Starting somewhere new, or going back to student life with the diagnosis of a long-term health condition can be extremely hard. There’s a lot of information on starting/returning to university, but there isn’t much on how to navigate this with a pituitary condition.
For someone like Teagan, who was diagnosed with a Prolactinoma during her second year of university, she had to figure out how to navigate her pituitary condition and university life for herself. It’s a hard task to do and we want to make sure that freshers and those returning have a helping hand.
Printing out emergency information if relevant. If you have a condition in which you may find yourself in a crisis, print all your information and details and keep them somewhere safe in case of an emergency. Either in your bag, desk or somewhere in your room. It might also be a good idea to keep copies!
Letting housemates know your emergency contacts and what to do if you go into adrenal crisis. They will be the ones with you most and making them aware of what to do not only benefits you, but also them.
Speak to your endocrinologist. Let them know you are relocating or studying and ask them for help and advice for settling in to student life. They are there to support you.
Make sure you have enough medication until you can get registered with a new GP. It can be a lengthy process registering with a new GP and pharmacy, so taking extra medication can aid you as you wait.
We also asked Teagan for her top tips for someone starting/returning to university:
Speak to your University well-being team: You lose nothing by reaching out but have everything to gain. I know it can be awkward and embarrassing or even intimidating but I’m sure most people will find that their universities will be very accommodating and helpful.
Make sure you register with a local GP (or the student GP if your university has one) if you have relocated. Trying to get GP appointments can be difficult at the best of times, you don’t need the added stress of travelling home and trying to arrange appointments around this.
Don’t be afraid to let others know you’re struggling: This could be lecturers, managers/colleagues or housemates. People won’t always understand but they will have a much better chance to do so if they’re aware of what’s really going on.
You can also find a support group local to you here.