“The best four years of your life.” That is what people say college is meant to be. While this has the ability to be true, and is true in many ways, for some, college can be a time of great trial and struggle.
Shiloh Fox, sophomore Christian behavioral science major, has faced such trial this semester. In September, Fox began experiencing frequent spells of collapse, chronic pain and fatigue.
“I would literally force myself to have the strength to get up, go to class and the second I would walk back in the door I would go straight to bed,” Fox said. “So I was getting behind in my classes. I was continuing to be in a lot of pain. Even now we still don’t really have a ton of answers and we don’t really know why I’m always in extreme pain and always tired.”
However, through numerous testing and doctors visits, part of the cause has been discovered. Fox has a condition called autonomic neuropathy.
“It’s a condition where you don’t get enough blood flow to your brain, so that’s understandable why I would collapse a lot, but then that is usually caused by some kind of underlying disease or infection so that’s what they’re trying to figure out,” Fox said.
Despite the unknowns and the anxiety, Fox said she has had amazing friends who have supported her through this experience.
“I can literally say my friends have caught me when I’ve fallen,” Fox said. “I’ve had numerous friends that have caught me when I’ve gone to collapse in the parking lot or on this couch and so it’s just been a beautiful thing to see the body of Christ together like that because that’s what friends are for.
“Things like friends literally carrying me into the (emergency room) when I’m unconscious or bringing me food because I can’t get off the couch and just coming to pray with me and sitting with me when I’m falling apart,” Fox said.
Fox said her faith has also been a pillar of strength in the previous trying months.
“Even now as I deal with constant pain and confusion and trying to figure things out, I’ve played out the worst case scenarios and I know at the end there’s still light and still a way for me to choose joy and trust God with it,” Fox said.