Adapting the Routine

Hello from Hanover! I have finally found the time to do some blogging. Believe it or not, there is a lot going on in a typical grad school day.

One of my big stressors ahead of the move was adapting my care routine to the changing demands of business school in a new place. Now that I am about three weeks in, I think I have settled on something that works for me and will continue to work throughout my time in New England.

The mornings are already proving to be much earlier than they were for me in my professional and undergrad lives. I have found myself needing to be at Tuck before 8:00am each morning. Much of the business school lifestyle is team oriented, so while I have certainly been given a crash course in adjusting everything to accommodate the needs of my new student team, I have also been given the opportunity to adjust pieces of my own routine – namely my sleep and treatment schedules.

If you’ve been a long-time reader, you know that I am one of those people with CF who generally has a tough time sleeping for a long period of the night. In fact, it was a common trait that Lea and I used to bond over. My new lifestyle here, though, requires forcing myself to bed early each night. Believe it or not, I am so mentally exhausted at the end of the day that it’s been quite easy to do – even with my g-tube in tow, which leads me to my next point…

Before getting to Hanover, I set a handful of “health goals” for myself, and one of them was to be consistent with my feeding tube. I have quickly learned that I am burning a lot of calories throughout each day as I transition back to “student.” Persistent mental stimulation at such a high level of collective intellect throughout the Tuck community has been a lot more challenging than I had naively thought it would be, so for that reason I am happy I set my above g-tube goal. I have been really good with my overnight feeds, but the real change has come thanks to the presence of my new roommate – Darcy. Darc Vader has been playing with her super food smoothie recipe each day, which has left me with a new bolus feed to try at lunch (let’s be honest, university cafeteria dining can only be so good…). My experience in undergrad taught me that I didn’t prioritize my nutrition as I should have. This time around, I am happy to be sticking to my guns 3 weeks in, especially in the “caloric requirement” department. We’re still trying to find the perfect recipe, but thanks to the area’s local farmer’s markets and good local produce, it’s been a fun journey so far.

The transition to a new care team has also been part of this move. If you listened to this week’s podcast, you’d know that I had my first CF clinic consult at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. I always get a kick out of seeing how different clinics operate, but the best thing about DHMC is that it’s less than 5 minutes from where I live. In fact, this is probably the first time in more than 20 years that it hasn’t taken more than 45 minutes to commute to clinic. Needless to say, it has been an awesome change because of how welcoming the team at DHMC has been.

Looking back over the past few weeks, the biggest lesson I have learned about moving away to a new place, is just to sit back and let the CF routine fall into place. After all, it really is the one thing that stays consistent in the middle of a move. I may be in a new place, but I still have to wake up and do my treatments in the morning and then sit there and do them again before I go to sleep at night. They aren’t going away. In a way, they have served as the instrument that keeps me grounded. (If there has ever been a positive spin on doing treatments… that could be it).