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jen3kids

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

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I have not read all the posts in the thread, but read the update. So glad there has been improvement!

 

I have a daughter with ongoing health issues that we just got graduated last spring. In her case she really preferred to stay at school, so that helped. However, her issues made getting through the classes in a way that maintained financial aid the challenge.

 

Personally, I would do all that I could to encourage her to stick it out through this semester, though I would visit frequently if necessary. Sometimes having someone to take you shopping or to appointments for a few days is a big encouragement.

 

If the college has a disability office, I would get her registered there. On your visit, bring any documentation she needs from the doc that diagnosed her (or have them send it to her ASAP. Getting them to give copies to you may be a problem if she is over 18). A good disability office can advocate for her with professors when she is ill and has to miss class. They will also set up a plan with each prof at the beginning of the semester so that they know she may need to leave unexpectedly. The prof will not necessarily need to know her diagnosis, just the accommodations required.

 

Regular appointments with a nutritionist for accountability may help her during this time when she is struggling to stick with her plan. A counselor might be useful too, but I suspect her unhappiness is situational from what you have said about her demeanor first semester.

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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. 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your daughter's story.  

 

I do believe that physical activity helps my daughter too.  In high school, she played field hockey all year round, and even when he stomach was bothering her, I made her play (because I thought it was just nerves) and after the games she felt better 90% of the time.  Unfortunately, she thought it would be too much for her at university, and there was nothing more I could do to encourage her to play.  She was doing personal training over the summer before she left for school and it was great for her, but now she just does her classes and homework and hangs out with her friends.  Thankfully all of her friends are supportive and understanding about it.  They still eat their cookies and stuff, but no one gives her a hard time.

 

I wish dd would get more sleep; she has always been a night owl and one of her medications has to be taken on an empty stomach, so, since she eats at 7:30ish (to give herself time to figure out if her stomach will bother her - it usually flares up in the morning, if at all), she gets up at 6, despite not having class until 9:30.  That means she usually only gets 5-6 hours of sleep each night, which is not nearly enough for her.  Sharing a room in a dorm does not help either.

 

 

Can I ask what herbal supplements your dd takes and what it helps with?  I've been looking into the suggestions that other people have made, specifically magnesium and Visbiome.  I will discuss both of these with my dd's IM dr after their call today.

 

 

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

 

 

Thank you for your support.

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It sounds like two of her main areas of  trouble were the calculus class, which she's dropped, and sleeping, which she hasn't solved yet.  Has she tried a white noise machine?  What about white noise tracks on an mp3 player, for earbuds?  It sounds like she's getting up at 6 am after going to bed at midnight or 1, but doesn't need to wake up that early (in fact, may not need to wake up until 7:30 or 8).  Why is she waking so early?

 

does she need calculus to graduate?  If so, eventually she'll have to take it, and I would encourage her to do it sooner instead of later (so the math doesn't have a chance to lapse for too long).  She might be able to take it from a CC over the summer and transfer the credit, though.

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Haven't read all the responses. My heart breaks for you both!

 

Would a white noise machine help her fall and stay asleep? One of mine came home for Christmas break freshman year and suddenly needed a white noise machine, even though home is, you know, much quieter than a dorm. 

 

Anyway, just had to throw that out. There is a reason sleep deprivation is a form of torture! 

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It sounds like two of her main areas of  trouble were the calculus class, which she's dropped, and sleeping, which she hasn't solved yet.  Has she tried a white noise machine?  What about white noise tracks on an mp3 player, for earbuds?  It sounds like she's getting up at 6 am after going to bed at midnight or 1, but doesn't need to wake up that early (in fact, may not need to wake up until 7:30 or 8).  Why is she waking so early?

 

does she need calculus to graduate?  If so, eventually she'll have to take it, and I would encourage her to do it sooner instead of later (so the math doesn't have a chance to lapse for too long).  She might be able to take it from a CC over the summer and transfer the credit, though.

