so much harder when they're fatigued and unwell. 

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Would dropping just Calculus be an option?

 

I just asked her about that possibility and she said she's at the hockey game and will think about it later.  She doesn't want to get upset there.

 

What might happen if you present coming home as an *option* but with all the consequences.  And, part of the consequeces are....how will she likely FEEL if she does?  Again this is nothing you can fix, this is something that just...is.  Only she can manage her own feelings.  But "if you do X, you will likely feel Y" is really just part of the consequences that she has to make her own choices for.  You can't choose for her. 

 

Honestly, I'm a bit scared to do that because she might say yes, and then be more unhappy about leaving school.

 

Colitis and non-Celiac gluten intolerance. Other foods bother him at times, too.

 

He’s been doing short water fasts and those have been helping the most. We’re fans of Valter Longo’s research on fasting and autoimmune/cancer.

 

Dd's colonoscopy/EGD were both clear and her blood work showed only slight sensitivities to gluten, dairy and a few other things.

 

I'll look into water fast and Dr. Longo - interesting.

 

 

The above is what I try to do with one of my dd's who tends to get very emotional, etc.  I mostly listen and help her think through things.  I don't avoid talking about the thing at all.  In fact, if she doesn't bring up things, I do.  And some of these conversations can be a couple hours long.  But it always seems to help her somehow.

 

And I probably say many times during the conversation things like the following:

 

Well, what do you WANT to do ...

What if you ...

Have you thought about ...

I can't really tell you what to do because I'm not the one living it.  

 

 

And so on.  She doesn't really want me to tell her specifically what to do, usually.  She just needs a sounding board to help her calm down and get her thinking back on track.

 

However, if she was that far from home, and that upset, and only 18yo, I might be a little more outspoken and tell her to come on home.  And if she said she didn't want to, I might say something like, "Well, give it another week or 2 and see what happens.  But you can ALWAYS come back home (quit college for my dd) whenever you want."  It seemed to help her to think in shorter time periods.

 

I hope you work it out and your dd feels better soon.  :grouphug:  

 

Thank you.  I do try to be her sounding board, and talking it out usually does calm her down and get her back on track.  She wants a quick fix and to just 'have it over' - poor thing.

 

Way out there question, but have you researched a fecal transplant?

 

I know it sounds gross, but many people have been helped by it.

 

I've heard about it, but not looked into it.  It might be an option in the future....

 

 

I think you've gotten a lot of advice but on of the most difficult parenting times for me was when my daughter was unhappy and unwell and away at college. Hugs to you. This too shall pass. Everything is so much harder when they're fatigued and unwell. 

 

 

Thank you.  It is a difficult time and I know she'll think more clearly when she's feeling better and gets some sleep.  

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I have a kid living in a dorm who is sugar free and grain free. Fortunately, she can have dairy. The meal plans are pretty much useless for her. I’ll be so glad when she moves off campus and can cook her own meals next year.

 

We bought her a blender for her room. She keeps cans of coconut cream and protein powder in her room. She buys frozen fruit once a week for smoothies. Her freezer is tiny, but she trades friends who don’t use theirs. If they store a bag of fruit in their freezer, she will make them a smoothie that week.

 

It has been a game changer for her because she doesn’t always have to leave her room for food.

 

Just putting that out there in case it is something your Dd could do.

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I have a kid living in a dorm who is sugar free and grain free. Fortunately, she can have dairy. The meal plans are pretty much useless for her. I’ll be so glad when she moves off campus and can cook her own meals next year.

 

We bought her a blender for her room. She keeps cans of coconut cream and protein powder in her room. She buys frozen fruit once a week for smoothies. Her freezer is tiny, but she trades friends who don’t use theirs. If they store a bag of fruit in their freezer, she will make them a smoothie that week.

 

It has been a game changer for her because she doesn’t always have to leave her room for food.

 

Just putting that out there in case it is something your Dd could do.

