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*This writeup is the first in a series of articles we'd like to share about the different challenges we all face in school. In this issue, Maya Velani tells her story about living with ulcerative colitis.*

Hi my name is Maya, I'm in year 12 and I'm going to tell you about the difficulties I've faced going through high school with a chronic illness and how I've overcome them.

I have a condition called ulcerative colitis where my large intestine can get inflamed leading to frequent visits to the toilet and terrible cramps.
When I was diagnosed I found it hard to cope in lessons and missed a lot of work. This didn't help me as it stressed me out which made my condition worse.

On top of this I was put on steroids for a whole year which made me gain a lot of weight, this wasn't great for my self esteem as I was worried people were constantly judging me. I was nervous to use my toilet pass for the same reason. I quickly realised it didn't matter what others thought my health mattered most and people probably weren't judging me as much as I thought.

I was still however having bad days and getting stressed about being behind in work. This is when I learnt that I had to tell teachers when I wasn't feeling well so I would stop putting too much pressure on myself to be 'perfect'.

It was hard in the beginning and still can be sometimes but I've learnt to not worry about others opinions, to stop putting pressure on myself and to tell teachers when I'm having bad days. The last one is particularly important because sometimes telling others helps you feel better even if sometimes it's just a friend it will always help a little.

Categories: Case Study, Blog, posted on 30 Jul 2021

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