 

She has a fan in her room and dh bought her a white noise machine, but she is super light sleeper and wakes when her roomie comes in or has a light on.

 

She does need Calculus to graduate, but can take it any time.  She is going to look into doing it online over the summer, or at the local CC if it will transfer.

 

She gets up at 6 to take her Synthroid medication that has to be taken on an empty stomach.  She does go back to bed for another 45 minutes or an hour.  The problem is, that, if her stomach issues arise in the morning, they usually only last and hour or so, and then she can move on with her day.  So, she has decided that getting up at 7 gives her time to get over the stomach issues if they present.

  

 

Haven't read all the responses. My heart breaks for you both!

 

 

Anyway, just had to throw that out. There is a reason sleep deprivation is a form of torture! 

 

 

Thank you.  It has been difficult.

 

Sleep deprivation is brutal.  If she went to my sil's house on the weekend, she could at least get caught up (although I know that's not really a thing), because they are all night owls there too and their house is so quiet in the morning hours and her room would be away from everyone else's.

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She has a fan in her room and dh bought her a white noise machine, but she is super light sleeper and wakes when her roomie comes in or has a light on.

 

She does need Calculus to graduate, but can take it any time.  She is going to look into doing it online over the summer, or at the local CC if it will transfer.

 

She gets up at 6 to take her Synthroid medication that has to be taken on an empty stomach.  She does go back to bed for another 45 minutes or an hour.  The problem is, that, if her stomach issues arise in the morning, they usually only last and hour or so, and then she can move on with her day.  So, she has decided that getting up at 7 gives her time to get over the stomach issues if they present.

  

 

 

 

Hmm, I would definitely suggest no more morning classes, then, if avoidable (but I know that doesn't help this semester!)

For the light situation, can she wear a mask to sleep?

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She has a fan in her room and dh bought her a white noise machine, but she is super light sleeper and wakes when her roomie comes in or has a light on.

 

She does need Calculus to graduate, but can take it any time.  She is going to look into doing it online over the summer, or at the local CC if it will transfer.

 

She gets up at 6 to take her Synthroid medication that has to be taken on an empty stomach.  She does go back to bed for another 45 minutes or an hour.  The problem is, that, if her stomach issues arise in the morning, they usually only last and hour or so, and then she can move on with her day.  So, she has decided that getting up at 7 gives her time to get over the stomach issues if they present.

  

 

 

 

Thank you.  It has been difficult.

 

Sleep deprivation is brutal.  If she went to my sil's house on the weekend, she could at least get caught up (although I know that's not really a thing), because they are all night owls there too and their house is so quiet in the morning hours and her room would be away from everyone else's.

 

I can't remember who recommended this book, but I seem to recall the author asserted that you can catch up on sleep, maybe if it's w/in a week? Not sure I buy that. I haven't read it, but I put it in an Amazon list to remind myself to look for it at my library. 

 

Still, I hope she can get some rest and respite. 

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She really sounds like she could use a therapist.

 

MY dd struggles with health issues and for her, the idea of hunting someone down, making an appointment, keeping the appointment, was just too much for her. 

 

First, I would talk to her about this and tell her that I'll take care of finding a good therapist, taking care of the phone calls about insurance, and make the appointment with her. Then I would encourage her to either use public transportation or confide in a trusted friend that she needs help with transportation. 

 

She may be shocked at how supportive and understanding her friends are and what's really surprised my daughter is how many of her friends have confided in her of their own emotional struggles.

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I read the update.  I would likely let her come home unless she specifically asked for scaffolding to stay if she continues to want that and continues to have issues.

 

And gently, I would want her evaluated for anxiety and depression.  I have GI issues and that combo of GI isssues tied with depression and anxiety can be pretty unbearable.  Cycling with episodes of not sleeping well makes it even worse.   If she is going to stay at school, I would try to encourage her to talk to someone in mental health.  Not being able to manage chronic health issues well can be depressing.