 

 

I bought her a smoothie maker for her room because she drank a lot of them over the summer, using almond milk, protein powder, and frozen strawberries (I never thought of using coconut milk!), but too much raw fruit seems to upset her stomach unless it is really ripe.  Plus, her smoothie maker sounds like a jet engine and her roommate sleeps much longer than dd.  I might suggest she try green smoothies and to make them in the common room/kitchenette.   Or, she could cook the strawberries and then re-freeze them.... hmmmmm

 

She is thinking about living off campus next year as well.

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She does need to go to the dr on campus and get a medical note.  So far it hasn't been an issue, but it will quickly become one.   I may email the dr's office first to give them some background, but I'll get dd's ok on that first.  That's how we dealt with the Dining Hall issue.

 

 

She needs to go to the disability office and have them help with dining hall issues if they come up again. They may also be able to help with getting absences "excused" for medical reasons, but she will need to also go to student health for help with this. There may be accommodations available to her that aren't immediately obvious to any of us. 

 

 

SaveSave

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Dd's colonoscopy/EGD were both clear and her blood work showed only slight sensitivities to gluten, dairy and a few other things.

 

I'll look into water fast and Dr. Longo - interesting.

Another thing to possibly consider, is a problem with lectin. Ugh! It’s tough trying to figure these things out.

 

If you decide to try fasting, contact me and I can give you tips on how to prepare and go about doing one. Longo’s research shows that fasting destroys white blood cells and then after eating, fresh, new stem cells appear along the spine ready to go where needed in the body. Human studies. It’s super interesting!

 

And, you know, if your daughter is enjoying school, I’d let her stay. But if she’s stressed too much, maybe let her drop a class. We did this at least 2-3 times with ds. My husband goes berserk about “all those wasted classes ds dropped!†LOL

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Poor thing.  It's awful to not feel good when you're that are away from home.  I had terrible stomach issues my junior year of college.  I lost a ton of weight and was terribly sick.  The doctors finally just said IBS and gave me some pills.  I finally started feeling better and gained some weight, but had flare ups every so often.  

 

However, I started taking magnesium last summer and haven't had any issues since then.  I would send your daughter some of this to put on her feet at night before bed.  https://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Minerals-Magnesium-Oil-oz/dp/B001AD0HL8/ref=sr_1_4_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1516420180&sr=8-4&keywords=ancient%2Bminerals%2Bmagnesium&th=1 It's quick and easy to do and aids with digestion.  https://magnesiumhealth.org/magnesium-digestion/

 

Magnesium also helps with stress and sleep, which would help her to function better all around.  https://bebrainfit.com/magnesium-anxiety-stress/

 

I hope she feels better soon.  

 

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It sounds like the last 2-3 weeks have been rough, but she did so well last semester. I wouldn’t encourage my child to drop out because of a bad couple weeks. I went through a very difficult health situation in college. I needed my parents’ support, but I’m very glad I didn’t drop out because of it.

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It sounds like the last 2-3 weeks have been rough, but she did so well last semester. I wouldn’t encourage my child to drop out because of a bad couple weeks. I went through a very difficult health situation in college. I needed my parents’ support, but I’m very glad I didn’t drop out because of it.

My son went through a serious health crisis his second semester at college. His lasted longer - about six weeks before the initial illness passed. He ended up with IgA nephropathy, which he will have to monitor for the rest of his life. We all regret not bringing him home. I think each students’ situation is different.

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I'm in the UK. Here, I would have her talk to the college. Go to them with medical documents and request a temporary leave of absence. My son had to do this and it happens all the time at the university where I work.

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In my first few years at university no one knew or cared if you went to classes as long as you sat tests and attended labs. Usually you didn't miss that much.

 

I would just listen. She will have to learn to manage herself and you really can't do it for her. I would encourage the counselling though in case it is stress causing the problems with managing her diet not the other way round.

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She needs to go to the disability office and have them help with dining hall issues if they come up again. They may also be able to help with getting absences "excused" for medical reasons, but she will need to also go to student health for help with this. There may be accommodations available to her that aren't immediately obvious to any of us. 

