Another week goes by, another creep comes by.

I thought that title was clever since I forgot one last week and couldn’t be bothered to think of anything.

So few things I will be talking about. My first week of being off my acid reflux meds so I can get testing done to make sure nothing more serious is wrong. The return of class creeper and another one (who probably isn’t that creepy to be honest but I don’t want to be bothered either way), classes update and what I’ve decided to do since the rejection of the bone marrow donation.

Back when I first came here I got registered with a local doctor’s office so I could get some meds again. Birth control which is awesomely free in this country and should be worldwide if you want my opinion, and my acid reflux medication. I needed a doctor’s approval to be on meds and they asked me if I had ever been tested for acid reflux. I just told them about my terrible weekend of suffering from it and going to see the doctor and all she did was ask a few questions and gave me some samples and if they worked they would put me on it. Well here they like to do actual testing before putting you on anything. It makes sense and I’d rather be checked for more serious things than over medicated. Especially since it’s becoming apparent that stomach troubles are common in my family and in some incidences hereditary. My grandfather had stomach cancer and my great-grandmother and aunt both had ulcerative colitis, the colitis is the possible hereditary thing. And mixing that with stress, I’m a prime candidate for it. So I’d like to find out sooner rather than later if there is a possibility of it and if I can do anything to prevent it. I talked to my mom about it and she is worried (I can tell) and tells me I’m too young to get that. I have a friend with a similar problem and he was diagnosed quite early with it. Like his late teen or early twenties. He had to change his diet and takes meds all the time. One day he was fine and the next day he was in the hospital and diagnosed. I don’t think age matters in this kind of thing. I’m hoping there won’t be anything serious though if there is they said something about putting me on antibiotics. I’m hoping I can eventually be off acid reflux medication.

This past week I haven’t been taking my meds because I have to be off them for at least 2 weeks before they can do any kind of testing. If the meds are in my system it could compromise the testing and make it inconclusive. At first when I was told this I really didn’t want to do it, I think part of it was I was thinking it would cost me something for this testing and I didn’t think the pain of it was worth it plus I couldn’t afford it. I had to reminded that I’m in a different country with different health regulations. So here I am, a week in and I am suffering at the moment. I was doing good all week. Trying to stick with foods that wouldn’t upset the acid and avoid the ones that do. I miss coffee (surprisingly not as much as I thought I would), tea, hot chocolate (which I tried once last week, seemed to be okay but I don’t want to test my stomach too much) and chocolate!  I’ve been rather vegetarian this week too and not on purpose. It’s just certain meats I like I think would upset it. Though I did have chicken over the weekend. But yesterday I didn’t have much for dinner and I figured Mike and I could order pizza (he stayed the weekend) and I could have a garlic bread pizza because I thought it would be safe and he could get whatever meaty pizza he wanted. He got a huge one in case I would want a slice. I did eat one and I should have stopped there but it seemed like my heartburn wasn’t acting up too much so I had like 2 more. I should have only had 2 tops because I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible turning in my throat that just tasted gross and this morning when I got up it was still there and throughout the day. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it was when I woke up but I’m still being affected by that pizza. So a bland meal is what I think I’ll plan for dinner and hopefully I won’t have any thing bothering me by tomorrow. Thankfully I only have a week left of this. And then I’ll be back on the meds in time for the trip Mike and I have planned.