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Hmm, I would definitely suggest no more morning classes, then, if avoidable (but I know that doesn't help this semester!)

For the light situation, can she wear a mask to sleep?

 

She would love to have late morning classes/early afternoon, but as a first year, she is at the mercy of the schedule!

 

I suggested a mask but she said no.  I'm going to get one for her anyway, so at least she can try it out. 

 

I can't remember who recommended this book, but I seem to recall the author asserted that you can catch up on sleep, maybe if it's w/in a week? Not sure I buy that. I haven't read it, but I put it in an Amazon list to remind myself to look for it at my library. 

 

Still, I hope she can get some rest and respite. 

 

Interesting.  I'll look into the book.  Last semester she slept better, but still not as much as I thought she needed.  She was able to catch up on Saturdays and seemed to function ok.

 

She really sounds like she could use a therapist.

 

MY dd struggles with health issues and for her, the idea of hunting someone down, making an appointment, keeping the appointment, was just too much for her. 

 

First, I would talk to her about this and tell her that I'll take care of finding a good therapist, taking care of the phone calls about insurance, and make the appointment with her. Then I would encourage her to either use public transportation or confide in a trusted friend that she needs help with transportation. 

 

She may be shocked at how supportive and understanding her friends are and what's really surprised my daughter is how many of her friends have confided in her of their own emotional struggles.

 

Oh definitely.  I am going up next week and it is on my list of things to help her set up.   The campus has counselors there that I'm going to try to make an appt with.

 

She confides in her friends only when it's really bad and she cannot hide it anymore (like this weekend), but she is really uncomfortable doing it.  Before Christmas she told me she and her roommate talk about stuff a lot at night, but I guess this time was too much for her to share.

 

 

I read the update.  I would likely let her come home unless she specifically asked for scaffolding to stay if she continues to want that and continues to have issues.

 

And gently, I would want her evaluated for anxiety and depression.  I have GI issues and that combo of GI isssues tied with depression and anxiety can be pretty unbearable.  Cycling with episodes of not sleeping well makes it even worse.   If she is going to stay at school, I would try to encourage her to talk to someone in mental health.  Not being able to manage chronic health issues well can be depressing.

 

 

We will definitely let her come home if necessary.  Dh and I have talked about it and somewhat agreed on it.  I'm emotional about it (our baby girl needs us!), and he's more analytical (let's set up small ways to make her successful where she can see it is possible), so it's an interesting conversation! 

 

She really does need to see someone, and I think she is realizing that now.

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Most of what she takes are for her bacterial and fungal infections and low immune system, like Echinacea , vitamin A, Zinc Picollinate, and vitamin D3. Something that has been very helpful is Naturally Calm, a magnesium supplement. It mixes with warm water and is fizzy. It helps with constipation and stress. It's easy to take. 

 

My daughter already had accommodations in place because of vision issues, and a great relationship with her disability person before this diagnosis. It was easy for her to email her and get more help with food.  I don't think she would have talked to her roommates about how she was feeling, either. It is so easy for things like this to cause eating problems, or depression/anxiety.  It's so hard for teens to be different from their peers. She had a very hard first semester, because of her course load and her health. I hope things get better for your daughter, too. 

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Most of what she takes are for her bacterial and fungal infections and low immune system, like Echinacea , vitamin A, Zinc Picollinate, and vitamin D3. Something that has been very helpful is Naturally Calm, a magnesium supplement. It mixes with warm water and is fizzy. It helps with constipation and stress. It's easy to take. 

 

My daughter already had accommodations in place because of vision issues, and a great relationship with her disability person before this diagnosis. It was easy for her to email her and get more help with food.  I don't think she would have talked to her roommates about how she was feeling, either. It is so easy for things like this to cause eating problems, or depression/anxiety.  It's so hard for teens to be different from their peers. She had a very hard first semester, because of her course load and her health. I hope things get better for your daughter, too. 

