6:30 a.m. – I wake up and start stretching so I can move around as I get ready.
6:45 a.m. – I eat breakfast quickly and take some Tylenol to relieve some of the burning pain in my legs, back, and neck.
6:55 a.m. – I get dressed while laying down. This takes a bit longer than the usual way but I cannot force my body to bend over this morning.
7:05 a.m. – I continue to get ready sitting down.
7:25 a.m. – I get on my winter coat and start making my way to the bus stop. I have to be careful not to go too fast because I can’t afford to fall. The last time I was in a rush for the bus I ended up falling and – wow – that a painful experience.
7:35 a.m. – I board the bus and make my way to the closest seat as quick as possible. Thank goodness there’s one semi-close so I don’t have to walk as the bus is moving.
7:55 a.m. – I get off the bus and start trudging towards Ivey so I can make my 8 a.m. class.
9:20 a.m. – That first class was stressful for me. I have trouble participating in class because I feel intimidated by my peers. They’re all so intelligent and I feel like I need to work twice as hard to keep up with them.
9:24 a.m. – Once there is a clear path for me to get out of the classroom, I’m on the move. I want coffee because I’m exhausted but I feel that I need to prioritize using the washroom instead. Nature calls, right? I don’t walk fast enough to do more than one activity during break, especially with all those lines. Oh well, the coffee can wait.
11:00 a.m. – The second class of the day was a hard one. I was desperately trying to stay awake and was so distracted that I had no idea what was happening. What’s worse? My prof cold-called me and I didn’t know the answer – even when she repeated herself! I’m so mad at myself…I should have woken up earlier so I could have made coffee at home this morning. I always make that mistake.
11:05 a.m. – I finally get to the cafeteria so I can get myself a coffee. I spend so much money here – I should really stop. At least I won’t be falling asleep next class. I really need to focus on contributing this time.
12:40 a.m. – Okay that class went well. I actually felt like I was a part of the conversation! I feel so great that I almost forget about the pain shooting up and down my legs and back. But then I feel it again. I guess it’s time for another pill.
1:00 p.m. – I have to quickly eat the lunch that I brought from home so I can make it to a club meeting on main campus at 1:30 p.m. I don’t feel great, but the Aleve that I took earlier is starting to kick in.
2:30 p.m. – Time to start reading my cases for tomorrow. My body is beginning to feel tired so I want to read them somewhere close. Weldon could be a risky choice because I’ll just end up walking around all over the place looking for somewhere to work. Maybe I could go back to Ivey – it’s not that far.
2:35 p.m. – I almost wipe out on black ice! That sends a shooting pain up my back and I have to stop walking. I wish there was something around that I could lean on. I attempt to stand up straight and keep moving. I just want to find a spot to sit down.
2:45 p.m. – I finally enter the building and find a spot to sit in the hallway. I want to start reading right away, but some of my friends walk by and I become distracted. It’s nice to see them, but the conversation changes course and suddenly we’re talking about recruiting and grades on our most recent exam. I begin to distance myself from the conversation in the most polite way I can muster.
3:00 p.m. – Finally, I begin to read my cases. I have to readjust my seated position a few times and sit on my coat.
4:55 p.m. – I lost track of time and almost forgot I have an info session at 5 o’clock! I get my stuff together as quickly as possible and make my way to the elevator to get downstairs. Every time I use the elevator I feel embarrassed that people will judge me for it. I can’t manage walking down the stairs today though.
7:00 p.m. – I feel overwhelmed by recruiting and by everything else I have left to do today. I decide it would be best for me to go home and eat dinner. I head towards the bus stop with very little energy.
7:10 p.m. – I step onto the bus and feel my stomach drop. The bus is almost completely full and there is nowhere for me to sit. I find a spot where I can lean and I try to focus on my breathing – this is going to be a tough ride.
7:35 p.m. – I’m finally home and decide to take more pain relieving medicine so I can make dinner for myself.
8:00 p.m. – Now I can finish doing my cases.
11:00 p.m. – I finish working on my cases and my body has gotten very stiff. I get up and lay in bed, attempting to stretch out as much as possible.
11:30 p.m. – I shower and then get into bed to rest. Despite the stress I feel about school and recruiting, this day was okay overall. I hope that I can sleep better tonight than I did last night.
This was the day in the life of an Ivey student. It was also the day in the life of someone suffering from chronic pain. At Ivey, it is easy to feel that you are surrounded by a sea of people with very similar stresses and accept that as “normal.” However, it is important to remind yourself that every Ivey student comes to school each day with different experiences and outlooks. If we remind ourselves of this idea every day, we could help build a more understanding and inclusive environment at Ivey in the long run.
Although this thought piece does not demonstrate the day-to-day events of a particular individual, it demonstrates the reality that many in this world go through.
By: Georgia McClure-Kunc