So last Tuesday I’m sitting in class waiting for it to start and reading a book from the library about the changing cultures of libraries (ironic? Nah it’s kind of what my dissertation is focusing on), when the classmate that made me rather uncomfortable approached me. I had given him my email and he sent me one over that weekend I first gave it. He was asking if I received it and I panicked and said no because I didn’t know what to say at the time. More than a week had gone by and he hadn’t said anything so I thought he wouldn’t say anything. I was wrong. He then confirmed I gave him the right one and asked me to check again for it. Didn’t really know what to say or do. I figured if he emailed again I would answer it and tell him nicely that I can’t help him. Well Thursday I was waiting for another class to start when this guy came up to me asking me if I was in the waiting class and explained to me that he had been gone for the last two weeks and missed a few things and was wondering if the assessment for our semester assignment had been given out. It was but it wasn’t explained. Apparently he had a copy but he didn’t understand it. I pulled out my copy and tried to go over it with him and explain it to him. He basically told me he wanted me to help him with the assignment and I told him I couldn’t do that. At first I said he could go to the module lecturers because they can easily explain this stuff better than I could and were open to talking to students who needed help. He didn’t seem to hear me or was ignoring what I was saying so I had to say no I couldn’t help. He wouldn’t accept it at first trying to tell me some of my excuses were similar to his. I wasn’t backing down though. I was getting rather frustrated with him at this point because it was kind of like, you’re on a Master level program, figure it out! I don’t know any better than him but it seems because my first language is English, I know everything. I’m not trying to be rude about it but I’ve been told stories of people who don’t understand the language very well here try to talk to other students for help and only for that. It’s rather taking advantage of a person, and classmates shouldn’t be the ones helping you with assignments. My other classmates that I get along with don’t do that and we don’t tend to ask a lot of personal questions right away like these two started. After the guy finally let go the assignment he started telling me where he lived and asked where I was. I kind of ignored the question and walked into the classroom because the other class was leaving by this point. Later that night I talked with a friend and my boyfriend about it online and my friend told me just to tell them flat-out I can’t help. I don’t want to complain just yet either because I’m more uncomfortable with the difficult situation they both have put me in. But if this continues to persist I’m going to have to. But Friday I went out to go grocery shopping for the meal I could eat for me and Mike for the weekend. I was sitting at the bus stop waiting for the next one to come when I heard my name be called. I turned to the direction of the voice, it was the classmate from the night before bugging me for help. Apparently he lived just over the road a bit and I didn’t realize it was student accommodations over there. My impression at the time of him seemed a bit better, he was headed somewhere and on the phone. He did ask me if I lived around there. I was vague about it again because I didn’t want to say where and said I commute sometimes from here and Huddersfield. I told him I was headed into for some shopping. He had to go which was kind of relief. But I don’t think he’s as bad as the first guy. I just hope he doesn’t try to bug me again for help with assignments.

Anyway, classes are going okay. They’re keeping me busy that’s for sure. I got my dissertation presentation coming up next month. My supervisor is helping me to prepare for it by getting a few things understood like objectives. I’m not sure what to do exactly with those. Plus I need to focus down more on my subject. I think I have what I want but I still don’t know if it’s too broad. The class I’ve changed to is nice and more my kind of subject but there is so much to read! I think that’s part of the problem with distance learning classes. You really have to figure out what to read and since you don’t have weekly meetings it’s more material to cover. I think it’s going well so far. This past Tuesday class was nice. It was laid back more than usual because of group discussions and it was just me and my classmate Ricardo. We’ve had all our classes together and tend to sit in the same places so we got to talking a bit and since we’ve gotten to know each other over the last 6 months, we both felt comfortable sharing stuff about our personal lives. I think I did more talking than him lol But we talked all the way to Sainsbury’s after class and we talked about a lot of stuff, classes, work, home life stuff for me and about my boyfriend and then we started talking about healthcare and the difference here and there and if there were any things that were different for me and Mike since we grew up in different countries with different cultures. It was fun, I don’t think I get to socialize as much as I used to. I need to try to get together with other classmates I talked with last semester since we exchanged numbers.

The last thing I would like to talk about is what I’ve decided to do since I was rejected for being a bone marrow donator because of my BMI. I’ve been gaining weight a lot of over the years and I’ve tried to stop it but kind of did it half-heartedly. I think it’s because I was happy with myself but I think I do need to be more aware of what I’m doing activity wise and what I put into my body. So I have started doing sit-ups everyday. It’s been awhile since I’ve done them and it really dawned on me how badly in shape I am. Walking is one thing but I can do stuff in my room and still be active. I will be walking a lot more when the weather warms up more but until then I’m doing sit-ups everyday and whatever else I can think of that will help. I am kind of eating healthier at the moment too since I can’t have a lot of foods. Though I’ll be glad when I can eat a clementine or an orange and enjoy a cup of tea without fear of heartburn. Probably isn’t a bad thing either to cut out meats though I really don’t eat much meaty foods when I’m in Leeds. It’s cheaper not to, and the kind of bacon I like is more expensive than the majority sold here. So no major worries. Just need to plan on feeling better and looking better so I can fit into some clothes again and being healthy.

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