 

 

Thank you.

 

I asked her dr about magnesium and the Naturally Calm is not an option for dd; her trouble is diarrhea so we don't want to encourage any more 'fluidity' down there :)  But we will look into other types of magnesium supplement - the lotion is appealing, since dd loves lotions, but the magnesium one tends to leave a burning sensation that dd would not like at all.  I may get it to try myself first and see how it is.  

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Thank you.

 

I asked her dr about magnesium and the Naturally Calm is not an option for dd; her trouble is diarrhea so we don't want to encourage any more 'fluidity' down there :)  But we will look into other types of magnesium supplement - the lotion is appealing, since dd loves lotions, but the magnesium one tends to leave a burning sensation that dd would not like at all.  I may get it to try myself first and see how it is.  

 

We use this Magnesium lotion for my son who really struggles with sleep; it really helps.  I've never had any issues with burning or tingling after applying it to him, and he's never complained about how it feels either.  It does have an unusual scent - kind of like birthday cake batter - DS likes the smell, but DH and I aren't huge fans.  It isn't horrible or anything, just odd...why not lavender or citrus or mountain spring?  Why birthday cake???

 

Wendy

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I wanted to tell you that one of my daughters accommodations include being able to register for classes before they open up for other students.

 

If you go to the disability office, I’d ask if that is an option.

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I'm heading up to see dd tomorrow.

 

She is at my parent's house, about 90 minutes from university.  She called me Saturday morning crying that she couldn't do it anymore and she needed to go to their house to wait for me.  She was sick once again that morning, although not as bad as the previous times, but she couldn't track it to anything so she felt overwhelmed and defeated.  She emailed her professors to let her know she wouldn't be in class all week and made an appt for us to see her advisor on Thursday to discuss her options.  All of her professors have been really supportive and she is keeping up with the online assignments and readings.  

 

My hope is that I can set up some supports for her so she can get through the semester.  I plan to go up every other week or so to spend 4-5 days with her.  We can stay at my parents' house and I can drive her up to class each day if she wants.  She may be able to drop another class too.  I will also set her up with a counselor and personal trainer.   But, we're also prepared to bring her home if she feels she cannot handle it even with the supports in place.  That will probably require a medical note, but we can get that pretty easily from her dr here.

 

Wish us luck!

 

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I hope all goes as smoothly as possible for all of you and especially your daughter. It’s good she went to her grandparent’s home.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  It sounds like you've got a good plan in place with options. 

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She would love to have late morning classes/early afternoon, but as a first year, she is at the mercy of the schedule .

The office of disability services can arranger for her to have early registeration for any following semesters. When ds did this, he registered after the seniors but before everyone else. Can you ask her doctor to write a letter stating that she shouldn’t have classes before 10:00 AM? That letter should get her early registration. If you’d like, I can share some tips on what should be in the letter that another board member shared with me when we were getting ds set up. Just let me know if you’d like me to do that. Another thing she can request is a room with a private bathroom to ensure access, if that is an issue.

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Praying you have a good visit and are able to get some more supports in place, I’m glad you are going, we visited ds every few weeks to try to keep him on track and troubleshoot sticking points. It’s time consuming, but necessary. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are hovering or coddling her - you know her best of all.

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Thank you.

 

I asked her dr about magnesium and the Naturally Calm is not an option for dd; her trouble is diarrhea so we don't want to encourage any more 'fluidity' down there :)  But we will look into other types of magnesium supplement - the lotion is appealing, since dd loves lotions, but the magnesium one tends to leave a burning sensation that dd would not like at all.  I may get it to try myself first and see how it is.  

