May 18, 2015

IowaWatch Connection: Hidden Illnesses

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Megan Quick/For IowaWatch

Succeeding in college is hard enough, but the challenges are even greater for a student with a hidden illness…one the rest of us cannot see, such as juvenile arthritis, autism, learning disabilities, depression or anxiety.

“During the average day, managing my illness consists of mostly just grinning and bearing it, taking a nap. Making sure that I drink my Gatorade and eat something salty, making sure I take my medication,” said Cheyenne Goode, a Grand View University graduate with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

The syndrome and the accompanying depression, chronic daily headaches and fibromyalgia have disrupted Goode’s daily routine for the past six years.

“People have a tendency to discount non-life-threatening, chronic illness,” she said. “They discount them because you’re not in the hospital, you’re not dying, there’s no foreseeable expiration date.”

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