 

 

SaveSave

 

I agree, but I doubt she'll do it on her own.  When I visit her next week we can look into it.

 

 

Another thing to possibly consider, is a problem with lectin. Ugh! It’s tough trying to figure these things out.

 

If you decide to try fasting, contact me and I can give you tips on how to prepare and go about doing one. Longo’s research shows that fasting destroys white blood cells and then after eating, fresh, new stem cells appear along the spine ready to go where needed in the body. Human studies. It’s super interesting!

 

And, you know, if your daughter is enjoying school, I’d let her stay. But if she’s stressed too much, maybe let her drop a class. We did this at least 2-3 times with ds. My husband goes berserk about “all those wasted classes ds dropped!†LOL

 

Sigh, another thing to look into.  It seems to be never ending.  

 

She is enjoying school and has a great group of friends.  She and I will talk today about dropping her calculus class.

 

 

 

Poor thing.  It's awful to not feel good when you're that are away from home.  I had terrible stomach issues my junior year of college.  I lost a ton of weight and was terribly sick.  The doctors finally just said IBS and gave me some pills.  I finally started feeling better and gained some weight, but had flare ups every so often.  

 

However, I started taking magnesium last summer and haven't had any issues since then.  I would send your daughter some of this to put on her feet at night before bed.  https://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Minerals-Magnesium-Oil-oz/dp/B001AD0HL8/ref=sr_1_4_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1516420180&sr=8-4&keywords=ancient%2Bminerals%2Bmagnesium&th=1 It's quick and easy to do and aids with digestion.  https://magnesiumhealth.org/magnesium-digestion/

 

Magnesium also helps with stress and sleep, which would help her to function better all around.  https://bebrainfit.com/magnesium-anxiety-stress/

 

I hope she feels better soon.  

 

Thank you.  I'll look into a magnesium supplement.  

 

It sounds like the last 2-3 weeks have been rough, but she did so well last semester. I wouldn’t encourage my child to drop out because of a bad couple weeks. I went through a very difficult health situation in college. I needed my parents’ support, but I’m very glad I didn’t drop out because of it.

 

I'm definitely not encouraging her to drop out.  She is having a rough spell and I believe she can get through it.   I think she'll be unhappy if she leaves now.

 

My son went through a serious health crisis his second semester at college. His lasted longer - about six weeks before the initial illness passed. He ended up with IgA nephropathy, which he will have to monitor for the rest of his life. We all regret not bringing him home. I think each students’ situation is different.

 

I'm sorry to hear of your son's troubles.  I hope he is doing well now.

 

I'm in the UK. Here, I would have her talk to the college. Go to them with medical documents and request a temporary leave of absence. My son had to do this and it happens all the time at the university where I work.

 

I know it does, but dd thinks it's 'weird' and doesn't want to put it out there.  We'll see...

 

 

In my first few years at university no one knew or cared if you went to classes as long as you sat tests and attended labs. Usually you didn't miss that much.

 

I would just listen. She will have to learn to manage herself and you really can't do it for her. I would encourage the counselling though in case it is stress causing the problems with managing her diet not the other way round.

 

 

As far as I know, only her Bio professor has a attendance policy.  She skipped most of one class's lectures last semester due to the professor being poorly organized and she felt she could do better on her own.  For calculus, there are a couple scheduled tutorials she can go to, as well as a free tutoring service.  So far she's been able to keep up, but it's only week 2.

 

Listening is so hard.  I just want to fix everything for her.  We will talk about counseling again today.  The gut and brain definitely have a connection.

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My son went through a serious health crisis his second semester at college. His lasted longer - about six weeks before the initial illness passed. He ended up with IgA nephropathy, which he will have to monitor for the rest of his life. We all regret not bringing him home. I think each students’ situation is different.

I remember when that happened and how worried you were. :(

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How are you doing today, jen? How is your DD?

 

 

Thank you for asking.  I appreciate it.