 

I order mine from Sultry Smooth Essentials on Etsy. My DH's cousin makes it. No stinging that I've found (although maybe don't put it on your legs right after shaving), not weird feeling, and you can choose the scent or do unscented. She has no problem doing custom orders. She does tend to heavily scent things, so if you want a lighter scent specify that to her and I'm sure she'll accommodate you. (not trying to drum up sales for her, I've only met her once, but the lotions are nice, lol)

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Hugs. If she needs to come home do NOT look at it like a failure, and don't let her do that. It's a learning opportunity. It's a few months setback out of a lifetime. In 20 years it won't matter. Her health does matter, particularly her mental health. Given the risk of suicide in young people, mental health is my number one consideration. 

 

Plus, this is a GREAT opportunity for her to learn self care. How many of us didn't learn that until we were middle aged and burnt out, if then? Let her learn it now and she'll have a great life later. 

 

Hugs, mama. 

 

Perhaps staying home for a few semesters at the CC and then transferring back to this university later, when she's more mature, and health problems are stable, and she's got some success under her belt, would be better. 

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It sounds like you're doing everything you can to help her!  Does the school have any online classes?  Can she possibly arrange to have all of her classes (maybe next semester) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or Monday - Thursday, for example, or do a class or two online?  Then perhaps she could go to her grandparents' home for the long weekends, and will have that to look forward to each week.  (If transportation can be figured out.)

 

My dd is in same city as her grandparents, and she often goes there on weekends.  She doesn't have class on Monday until the afternoon, so she gets to spend three nights at her grandparents every weekend if she wants.  Sometimes I join her there.  (It's about 3 hours away for me.) 

 

My dd doesn't sleep well either, although we haven't been to figure that one out yet.  She's currently trying a type of magnesium supplement that someone on the boards recommended.

 

 

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She has a fan in her room and dh bought her a white noise machine, but she is super light sleeper and wakes when her roomie comes in or has a light on.

 

She does need Calculus to graduate, but can take it any time.  She is going to look into doing it online over the summer, or at the local CC if it will transfer.

 

She gets up at 6 to take her Synthroid medication that has to be taken on an empty stomach.  She does go back to bed for another 45 minutes or an hour.  The problem is, that, if her stomach issues arise in the morning, they usually only last and hour or so, and then she can move on with her day.  So, she has decided that getting up at 7 gives her time to get over the stomach issues if they present.

  

 

 

 

Thank you.  It has been difficult.

 

Sleep deprivation is brutal.  If she went to my sil's house on the weekend, she could at least get caught up (although I know that's not really a thing), because they are all night owls there too and their house is so quiet in the morning hours and her room would be away from everyone else's.

 

 

FWIW, I've been taking synthroid for years and seldom remember to take it on an empty stomach (or in the morning), but it still does what it's supposed to do. If it's disrupting sleep, she could try moving it around--2 hours after a meal perhaps.

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FWIW, I've been taking synthroid for years and seldom remember to take it on an empty stomach (or in the morning), but it still does what it's supposed to do. If it's disrupting sleep, she could try moving it around--2 hours after a meal perhaps.

I have taken synthroid for 30 years and have always taken it before bed. I know it’s not the conventional time but it has worked for me. If she is sacrificing sleep over it and is nauseous in the morning changing that might really help. Can’t remember why I started taking it at night but suspect nausea was my reason.

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So, after meeting with dd's academic advisor, it was decided that dd would withdraw from university this semester.  She is home now and we have a plan going forward. Hopefully she will be healthy enough to go back in the fall.

 

Interestingly, her advisor has been going through something similar for the past 4 years.  She had an H. pylori infection that resulted in many of the same problems dd is going through.  

 

Thank you all for your support and advice.  We are continuing to explore various treatment options - so many to look into....

 

Jen

 

 

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Thank you for the update, Jen — I’m glad to hear that your dd is home and that you have a plan going forward.

 

I’m sorry she wasn’t able to finish out the semester, but her health and happiness are far more important, and I think you and your dd made the right decision.

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Much, much better to work on her health. I hope she makes good progress. My son do-si-dos but is steadily improving.

