Dealing With Your Chronic Illness

1. First of all, if you know you have a chronic illness that is affecting your life and may cause medical problems at times (flare-ups or crisis), think about informing the key people around you about your health condition. Examples could be Cancer, bowel disease, mental health diagnosis, epilepsy, dyslexia, substance abuse, ADD, Your family, your room-mates, your Resident Assistant or housing office personnel may need to help you. While this may make you feel vulnerable, it may also be important that they know and be part of a plan if you need help. The people around you need to know how to ensure your safety, who to call and why they are calling, Medical alert systems are also important. Don't let a crisis develop that communication would have helped avoid!

2. Be pro-active, book appointment with your medical team members as soon as possible. Depending on your health problem, you may have a variety of people assisting you during your time as a student. It may be that you book early to discuss your chronic illness with a physician, a physician speciallist, a counselor, a psychiatrist, a dietitian, a nurse, etc. Book an appointment early in your time here, ensure chart information is in the hands of the right people, get your care set up EARLY! Some people even begin arranging this before they arrive in Lethbridge, depending on the illness. If you are unsure, book an appointment with a nurse at the UofL Health Centre 403-329-2484 to discuss HOW TO MAKE A PLAN!

3. There are also services such as Counselling and Disability services on campus. Counselling services can be accessed at 403-317-2845 at TH218 and Disability Resource Centre at B760 and 403-329-2766. You may also want to ensure that your advisor is aware of your situation to protect your academic record. Each faculty has an academic advisor that you can access to ensure academic success.