 

Dd and I talked earlier this afternoon and again just a few minutes ago.  She was able to better articulate how she is feeling and why she wants to come home.  

 

She said the GI issues coupled with anxiety over calculus and possible depression (not wanting to get up/do anything/eat) is becoming overwhelming and she feels that by coming home she could deal with all 3 things better.  I think I did a good job of repeating back what I was hearing her say, and that seemed to calm her and make it easier for her to keep talking.  I held it together while on the phone, but cried after I hung up after the first conversation.  

 

I asked what she would do if she came home.  She didn't know and I said she'd have to go to counseling here and learn coping strategies.  She agreed that would be important so that she could go back to university in the fall.   I said that coming home was an option, but asked if she thought there were other things to try while at school before making that big of a decision.

 

She surprised me by saying that she should email her class advisor.  And she did, while we were talking on the phone.  Her email explained that she was going through some personal issues and thought that Calculus was adding to the stress and what were her options?  She figures the advisor will ask her to come in for a meeting and that will be difficult for dd, but she will go.  This advisor sounds really wonderful and understanding.  Dd talked to her a few times last semester.

 

So we left it there.  Dd didn't want to go to the dining hall and was only eating applesauce and carrots for dinner.  I said she needed to eat more to help her cope - feeling exhausted and not eating enough makes it hard to cope with pressures.  She knows that is true so she decided to order in some food (which is expensive, but at least she's getting a good meal).  She is going to talk to her 'personal chef' on Monday to tell him she'll be eating in the Dining Hall on weekends (she hadn't been there since the middle of last semester).  She was teary when we said goodbye each time, but  the second time, she sounded stronger - like, "I know there are things I can do to make myself better."  She isn't sure she'll go to the formal tonight, but I recommended it, even if it's for just an hour.  

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Thank you for asking. I appreciate it.

 

Dd and I talked earlier this afternoon and again just a few minutes ago. She was able to better articulate how she is feeling and why she wants to come home.

 

She said the GI issues coupled with anxiety over calculus and possible depression (not wanting to get up/do anything/eat) is becoming overwhelming and she feels that by coming home she could deal with all 3 things better. I think I did a good job of repeating back what I was hearing her say, and that seemed to calm her and make it easier for her to keep talking. I held it together while on the phone, but cried after I hung up after the first conversation.

 

I asked what she would do if she came home. She didn't know and I said she'd have to go to counseling here and learn coping strategies. She agreed that would be important so that she could go back to university in the fall. I said that coming home was an option, but asked if she thought there were other things to try while at school before making that big of a decision.

 

She surprised me by saying that she should email her class advisor. And she did, while we were talking on the phone. Her email explained that she was going through some personal issues and thought that Calculus was adding to the stress and what were her options? She figures the advisor will ask her to come in for a meeting and that will be difficult for dd, but she will go. This advisor sounds really wonderful and understanding. Dd talked to her a few times last semester.

 

So we left it there. Dd didn't want to go to the dining hall and was only eating applesauce and carrots for dinner. I said she needed to eat more to help her cope - feeling exhausted and not eating enough makes it hard to cope with pressures. She knows that is true so she decided to order in some food (which is expensive, but at least she's getting a good meal). She is going to talk to her 'personal chef' on Monday to tell him she'll be eating in the Dining Hall on weekends (she hadn't been there since the middle of last semester). She was teary when we said goodbye each time, but the second time, she sounded stronger - like, "I know there are things I can do to make myself better." She isn't sure she'll go to the formal tonight, but I recommended it, even if it's for just an hour.

(((jen)))

 

It sounds like she and you have a workable plan for now. It stinks that she is in this position, and I can understand how difficult it is for both of you.

 

Is Calculus the first class she has ever struggled with? If so, that might be adding to all this. It is hard for academically strong kids the first time they bump up against not doing well or not doing well easily.

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I'm so glad she sounded better!  It actually sounds like her school is very understanding, and it sounds like she's very good at advocating for herself.  You sound like a really wonderful and supportive mother.  I hope everything improves for her!