 

Btw, I’ll just throw this out there, but you might be interested in the book The Good Gut by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg. They’re husband and wife immunologists at Stanford who study the microbiome and run a lab. We just ordered the book the other day but they also have a blog and an interview with scientist Rhonda Patrick.

 

http://sonnenburglab.stanford.edu/

 

https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/the-sonnenburgs

 

http://www.microbiomeinstitute.org/blog/2015/4/21/episode-5-of-the-microbiome-podcast-diet-and-its-impact-on-our-microbiota-and-health-with-drs-erica-and-justin-sonnenburg

 

Good luck!

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Thank you for the update, Jen — I’m glad to hear that your dd is home and that you have a plan going forward.

 

I’m sorry she wasn’t able to finish out the semester, but her health and happiness are far more important, and I think you and your dd made the right decision.

 

 

She was so sad at my mom and dad's and couldn't wait to get home.  She was singing in the kitchen last night while making dinner and now she's playing the piano.  I know it was the right decision for her.   As she explained to her older brother, "It was just too much for me to deal with on my own.  I need to be here right now, but I'm going back in the fall."   :wub:  

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So, after meeting with dd's academic advisor, it was decided that dd would withdraw from university this semester.  She is home now and we have a plan going forward. Hopefully she will be healthy enough to go back in the fall.

 

Interestingly, her advisor has been going through something similar for the past 4 years.  She had an H. pylori infection that resulted in many of the same problems dd is going through.  

 

Thank you all for your support and advice.  We are continuing to explore various treatment options - so many to look into....

 

Jen

 

This buys her some time. In the big picture, the semester will be no big deal. Hope she finds a solution!

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I'm glad she's happy to be home!

 

If I could change one thing about my college experience, it would be having a single room. For me, an introvert, light sleeper, got stressed/annoyed with noise and other people's lights... I really should have had a single room. My grades would have been better, my mood, my sleep... everything! For some people, roommates are really positive.... and for others, they aren't. Just a thought for next fall :)

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Much, much better to work on her health. I hope she makes good progress. My son do-si-dos but is steadily improving.

 

Btw, I’ll just throw this out there, but you might be interested in the book The Good Gut by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg. They’re husband and wife immunologists at Stanford who study the microbiome and run a lab. We just ordered the book the other day but they also have a blog and an interview with scientist Rhonda Patrick.

 

http://sonnenburglab.stanford.edu/

 

https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/the-sonnenburgs

 

http://www.microbiomeinstitute.org/blog/2015/4/21/episode-5-of-the-microbiome-podcast-diet-and-its-impact-on-our-microbiota-and-health-with-drs-erica-and-justin-sonnenburg

 

Good luck!

 

Thank you for the additional resources.  They are on my to-do list for tomorrow, as well as more research into fasting.  

 

Does your son drink kombucha?  Dd tried it and liked it.  The research seems positive, but it appears that some people do well with it and others, not so much.

 

 

 

(((Hugs))) that’s so great that she recognizes what she needs right now.

All the best to her going forward

 

 

Thank you.  

 

This buys her some time. In the big picture, the semester will be no big deal. Hope she finds a solution!

 

Exactly, one semester is no big deal and we now have time to do some more research and try various treatments.

 

 

I'm glad she's happy to be home!

 

If I could change one thing about my college experience, it would be having a single room. For me, an introvert, light sleeper, got stressed/annoyed with noise and other people's lights... I really should have had a single room. My grades would have been better, my mood, my sleep... everything! For some people, roommates are really positive.... and for others, they aren't. Just a thought for next fall :)

 

 

She has already looked into next year's accommodations!  

 

They have a residence that is normally for 3rd year + students, but students with medical needs can get in as well.  They have suite-style residences with 1 and 2 bedroom units.  She is going to request a single because then she'd have her own bathroom.  She actually really liked her roommate, but for all the reasons you listed, it became too much for her.  

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