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(((jen)))

 

It sounds like she and you have a workable plan for now. It stinks that she is in this position, and I can understand how difficult it is for both of you.

 

Is Calculus the first class she has ever struggled with? If so, that might be adding to all this. It is hard for academically strong kids the first time they bump up against not doing well or not doing well easily.

 

Actually, math is the one subject she struggles with, which is why this semester is a bit scarier for her.  I have always felt that her anxiety about math was what made it difficult for her.  Does that make sense?  

 

I'm so glad she sounded better!  It actually sounds like her school is very understanding, and it sounds like she's very good at advocating for herself.  You sound like a really wonderful and supportive mother.  I hope everything improves for her!

 

 

 

As far as advocating for herself, she actually struggles with it, but she has done better at university.  She hates to burden others with her problems and will agree to avoid conflict, or to keep others from having to do more work for her.  Email is so much easier for her than face-to-face meetings, especially since she is prone to bursting into tears when talking about her issues.

 

Thank you for the support.  I appreciate it.   She did sound better, and I'm hopeful that it will continue.  We'll see what tomorrow brings...

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Update:

 

 

DD is not crying anymore.  

 

She met with her advisor on Tuesday and dropped Calculus.

 

She has been to all her classes this week and is keeping up with the minimal homework she's had to do.

 

She is eating better food and more consistently.

 

She is taking her supplements as directed.

 

She reluctantly agreed to talk with her IM dr via phone this afternoon, but now has a conflict due to it being the only time she can get a ride to the grocery store (legitimate, but frustrating).

 

 

But....

 

She is still not sleeping enough, but it is improving a little bit.  She's a really light sleeper and when her roommate is up late studying, dd cannot sleep.  I've suggested she go to bed at 11 and listen to guided meditations, or at least meditation music, but she scoffs at it.  She did listen to one on Sunday night but said it's too weird. 

 

Her stomach has still not settled down fully, but at least it is not keeping her in the bathroom or out of class.

 

She calls everyday between classes and doesn't really talk; she answers my questions, but doesn't initiate.  I asked her why and she said she doesn't feel like talking, just listening; so I ramble on about whatever I'm doing at the time.  

 

My sil is on standby to get her if needed, but dd says there is homework to do, and some group projects so she needs to stay at school on the weekend.

 

I'll see her in a week and hope for an improvement.  I have no idea what I will do if she isn't doing better.

 

 

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Thank you for the update.  I am sorry she is struggling and also for how it affects you.   :grouphug:

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I have only read your first post and your update, but I have to tell you I know exactly what you're going through and your daughter. My daughter has had diagnosed GI issues for years, which increased significantly last year, her freshman year in college. In August she finally got a diagnosis, and she has significant food restrictions, like no grains, no sugar and very little carbs. Her only carbs are sweet potato and butternut squash. She orders her food weekly from the cafe and picks it up at a predetermined time. She is also an athlete, cross country, at the school so she had no idea how or if she'd be able to compete. She often doesn't feel well, but it is getting better over time. She's on many supplements prescribed by her GI doctor, lots are herbal. The hardest part of school is all the activities that are surrounded by food, which happen constantly. Or just the kids in the cafeteria eating ice cream or sweets for every meal. She's had roommate issues over it, because one of the 4 think she's making it up. When she's tired and calls us, it's often her complaining extensively. We've learned to just listen, or usually if I chatter about home, her mood will change. She needs sleep, so she's been good about going to bed to get 8 hours of sleep, even if she still needs to study. She's a mechanical engineer so her class  load is heavy. Her high level of exercise helps her immensely. She competes all 3 seasons. Oh, and she is 10 1/2 hours away from us. I made the trip 3 times in the fall and my husband made it twice, to organize her meds, bring her food she could keep frozen and just provide support to her. It's been tough but she's doing okay.

 

I just wanted you to know you and your daughter are not alone. I hope it gets better for her soon. 

 

 

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